With a week of the NBA preseason having already been canceled, 43 games in all, players and fans alike are staring at a grim future. Some players have already begun calling player workouts for their teammates to get into shape, holding out hope that there will be a season. Other players have chosen to participate in various street and city leagues or games for either charity or celebrity reasons. Another such game took place on Sunday featuring several players who have made appearances in pro-am and exhibition games throughout the summer.
LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, and Chris Paul teamed together for the second major matchup featuring Anthony’s Team Melo from Baltimore. They faced off against Team Philly in what was billed as the “Battle of I-95.” However, the three members of the Redeem Team found little success in the Palestra as they lost in front of a hostile crowd, 131-122. A rough start would be the stars’ undoing, the Associated Press reports:
Fourth quarters were the problem for James in the finals, but this time his team couldn’t undo his start.
The passionate Philly fans booed James when he came onto the floor and even louder during pregame introductions, and they were delighted when the local team threatened to run the All-Stars off the floor in the opening minutes. With speedy guards [Lou] Williams, [Kyle] Lowry and [Tyreke] Evans repeatedly getting by their defenders, Team Philly raced to a 22-6 lead that it extended to 35-16 later in the first quarter.
James had only four points in the period.
Team Melo took the lead in the final period, but Lowry led a late flurry to pull it out for Philly.
James finished the game with 43 points and 23 rebounds (yes, you read that correctly), leading all scorers, while Anthony had 31 points and 17 rebounds for Team Melo. Paul only had six points but tallied eight assists and five rebounds. Lowry scored 34 points, Williams had 31, and Evans poured in 18 points and grabbed 18 rebounds for Team Philly.
The game was organized by Hakim Warrick, who suited up for Team Philly and scored 19 points and pulled down 12 rebounds. Mark Tyndale, Aaron Owens, Mardy Collins, Dionte Christmas, Wayne Ellington, and Ronald Murray rounded out the rest of Team Philly.
Before play began, all of the players donned ironic shirts as they went through warm ups that read: “Basketball Never Stops.” Unfortunately no one seems to have told the owners this as labor negotiations still seem to be mired. Perhaps one day the NBA will have a sense of normalcy to it again, until then fans and players will have to find outlets such as this to pass the time so sit back and enjoy them. It is all we have. Fans who attended the game know that as it was sold out.