Category Archives: NBA

NBA: Bulls Jimmy Butler In The Midst Of An All-Star, Career Season In Chicago

Sports Illustrated and Sports Media World sit down with Chicago Bulls star Jimmy Butler in Portland for extensive SI NBA feature:

Jimmy Butler’s smile says it all: It’s been a good month for the Bulls’ budding star.

Back in Butler’s hometown of Tomball, Texas, they might even use a phrase like “boom times” to describe his strong start this season. Chicago’s defensive-minded shooting guard is averaging 20.8 points and posting career-high numbers across the board. Not only is Butler looking like a leading candidate to become a first-time All-Star, he is also emerging as one of the most-coveted free agents of the 2015 class.

The smile crept across Butler’s face again as he thought back to the Tomball teenager who, even though he wasn’t recruited by a single Division-I school, was convinced that he was the best player in the country.

“Derrick [Rose] and I were both in the Class of 2007,” Butler told SI.com during an extended interview in Portland, where the Bulls were playing, on Saturday. “At that time, I never paid attention to the game. I didn’t know this guy was No. 1 in the nation or this guy was No. 10. Some of my teammates did and obviously Derrick was No. 1 in the nation. They’d come to the games and say, ‘Did you see what Derrick Rose did last night? Simeon High School! Chicago, Illinois!’ Everyone in the nation knew who Derrick Rose was.

“Me being myself, I was like, ‘Let him come down here, I’ll give him 40.’”

Read the rest of this entry

NBA: The LeBron James Financial Stimulus To The City Of Cleveland

The New York Times on the economic and financial impact of local hero LeBron James’ return to Cleveland and NE Ohio:

When LeBron James announced his return to the Cleveland Cavaliers in July, fans celebrated by hanging banners, getting drunk and digging old jerseys out of purgatory. They ran into the streets, honked horns and hugged strangers. And some of them started trying to figure out just how much money was about to rain down on Cleveland. According to one estimate, the return of the “king,” as James is known, will add $500 million a year to the city’s economy. “When people say this is just about an athlete making money, there’s more to it than that,” said Edward FitzGerald, the Cuyahoga County executive, at a news conference devoted to the anticipated windfall. “Other people will make a living.”

James is certainly a good investment for the Cavaliers, who will probably cover his $20.6 million salary just from increased ticket sales. The last season James played in Cleveland, after all, the Cavs sold every available regular-season seat at an average price of $55.95, earning about $47 million. Last season, the Cavaliers sold just 84 percent at an average price of just $43.31, for a decline of $16 million. This year, season tickets sold out the day James announced his return, and demand is so overwhelming that the team is raffling the remaining single-game tickets so that everyone in Cleveland has a fair chance. Read the rest of this entry

New Lakers PG Jeremy Lin On His New Opportunity In LA, Moving On From Houston & Gaining Magic’s Support

Sports Media World and Sports Illustrated connect w/ Lakers PG Jeremy Lin to talk Lakers, Kobe, Magic and departing Houston:

Houston Rockets v Los Angeles Lakers

Jeremy Lin found out he’d be the Lakers’ starting point guard in peculiar fashion. Magic Johnson vouched for Lin last Wednesday, shortly after Steve Nash was ruled out for the season with a back injury. And yet coach Byron Scott, Johnson’s Showtime backcourt partner, delayed his decision until after Ronnie Price bruised his right knee in the preseason finale on Friday. Once Scott was ready to choose Lin as the starter for Tuesday’s opener against the Rockets in Los Angeles, he informed reporters before telling Lin or his teammates.

Many NBA players might be taken aback by not receiving a direct show of support or a team-wide pronouncement, but the world learned at the beginning of Linsanity in 2012 that Lin isn’t easily included in the group of many NBA players. In less than eight months he went from the D-League, to the toast of the Big Apple and global superstardom, to a three-year, $25.1 million offer sheet with Houston that went unmatched by the Knicks. Read the rest of this entry

Sports Business: New NBA Media Rights Deal With ESPN / Turner Sports Delivers $24 Billion Over 9 Years To League

Sports Business Journal w/ the details of the NBA’s new lucrative 9 year Media Rights extension with ESPN and Turner Sports:

nbatvVia SBJ:

The NBA, ESPN and Turner today formally announced nine-year media-rights extensions worth a massive $24B through the ’24-25 season. The new deals begin with the ’16-17 season. The average annual $2.6B in combined payments is 2.8 times higher than the current deal, which averages around $930M per year.

