Thursday, September 1, 2011

Stars align for exhibitions during lockout

Carmelo Anthony is mobbed by fans after the Goodman League All- Stars taking on The Melo League basketball game at Edward P. Hurt Gymnasium at Morgan State University on August 30, 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland. Photograph by: Patrick Smith, Getty Images

BALTIMORE, Maryland, Aug 31, 2011 (AFP) - LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Chris Paul and Carmelo Anthony might not have an NBA season title to play for in 2011-2012 but they are popular in exhibition games during the NBA lockout.

More than 4,500 people jammed Morgan State University’s gymnasium on Tuesday to watch Anthony’s Melo All-Stars beat the Goodman All-Stars 149-141.

James, who led the Miami Heat to the NBA Finals in June, scored 38 points while New York star Anthony scored 36 and Paul, a team-mate of James for the NBA runner-up to Dallas, added 18 points for the Melo All-Stars.

"Melo told us he was having a game and did we want to play — no question," Paul said.

Durant, the NBA’s scoring champion last season, netted a game-high 59 points for the Goodman side. Durant had scored 66 in an outdoor game at New York’s famed Rucker Park earlier in the NBA off-season.

Tickets ranged from $40 to $100 for what amounted to a playground game among the sport’s elite playmakers, similar to one a week earlier in New York where Durant helped boost Goodman past a Los Angeles-based group 135-134.

"We do it for the love of the game," Paul said. "This is what we grew up doing. This (environment) is where we learned how to play."

NBA owners locked out players on July 1 and have not agreed upon a new contract with players even as time ticks away to the next NBA season, scheduled to begin on November 1.

© Copyright (c) AFP


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