With the lockout still casting a dark shadow over the NBA and its fans, players are taking matters into their own hands in order to stay sharp and keep the fans engaged.
Phoenix Suns forward Hakim Warrick wants in on the action.
The Philadelphia native told ESPN’s Marc Stein that he and his former Syracuse teammate Carmelo Anthony are working to set up an exhibition game between Warrick’s Philly squad and Melo’s Baltimore team before the end of September.
Warrick said he was “trying to do a Philly and Baltimore game a while ago,” and after he saw Anthony and his Melo League teammates take on Kevin Durant and the Goodman League, he reached out to the fellow Orangeman.
“When I saw Drew League vs. Goodman League and Team Melo vs. Goodman, I was like, ‘Man, let me go ahead and set this up,’” Warrick said. “I told (Anthony) that we want to play them next and they have to come up to Philly. And he said he’s with it.”
According to the report, Warrick’s team will most likely feature Philly products like Tyreke Evans, Jameer Nelson, Richard Hamilton, Kyle Lowry, John Salmons, Wayne Ellington, Gerald Henderson, Flip Murray, Marcus Morris and Phoenix Suns rookie Markieff Morris.
Carmelo, who had the help of Chris Paul and LeBron James on Tuesday, will keep things even by sticking with only players from Baltimore and Washington, DC. Warrick said Anthony’s team will most likely feature Durant (who scored 59 on Tuesday), Ty Lawson and other players from the area, while Warrick’s only non-Philly player will be Sixers point guard Louis Williams.
Warrick said he wants the game to be played at either Temple, St. Joe’s or the Palestra (the home of the University of Pennsylvania). Despite his diminishing role with the Suns, it’s good to see Warrick doing his part to keep basketball relevant and exciting.
Dudley thinks there will be a season, but games may be missed
Speaking of the NBA lockout, Jared Dudley gave Paul Coro his take on Wednesday’s meeting between the player’s association (NBPA president Derek Fisher, NBPA executive director Billy Hunter and attorney Ron Klempner) and the owners’ group (commissioner David Stern, deputy commissioner Adam Silver and San Antonio owner and labor relations committee chairman Peter Holt).
“I think we’re a little behind but it’s a positive that they agreed not to talk about it,” Dudley said of the six-hour meeting, only the second since the lockout began on July 1. “I think it’s a positive that they met and they both decided they’re not going to take shots at each other in the media.”
Dudley, who is training at Impact Basketball in Las Vegas, is optimistic that basketball will be played eventually, but it may take some missed action to get there.
“My gut is we’ll have a season but we’ll miss some games,” Dudley said. “The closer we get, the more talks will intensify.”