Sunday, October 23, 2011
Updated: October 24, 4:09 PM ET
Sources: Players sign world tour deals
By Ric Bucher
ESPN The Magazine
Details of the six-game, four-continent exhibition tour by NBA players set to begin at the end of October have not been finalized, but 14 of the 18 players approached have contractually committed to the tour, sources said, and deals with all 18 are expected to be completed Sunday night.
The list of players approached by Atlanta businessman Cal Darden include reigning NBA MVP Derrick Rose, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, sources said.
The tour is scheduled to start with a game Oct. 30 in Puerto Rico and include two games in London, one in Macau and two, back-to-back, in Australia.
Since news of the tour surfaced last week, nine more players have expressed interest in taking part, a source said, and two more may be added.
A couple of agents with players committed to the tour said on condition of anonymity that they are curious to see how Darden will make good on the contractual promises made.
The players will be paid salaries ranging from six figures up to $1 million, sources have told ESPN The Magazine's Chris Broussard.
Those fees would have to be covered above and beyond insurance, travel and security costs in four foreign locales.
But a source close to the organizers said a news release officially announcing the tour could be distributed as early as Monday.
Ric Bucher is a senior NBA writer for ESPN The Magazine.