NBA

LeBron James’ trip to Seattle’s CrawsOver pro-am went from spectacle to disaster

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The last time LeBron James played in Seattle, he was just 22 and had yet to make his first of 10 NBA Finals appearances. But with the NBA offseason officially in the canine era, James decided to show up at Jamal Crawford’s Seattle pro-am, The CrawsOver, to hoop in the Emerald City for the first time since he he faced Ray Allen’s Seattle SuperSonics in 2007.

James wasn’t the only star in town: Jayson Tatum and Aaron Gordon also decided to play, as did Seattle natives Dejounte Murray, Paolo Banchero, Tari Eason, MarJon Beauchamp and Isaiah Thomas. Chet Holmgren was there too. With one of the greatest players of all time joining one of the top young superstars in today’s game, along with the top two picks of the 2022 NBA Draft and several hometown heroes, this edition of The CrawsOver was always going to be a show. Sometimes glasses go wrong.

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The game was called off midway through the second quarter on Friday night due to slippery floors from condensation at the Royal Brougham Pavilion on the Seattle Pacific University campus. The floors were only part of the problem: there was a huge contingent of disgruntled fans who waited all night to enter the gym, but were turned away. Inside the gym, someone triggered a fire alarm and had to be scolded by Crawford himself.

Crawford apologized for the difficult circumstances after the game was called.

Many of the problems at The CrawsOver Friday were understandable. James didn’t announce he was playing until days before the race, leaving organizers little time to find a big enough space or make the appropriate accommodations. You can’t blame Seattle basketball fans for being thrilled to see NBA stars back in their city. Crawford reportedly emphasized getting the kids to the gym, which is a wonderful gesture. All in all, it’s pretty remarkable that Crawford managed to bring so many great players into the race – sadly, the event just didn’t go as well as it could have with a little more prep and planning time.

The game was called off just before halftime when MarJon Beauchamp – the Milwaukee Bucks’ first-round pick – slipped for a layup:

On top of the floor issues, just walking into the gym felt like a total fiasco.

The Seattle Times detailed fans’ frustrations outside the gymnasium, where people who waited for the night failed to secure a spot in the gymnasium as other fans cut the line.

Unique Cherry, who runs a basketball league in Tacoma, said he was 198th in line at 3 a.m. while camping Saturday morning. At 8 a.m. he said he was 400th in line. People were cutting or joining their friends and pushing the early risers back – but that was nothing compared to the scene a few hours later.

When I arrived there was no queue. There was only a crowd. No structure of any kind. Seattle resident Abdi Abdi said he started waiting at 5 a.m. and didn’t come in until five minutes before LeBron’s game started, adding that many of the first-comers were drowned by people who arrived just before the doors opened. at noon and I never went inside.

Fans who said they were there didn’t seem happy either:

It was clear that James’ presence was always going to cause a scene. His entry into the gymnasium was quite spectacular:

LeBron gave fans who entered the building a treat by throw sick dunks in the warm-up lines.

He did it in-game too by finishing this lob from Tatum:

Tatum also put on a show for Seattle fans. He barely missed the night and drained a variety of tough setbacks for which he became known as the face of the Boston Celtics.

Other notable events include Banchero and Murray seemingly crushing their beef:

Holmgren also showed his defensive skills against LeBron, but came limping on this play:

Crawford turned his pro-am into an awesome summer event for hungry NBA fans in Seattle. On short notice, The CrawsOver simply didn’t have the infrastructure to stage the biggest night of men’s basketball in Seattle since the Sonics moved to Oklahoma City.

Either way, take a look at all the talent in the house:

What a night for Seattle basketball fans. The storm is also rolling into the WNBA playoffs.

Hopefully the NBA will be back in Seattle soon. The city deserves a proper setup to watch the best players in the world.

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