Friday , Oct , 28 , 2011 Paul Eide

Las Vegas Superstar Challenge Sounds Doper Than Vida Guerra

Am I crazy for being a little bit excited about the Las Vegas Superstar Challenge?? I promised myself that during the strike, I wouldn’t do this. I wouldn’t get excited about substandard basketball that was a shade above the “And 1 Mixtape Tour” simply because it featured current NBA players and I am basketball starved.

I read the greatthree part review of fellow columnist J.N.’s first person experience at Drew vs. Goodman leagues showdown this week and honestly I wasn’t surprised. His account of the happenings are what I’ve come to expect thanks to watching “streetball” leagues on ESPN 2 at 4 AM followed by a double dose of  “City Slam”. I’ve lived it. So I’ve purposely stayed far away from Drew, Goodman, and Rucker. I tried to stomach some of Kobe’s “Take Every Advantage Tour” and it was somewhat better. But not great. Something was amiss.

So when I heard yesterday about the Las Vegas deal, I was skeptical. But I pressed on and read about it. And it seems as organized as anything out there, with as much NBA star power as anything before it.

Plus, as an A.I. fan, his return piqued my interest a little further. Check out the roster for these four teams and tell me you don’t feel a tingle in your dingle:

Team A.I.

  • A.I. (Duh)
  • Durantula
  • Paul Pierce
  • Andre Iguodala
  • Joe Johnson
  • Rudy Gay
  • Thaddeus Young
  • Zach Randolph
  • Jamal Crawford
  • Larry Hughes

Al Harrington’s Squad

  • Al Harrington
  • Monta Ellis
  • CJ Watson
  • David Lee
  • James Harden
  • Matt Barnes
  • Stephen Jackson
  • Dahntay Jones

Team Philly

  • Hakim Warrick
  • Tyreke Evans
  • Jason Thompson
  • Lou Williams
  • Marcus Morris
  • Markieff Morris
  • Kyle Lowry
  • Jason Thompson
  • Ronald Murray

Rookie Squad

  • Kyrie Irving
  • Derrick Williams
  • Kemba Walker
  • Jimmer Fredette
  • Kenneth Faried
  • Darius Morris
  • Reggie Jackson
  • Klay Thompson
  • Kenneth Faried

Not bad huh? Sounds legit to me. Plus, Tony Allen, Amar’e Stoudemire, Corey Maggette, Ryan Hollins and Chauncey Billups are also slated to suit up though their teams haven’t been determined and apparently, “more names are being added daily.”

Not a bad lineup of players from top to bottom. And, we finally get to see the rookies square up against some pro level talent. Maybe this tourney is more legit because the winning team wins $100,000, hence the names. Plus, NBA players are broke right now, son.

The tournament starts on November 12th with two games, one at 11 AM and one at 2 PM. The championship game is the following day at 3 PM.

The tournament will also be streamed via the website www.ilinksports.com.

So, while it finally seems like progress in terms of the NBA lockout is as far along as it has been, at least you’ve got something to get excited about when the negotiations eventually and inevitably break down again.

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