Ron Harper, Dee Brown and Jay Williams are the first three names confirmed to take part in this November’s NBA Legends European tour.
Event organizer Geert Baeyens said there is a list of other players supplied by the U.S.-based organization NBA Legends from which he can select but are yet to be confirmed.
In a telephone call with ballineurope’s David Hein, Baeyens said the plan for the tour includes a group of between five to seven NBA Legends to team with four or five of the best streetball players in America. And that team will then play against sides made up of local legendary players.
“We already have a large group of former Belgian players interested in playing against the NBA Legends,” said Baeyens.
Baeyens could only confirm the previously reported date of November 13 with a game in Antwerp, Belgium. He hopes to add a second date in Belgium – likely in Charleroi. And he has local promoters working on confirming locations in other European countries, naming specifically Germany, Spain, England and Switzerland. Baeyens also mentioned that there are talks ongoing with Real Madrid for some former legendary players to participate.
Baeyens said the Swiss organizers had asked if it would be possible to get the 1992 Olympic Dream Team to play in the games. Offering a bit of a chuckle, he said: “That would not be very possible. First of all, you would need a huge amount of money. And Michael Jordan has said he is not interested in playing anymore and he obviously doesn’t need the money.”
The idea came after Baeyens stopped following seven years working as a promoter for the Harlem Globetrotters in Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxemburg.
“Having the same show year after year kills the Globetrotters. Once you have seen the show, you’ve seen the show. And the interest in Belgium became lower and lower. And in the end, it proved not really worthwhile to bring the Globetrotters to Belgium,” said Baeyens.
Looking for something else, the promoter made his first contacts in 2007 about bringing a team of NBA legends to Europe for 2008. And then after the talks stalled, he started them back up for 2009.
“I think the combination of some top NBA Legends playing their game and great street ballers bringing some spectacular dunks will make a great show. And it’s not the same as the Harlem Globetrotters, which is really more like theater on the court.”