With the absence of a new NBA collective bargaining agreement – and neither side isn’t budging at this point – basketball fans are stuck with glorified scrimmages organized by the league’s superstars.
The latest installment of this very expensive pickup game is Saturday night’s exhibition game in Miami featuring a team led by LeBron James against a squad headed by Heat teammate Dwyane Wade.
Team LeBron has some serious star power on its roster. Scheduled to play with LeBron are Heat forward Chris Bosh, Boston Celtics guard Rajon Rondo, Atlanta Hawks guard Jamal Crawford, Memphis Grizzlies forward Rudy Gay, Houston Rockets guard Jonny Flynn, Philadelphia Sixers guard Lou Williams, guard Damon Jones (LeBron’s former teammate with the Cleveland Cavaliers), Cavs rookie forward Tristan Thompson, and Oklahoma City Thunder stars Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant. It’s interesting that LeBron picked up Durant on his squad because the last high-profile exhibition game had James going head-to-head with Durant, who has been on a tear this summer.
Team Wade features Heat guard Mario Chalmers, Dallas Mavericks forward and D-Wade’s good friend Caron Butler, Wade’s former Heat teammate and current Golden State Warriors forward Dorell Wright, New York Knicks stars Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire, New Orleans Hornets guard Chris Paul, Washington Wizards guard John Wall, and Thunder guard James Harden.
In the end, Team Wade outlasted Team LeBron, 141-140, in overtime. It was a typical offseason exhibition game. Lots of dunks, lots of alley-oops, lots of breakaways, lots of one-on-one, and very little defense. Somewhere in New York, David Stern is chuckling.