September 4, 2015 | 1:39 pm EDT Update
Croatia selected final squad for EuroBasket. Roko Ukić, Rok Stipčević, Dontaye Draper, Kruno Simon, Marko Tomas, Mario Hezonja, Bojan Bogdanović,Damjan Rudež, Dario Šarić,Luka Žorić, Ante Tomić, Miro Bilan.
Today, TBL has learned that Woj is very close to adding Michael Lee from the Washington Post, a paper he joined in 2004. Prior to that Lee spent over six years at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. How close is Lee to leaving the Post? The Washington Post has already begun interviewing for his job. Lee is expected to join Yahoo in the coming weeks.
September 4, 2015 | 12:42 pm EDT Update
The journey Jordan Clarkson experienced as an emerging rookie briefly veered from his basketball development toward business. Excel Sports Management and Clarkson parted ways last month, according to league sources familiar with the situation. Though Excel Sports Management cut ties with Clarkson, the Lakers rookie guard also felt frustrated with the agency’s communication and conflicting information about marketing opportunities, according to a league source familiar with his thinking. Clarkson had worked with agents Mike George and Jeff Schwartz.
Calipari is normally aware of the range where his players will be drafted, and he said he knew the Timberwolves would make Towns the top pick in this year’s draft. The hardest wait was for Brandon Knight in 2011. “There was such a chance for him go from four to 12 that it was making me nauseous,” Calipari said. “Then, he went, I believe it was [eight]. It was like ecstasy. You’re jumping up and down like, ‘Holy crap.’”
“Of course, you think [it’s] a little unfair,” Aaron Harrison added. “But it’s not really a big deal. You can’t really sulk about it; [instead] just go out here and play as hard as you can.” Late in the draft, Calipari had called to say that making a team as an undrafted free agent was better than being drafted late in the second round. And that night, Aaron Harrison worked out a deal to play in summer league with the Hornets. “Of course I have a chip on my shoulder,” he said. “So, I think that’s an advantage I have. But it’s a little bit of relief, too, just to know that I have somewhere to go.”
While Calipari looks forward to his players’ NBA success, he also has reinforcements on the way at Kentucky. The day before the draft, Jamal Murray, a highly touted Canadian guard, announced his commitment to the Wildcats. The incoming class also includes Skal Labissiere, ranked by many as the top overall recruit, and McDonald’s All American guard Isaiah Briscoe. Even though Kentucky doesn’t have the championship to repeat in 2015-16, the Wildcats can repeat their dominance in next year’s NBA draft. “And you know what?” Calipari said. “I’ve got another good team and I also think I have five guys, maybe six, that will have an opportunity, if they choose, to put their name in the draft.”
The league and the union have not held a formal bargaining session, per sources on both sides, though they are working to schedule one soon. Both sides have flip-flopped between apocalyptic rhetoric and nicey-nice talk, and we should always assume all public comments are negotiating tactics designed to nudge the scales of leverage. Perhaps Roberts recognizes the players are munching half of an ever-growing revenue pie and don’t have the resources to outlast hawkish owners who might want to hog more than half of that pie. Roberts may be pressuring Silver to massage those hawks so the money train can roll on.
Roberts confirmed via email that she and Silver have indeed talked about those specifics, but she added a cautionary note: “That is accurate,” Roberts says. “That is the goal. We did discuss that timeline, though it is not a deadline. It is more aptly described as an aspiration or goal.” Silver declined comment through a league spokesman.
Add it all up, and a few teams might feel a profitability crunch over the first year or two (or three) of the new TV deal — even with all of that cash flooding the system. The owners of those teams might look at a lockout as the chance to seize another percentage point or two of total league revenue from the players. One percent of $7 billion is larger than one percent of $4 billion; every percentage point means more now. Those owners also understand that the 2011 lockout, as ugly and protracted as it was, did not interrupt the league’s soaring popularity curve. The new national TV deal requires broadcast partners, including ESPN, to pay the league even during a work stoppage, according to league sources. Owners would lose gate receipts from canceled games, but these are billionaires with a locked-in TV mega-deal. They can outlast the players, and they know it.
The league’s revenue-sharing system is a maze of equations, benchmarks, and other triggers that determine how much a team pays or receives. Some teams play in markets so large, they are prohibited from receiving any revenue-sharing money at all. Others have to hit minimum revenue benchmarks, based in part on market size, to get their fair share. There are also rules that cut off the revenue-sharing fountain once a team has reached a certain (very small) level of profitability for that year, per several league sources.
September 4, 2015 | 10:44 am EDT Update
Now, Melo – who re-signed with the Knicks – is reportedly returning the favor. Stephen A. Smith of ESPN: I know for a fact that Carmelo Anthony has been and will continue to recruit Kevin Durant until the cows come home. I’m also hearing that Kevin Durant is giving the New York Knicks consideration.
To the starving children his money and fundraising has helped feed, to the patients his hospital in his homeland of The Democratic Republic of the Congo has cured, Mutombo raises an index finger and bends it back and forth. As if to say: Come to Mutombo. “I don’t think we’ve seen another great player do so many great things away from the game,” said Patrick Ewing, his friend and basketball mentor. “Dikembe Mutombo is not only a friend to his people, but to all people,” the South African leader Nelson Mandela once said.
That evolved into the wag. Pretty soon, a wagging Mutombo began showing up on the nightly sports highlights, and courtside fans began wagging. It became a craze. Everyone bought into the act except those players who got snuffed. “Players started to complain to the refs, ‘Did you see he pointed a finger to my face.’ And then when Rick Pitino was coaching Boston he filed a big complaint to the league. He’s the one who made it an issue. David Stern told me I couldn’t do that anymore. First they talked about suspending me — what did I do wrong? And then they started fining me. That wagging cost me a lot of money.”
September 4, 2015 | 5:51 am EDT Update
The situations aren’t the same, of course. While talks remain open, CSNmidatlantic.com was told, there hasn’t been any movement. Beal, who believes he’s worth a max deal, just returned from Taiwan and president Ernie Grunfeld had been on vacation.
Barry Jackson: Besides signing VCU guard Briante Weber, Heat also has been speaking to 360-pound Georgetown center Joshua Smith about possible camp invite.
Webster is set to fly to America tomorrow for an NBA workout in an attempt to secure a training camp invite, according to Australian website Downtownball. It has not been confirmed at this stage which team Webster will be working out for, but a source indicated it was the New Orleans Pelicans.
With his second NBA season fast approaching, Jordan Clarkson has been mulling over an opportunity to play for the Philippines National Team – Clarkson’s mother is half-Filipino – in the 2015 FIBA Asia Championship that begins later in September. However, the tournament extends into the start of Lakers’ training camp, which all NBA players under contract are required to attend. Lakers spokesman John Black told us that the NBA’s Collective Bargaining Agreement gives players the right participate in international play if there is no injury issue. In theory, Clarkson could join the Philippines squad and play in its early-round games (Sept. 23 vs. Palestine, Sept. 24 vs. Hong Kong and Sept. 25 vs. Kuwait), but the Lakers fly to Hawaii to commence training camp just three days later. As such, Clarkson would not be able to participate in FIBA Asia’s knockout round, which begins Oct. 1.
Clarkson will likely be in communication with Lakers management before coming to a decision about whether he’ll play, or whether it’s too difficult considering the proximity to the start of camp.