First stop in Kobe, LeBron world tour already in jeopardy

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It’s going to happen in some form because the biggest names have signed up — Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Derrick Rose and others are in for a six-game world exhibition tour. ESPN’s Ric Bucher reports that 14 players have inked deals.

But it’s not that simple to put together a tour, and already the first stop — in Puerto Rico this coming Saturday night — may be falling apart.

Basically, it’s because other businesses want rock solid business deals in place before they put their necks out there, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo.

Tour organizer Cal Darden Sr., of Atlanta, has until Monday to provide several requirements – including 18 signed player agreements – for a game this Saturday night at San Juan Arena….

San Juan officials are desperate to start selling tickets, sources said. The global tour is slated to continue to London, Macau and Melbourne over the next two weeks. Players involved have agreements to pay them anywhere from a six-figure fee to more than $1 million for participation.

Puerto Rican promoters are still waiting on signed agreements from 10 of the 18 players expected to play in the game, a $12,500 payment to begin the sale of tickets and evidence of a global television package, sources said. The Puerto Rican Tourism company is paying a $750,000 host fee with the assistance of corporate sponsors, but one Puerto Rico source briefed on the details said the local government will not financially back the game without a broad television package.

Consider this a note to everyone out there saying “the players should just start their own league.” It’s not easy. At all. Lining up venues, television deals, contracts and the rest is complex. And that’s not even considering the marketing and all of the rest of the things the NBA platform brings to the players. The two sides have a partnership, if they would just realize it.