With a lockout in effect and NBA players talking about playing in Europe next season, some big stars are getting a taste of basketball overseas.
According to ESPN, league MVP Derrick Rose of the Chicago Bulls, the Los Angeles Lakers’ Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder and New Orleans Hornets guard Chris Paul are among those who will be playing exhibition games in the Philippines this weekend, according to multiple media reports.
The games benefit the MVP Sports Foundation, which helps youth sports programs.
“The (foundation) over there is all about giving back and helping out kids,” Paul told the New Orleans Times-Picayune Wednesday. “That’s something I feel strongly about also. I’m going over there with a few other guys, and we’re going to play. I found out about this through D-Fish (Derek Fisher). He let me know about it.”
Sources told ESPNLosAngeles.com that Fisher will not only play but will be also coach.
Reports say Sacramento Kings guard Tyreke Evans, Minnesota Timberwolves draftee Derrick Williams and Washington Wizards big man JaVale McGee will also participate.
Rose’s agent, former Bulls guard B.J. Armstrong, will be an assistant coach, sources said.
Bryant will be arriving from Shanghai, where he was taking part in Nike’s Asian Tour. He kicked off that tour in the Philippines.
In addition to playing the exhibitions against Philippine All-Stars, the NBA players will get a tour of the country.
I can only imagine the excitement of Filipino basketball fans in anticipation of the arrival of the NBA stars.
Unfortunately, I am not in the Philippines right now so would miss this great event.
I do hope that most of my friends and family members back in the Philippines will try to witness and see these NBA stars play good and fun basketball in person.