People close to Sanders have discussed his seriousness to return to the NBA sooner rather than later. Nevertheless, Sanders would need to continue cleansing his lifestyle and show teams a renewed focus on the game. For now, Sanders says there is no timetable toward a return. He now resides in Los Angeles where he releases music, including a recent single called “Black Mercedes.” Sanders said once his management company for artists, designers and photographers becomes more established, “coming back to the game will be easier.”
J.R. Smith just announced on Instagram the opening of Team Swish, a sneaker store operated by him and his father Earl Smith. Word of the store first emerged in March 2014, when it was reported that the elder Smith planned to open a 2,700-square-foot strip mall in Millstone Township, N.J. One of the spaces in the strip mall was to be dedicated to a sneaker store called Team Swish. The Instagram photo doesn’t explicitly mention a location for the new store, so it’s unclear if the store is located in New Jersey as originally planned.
Ben Bolch: Paul Pierce on NFL coming to Inglewood: “Hopefully I can be part of some business venture or maybe open up like a sports bar or something.” Paul Pierce used to watch the Raiders growing up and has also seen the Chargers but has never gone to a Rams game.
Kia isn’t exactly rushing to the defense of their superstar pitchman Blake Griffin — with the car company refusing to say if they’ll stand by the NBA star in the wake of his fistfight in Toronto. We reached out to Kia to ask if Blake’s job is safe … this is all we got back: “Kia is not offering comment on this matter.” Not exactly a rousing show of support for a guy who’s had a working relationship with Kia since 2011. We’re guessing Kia’s just waiting to see how the NBA investigation shakes out before committing to any course of action … can’t really blame ’em.
This is where the majority of the league falls. As you can imagine, there’s a wide variety in the range of cash given to players. Typically, a rookie will sign a shoe deal with a brand that’ll last three or four years. When that rookie shoe deal is up, the brands will most often hold a “match clause.” Much like the NBA’s restricted free agency, brands can match any new offer sheet a player agrees to. While NBA contracts normally run through July 1, the shoe deal end date is often Sept. 30, just before the start of preseason. As a protective measure, brands will often wait until after the draft to sign a player, allowing them to see if a player is landing in a small or large market and get a glimpse at how a player performs in the NBA’s summer league. They’ll then make an offer accordingly. D’Angelo Russell and Justise Winslow benefited from being selected by the Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat, respectively, in the most recent draft. “Their price went up at that exact second, too,” a source told The Vertical.
The current shoe deal range for a marketable lottery pick can be anywhere from $200,000 to $700,000, with exceptions every so often for what brands consider to be “can’t-miss” endorsement stars. The most recent star rookie to enter the league, Andrew Wiggins, agreed to a five-year, $11 million deal with adidas, with a commitment to be one of the key headliners of the Crazy Light franchise right from the jump. Within those deals, you’ll find an array of clauses and performance bonuses that reward a player’s on-court contributions. A player might get a simple $25,000 bonus for making the All-Star Weekend’s Rising Stars game, and then another bonus of the same amount for making the All-Rookie team.