LeBron James travels to Seattle for Pro-Am game

Vibrant Seattle basketball culture rejoices


Gracie Rogers

LeBron James played at the CrawsOver Pro-Am event in Seattle on Aug. 20. 2022 at Royal Brougham Pavilion on the campus of Seattle Pacific University.

TREVOR JUNT, Evergreen deputy sports editor

Basketball is back in Seattle … sort of.

On Saturday, some of the game’s biggest stars traveled to Seattle to play in Jamal Crawford’s, CrawsOver Pro-Am event.

These stars included LeBron James, Jayson Tatum, Dejounte Murray, and four of the 2022 NBA Draft’s first-round picks including the first two picks Paolo Banchero and Chet Holmgren the other two picks being MarJon Beauchamp and Tari Eason. It also included Isaiah Thomas, Aaron Gordon and WSU alum CJ Elleby.

As soon as James and Crawford tweeted out who was coming to the event, people started camping outside of the Royal Brougham Pavilion at Seattle Pacific University. The crowd became massive, with thousands of people in line trying to get in to see the event.

James hasn’t played in Seattle since 2007. The Seattle SuperSonics were sold in 2008 and relocated to Oklahoma City by businessman Clay Bennett.

Seattle has become a generator for basketball talent since then. Most recently, the talent list includes Joe Harris, Jaden McDaniels, Matisse Thybulle, Kevin Porter Jr., Murray Paolo Banchero and Zach LaVine.

An issue arose with seating, as there were  many stars already reserved.  Lenny Wilkens, Hall of Famer and former Seattle Supersonics’ head coach who led the Sonics to their only championship, was there. Steve Ballmer, Los Angeles Clippers owner and former Microsoft CEO was in attendance. Several former Seattle Seahawks including Marcus Trufant, Cliff Avril and KJ Wright were in the stadium. Also, players for the Seattle Storm and Washington Mystics who had a WNBA playoff series going on were there.

The stadium was packed, with people surrounding the players quite literally on the court. Fans had to be warned to calm down otherwise the event would be shut down.

The energy in the Royal Brougham Pavilion was electric as soon as James walked into the building.

Unfortunately for the fans in attendance, the game was called off with 5:47 remaining in the second quarter.

The floor was getting too moist for players to continue. The humidity and heat along with a massive crowd in the stadium caused too much condensation, for the player’s safety and Crawford was forced to end the game.

Although it was disappointing for fans, either not being able to get into the event or the fact that it was cut early, this is an absolute win for the sport of basketball in Seattle.

Thousands of fans hoarding around the entrance of the Royal Brougham Pavilion and the passion that was in the crowd for the game of basketball is impossible to ignore for NBA commissioner Adam Silver and the future investors of the NBA in Seattle.