Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Rudy Gay's Charity Game: Who Will Play? [UPDATED]

Posted By on Tue, Nov 1, 2011 at 3:08 PM


As the NBA lockout finally consumes the start of the planned regular season and with no clear end in sight, on of the few modes of NBA-related basketball — the charity exhibition game — could be finally coming to Memphis.

There have been a few such games in recent weeks — in Oklahoma City, in Miami — and Rudy Gay announced on his Twitter feed this morning that he's bringing a game to Memphis on November 8th. The game is expected to be played at the DeSoto Civic Center — with the FedExForum unavailable due to the lockout, it's probably the only viable option. The charity recipient is still unknown.

Who will play? Gay promised more details later this afternoon, but we can speculate.

Grizzlies players: I would expect to see Grizzlies players make up a large portion of the players involved. I wouldn't expect Marc Gasol, but pretty much anyone else could be in play. In addition to Gay I would think Tony Allen, Mike Conley, and Zach Randolph would be among the most likely. And draftee Josh Selby, who has been making the summer rounds, would seem to be a good bet.

Stars: Gay played in the Miami game organized by Lebron James and Dwyane Wade, but I wouldn't assume reciprocity — though it would be nice. More likely is Kevin Durant, a longtime friend of Gay's who has been looking for any kind of game he can find during the lockout. Another strong possibility might be Chris Paul, another friend of Gay's who has been active in other exhibitions.

Gay/Memphis connections: Former Grizzlies and Gay friends Kyle Lowry and Hakim Warrick have popped up in recent exhibitions and seem likely participants. And, Marc Gasol aside, the NBA's best Memphis high-school product, Thaddeus Young, is someone who might pop up.

Again, that's all just speculation. Hopefully, Gay will drop some more details about the game in the coming hours. We can also hope that there's an agreement between the player's union and owners in the next week to end the lockout, but even if that happens before November 8th, it will take longer to draft and ratify a new agreement, so I wouldn't expect a break in the lockout to squash this game. And, assuming it happens, if nothing else it will be Memphis' first chance to see Gay in action since his February injury.

Update: The Commercial Appeal is reporting some early player confirmations for the game. In addition to Randolph, Durant, and Lowry, whom I'd mentioned, and O.J. Mayo, the CA says Josh Smith and John Wall are on board.

And Gay has announced on Twitter that game tickets go on sale tomorrow at 10 a.m. on Ticketmaster.com, desotociviccenter.com, or via 1-800-745-3000.



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