A scheduled exhibition series in Manila between NBA stars and the Gilas Pilipinas national team was canceled Tuesday after the NBA warned players that the event was unsanctioned and they could be fined, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.
Players such as James Harden, Damian Lillard, Blake Griffin, Paul George, Tyson Chandler and Kawhi Leonard were scheduled to play in the charity event, which was to feature games on Tuesday and Wednesday. Local reports surfaced on Tuesday that Griffin and George had not made the trip and would not be participating before news broke that the exhibition games had been canceled.
The NBA warned against violations that included "some kind of exhibition of basketball skills," including shooting games and dunk contests, an NBPA memo obtained by Yahoo Sports said.
In the memo, the Players Association informed player agents and players that the NBA "has taken the position that any such exhibition or competition is unallowable and is not approved for player participation under the [Collective Bargaining Agreement], regardless of whether it is incorporated into a 'clinic' or other 'benign-sounding activity.'"
Reports out of Manila said that after the cancellation, both sides ran practice drills Tuesday for the paying fans, who will be given refunds if they are not satisfied. The scheduled slam dunk and three-point shooting events were canceled as well.
- Molly Geary