Minnesota Timberwolves forward Michael Beasley generated hype with some trash talking about Saturday’s anticipated exhibition game between the local Goodman League and the Los Angeles-based Drew League at Trinity University. Standing with Goodman League commissioner Miles Rawls earlier this month, Beasley guaranteed a victory in the East-West battle to determine which area has the best talent by declaring, “We’re going to dog them.”
But now it appears that Beasley won’t be able to back up his claims. After teaming up with former Georgetown star Chris Wright for a victory at Barry Farm last week, Beasley said a scheduling conflict will prohibit him from playing in the contest that features two of the more prominent recreational basketball leagues in which several NBA players ply their trade in the offseason.
With so much uncertainty surrounding the NBA lockout, there has been more attention placed on players participating in the summer league street-ball circuit. And Saturday’s contest between the Goodman League and the Drew League — billed as “Capital Punishment” — garnered some national publicity because of the number of players involved. Wizards players John Wall, Nick Young and JaVale McGee; Oklahoma City Thunder all-star Kevin Durant; Milwaukee Bucks guard Brandon Jennings; and Sacramento Kings players DeMarcus Cousins and Tyreke Evans, among others, and a few playground legends have committed to take part.
Beasley plans to leave for Beijing on Friday to play for an all-star team, which reportedly also features Boston Celtics forward Paul Pierce and will compete in the Continental Club Basketball Championships from Aug. 20-28. Rawls said Charlotte Bobcats forward Dante Cunningham will replace Beasley on the roster.
Even with Beasley out, the Goodman League team has plenty of talent with Durant, Wall, Cousins, Evans, Denver Nuggets guard Ty Lawson, San Antonio Spurs guard Gary Neal, Kings forward Donte Greene and Memphis Grizzlies players Josh Selby and Sam Young. Goodman League regulars Hugh “Baby Shaq” Jones, Emanuel “Duce” Jones and Warren “D-Nice” Jefferson round out the team.
The Drew League will have Young, McGee, Jennings, Oklahoma City guard James Harden, Toronto Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan, Craig Smith of the Los Angeles Clippers and New Orleans Hornets guard Marcus Banks. Golden State Warriors forward Dorell Wright, who helped organize the event, had to back out because of a wedding.
The game will be streamed on the Internet for the pre-order price of $4.99 on www.thebasketballchannel.net. Former NBA star Marques Johnson will host the game.