On Saturday evening, the stars were out at Lavietes Pavilion.
While the Harvard men's basketball team was in Los Angeles, Calif., beating up on Loyola Marymount, it was a group of NBA players—including Paul Pierce (making a fashionably late appearance in the first quarter), Rajon Rondo, Kendrick Perkins, Josh Smith, and Rudy Gay—which took to the court and dazzled a sold-out crowd of over 2,000 to benefit local charities SPIN (Serving People In Need), Sojourner House, and Crossroads Family Shelter.
Just days after the players union chose to dissolve itself—putting the 2011-2012 NBA season in doubt—the myriad highlight-reel dunks and long-distance bombs served as a small reminder of what fans would be missing through the upcoming long winter months.
Last month, Boston Celtic Rajon Rondo made a special visit to Lavietes Pavilion (where former Celtics video coordinator Brian Adams now works as a Harvard men's basketball assistant coach).
This Saturday, Rondo will be returning to the Crimson's campus—and he'll be bringing along some friends. According to the Boston Globe, the former Kentucky star will be joined by teammate Paul Pierce, Kevin Durant, and Jeremy Lin '10 in the first-ever Boston Charity Classic Saturday at 6 p.m. at Lavietes Pavilion.
Channeling his inner admissions officer, currently jobless Jeremy Lin '10 takes some time to explain what it takes to get into Harvard.
In its ads, UPS likes to ask, “What can brown do for you?”
Today at Lavietes Pavilion, it was Harvard men’s basketball coach Tommy Amaker asking, “What can Brown do for my team?”
Amaker was joined by Hall of Fame coach Larry Brown for his annual coaching clinic, in which both led the Crimson through drills and gave coaching advice to the couple hundred in attendance.
“I was told a long time ago that one of the greatest gifts that anyone could give another person is knowledge or wisdom,” Amaker said. “And we have some really special people here today.”
NBA ownership cannot deprive players of their willingness to play the game of basketball. In the midst of a tantalizing waiting game, NBA players have taken it upon themselves to entertain fans.
The trend started early this summer, with high-profile NBA players, such as Kevin Durant, Lebron James and Kobe Bryant popping up in neighborhood gyms and outdoor courts across the country.
It intensified in September when Carmelo Anthony suggested a match up that would feature a rag-tag group billed as “Team Melo” play against “Team Philly” at Penn basketball’s famed home arena, the Palestra. And is set to continue into the prolonged NBA off-season.
Harvard’s sole current NBA representative and Warrior point guard, Jeremy Lin '10 is among the newest batch of players to perform in a hyped exhibition game. The core of the current 2011-12 roster will take on the core of the underdog 2007 Warriors—memorable for the “We Believe” t-shirts plastered all over their home Oracle Arena during a stunning first-round upset of the top-seeded Dallas Mavericks.