The NBA Africa game is one of the newest traditions in the NBA and 2018 saw the game take place for the third time in its history.
The first game took place in 2015, while the second game took place in 2017, both in Johannesburg, South Africa. As it grows, more and more of the biggest names in the NBA are getting involved.
One superstar that has expressed a desire to play in the NBA Africa game is new Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James.
However, James hasn't been able to participate in the game this year or in previous years since he has appeared in eight straight NBA Finals. This makes his offseason shorter than other players.
LeBron interested in NBA Africa
Speaking to the media on Saturday before this year's Africa game, Adam Silver said LeBron has expressed an interest in playing the game and he expects him to make the trip over at some point in the future.
The NBA Commissioner said on LeBron, according to ESPN:“The way the Africa game works is that the players who come are volunteers, they ask to come.
"Both Amadou [Gallo Fall, NBA managing director for Africa] and I have spoken directly to LeBron James and he has stated that he would very much like to come to Africa and be part of the game.
“I will say on his behalf that he has an extraordinarily complicated schedule, evening in the offseason, and he is someone who for the last eight years has played in the NBA finals.
“So his season has gone from September to late June, so he has a very short break. During those summers he also often plays for the national team, Olympic Games, things like that.
“I know it’s high on his list of priorities. I don’t want to put undue pressure on him, but I’m sure that at some point he will make the trip.”
This year, Team Africa had Luol Deng, Al-Farouq Aminu, Bismack Biyombo, Cheick Diallo, Joel Embiid, Evan Fournier, Serge Ibaka, Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot, Ian Mahinmi, and Pascal Siakam, and they were coached by Miami Heat assistant coach Juwan Howard.
Team World had Harrison Barnes, John Collins, Danilo Gallinari, Rudy Gay, JaVale McGee, Khris Middleton, Dennis Smith Jr., Hassan Whiteside, and Marvin Williams, and they were coached by Spurs assistant coach Ettore Messina.
Team World managed to defeat Team Africa in this year's game 96-92.
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