Looks like No. 35 might not be coming to the 865.
Kevin Durant’s scheduled appearance for Saturday’s BMaze Celebrity Game at Hardin Valley Academy is apparently off. The Oklahoma City Thunder star will instead be in Los Angeles filming a Nike commercial on the day of the event, according to James Clawson of Allegiant Athletic Agency, the Knoxville-based sports agency presenting the charity event.
“He’s trying to move the date, but it’s a long shot,” Clawson said Thursday.
The gym will still be crowded with household names for the event that starts at 3 p.m. In addition to Maze, a former standout point guard at Tennessee, confirmed players are Sacramento Kings forward DeMarcus Cousins, Phoenix Suns forward Michael Beasley and Denver Nuggets guard Ty Lawson and forward Quincy Miller.
Former UT standout Tobias Harris of the Orlando Magic is also scheduled to play along with former Vols Chris Lofton, JaJuan Smith, Tyler Smith and Wayne Chism.
The game is being played in honor of Jamar Board, a friend of Maze’s who died in September, with a portion of the proceeds benefiting Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Tennessee.
According to Clawson, roughly 1,700 tickets have been sold for the game and less than 400 remain.
Maze told the News Sentinel two weeks ago that only an unforeseen Nike obligation could keep Durant from visiting Knoxville for the game. The three-time NBA scoring champion holds a five-year contract worth $86 million with the company.
Celebrity coaching staffs for Maze’s game will consist of former UT men’s coaches Bruce Pearl and Tony Jones going against current women’s coaches Holly Warlick and Dean Lockwood.
Judges for the halftime dunk and 3-point shooting contests will include UT men’s coach Cuonzo Martin, former UT star Eric Berry of the Kansas City Chiefs, former NBA player Steve Francis and reality television personality Nicole “Hoopz” Alexander.
Brendan F. Quinn covers Tennessee men’s basketball. Follow him at Twitter.com/BFQuinn