Sources say ESPN will account for about $1.4B of the deal per year; and Turner’s payment will average around $1.2B. The league and the nets began negotiating in earnest back in February with both partners making sure the NBA did not turn to Comcast or Fox for a new deal. The deals keep other nets like FS1 and NBCSN from picking up a third package.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said the NBA “had discussions, but not negotiations,” with Comcast and Fox. Silver: “I don’t think we left any money on the table.” ESPN’s deal includes radio, int’l and WNBA rights. ESPN President John Skipper said, “Sports rights are more and more valuable.” Turner described this deal as a priority for its parent company, Time Warner. Turner President David Levy said, “It will be a meaningful valuable deal.”

Read the rest of this entry

As Expected Team USA Basketball Wins Gold Medal At FIBA World Cup in Spain

The NBA stars of USA Basketball win the gold medal; routing Serbia in Spain clinching a berth for 2016 Brazil Olympics:

U6599P6T1098D1F32497DT20140915093311_small

Via NBA.com

MADRID — After being asked about it for weeks, they can answer honestly and without the least bit of arrogance. They are indeed unbeatable, the U.S. National Team, winners of 45 straight games in World Cup/World Championship and Olympic competition.

Yes, the best from the U.S. is way better than what anyone else can offer up on basketball’s global stage. Those NBA players who sported red, white and blue on Sunday in the gold medal game of the FIBA World Cup backed it all up by decimating Serbia early and rolling to a 129-92 win and repeating as champs after winning the 2010 World Championship in Turkey.

Serbian pride was supposed to carry the day and make the final the biggest and best test for a team of U.S. stars who weren’t even considered the “B-Team.”

“Yes, yes, yes,” said outspoken U.S. forward Kenneth Faried, who made the five-man All-Tournament team, trying to be mindful of U.S. coach Mike Krzyzewski‘s edict to respect the process and opponent. “I know what you are asking. So no, we are not ‘unbeatable.’ But we seemed to prove that theory in a different way tonight. We handled our business and got that gold medal.” Read the rest of this entry

Video Trailer Preview Of Kobe Bryant’s Upcoming Showtime Documentary

(Video) preview of Showtime’s upcoming fall 2014 documentary; “Kobe Bryant’s Muse”, directed by Gotham Chopra:

Kevin Love Officially Traded From Minnesota To Cleveland For Andrew Wiggins, Anthony Bennett Package

NBA: ESPN’s Brian Windhorst on how the Kevin Love- Andrew Wiggins trade came together and finally happened for Cleveland:

It was late last March, as a bad Cleveland winter drifted into spring, a frigid wind whipped snow outside the Cavaliers’ suburban practice facility.

Inside, the talk was of the team’s most recent nosedive. Owner Dan Gilbert had identified the season as when the team would take the step of making the playoffs but it wasn’t happening. The team had stumbled through the first 15 games after making a trade deadline deal for Spencer Hawes, losing 11 of them. It was the last attempt at a midseason-course correction, which included a trade for Luol Deng that hadn’t panned out, and the Cavs crashed to 18 games under .500.

Nobody was feeling good. The interim general manager, David Griffin, was unsure he’d keep the job. Coach Mike Brown was starting to fear, rightly, he was going to be fired just one season in. Gilbert’s patience had long since frayed and he was growing only more restless by the day.

It was at this low point — in some ways a deeper depth than that 26-game losing streak back in 2010-11, because this team had real expectations — that the Cavs’ front office huddled to consider what was, on the face of it, a ridiculous plan.

