Since setting off the NBA lockout-infused pro-am challenges with a win over the Los Angeles-based Drew League in August, the local Goodman League has traveled to Baltimore, Indianapolis and New York, and will have a rematch with the Drew League in Long Beach, Calif., on Sunday.
With the labor impasse wiping out the NBA preseason and leaving players with limited outlets, Rawls was able to be opportunistic and organize a game against a collection of players from Philadelphia on Oct. 15 at 6 p.m. at Coolidge High. Rawls has already dubbed the game “The Chocolate City against the City of Brotherly Love.”
“But there will be no love in the Chocolate City,” Rawls said in a telephone interview.
Rawls said he expects to have Kevin Durant, John Wall, Michael Beasley, DeMarcus Cousins, Greg Monroe, Jarrett Jack and Sam Young for the Goodman League team. Delonte West and Nolan Smith are also possibilities for the game. Team Philly is expected to feature Hakeem Warrick, Tyreke Evans, Kyle Lowry, Wayne Ellington, Lou Williams, Jason Thompson, Gerald Henderson, Flip Murray, Mardy Collins, Rasual Butler and possibly, Jameer Nelson.
“Philly wanted to play the Goodman and nobody but the Goodman,” Rawls said.
Rawls tried to convince Carmelo Anthony to come down for a rematch against the Melo League (though he doesn’t exactly count the loss in Baltimore since it had a few notable ringers from other states in LeBron James and Chris Paul). But he was able to find a more-than-suitable replacement since Team Philly beat Anthony, James and Paul, 131-122, last month in “The Battle for I-95” in Philadelphia. After the win, Warrick declared Team Philly as the “champs.”
Goodman League will be in Southern California on Sunday to return the favor previously paid by members of the Drew League who reached into their own pockets to fly out for the game at Trinity. They left town with a 135-134 loss that was decided by two Durant free throws and were upset that the Goodman League didn’t allow players to foul out. “They left here with a salty taste in their mouth. Felt like they were cheated and robbed, bamboozled. But when it happens on their end, I don’t know what they are going to say then,” Rawls said.
Rawls said he would have Durant, Wall, Beasley, Cousins, Young, Donte Greene and Rudy Gay. Rawls said Gay’s agent, Lance Young, approached him about playing in the game after Gay was cleared for full contact drills last month. “I said, what’s that a trick question? It’s good to have Rudy on board for this one. We’re good to go.”
The new Drew League team will have James Harden, Brandon Jennings, Nick Young, Derrick Williams, DeMar Derozan, Dorell Wright, Trevor Ariza, Craig Smith, Marcus Banks and Ryan Hollins. “They name-dropping, but I don’t care,” Rawls said. “I got a Hausner — you know what a Hausner is? — one of the most powerful machine guns in the military arsenal, in Kevin Durant.”
Durant stated on Twitter that charity games were starting to get a little “played out” but he participated in an exhibition game Winston-Salem, N.C., and will join Wall, Gay, Wright, James, Anthony, Paul, Dwyane Wade, Chris Paul and several other stars in Miami. Rawls said Durant, Wall, Gay and Wright would catch a flight and play back-to-back games.
“They do it in the NBA all the time,” Rawls said. “What else [are they] going to do? It’s a lockout.”