Last night, former Sacramento King Donte Greene along with a handful of current NBA stars, including DeMarcus Cousin, Tyreke Evans, John Wall and more were to participate in the second annual charity Goon Squad Classic basketball game.
The event, which Donte originated last season during the NBA lockout, per fan wishes, was setting itself up to be a yearly contest given Greene’s adoration by the purple and black faithful but now questions loom if the event will ever return.
Thursday, Greene and the Circle of Success foundation were informed that the event was to be canceled by the NBA with many (including Donte) citing the league’s new collective bargaining agreement. The CBA requires proceeds from non-NBA basketball tournaments to be included in BRI (basketball related income) – but that leaves a looming question. Who was upset over the game? Was it the NBA? Or was it somebody else?
While we don’t know exactly how the finances would’ve played out, we do know most (if not all) the money was going to charity and it’s hard to imagine the NBA frowning upon that – so it had to be something else, right?
According to CBS Sacramento, that’s exactly what it was. While the NBA did indeed cancel the event and send out notices informing the players they could be fined or potentially suspended for taking part, it appears that an unknown team filed a complaint to the NBA on behalf of the new CBA/BRI rules, forcing the league to shut down the game:
But now, a source tells CBS13 the league only stepped in after an unnamed team filed a complaint, presumably over injury concerns.
While I understand a teams concern over potential injury, the said player(s) need to handled by their respective franchise. If they’re uncomfortable with the player taking part in the event, that’s within their contractual rights – so prevent the lone player(s) from participating but shutting down the entire event? Bush league.
Seven current Kings were originally scheduled to play (Isaiah Thomas then backed out) and given the local support it would bring, it’s hard to imagine the Kings putting in the request. Jamal Crawford of the Clippers, who was scheduled to play also informed Greene he wouldn’t be playing so we can cross the Clippers off the list. John Wall, who was originally to appear in the first Goon Squad Classic but then oddly sat out while attending, was also expected to participate in the second GSC. Could it have been the Wizards, worried about their franchise talent hurting himself? Given Wall’s expected participation during the first event which never materialized and the fact he was scheduled to take part again, this time with the Wizards having the CBA behind them – it certainly sounds plausible that they may have pushed the NBA into the move. Either way, even if it wasn’t the Wizards (and it certainly might not have been), somebody ruined the fun for thousands of fans and charity money for even more.