They were going to try to trade for Kevin Love. Read the rest of this entry

Team USA: Paul George’s Knee Fracture During USA Basketball Sidelines Pacers Star And Stuns Entire NBA Community

Pacers star Paul George breaks his right leg during Team USA scrimmage; will miss all of ’14-15 NBA season rehabbing injury while USA Basketball and his Pacers are now forced to regroup:

960x540

Via NBA.com

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Indiana Pacers All-Star Paul George on Saturday underwent successful surgery on his broken right leg and is expected to remain in the hospital for about three days. The 6-foot-9 George had an operation at Sunrise Hospital to repair the open tibia-fibula fracture, USA Basketball said in a statement early Saturday morning. Dr. David Silverberg, Dr. Joseph Yu and USA Basketball team physician Riley Williams, were present for the surgery, the release said.

George suffered the gruesome right leg injury late in the U.S. national team’s intrasquad scrimmage Friday night. He leaped to contest a fast-break layup by James Harden with 9:33 left in the fourth quarter and his leg smashed against the bottom of the backboard stanchion and crumpled. Trainers immediately ran onto the floor and after roughly 10 minutes of stoppage, George was taken out of the arena on a stretcher. With players looking visibly upset, coach Mike Krzyzewski then announced to the crowd that the scrimmage would not be finished out of respect to George and his family. Read the rest of this entry

Plenty Of Story-Lines & League Business During Las Vegas NBA Summer League

ESPN’s Kevin Arnovitz on the behind the scenes chatter among NBA Executives convening at NBA’s Las Vegas Sumer League:

PI-NBA-Jabari-Parker-Bucks-Summer-League-071114.vadapt.955.medium.1-645x356

LAS VEGAS — Summer league is the closest thing the NBA has to an industry conclave, and industry conclaves tend to be more about the chatter than the official events. Even though the league unfurled its most anticipated draft class in years this past week, the insiders who populate the VIP sections of the Thomas & Mack Center and its little brother, Cox Pavilion, were consumed with the same stories that propelled the news cycle for fans.

Some of that can be attributed to a free agency period that bled into the summer-league schedule, or that LeBron James announced his decision to return to Cleveland nine hours before Andrew Wiggins and Jabari Parker squared off in their NBA debuts, or that none of the touted rookies really dazzled.

“Ask me in five years,” says one NBA head coach about the rookie crop.

Whatever the case, this year’s rookie class didn’t wow the league’s decision-makers. Read the rest of this entry

LeBron Returns Home To Cleveland; Leaves Miami Heat To Re-Join Cavs

NBA: LeBron James makes it official; releases a personal letter explaining why he’s returning back home to play for Cleveland:

Cleveland+Cavaliers+v+Golden+State+Warriors+E9KlCCd7rxVl

LeBron releases announcement letter via Sports Illustrated

Before anyone ever cared where I would play basketball, I was a kid from Northeast Ohio. It’s where I walked. It’s where I ran. It’s where I cried. It’s where I bled. It holds a special place in my heart. People there have seen me grow up. I sometimes feel like I’m their son. Their passion can be overwhelming. But it drives me. I want to give them hope when I can. I want to inspire them when I can. My relationship with Northeast Ohio is bigger than basketball. I didn’t realize that four years ago. I do now.

Remember when I was sitting up there at the Boys & Girls Club in 2010? I was thinking, This is really tough. I could feel it. I was leaving something I had spent a long time creating. If I had to do it all over again, I’d obviously do things differently, but I’d still have left. Miami, for me, has been almost like college for other kids. These past four years helped raise me into who I am. I became a better player and a better man. I learned from a franchise that had been where I wanted to go. I will always think of Miami as my second home. Without the experiences I had there, I wouldn’t be able to do what I’m doing today.

I went to Miami because of D-Wade and CB. We made sacrifices to keep UD. I loved becoming a big bro to Rio. I believed we could do something magical if we came together. And that’s exactly what we did! The hardest thing to leave is what I built with those guys. I’ve talked to some of them and will talk to others. Nothing will ever change what we accomplished. We are brothers for life. I also want to thank Micky Arison and Pat Riley for giving me an amazing four years.

Read the rest of this entry