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March 16, 2015 Updates
March 13, 2015 Updates

The inability of the NBA and NBPA to agree on a strategy for incorporating TV money follows other signs of a fraying relationship between league and NBPA leaders. Roberts, for instance, has complained about players being artificially “deflated” by restrictions on salaries while various players have taken critical notice of the Los Angeles Clippers selling for $2 billion and the Atlanta Hawks likely to sell for over $800 million. The rise of Paul and James as NBPA leaders also invites concern that they will prioritize the financial interests of superstars over other players. The NBA, meanwhile, has independently-audited financial records to show a number of teams are losing money. Moreover, the league’s sound business strategy on television and international growth—not to mention NBA commissioner Adam Silver’s adroit handling of the Donald Sterling crisis—appear to have benefited players as much as owners. Despite these achievements, tensions between the NBA and NBPA seem to be rising. Sports Illustrated

March 12, 2015 Updates

Former Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling says he could have gotten more than the record $2 billion paid for the team last year but the circumstances of the sale "markedly reduced" the price. The comment was contained in an amended complaint that Sterling's lawyers filed last week in his lawsuit against the NBA over the sale, the Los Angeles Times reported. The suit seeks at least $600 million in damages. ESPN.com

March 11, 2015 Updates

Brooklyn Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov has ended his agreement with investment bank Evercore Partners, who he hired to explore a sale of the team, banking sources told ESPN.com on Tuesday. Prokhorov, who owns 80 percent of the team and 45 percent of Barclays Center, hired the bank in January to take offers on the heels of Steve Ballmer's $2 billion purchase of the Los Angeles Clippers. But in recent days, the idea that the team would be sold in the very-near future didn't seem likely. ESPN.com

Before he goes, Bryant hopes to see the Lakers transition to the player who will lead the franchise back to a championship. "I'd rather much rather hand the keys over to somebody that can take this organization right from the jump," Bryant said. "But if not, even when I retire, that's one of the things that I'll be hell-bent on with [owners] Jeanie [Buss] and Jimmy [Buss], to make sure this franchise gets back." Los Angeles Times

March 9, 2015 Updates

The new TV deal is going to flood teams with cash, but that doesn’t happen day one – many teams are not going to have the cash flow to meet a $75-$80 million salary without financing some of that. What they need is for tat first TV check to come through and then they have the cash to pay out bigger salaries. That’s why the NBA is pushing for smoothing to make it more seamless to the owners. So I spoke with someone involved in the last labor deal just to get a perspective is using this as leverage for a deal was possible and the stance the league takes in reaching a deal and how the players as a group approached the last two deals simply makes it unrealistic to think that just because NBPA leadership is changing that they will somehow gain the advantage in negotiation – being tougher simply means you lose more. I think there are things the NBA owners could concede to, given where things are financially, but to tip over the table as a negotiation stance seems foolish, but plays back to the concept of not knowing how much you don’t know. Basketball Insiders

March 4, 2015 Updates

Mark Rachesky, chairman of Lionsgate Entertainment and a noted distressed-asset investor, has emerged as the most recent bidder for the Atlanta Hawks, according to league sources. Sources told ESPN.com that Rachesky, ‎who heads the investment firm MHR Fund Management, is a close associate of Atlanta Braves controlling owner John Malone, which is said to have sparked Rachesky's interest in the Hawks. Rachesky is not known to have previously expressed interest in purchasing a sports franchise, but he is regarded as a protégé of activist investor Carl Icahn and brought Malone onto the Lionsgate board last month. ESPN.com

Rachesky's bid is expected to include a handful of minority investors, including Steve Starker, Randy Frankel and Jesse Itzler, who is a former rapper and recent Atlanta transplant who moved from New York to ‎Georgia last fall. ESPN.com

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