NBA Stars' Four-City Homecoming Tour Canceled

Organizers scrapped plans for am exhibition tour after NBA owners and players reached tentative agreement to end lockout.

Posted: 11/28/2011 03:42 PM EST
LeBron James Dwyane Wade

So maybe you can’t go home again.

 

It doesn’t appear NBA stars LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Paul and Carmelo Anthony will be able to play exhibition basketball in their home towns after the tentative settlement of the labor dispute reached Saturday morning effectively put an end to their planned “Homecoming Tour” that was to take place next month.

 

The foursome had a four-city exhibition tour that would have made stops in cities connected to them in some way beginning with a Dec. 1 game in James’s native Akron, Ohio. But with the NBA players and owners set to vote on the new collective bargaining agreement and training camps set to open on Dec. 9, the tour was called off Sunday, according to wire reports.

 

The initial hope was that at least some of the dates could be kept as recently as Saturday but then the organizers decided Sunday not to play any of the dates on the tour, which would have ended Dec. 10.

 

"We are thrilled that a tentative agreement has been reached and are looking forward to getting back to work and playing basketball," Wade said in a statement. "We all want to reconnect with our teams to make sure we hit the ground running when training camps are expected to open on Dec. 9. Our commitment to helping children and the communities doesn't stop, and the daily work of our foundations to do just this will continue, as always."

 

In addition to the Akron, the tour was set to make stops in New Orleans (Dec. 4), Chicago (Dec. 7) and East Rutherford, N.J. (Dec. 10). Proceeds from the tour were supposed to go to various charities supported by the foursome.

 

Organizers said people who have already bought tickets can return them for a full refund at the point of purchase.

 

In other NBA news, the league outlined a tentative plan on its Twitter page of how the 66-game schedule would work Sunday night provided the season begins as planned on Christmas Day.

 

Teams will play 48 games within their conference and 18 nonconference games, and teams will not visit every NBA city under this abbreviated and condensed schedule.

 

The regular season will end April 26, which is 10 days later than normal. Each team will be required to play at least one back-to-back-to-back series. The latest the last game of the NBA finals will be played is June 26, which is also just 10 days later than last season.

 

Contact Terrance Harris at terrancefharris@gmail.com or follow him on Twitter @Terranceharris

 

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(Photo: AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

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