A report that alleged the NBA donated $1 million to a charity in return for Prince William and Kate Middleton attending a basketball game at Barclays Center in Brooklyn has been retracted.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are planning to visit New York City in early December, and the Brooklyn Nets game against the Cleveland Cavaliers is on their itinerary.
The Daily Mail stirred up controversy by alleging that the NBA donated $1 million to the royal’s conservation charity The Royal Foundation in return for the appearance, but later retracted the report.
“We are happy to clarify that this is not the case and that no donation was made as a result of their collaboration, nor is one expected,” the U.K. tabloid said.
“We apologize for suggesting otherwise.”
The website didn’t explain how it got the information wrong, but hasn’t removed quotes from sources about the appearance.
An insider told the Mail that “It’s an incredible publicity coup for the NBA.”
“The images of them all together will be seen all over the world – it’s a marketing man’s dream,” the source added.
The royals were initially considering the December 7 game at Madison Square Garden between the New York Knicks and Portland Trailblazers but opted for the Nets-Cavs game the next night primarily because of LeBron James.
“Kate and William are both big sports fans,” a friend of the couple said. “And although basketball isn’t big in Britain, William has heard of LeBron James… although Kate apparently had no idea who he was!”
A source also said that Adam Silver, the NBA’s commissioner who will attend the game as well, “is leaping up and down and celebrating.”
While most celebrities sit courtside, the royals are going to watch the game from a private box.
“‘I don’t think anybody likes the idea of Kate being in the front row and a huge, great basketball player crashing into her–especially in her condition,” a source said of the pregnant Duchess.
The royals will arrive in the city on December 7 and stay for about two days.