LeBron James, Jason Tatum wowed fans before the Seattle Pro Am was cut

SEATTLE – A historic day in the Pro-Am crossover featuring more talent in the NBA than in a stadium in Seattle since the league’s last pre-season visit ended early due to court conditions, but not before what organizer Jamal Crawford described as “no Believe, one experience one.

Although many of the league’s biggest stars have played at CrawsOver since the games moved to its current home (Royal Brougham Pavilion on the Seattle Pacific University campus), including Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant And the Blake Griffinthe noise for the Mowali did not reach the peak it did on Saturday.

The excitement began Friday, when Crawford and LeBron James He tweeted that he was the best player four times Returning to Seattle for the first time Since his last game on the road against the Sonics in January 2007, over 15 years ago.

Join his All-Stars teammate James Jason Tatum And the Dignity MurrayIn addition to this year’s top two picks (Paulo Banchero And the Chet Holmgrenalthough Holmgren left in the early moments of the match with an ankle injury), two other first-round picks (locals Margon Beauchamp And the Tari Eason) and three NBA veterans: locals CJ Elby And the Isaiah Thomas visitor Aaron Gordon.

With a maximum free attendance of less than 3,000, fans are starting to camp out for the night on Friday I confirm their place in the line. Thousands remained outside after the gym reached its capacity.

Notable figures in the crowd included Hall of Fame player and coach Lenny Wilkens, head of the LA Clippers Steve Ballmer, several former Seattle Seahawks (Cliff Avril, Marcus Trovant, KJ Wright), and members of both the Seattle Storm and Washington Mystics — who practiced elsewhere in the building. earlier on Saturday before Game 2 of Sunday’s WNBA Playoff Series.

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The crowd broke out When James entered the gym Shortly before 6 p.m. time for the day’s NBA All-Star Game Final. Tepoff had to be postponed briefly after a crowd of spectators surrounded James in the stadium, with Crawford taking the microphone to plead fans to restore order and warning the Seattle Police Department that the entire event could be halted.

Soon after the game started, condensation became an issue. On an unusually humid Seattle day in the summer, the combination of the full crowd and the heat caused frequent wet spots to appear on the field.

“Every time they dry up, it doesn’t get better,” said Beauchamp, whose slip as he climbed into the middle of the second quarter led to the decision to cancel the event with 5:47 minutes remaining in the second quarter.

“You don’t get a day like this often, but my job is to protect everyone’s safety,” Crawford explained. “On the court, I couldn’t risk taking these guys a chance to get hurt. It’s not worth it. It’s meant to inspire and give hope and they did. Mission accomplished.”

While the fans didn’t get a full game, the stars garnered plenty of highlights in the basketball quarter and half. Tatum was the standout of the day, Hit a series of 3 long throws early in the gameSome of them punctuate their autograph kiss in front of the crowd.

Playing together, Tatum and James teamed up for the highlight of the day, a high-arc lob in the transition that James finished off with his left hand. James also punctuated the end of the first quarter with strong immersion.

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When Crawford took the microphone again to announce the match was over, he thanked the visiting stars for their participation.

“Obviously not everyone got in, and probably not everyone would be able to get in,” he said afterwards. “We tried to do our best. We tried to give an experience that we hadn’t seen before. I thought it was great overall because I think it’s moments and memories that kids will never forget.”

That was certainly the case for Beauchamp, who played in a crossover that dates back to his days as a high school player in Seattle but has never been so competitive.

“The experience was [once in] “A lifetime,” Beauchamp said. You probably won’t see that again. It was great to be in Seattle, all these great guys. I dreamed of this.”

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