Jamal Crawford is bringing in all the big guns for his CrawsOver Classic tournament in his hometown, Seattle, this summer. On Friday, he confirmed he got the biggest name in basketball, LeBron James.
Crawford announced an All-Star group of players will be participating in his CrawsOver Pro-Am League on Saturday, including James, Hawks guard Dejounte Murray, former NBA All-Star Isaiah Thomas and rookies Chet Holmgren and Paolo Banchero.
In July, James played at the famed Drew League in Los Angeles. That game marked his first competitive action since his 2021-22 NBA season was cut short because of injury.
Earlier this week, James and the Lakers agreed on a two-year, $97.1 million contract extension that will see him remain with the franchise through to the end of the 2024-25 season.
James reacted to the announcement on Twitter and expressed his excitement to return to hoops-mad Seattle.
— LeBron James (@KingJames) August 19, 2022
James has played in other pro-ams in the past. The Sporting News has the list below.
Rucker Park, 2003
This is probably the most famous — and stacked — pro-am team of all time. Of. All. Time.
LeBron played for Jay-Z’s team, S. Carter, alongside Crawford, Lamar Odom and Sebastian Telfair.
This tournament has also gone down in hip-hop history for the controversy surrounding the championship game.
At the time, Jay-Z was embroiled in rap beef with Bronx rapper Fat Joe, who had a team in the tournament featuring Stephon Marbury, Al Harrington and Zach Randolph.
The two teams were set to meet in the championship game before a citywide blackout in New York caused a postponement.
According to Crawford, Jay-Z had called upon a few more NBA stars to play for his squad in the final, and rumors abound that Shaquille O’Neal and Tracy McGrady were set to play alongside James.
The game was eventually rescheduled, but none of the above players, including James, played in the game. Fans were denied the chance to see one of, if not the, greatest pro-am games of all time.
Melo League, 2011
It was the summer of 2011 and the NBA was in the middle of a lockout. It was a glorious time for pro-am tournaments around the country as players just wanted to hoop. James played in his good friend Carmelo Anthony’s Melo League in Baltimore, in a game against the famed Goodman League.
This game featured three-quarters of the eventual “banana boat” crew — James, Anthony and Chris Paul — teaming up against a Goodman League team featuring Kevin Durant, DeMarcus Cousins, John Wall and Brandon Jennings.
Drew League, 2011 and 2021
The Drew League started in 1973 and has grown into one of the premier pro-am basketball leagues, with NBA players participating every year.
It is also one of the few summer pro-am tournaments officially sanctioned by the league.
James first played in the Drew League in 2011 (the lockout year), and again just a few weeks ago.
James teamed up with Drew League regular DeMar DeRozan in his most recent appearance and put on a show. The Lakers forward had 42 points and 16 rebounds as DeRozan’s MMV Cheaters defeated Black Pearl Elite 104-102.
LeBron SHUT IT DOWN in the @DrewLeague today dropping 42 points and snatching the W!
— NBA (@NBA) July 16, 2022