In less than 19 days, NBA superstars Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Durant may descend onto Penn’s historic Palestra for a Team Philly-Team Baltimore exhibition basketball game.
The event — which remains unofficial as of yet — is the brain child of NBA player and Philadelphia native Hakim Warrick, who played alongside Anthony at Syracuse University.
Warrick told ESPN he had been planning the game for quite some time, but was pushed into action after recent star-studded exhibitions between summer league teams — such as the Team Melo-Goodman showdown that featured Anthony, Durant, LeBron James and Chris Paul.
With Philly chosen as the host city, Warrick would like the game to be held at a college gym — he named Temple, St. Joseph’s and Penn as possible locales — but if it’s up to him, the game will be held on 33rd St.
“My first choice is the Palestra because when you think of Philly, especially Big 5 Basketball and all the history, you think of the Palestra,” he told ESPN.
The Phoenix Suns forward may very well get his wish, as fellow Syracuse alumnus and ESPN Los Angeles beat writer Dave McMenamin tweeted on Thursday that the game has been scheduled for Sept. 25 at the Palestra.
Still, it appears much needs to be worked out before such an event is set in stone.
Penn’s Director of Athletic Communications Mike Mahoney emphasized that point but added, “There’s definitely interest on Penn’s part. We’d be crazy not to try and get an event like this in the Palestra.”
Meanwhile, Warrick tweeted Sunday, “Stay tuned still working on a few details” in response to a question about the game.
Regardless of where the game is held, the exhibition should draw huge crowds based on the level of talent that will take the hardwood.
Anthony, who averaged 25.6 points per game last season, reportedly told Warrick he would probably bring along fellow NBA stars from the Washington/Baltimore area, including Durant, the League’s two-time defending scoring champ, and Denver Nuggets’ guard Ty Lawson.
Warrick, on the other hand, would attempt to bring along a Philly-based NBA crew headlined by the League’s 2010 Rookie of the Year, Tyreke Evans, St. Joe’s alumnus Jameer Nelson, Philadelphia 76ers’ guard Lou Williams, and former Villanova standout Kyle Lowry (now with the Houston Rockets).
This exhibition would be just the next of what has become a growing trend this summer.
With the NBA players and owners still locked out, many of the game’s brightest stars have taken to summer leagues to stay sharp and entertain fans. Durant, in particular, has made the past few weeks his personal showcase, scoring 66 points in a game at New York’s Rucker Park and 59 points against the Team Melo squad that featured James, Anthony and Paul.
And though “The Durantula” has been adding to his legacy each time he hits the court, an epic scoring performance in the Palestra, also known as “The Cathedral of College Basketball,” would boost his reputation as arguably the best basketball player in the world.Comments powered by Disqus
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