NBA Lockout Watch, Day 119: LeBron, 'Melo, CP3 Pull Out Of Six-Game World Tour
Heat F LeBron James, Knicks F Carmelo Anthony and Hornets F Chris Paul have "suddenly pulled out of a planned six-game tour that was supposed to start this weekend in Puerto Rico and then go international," according to Mike Breshahan of the L.A. TIMES. Other stars such as Lakers F Kobe Bryant, Magic C Dwight Howard, Heat G Dwyane Wade, Clippers F Blake Griffin and Knicks F Amar'e Stoudemire are still committed to the World All-Star Classic. However, the tour was "apparently reduced to Sunday's game in San Juan, with dates in London, Macao and Australia to be added if the first stop went well" (L.A. TIMES, 10/27). In Ft. Lauderdale, Ira Winderman cites a source as saying that James "never committed to the tour and added that James is not participating, 'due to previous commitments.'" Ticket sales begin today in Puerto Rico, with a "seating chart showing tickets priced from $50 to $450" (South Florida SUN-SENTINEL, 10/27). In DC, Michael Lee noted the global tour "took a hit this week," when James, Anthony, Paul and Bulls G Derrick Rose "chose to back out, citing prior commitments." But tour organizers said yesterday that Mavericks F Tyson Chandler, Celtics G Rajon Rondo, Heat F Chris Bosh, Celtics F Kevin Garnett, T'Wolves F Kevin Love and Bulls F Carlos Boozer "have contracted agreements," along with Bryant, Howard, Wade, Stoudemire, Griffin and Thunder F Kevin Durant (WASHINGTONPOST.com, 10/26).
SHOULD THE SHOW STILL GO ON? In Cleveland, Bud Shaw writes, "Ask yourself one question about this World Tour: Does this sound like a good idea? Right now? I mean, why not stop off in France after London and dedicate an exhibition to the memory of Marie Antoinette?" Reports indicate that players "will receive salaries ranging from six figures to $1 million." Shaw: "Fellas, stay home. Home is where the fans and jilted arena workers are. Visit America first. Announce a tour of NBA cities. Rent a place to play close to the NBA arena in each city" (CLEVELAND.com, 10/27). YAHOO SPORTS' Adrian Wojarowski wrote on Twitter, "Tour TV distributor had been in talks with Fox, CBS and Comcast Regionals - non-NBA rights holders - but no U.S. deal, sources say" (TWITTER.com, 10/27).
SUPERMAN SAYS: In Orlando, Josh Robbins reports Howard has "made it official: After he's done barnstorming in exhibitions across the globe, he'll host a benefit game between current and former Orlando Magic players on Nov. 13 at UCF Arena." Howard's D12 Foundation yesterday "finalized an agreement with the company that manages" the arena. The venue "can seat 10,000 people" for UCF basketball games. Meanwhile, Robbins noted because of its "lease agreement with the team, the city is guaranteed to receive a total of $2.8 million from the Magic even if no games are played" this season. Still, the city "would miss out on the additional revenue that it typically receives on game nights." City records indicate that, "on average, each regular-season game last season generated $33,273 for the city in facility fees through ticket sales" (ORLANDOSENTINEL.com, 10/27).