NBA stars get creative in finding ways to play during lockout
NBA players are mulling multiple exhibitions as the lockout continues
Players may organize unofficial versions of the NBA games that got canceled
Among planned games is Kevin Durant's star-studded show in Oklahoma City
What is this, "Semipro 2"?
If that's where this NBA lockout is headed, then book Brian Scalabrine as Jackie Moon now just in case Will Ferrell opts out. Or Brian Cardinal, or maybe even Spencer Hawes. Talk about comedy.
Days after the league announced the elimination of the first two weeks of the regular season, the player-driven talk of possible Plan Bs is growing louder and seemingly more sincere. And while we won't know for some time how seriously to take any of these possible endeavors, they're worth tracking if only because Plan A (otherwise known as the No Basketball Association) isn't looking so good these days.
The Drew League vs. Goodman League showcases have been fun, along with similar shows in Philadelphia and Miami. The University of Kentucky is on the tail end of its "Big Blue All-Stars" tour in which alumns like Rajon Rondo, DeMarcus Cousins, Brandon Knight -- and even non-Kentucky alum Kenneth Faried (Morehead State) -- get paid to play. There's more to come, it seems, so let's peek at the possibilities:
In keeping with Nike's, lockout-inspired "Basketball Never Stops" slogan, player reps Amar'e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony have been telling media that they are discussing starting a league of their own. ("There's no crying in work stoppages!" Tom Hanks yells at a sniffling Chris Bosh.)
"It's possible," Anthony told SI.com's Zach Lowe on Wednesday. "It's very possible, with all the relationships and connections players and agents have. ... At the end of the day, with all the guys Nike and the Jordan Brand have, they are very powerful. If we were to come to them and ask them, we're pretty sure they'd be into it."
A Nike official I spoke with said this idea has not, as Anthony alluded, been discussed at length just yet.
While the actual formation of another league would be, um, challenging, a source says there is a more manageable idea being tossed around. In a strong statement to the league's fans who are paying such a steep price for all this, players would organize unofficial versions of the games that are being lost in early November.
Players would join their respective NBA teams in full and play in non-NBA venues in the city in which they were originally scheduled. So maybe there's hope for an opening night of Bulls at Mavericks, Rockets at Jazz and Thunder at the Lakers on Nov. 1 after all.
Kevin Durant will host a star-studded charity game in Oklahoma City on Oct. 23. Durant and Clippers forward Blake Griffin will captain separate teams and, according to former NBA player Desmond Mason, who is helping to organize the event, LeBron James, Anthony, Chris Paul and Russell Westbrook are all expected to play.
Kings small forward Donte Greene is well on his way to organizing a game in Sacramento, having taken to Twitter on Tuesday night to get it done. If Twitter agreements are binding, he has secured the services of Washington's John Wall, the Kings' DeMarcus Cousins, and Lakers small forward/Sacramento native Matt Barnes. Invites have been extended to Sacramento teammates Tyreke Evans and Fredette as well, according to one of the game's organizers.
There's a possible matchup on the horizon between the current Golden State Warriors and the "We Believe" Warriors of 2007 that was reported by Comcast.