Why Drew League considered Chris Paul’s appearance its most memorable regular-season game in league’s 44-year history – Orange County Register

WATTS – The line snaked around King-Drew Magnet school as early as 8 a.m. on Sunday. Nearly 10 hours later, over 1,500 people filled the gym. About 500 people were left standing outside eager to catch a glimpse.

All the anticipation centered around Houston Rockets and former Clippers guard Chris Paul. He made his Drew League debut around 6 p.m. on Sunday after watching a game there last week. He played along with Rockets guard James Harden in what marked their first game as teammates since appearing together in the 2012 London Olympics and four All-Star games (2013-2016). Harden (27 points, 12 rebounds) and Paul (13 points, 10 assists) then led LA Unified to a 83-81 win over the Hometown Favors.

Paul and Harden declined to speak to reporters afterwards. But Drew League commissioner Dino Smiley echoed the thoughts of many that saw what transpired

“There was a lot of energy,” Smiley said. “It was draining, intense and unbelievable to have NBA stars on the field. It was fantastic, a great evening.”

Drew League chief financial officer Mike McCaa ranked the moment the most memorable regular-season game in the league’s 44-year history before noting the cameo appearances Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and Kevin Durant made during the 2011 NBA lockout. The buzz could have grown louder, though, if not for a notable absence.

Drew League officials anticipated Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook would play, which would have set up a matchup with Harden after beating him for the regular season’s MVP award. But officials were informed Russell did not want to play after experiencing some minor ailments in recent days. It’s not clear if Westbrook will play when the Drew League All-Stars (featuring Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan and Golden State forward Nick Young) host Jamal Crawford’s Seattle pro-am team at Southwest College on Wednesday (7 pm).

There was plenty of buzz nonetheless. Fans filled the gym for seven games, which included DeRozan, Young, Lakers forward Julius Randle, Toronto guard Delon Wright and former NBA forward Dorell Wright playing on Sunday afternoon. Paul and Harden followed suit against a team that had Knicks guard Tim Hardaway Jr., New Orleans guard Jordan Crawford and Warriors forward Jordan Bell. The rapper,…

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