Lucas sponsoring charity game; Durant expected
Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and Rashard Lewis are expected
to headline a charity game to benefit John Lucas’ foundation that
provides substance-abuse counseling for athletes.
The game will be held on Nov. 20 at Delmar Fieldhouse in
northwest Houston, once the home of the Houston Cougars’ basketball
team. The arena has 5,000 seats.
Lucas said Wednesday about 20 players have committed to
”It’ll be neat for the fans to come out and see,” Lucas said.
”It won’t be a celebrity game. It’s going to be a real game. I’m
really excited about the competition.”
KRIV-TV first reported the event was scheduled.
Lucas, who played in the NBA from 1976-90, spoke about the game
as NBA players and owners gathered to discuss whether to accept the
league’s latest proposal to end the lockout.
Commissioner David Stern set a Wednesday deadline for the union
to take the deal. The two sides are still divided over changes to
the salary cap system, as well as the revenue split.
Lucas would not reveal what he knows about the negotiations, but
says he hopes the union will support his game. He says only a
”miracle resolution” to the lockout would force the cancellation
of the charity game.
”I don’t think you can get it all resolved in a week,” Lucas
said. ”Now we may lose players because of it. That’s why the game
is subject to change. Let’s hope for a miracle resolution a little
Former NBA players Moses Malone and Robert Horry will coach the
teams, and Houston Texans players Andre Johnson and Matt Schaub
will also participate, though Lucas would not say if they were
going to play.
Lucas’ son John, a point guard with Chicago; Oklahoma City
forward Kendrick Perkins; Indiana guard T.J. Ford; New Jersey
forward Damion James; and Rockets point guard Jonny Flynn are also
scheduled to play, Lucas said.
”It’s a nice mixture of young players,” Lucas said. ”I wanted
the young, the old and a little bit of the new, so our fans could
see who’s coming and who’s already established.”
Flynn, acquired by Houston on draft night in a trade with
Minnesota, says charity games give the players a chance to maintain
a connection to NBA fans frustrated by the lockout.
”This is what this is all about,” Flynn said. ”The fans is
what make us and make this league and make it flourish. They make
us a lot of money and the league a lot of money. You don’t want to
lose that. The fans, I know they’re tired of hearing about
millionaires and guys who make a lot of money complain about making
”You don’t want to lose that fan base,” Flynn said. ”We just
want to show that we’re grateful for what they’ve done, and
sticking by our side.”