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Sunday, September 4, 2011
Drew-Goodman rematch called off

By Brian Kamenetzky
ESPNLosAngeles.com

For hoops-starved NBA fans, last month's matchup in Washington D.C. between the hometown Goodman League and Los Angeles' Drew League, arguably the most prominent pro-am summer basketball leagues in the country, was welcome. It featured high-end NBA talent, including Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant and Wizards guard John Wall for Goodman, opposite Milwaukee's Brandon Jennings and Durant's Thunder teammate James Harden for Drew, end-to-end action, and fourth-quarter heroics.

Goodman ultimately prevailed 135-134 behind 44 points from Durant, who was named MVP.

Unfortunately, those hoping for a rematch are going to be disappointed. A proposed second game, by some reports set for Sept. 10th at an undetermined venue in Los Angeles, is off as officials between the two leagues were unable to solve the logistical problems required to stage a sequel.

"It's disappointing," said Drew League commissioner Dino Smiley, "because the original plan was to do the game out in D.C., then for the Goodman team to return to L.A. for the second one."

One complication appeared to be securing player commitments as different pro-am games continue springing up around the country, including a matchup last week in Baltimore between Goodman League All-Stars and a team organized by New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony, which included Miami's LeBron James and Chris Paul of New Orleans.

Smiley said he was unable to secure something "concrete" from Goodman officials.

"The longer it went without the game taking place and the date being set up, we decided it wouldn't happen," he said.

Instead, Smiley says he's turned his attention towards other leagues on the West Coast, hoping to arrange other special events to replace the lost game.

"We're talking to the San Francisco Pro-Am, and the Seattle Pro-Am," he said. "So we may do something with them, or may just do a showcase of our own."

Any additional special events, says Smiley, would need to take place before Oct. 1, when NBA training camps are scheduled to open.

Brian Kamenetzky covers the Lakers for ESPNLosAngeles.com.