The World All-Star Classic is set to begin in Puerto Rico on Sunday and now insiders close to the event say LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and Chris Paul have all backed out of the tour.
Originally planned for six-games the four-continent tour is now at risk of being cancelled although event organizers say the Puerto Rico event will still happen thanks to brisk ticket sales.
Tour organizer Calvin Darden was hoping to bring together the best players in the league and while the loss of three all-stars deals a potentially crippling blow the tour will still feature confirmed appearances by Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade and Amare Stoudemire
Also already missing out on the tour is Kevin Durant.
It turns out that the three men met together over the last week to discuss plans to play and ultimately they decided that spending more time with family during the NBA Lockout is what they wanted.
For his part Chris Paul is a member of the players union’s executive committee and a source close to the NBA lockout talks say he wants to stay close to home for further labor meetings.
The first group to withdraw from the tour included NBA MVP Derrick Rose and Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook. Rose instead decided to play in the USA-backed exhibition at Hickam Air Force Base in Hawaii.
Would you be willing to buy tickets for the “all-star” event even with five of the NBA’s top players choosing not to play in the exhibition games?