Thursday, October 20th, 2011 at 9:00 am  |  46 responses

Kobe Bryant, LeBron James to Headline NBA Stars’ World Tour

by Marcel Mutoni@marcel_mutoni

Due to the ongoing NBA lockout, we have been deprived of the chance to watch many of the world’s best basketball players in meaningful competition. This will continue to be the case until the work stoppage is resolved.

However, if you’re into endless highlights and glitzy hoops showcases (and I know you are), there’s good news: many of the NBA’s biggest names are set to take part in a world tour, starting at the end of this month.

ESPN has the details:

While NBA commissioner David Stern and players’ union executive Billy Hunter meet with a federal mediator in hopes of saving the NBA season, the league’s top players are finalizing plans for a two-week exhibition tour during what would have been the first two weeks of the regular season, according to sources with knowledge of the situation. In a trip that could resemble Team USA’s takeover of the world stage at the 2008 Beijing Games, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Derrick Rose, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul, Amare Stoudemire, Chris Bosh, Rajon Rondo, Blake Griffin, Russell Westbrook, Carlos Boozer, Paul Pierce and Kevin Love are among the players expected to participate. Kevin Durant and Kevin Garnett, among a few others, are also contemplating joining the tour. Tyson Chandler also has agreed to participate in the tour, [according to a source.]

Atlanta business mogul Calvin Darden has been putting the tour together with the players’ agents for nearly three months. He has already obtained signed contracts from Bryant, Wade, Bosh, Griffin, Rondo and Pierce. Sources say he’s hoping to complete the rest of the agreements, along with insurance requirements, over the next few days. Even so, sources warned that the tour has not yet been finalized and there’s still a chance it could unravel. The tour, scheduled to begin Oct. 30 and end Nov. 9, will make stops in Puerto Rico, London, Macau, and Australia. Each game will be staged in an arena that holds at least 15,000 fans. Two games each will be played at sites in London and Australia.

The 10-day barnstorming tour, should it happen, will take part across four continents.

In addition to lining the players’ pockets — the biggest of superstars could make “north of $1 million” for participating — some of the proceeds will also go to charity.

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  • http://www.slamonline.com/online/blogs/adventures-of-the-catford-saints/ Ben Taylor

    If he pulls this off, Calvin Darden becomes my new favourite Atlanta based business mogul.

  • http://slamonline.com Bryan Crawford

    Meh… Whatever. I’ve had enough of these glorified pick-up games already.

  • http://www.slamonline.com/online/blogs/adventures-of-the-catford-saints/ Ben Taylor

    @Bryan Agree with you on that front, the only interesting thing (being selfish and bored of not being able to watch any basketball) is the fact they might come to London.

  • http://www.slamonline.com UNFROZEN CAVEMAN LAWYER


  • http://www.slamonline.com/online/category/blogs/farmer-jones/ Ryan Jones

    This feels different to me, Bryan. A chance for these guys to generate income, the lack of which is the owners’ biggest weapon against the union, is a big deal. I don’t think overseas fans will complain about not seeing playoff intensity.
    Now they just need to set up the North American tour I’ve been talking about for four months.

  • http://www.slamonline.com/online/category/blogs/farmer-jones/ Ryan Jones

    Obviously, I realize this doesn’t help the rank and file pay their bills. That remains an issue.

  • http://www.slamonline.com/online/blogs/adventures-of-the-catford-saints/ Ben Taylor

    Arguably, people here would be more into this than the Nets coming to town next year. Stupid, but true.

  • Brahsef

    God forbid the players actually give fans some basketball. Obviously it won’t be like the NBA, but the players are still gettin out there.

  • http://shinefluid@aol.com yada

    going on a mini world tour? this is definitely different

  • http://itsahardwoodlife.blogspot.com omphalos

    Hell yeah, NBA players in Australia. I’ve gotta get tickets to these games, regardless of where it is being held.

  • Truth

    We went to the Goodman-Indy game it’s fun for a quarter then after that it just gets flat out boring. I hope people don’t look at the numbers guys are putting up and correlate that with improvement or anything.

  • Young 23

    It seems fun.

  • http://Slamonline.com Milez Long

    Yeah it sounds great on paper, but it’s not going to give them much leverage as far as the lock out goes. Role players and Journeymen aren’t getting offers like this and wouldn’t make the cut on yhese star packed teams anyway. The owners know the Kobes and Lebrons of the world can afford to miss a paycheck, but the Landry Fields of the world can’t. Thats what these owners are banking on.

