After it seemed like the NBA world tour during the NBA lockout was in jeopardy just 48 hours ago, the biggest NBA lockout event players have ever staged is officially on, after an agreement was reached among tour organizers Tuesday, according to Yahoo Sports.
Eighteen NBA stars -- led by Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Derrick Rose -- will take part in a lucrative, six-game, two-week, four-continent exhibition tour of the world. It will all start this Sunday, Oct. 30 in San Juan, Puerto Rico and is scheduled to continue to London, Macau and Melbourne, Australia.
Now, organizers are actually considering adding a fifth city to the tour and are doing some last-minute tinkering with the other stops and dates. They had been given a Monday deadline to provide several requirements -- including the 18 signed player agreements -- for Sunday's game. Locking in a TV deal was the final big hurdle.
Atlanta business mogul Calvin Darden has been putting the world tour together with the agents of various NBA all-stars during the NBA lockout for nearly three months. Besides the above players mentioned, the list of 18 players that he has approached also includes Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Blake Griffin, Rajon Rondo and Paul Pierce, all of who have signed and are contractually committed to play. Other players such as Kevin Garnett, Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Love and Tyson Chandler have been promised as participants to tour promoters.
One of the few superstars who is not expected to participate is Dwight Howard, who turned down a chance to play in order to rest from a taxing overseas trip he recently took that included visits to 15 countries.
How those in the U.S. will be able watch the tour -- most likely online live streaming -- remains to be seen.
Players involved have agreements to pay them anywhere from a six-figure fee to more than $1 million for participation. Some of the money generated by the tour will be donated to charity. But for the players involved it is also a chance to expand their global brand.
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