21 Oct 2011

Leading NBA players set to make world tour during lockout

6:13 am on 21 October 2011

American basketball superstars Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and Dwyane Wade are rumoured to be set to head Down Under during the NBA lockout.

The US-based sports network ESPN says there are plans for groups of leading NBA players to play between October 30th and November 9th, with two games reportedly to be played in Australia as well as London, Macau and Puerto Rico.

Miami Heat star James tweeted to his thousands of online followers that he and Bryant may go on a world exhibition tour though their plans are not yet finalised.

The matches would be played during what would have been the first two weeks of the season and and all matches would be held in venues of at least 15,000 seats.

NBA club owners locked out players on July 1st in a contract dispute.

Basketball Australia says it has no firm confirmation of any tour involving NBA superstars and securing adequate insurance for athletes earning millions of dollars would be a major hurdle to the tour.

Among the others reportedly considering getting involved in the world tour are Derrick Rose, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul, Amare Stoudemire, Chris Bosh, Paul Pierce, Carlos Boozer, Rajon Rondo, Blake Griffin and Russell Westbrook, with Kevin Durant and Kevin Garnett.