LIMA – Former NBA Most Valuable Player Allen Inverson was a no show.
So Lima Senior/Michigan State product Travis Walton decided to put on a show.
Walton scored a game-high 31 points, with 22 in the fourth quarter, to lead the Lima Explosion and Friends to a 131-100 victory over The Streetball team in Street Ball 2 Saturday at Lima Senior. A crowd of around 1,500 fans showed up to watch.
The game was promoted as four-time NBA scoring champion Iverson leading the Streetball team against the Explosion.
But Iverson never made an appearance.
“That was tough,” Walton said of the no-show. “It was a pity because of all the hard work Quincey (Simpson) put into this. I know Allen Iverson had said he was going to come and he was confirmed to come. I know this is bad because I know everyone came here to see Allen Iverson, one of the greatest players to play the game of basketball.
“Whenever something like that happens, we wanted to help out Q. Allen Iverson isn’t coming, but your hometown stars showed up and put on a show.”
Event promoter Quincey Simpson felt terrible that Iverson didn’t show.
“He didn’t give me his word. He gave me a contract,” Simpson said of Iverson. “This wasn’t a handshake agreement. This was an actual contract that he was going to be here. I never had a conversation with Allen Iverson myself, I didn’t need to. I talked to his people and they assured me he was coming. They told me (tonight) he was in the Dayton airport. They assured me he was on the road (to here), but I’m starting to think that that was basically a lie. It was very embarrassing.
“I’m going to have another event, sometime in the spring, and it’s going to be a free event to let everybody know I’m trying to do things the right way.”
For the Explosion and Friends, James Hicks scored 21 points.
Former Mr. Basketball Greg Simpson scored 12, hitting four long-range 3-pointers in the third quarter.
“It felt good to come home and do it back in Lima where it all started,” Simpson said. “I still play basketball in Columbus in a 35-and-over travel league.
Willie Tisdale scored 11 for the Explosion. Tonio Tyree scored 10. Bryant Austin and Geoff Reeder both had nine points.
The Silent Assassin and Easy J both scored 28 for the Streetball team.
Walton hit six 3-pointers, five in the fourth quarter. He also gobbled up numerous steals when the Streetball players tried to put a few moves on him.
“That’s my job,” Walton said with a smile.
Former Perry standout Clay Tucker played and scored six points on two 3-pointers. He only took a few shots, but wanted to come back to support Lima. He played briefly in Spain this year, but recently played in the NBA Summer League with Philadelphia.
“I got an invite to play with the Phoenix Suns veterans camp, which is in early October,” Tucker said. … “Any true basketball player, the ultimate goal is to make the NBA. I had my time in Europe, it was fun and I got paid a lot of money and it’s time to chase the dream again.”