Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Updated: September 28, 11:57 AM ET
Sources: Star-studded game planned
By Chris Broussard
ESPN The Magazine
Miami Heat fans won't have to wait until the NBA's owners and players settle their differences to get their next glimpse of the Big Three.
LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh will come together next week to host and play in "The South Florida All-Star Classic," according to sources close to the project.
The game will be held on Oct. 8 at 7 p.m. ET at Florida International University, where Hall of Famer Isiah Thomas is coach. All proceeds will go toward a charity supporting the educational community of South Florida.
A number of NBA players are slated to join the Miami trio on the court, including fellow Heat teammate Mario Chalmers, the Oklahoma City Thunder's Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, the New York Knicks' Carmelo Anthony, Amare Stoudemire, the New Orleans Hornets' Chris Paul, the Washington Wizards' John Wall, the Atlanta Hawks' Jamal Crawford and Joe Johnson, the Houston Rockets' Jonny Flynn, the Los Angeles Clippers' Eric Bledsoe, the Dallas Mavericks' Caron Butler, the Memphis Grizzlies' Rudy Gay, the Boston Celtics' Rajon Rondo, the Philadelphia 76ers' Lou Williams, the Golden State Warriors' Dorell Wright, and the Portland Trail Blazers' Wesley Matthews and free agent Eddy Curry.
Cleveland Cavaliers first-round picks Kyrie Irving and Tristan Thompson also are possible participants in the game.
Irving and Thompson are waiting to see if a spot opens up, a source told ESPN.com's Brian Windhorst. Other rookies, the source said, were interested but there's no room in the game for other first-year players. There's no interest in 15-player rosters because players want to be able to play in the game and not sit on the bench.
The source told ESPN.com's Windhorst that there could have been two games played because there was so much interest from NBA players.
The squads will be headlined by Brand Jordan players (Wade, Anthony, Paul) vs. Nike (James, Bosh, Durant). Comedian Kevin Hart, who has appeared in Brand Jordan commercials with Wade, is expected to coach the Jordan team, while Miami-based rap star Rick Ross is expected to coach the Nike club.
FIU's U.S. Century Bank Arena can hold 5,000 fans.
James has played in several "barnstorming" games over the past month of the NBA lockout, but this is the first time he's been a part of hosting one.
Chris Broussard covers the NBA for ESPN The Magazine. ESPN.com Heat reporter Brian Windhorst contributed to this report.