LeBron James has expressed interest in being part of a future NBA Africa game, writes Lindsay du Plessis of ESPN, which would make him the biggest star ever to participate. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver addressed the possibility in a news conference prior to today’s contest.
“Both Amadou [Gallo Fall, NBA managing director for Africa] and I have spoken directly to LeBron James, and he has stated that he would very much like to come to Africa and be part of the game,” Silver said. “I will say on his behalf that he has an extraordinarily complicated schedule, even in the offseason, and he is someone who, for the last eight years, has played in the NBA finals. So his season has gone from September to late June, so he has a very short break. During those summers he also often plays for the national team, Olympic Games, things like that.”
Silver added that the African experience, which includes several days of volunteer work as part of Basketball Without Borders, is high on James’ list of priorities and he expressed confidence that the Lakers star will be part of the game in the future.
There’s more NBA news from Los Angeles:
- Luol Deng got a rare chance to show off his skills in today’s NBA Africa game and responded with 14 points, three steals and three rebounds, notes Mike Trudell of NBA.com. Deng played on opening night last season, then never got into another game as the Lakers devoted more minutes to their younger players. Deng, 33, is a two-time All-Star, but has become a salary cap problem for the Lakers with two seasons and $36.81MM left on his contract.
- Clippers forward Danilo Gallinari looked fully healthy in capturing MVP honors in the game, writes Tim Daniels of Bleacher Report. Gallinari, who was limited to 21 games last season because of injuries and finished the season with a fractured right hand, hit nine of 10 shots and scored 23 points in leading the World Team to victory.
- Matt Barnes blames “egos” for the Clippers‘ failure to advance past the second round of the playoffs when they had a core of Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan, relays Kurt Helin of NBC Sports. Barnes made the remarks in an appearance on AM 570 L.A. Sports, saying the team lacked the “mental toughness” to put together a championship run.