Now that we have confirmation that the Tokyo Olympics have been postponed for roughly a year and will take place at the latest by summer 2021, I’ll have an attempt at predicting the 12-man roster that the Australian Boomers will take to Tokyo.
Around 12 months ago, there was a genuine prospect of LeBron James coming to Australia and playing basketball.
The exhibition matches between the Boomers and the USA had local basketball fans giddy when the man himself and other of the NBA’s best were a possibility of coming to Melbourne to play.
Tickets were expensive – well, expensive to a normal person – but they were still snapped up. Flights, accommodation fully booked for the weekend. The thing is, it was only a possibility.
LeBron soon announced that he wouldn’t be coming to Australia due to prior commitments – and if you believe the Twitterverse, those commitments are filming the highly anticipated Space Jam 2. Many were disappointed, but other stars were in.
And then they weren’t.
Even Ben Simmons was in, then out, then in again.
NBA number 1 draft pick Zion Williamson is the latest to withdraw.
The matches were losing their sparkle and fans losing their patience, with some suggesting that if the players pull out after promoters advertised that the biggest names in world basketball would feature, then full refunds should be offered.
As for who will be there? We’re talking 20 current NBA players, some Australian basketball stalwarts and past NBA champions, including players who are the stars of their team such as Damian Lillard and Kemba Walker.
It’s still a game worth watching.
I’m a little young to remember Michael Jordan’s talent and influence on the game, so I see LeBron as my Jordan. And for a lot of kids attending, these future stars are their LeBron.
We may not get to see the current superstars of the NBA next month, but the future will be there. Slam dunk champion Donovan Mitchell, Celtics prodigy Jayson Tatum, Lakers man Kyle Kuzma and our very own Ben Simmons.
While I will never be able to tell my grandkids that I saw LeBron James play in Australia, I may get to tell them about a ‘future LeBron’ which may be more relevant and exciting to them.
If you were lucky enough to get tickets, go to the game, witness history in the capacity the opportunity presents, and go the Boomers!