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 participate.
''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 later.''
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 more money.
''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.''