Isiah Thomas is back at Madison Square Garden. Thomas has been hired to be president of the New York Liberty of the WNBA. Thomas also will have an ownership stake in the team. Garden CEO James Dolan, who owns the Knicks and Liberty and is an unflinchingly loyal Thomas supporter, said he began discussing the role with Thomas in the fall and he has been pleased with the results. “Now, we’ve agreed that it is time for him to take a lead role with the team as president, and through his ownership interest. He’s an excellent judge of talent, and I’m confident that he will put all of his energy and experience into making the Liberty a perennially competitive and successful team,” Dolan said in a statement.
August 31, 2015 | 1:35 pm EDT Update
David Pick: Source: Utah Jazz looking for point-guard. Could be Marcelinho Huertas.
August 31, 2015 | 12:17 pm EDT Update
Apparently, $94,343,125 – a max contract – and not a penny less. Ric Bucher of Bleacher Report: A league source tells me that his agent, Rich Paul, has already made it clear to the Cleveland Cavaliers that Thompson will not sign a long-term deal unless it is a max deal. And otherwise, he is prepared to sign a one-year qualifying offer with the additional knowledge, according to the source, that Paul believes that he can get a max deal with the Raptors next summer.
During the summer, reports surfaced that the Los Angeles Lakers were on the verge of signing undrafted rookie Robert Upshaw to a deal. Fans clamored over Upshaw during the draft process, viewing him as a first-round talent. The problem with Upshaw is that he had as much public baggage as anyone in recent draft history and while he’s an immensely talented player, the stories surrounding him were downright scary from a team point of view. Upshaw was kicked out of two NCAA college programs amid reports of heavy drug use and personal issues that had most executives in the NBA removing him from their draft board.
August 31, 2015 | 11:40 am EDT Update
Sir’Dominic Pointer, the Cleveland Cavaliers’ 53rd pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, will play for the Canton Charge of the NBA Development League, a league source informed Northeast Ohio Media Group. Pointer, 23, will not attend training camp with the Cavaliers and instead will report to Canton once its camp opens up, the source said. The Charge is the Cavaliers’ D-League affiliate.
What you can do, though, is bid on the uniform Jordan wore during the filming of Space Jam way back in the ‘90s, when times were simpler and athletes had senses of humor about themselves. Variety reports that LA-based Profiles In History, which has previously headed the auctions of items from other interspecies sports cartoons like Glee and Mad Men, is handling the auction for Jordan’s jersey. The estimated listing price ranges from $10,000 to $15,000, which is a small price to pay to sport a jersey with “signs of wear” and “minor staining” from the athletic machinations of MJ himself. Not convinced yet? The jersey comes complete with a Tune Squad logo—the team of cartoon animals that helped Jordan demolish the nefarious Monstars—and the number 23 across its back, which is both Jordan’s number and the number of times we had to rewrite the plot of Space Jam in that first paragraph so it made at least a modicum of sense.
August 31, 2015 | 5:00 am EDT Update
Nick Young wasn’t joking around about wanting to compete for Australia’s Olympic basketball team — ’cause the NBA star’s camp has formally contacted Aussie officials to get the ball rolling … TMZ Sports has learned. Young — who’s famously engaged to Australian superstar Iggy Azalea — has recently been floating out the idea to compete with Australia, but everyone thought he was just goofing around.
The official told us Nick would have to become an Australian citizen to be eligible for the team — and the process was thoroughly explained to Young’s camp. For the record, it’s not an easy process — according to the official, Young would have to start by living in Australia for “an extended period of time.”
Orazio Cauchi: According to @Ismail Senol, Marcelinho Huertas has agreed to a deal with a Western Conference team. #NBA
Eric Pincus: As I understand it, the Lakers hope to have Robert Upshaw in training camp, but he has some private personal steps he needs to achieve. As I hear it, the Lakers have given a goal along with tremendous support to Robert Upshaw, an open door, but he has to walk through it