  • http://Www.fiba.com Darksaber

    Nice, that 1st trip to China might happen faster than i expected. Or Australia for that matter. That is quite the lineup.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    If there’s defense being played, I’m interested, if not, yawwwwwwwwwwwwwn!

  • http://www.twitter.com/dfrance21 dfrance21

    Guys are not going to play hard defense for the fans. And honestly, only basketball purist really care about seeing contested layups and jumpers. The average fan will be just fine seeing their favorite players fancy handles and dunks.

  • Yesse

    Could be cool.

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    I miss defense

  • Tre

    Y’all people are a trip… None of u probably ever played ball in any kind of star quality game tho so I understand… Talking about defense… It’s the offseason, these guys get enough of that for 82 plus games… They doing this for fun and entertainment but y’all never satisfied… Go watch baseball or something else…

  • O

    Wouldn’t they be doing the Stern the Bird a favor by popularizing the NBA on a global level??

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    Tre – that’s all good and all in the summer, but it’s almost November.
    My internal clock is telling me there’s great basketball with great defense to be watched.
    But there ain’t.

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    And f*ck baseball.

  • Baseball

    Hey! F*ck you guy!

  • bull22

    this barnstorming tour is a pure publicity stunt…. i guess these guys have to keep themselves in the limelight for whatever reason. big waste of time…

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    Enigmatic, you’re a funny cat. Baseball must have killed your dog or something.

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    Ha ha nah, I just grew up near a baseball crazy city with two teams where you were looked at as a freak if you didn’t root for one of them.

  • pp

    where do you buy tickets

  • TC

    All I can say from having lived around the world is there will be a lot of ECSTATIC fans in these place and the fans will feel some serious love and will not get booed AT ALL in any of these games.

  • TC

    Oops, should be players will feel a lot of love.

  • Jack

    Hope Blake Griffin actually plays. Read in the newspaper that he just got stitches on his feet from a surfing accident.

  • larrylegend

    Thanks BC ,at 9:08 am

  • DukeFromDeep

    Australians suck….

  • http://www.kb24.com The Seed

    Kobe team vs. Lebron team. I will pay to see this overhyped pickup game. On another note, I miss NBA basketball. I could have been watching the Lakers playing tonight. BOOK IT!!

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    I LOL’d at the 2:41 comment.
    Well played.

  • Drewboy23

    Please please please come to Australia… could be our one and only chance to see these Cats live !!!!

  • http://www.slamonline.com house

    I am completely over these no-defense playing offense-fests.

  • Dingo Rob

    This is good for the sport of basketball particularly here in Australia where publicity is much needed to give it a boost, I think the intensity will be similar to and All Star game, good enough for me. I’d love to see KD the most, my tip for MVP this year…..if they end up playing

  • CubicleWorker

    Shouldn’t these players be trying to figure out how to get the NBA lockout solved?? This isn’t the summer anymore

  • http://www.triplejunearthed.com/dacre Dacre

    Dingo Rob – shout out! I hope they don’t decide that the 2 games will be played in Melbourne alone…. Sydney siders will come and watch the NBA guys….and everyone here knows they don’t support the Kings half as much as they should…. Lets go Wollongong!

  • http://sajkflf.com Jukai

    Wow, screw everyone else… I’m excited about this!

  • http://bedotwater.bandcamp.com BE.water

    lol @ baseball!

  • http://www.triplejunearthed.com/dacre Dacre

    @Enig – You don’t hate baseball…baseball hates you!?!?
    Did everyone just wonder over to nba.com and see Paul Allen screw over the trade meeting tonight?!?!!?

  • http://myspace.com/gametimeweezy Gametimeweezy

    People act like they are playing this game for you, maybe they just want to get some good run and raise some money for some good charities. Overhyped pickup game??? Defense??? Yall sound like your TOO GOOD for this game..? I see it as some real ballers doing what they do and having fun.. not letting THE MAN get them down. Much props i hope they make it happen!

  • Zak

    I live in Melbourne, and I can’t wait! I really hope Kevin Durant can make it too.

  • http://slamonline.com Ugh

    @Dacre – Yeah! Let’s go Bullets, let’s – oh.
    I hate you, Eddy Groves.

  • ado

    where to buy tickets for the macau stop? couldn’t find it on the venetian macau website. thanks