LaMelo Ball and Zion Williamson squared off in the most anticipated AAU game of the past decade (at least) on Wednesday night at the Cashman Center in Las Vegas, Nevada at the adidas Uprising tournament. The Big Ballers and the South Carolina Supreme were the marquee event of the night, with the game tipping off at 9 p.m. local time.
The crowd packed in to the small gym to catch a glimpse at the two high school sensations — and also LaVar Ball roaming the sidelines coaching — and there were plenty of stars in the building. Naturally, Lonzo Ball was in attendance, but so were other NBA stars (many adidas sponsored athletes) like Damian Lillard, Andrew Wiggins, and Eric Gordon, among others.
There was supposed to be one more big name — the biggest name in the NBA — in attendance, but LeBron James, who is in Vegas for workouts, reportedly skipped the event after driving out and seeing the packed house.
According to ESPN’s Jeff Borzello and Myron Medcalf, James spoke with some running the event and concerns over security in the small, tightly packed gym, led him to stay in the car and leave, rather than go in and take in the spectacle.
LeBron James had planned to watch the Ball-Williamson showdown courtside, but he did not get out of his vehicle after he arrived, instead deciding to avoid the frenzy after a conversation with people associated with the Adidas Uprising Summer Championships, a source told ESPN.com.
Few NBA stars watch as much random basketball as LeBron, who can’t seem to get enough hoops in his life, but on this night, he wasn’t trying to deal with the pandemonium that had been put into place by the Balls and Williamson. Naturally, when told about LeBron’s arrival and quick departure, LaVar Ball had some thoughts.
“Probably did,” Ball told ESPN. “He said, ‘I gotta see them Ball boys.'”
It would’ve been a rare occurrence where LeBron James sitting courtside for an AAU game wouldn’t have been the focal point of attention. Instead, all eyes would’ve remained on the Balls and Zion, who threw down some massive dunks for the crowd.