The stakes may not include the Larry O’Brien Trophy, but the upcoming East vs. West matchup for summer league bragging rights is the next best thing for local ballers, and a few NBA stars.
Washington’s Goodman League will face Los Angeles’ Drew League in the first matchup between the powerhouses. The game, scheduled for Aug. 20 at Georgetown’s McDonough Arena, is expected to include Goodman League regulars such as Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant, Minnesota Timberwolves forward Michael Beasley and Sacramento Kings forward Donte Greene.
“I’ve been talking a lot of trash on Twitter,” Greene said about the upcoming matchup. “I’ve got a couple of boys on the Drew League team, so I’m definitely looking to come out and represent for the DMV.”
Goodman League commissioner Miles Rawls hopes to make the game an annual event.
“This is the first time, but it shouldn’t be the last time,” Rawls said. “Maybe next year if we get a sponsorship, we’ll go out there and play.”
According to Rawls, the Drew League has sponsors to fund travel expenses to D.C., although the NBA players will be paying their own way. Rawls has received commitments thus far from Durant, Beasley, Greene, Denver Nuggets guard Ty Lawson and San Antonio Spurs guard Gary Neal, and hopes that Washington Wizards guard John Wall will play as well.
Other possible Drew League players include Wizards guards Nick Young and Jordan Crawford.
“Both teams have A-list NBA guys, so it should be a good one,” Rawls said. “The Drew League is the top league out there and they’ve heard about us long enough, so they want to put us to the test. It’s good for the community and it’s big for the city as well.”
Goodman League coach, webmaster and social media guru Mac Williams said it’s a matchup he’s been hoping would happen for a long time.
“It’s a big deal for the notoriety [of winning the game]. The game is a big thing for the community, but it’s an even bigger thing because of the players,” Williams said. “You get a chance to see NBA players who you wouldn’t ordinarily get to see. For the players, they like going up against guys who are not in the NBA, but who might be just as good as they are.”