Seven NBA stars hit town today; Kobe due tomorrowBy June Navarro |Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA — Eight of nine NBA Stars who are the prime attractions of the Smart Ultimate All-Star Weekend will hit town Thursday.
Except for Kobe Bryant, MVP Sports Foundation executive director Chot Reyes said that the NBA stars seeing action against a PBA selection and the Smart Gilas national team on Saturday and Sunday at the Araneta Coliseum will be arriving today on separate flights from Los Angeles and San Francisco.
Leading the group are NBA MVP Derrick Rose of the Chicago Bulls, two-time scoring champion Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma Thunder and Chris Paul of the New Orleans Hornets.
Bryant, who boasts of five championships with the LA Lakers and will act as coach of the stellar cast, is scheduled to arrive tomorrow from Shanghai, the last stop of his Asian tour.
Completing the NBA lineup are Derek Fisher of the Lakers, James Harden of the Thunder, Tyreke Evans of the Sacramento Kings, JaVale Mcgee of the Washington Wizards and rookie Derrick Williams of the Minnesota Timberwolves.
“And they’re off! Movement of the stars from all over. Congregating in LA (Los Angeles) and SFO (San Francisco). En route to our beloved land!” Reyes posted in his twitter account.
Aside from the double-header with the PBA on Saturday and Smart Gilas on Sunday, the staging of a slam dunk contest is also being floated after the seven-foot McGee, a runnerup in the recent NBA slam dunk contest, confirmed his attendance.
The contest was earlier shelved after reigning NBA slam dunk king Blake Griffin of the LA Clippers begged off due to a wedding in the family.
Meanwhile, scalpers are making a killing, peddling lower box and patron tickets anywhere from P10,000 to P20,000 through the Internet.
Patron and lower box tickets are pegged at P5,500 and P3,800.
According to reports, organizers have ran out of general admission tickets while upper box tickets worth P800 were being sold in the black market at P3,600.