A basketball game involving high school managed to have nearly one million people watch last night. LaMelo Ball, the future UCLA point guard, the younger brother of Lonzo Ball and the eighth-ranked recruit in the class of 2019, squared off against Zion Williamson, the super athletic second-ranked recruit in the class of 2018 and LeBron James couldn’t watch it in person. SC Supreme versus Big Baller Brand was the game to watch last night.
The duo went at it in Las Vegas at an Adidas Summer Championships game on court 5 at the Cashman Center. The building was packed beyond belief and even a concerned fire marshall arrived on the scene. Tipoff of the game was delayed for about 15 minutes due to police officers setting up barricades as security was attempting to clear people from congested areas.
Absolutely no seats for LaMelo Ball-Zion Williamson game at Cashman Center. AAU Game of the Year? pic.twitter.com/ZBaSGre90a
— Ashton Ferguson (@af_ferguson) July 27, 2017
Cashman Court 5 has Fire Marshall worried. Zion vs. BBB next. Wiggins, Lillard, Lonzo, Murray in house. LeBron Watch underway. pic.twitter.com/svNORKZYUp
— Ed Graney (@edgraney) July 27, 2017
The massive crowd had many people concerned about the game even starting. It’s not hard to see why there would be a huge showing given the online fame of Williamson and his insane dunks coupled with the Ball family all being in attendance. While some NBA stars were able to attend the contest, quite possibly the biggest name in basketball was denied access to the gym. LeBron James is spending some of his offseason in Vegas training with some other players and he was looking to watch another member of the Ball family go up against Williamson. Unfortunately, his group was turned around at the door.
Following comes from Matt Norlander of CBS Sports.
While NBA players such as Lonzo Ball, Damian Lillard, Andrew Wiggins, Jamal Murray and Thon Maker sat courtside in reserved seats, one superstar who planned to be in attendance never made it in: LeBron James.
Yes, the LaMelo-Zion showdown was so big it lured the most important athlete in the Nike family to an Adidas event — and even he couldn’t get in.
James showed up shortly before the game was supposed to start at 9 p.m PT, but by that point approximately 1,500 people were being turned away at the door, with hundreds more already inside but unable to get anywhere near the court. It was a mob scene, and a dozen police officers were on hand to calm the ruckus.
“I spoke to him, we shut him down,” Adidas marketing consultant Dan Cutler told CBS Sports. “Just safety of him coming and going. He was 13 deep. But, him sitting there would have been fine, it’s just getting in and out.”
Will James try again to catch the two biggest draws currently on the circuit? That remains to be determined. The invite is out for him to come back at any point Thursday, Friday or into the weekend; Ball and Williamson will play other opponents multiple times at Adidas’ summer centerpiece tournament.
The game itself went off without a major issue as Williamson’s SC Supreme team won the game over Ball’s ‘Big Baller Brand’ squad, 104-92. Check out the highlights from the highly anticipated matchup between the two amateur hoops stars.