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NBA / Oct 25, 2011 / 3:00 pm

The Best Matchup Of The ‘NBA World Tour’

Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant (photo. Chris Sembrot)

Those lucky Puerto Ricans. Oh well, we can’t really complain. We’ve had “Capital Punishment” (check out our latest issue – Dime #66 – for a behind-the-scenes recap), “The Big Payback,” that crazy Chris Paul charity game and even stuff like this past weekend when Michael Beasley nearly went for 60. As boring as the lockout’s been, we can be thankful for those games. But the NBA World Tour – as we’ve dubbed it – would exceed all of that in star power. We’re talking USA Baskeball Team-like star power. We’re talking Kobe vs. LeBron. We’re talking taking the game to people across the world who’ll treat each encounter as a once-in-a-lifetime event. Could it all start this Saturday night at San Juan Arena in Puerto Rico?

The 18 confirmed players, reported by Primera Hora (translation from HoopsHype) are: Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Derrick Rose, Amar’e Stoudemire, Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Garnett, Blake Griffin, Kevin Durant, Dwyane Wade, Chris Paul, Tyson Chandler, Carlos Boozer, Chris Bosh, Russell Westbrook, Kevin Love, Chris Kaman, Paul Pierce and Rajon Rondo.

While Primera Hora contends they had access to the official roster, numerous outlets – like Yahoo! Sports – had previously reported “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.” Puerto Rican promoters said they would not starting selling tickets – potentially falsely advertising – until they were sure which players were going to show up. If those details were not worked out, Bryant was almost assuredly out of at least the first game, and if that Saturday night game in Puerto Rico is canceled, then it could have larger implications on the rest of the tour.

The rest of the tour includes stops in London for two games, one in Macau, and two back-to-back games in Australia to end the whole run on November 9. Each arena will be able to seat at least 15,000 people.

If the details were worked out, and the official roster report is true, then what would make the best game? Here’s the matchup we’d want to see:

Team 1
LeBron James – Starter
Dwyane Wade – S
Rajon Rondo – S
Amar’e Stoudemire – S
Kevin Durant – S
Chris Kaman
Russell Westbrook
Carlos Boozer
Chris Bosh

TEAM 2
Kobe Bryant S
Carmelo Anthony – S
Derrick Rose – S
Blake Griffin – S
Chris Paul – S
Kevin Garnett
Tyson Chandler
Kevin Love
Paul Pierce

As we said in Smack, getting what we want – everyone going hard, defense, rebounding, players taking the one-on-one challenges – is stupid to even contemplate. It won’t happen in any NBA All-Star Game, and it damn sure won’t happy on some worldwide basketball tour. But as we saw at the last Olympic tune-up, during the intra-squad scrimmage, guys can go hard enough that there could be some drama.

Which team would win? What teams would you want to see?

Follow Sean on Twitter at @SEANesweeney.

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  • http://www.dimemag.com panchitoooo

    it would be nice to see all players participating put up like $500 each for every game and whoever wins gets to pick a charity to give it to. or something like that

  • beiber newz

    it woulda been better if you said the losing team of each game puts in let’s say…a $G. The championship team at the end chooses where it goes. It would be more incentive to win. If every game everyone knew they would give money, it would take the excitement out of that aspect. It will create less sore losers that way too if the loser knew the money was going to a cause. good idea tho panchitoo.

  • jayb

    wow…i hope this actually happens…mamba, melo and kg..wow!!! man this better come to fruitation..i would love to see this!!!

  • http://www.dimemag.com panchitoooo

    i was going to put that each player should put up $1000 each and whoever wins gets the money straight up no charity or nothing straight gambling on the game. that would probably be the best way to make sure they play with a lil more effort. especially since none of them are getting paid by the NBA.

  • Detroit Dave

    Just broadcast it.

  • beiber newz

    panchitoo. i majored in business in college. i took many course on law. i’ve studied publicity. and from a PR standpoint, that would ABSOLUTELY kill their image and what they stand for.

    imagine, fans have been lockout from professional entertainment because of issues ranging from money and pride. The “general” public, the ones who don’t know what’s going on, go off how the situation looks. and to make a long story short, the players look G.R.E.E.D.Y. The casual fan, which is the majority, don’t understand the players have given concession upon concession. frankly, they don’t care to know. they just want basketball. and the more grown men continue to deprive the public of basketball over what they see as a war on money, they will look greedy.

    now imagine, they tell the public, “okay, fans, to appease your qualms over the lockout, we’ll host charity gaes to deliver you some entertainment. and….o yea, we’ll be gambling FOR OUR BENEFIT on the side.” HAHAHA Public death.

  • http://dimemag.com pancitooo

    then the players should keep it a secret. did you learn that in you business, law, and publicity courses? or you could even turn the cash into gift certificates and then give the winning team a bunch of gift certificates.

  • Peter

    The one concession the players have not given is the one that the majority of the owners absolutely must have before finalizing a deal. There has to be a clear, un-cheatable mechanism to prevent all of the star players from joining up to play on a handful of big market teams. It could be a hard cap, it could be hyper-aggressive revenue sharing: there are various ways to do it. The bottom line is that the majority of the owners have no reason to allow another NBA game to be played until it’s in place.