HoopsHype Media rumors

September 21, 2014 Updates
September 20, 2014 Updates

The Toronto Raptors announced Saturday the team’s annual media day will take place Monday, September 29 from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. at Real Sports Bar & Grill (15 York Street). Players and coaches will be available for interviews and photos. Head Coach Dwane Casey and his team begin training camp in Toronto on the Air Canada Centre practice court September 30 before moving to Vancouver from October 1-5. A specific practice schedule with days and times will be released in the near future. NBA.com

September 17, 2014 Updates

The Oklahoma City Thunder announced today that Michael Cage is joining the Thunder broadcast team as its new analyst. Cage joins play-by-play announcer Brian Davis, who begins his seventh season as the TV voice of the Thunder on FOX Sports Oklahoma. Sideline reporter and host Lesley McCaslin returns for her third season with the Thunder. Cage played 15 seasons from 1984-2000 as a power forward in the NBA with the Los Angeles Clippers, Seattle Supersonics, Cleveland Cavaliers, Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Nets. He led the NBA in rebounding in 1988, capturing the title by grabbing 30 rebounds in the final game of the regular season. “We are very excited and proud to have Michael Cage become part of the Thunder broadcast team,” said Dan Mahoney, Thunder vice president of Corporate Communications. “Michael brings experience, energy, knowledge and passion for the game. We think our fans will enjoy his perspective and knowledge gained by playing more than 1,000 games in the NBA.” NBA.com

September 12, 2014 Updates

So the guy from Slovenia brought a bottle of wine with him Friday night, and he was not going to take “no” for an answer from Krzyzewski under any circumstances, no matter how uncomfortable it was making the FIBA media officials. “I have a gift for you,” the reporter said. “Don’t bring anything up here,” Coach K warned. But security being just a tad lax at this event compared to previous versions of the World Cup (back when it was known as the World Championship), the reporter was undeterred. “It’s not such great wine, but sometimes you have to be modest,” the reporter said as he walked the bottle up to the podium and handed it to Coach K, who was gracious enough to go with the flow and accept it. SheridanHoops

September 8, 2014 Updates

Talks have progressed so rapidly that details are emerging on a massive agreement that would see the league’s annual rights fee more than double, with ESPN and Turner combining to pay more than $2 billion per year on average. One source said ESPN already has committed to pay “well over” $1 billion per year, and Turner is not far behind for a media rights extension that would kick in with the 2016-17 season. Sports Business Daily

A final deal might not be signed or announced before the new season, but talks with ESPN and Turner are advanced enough that sources said there is little chance the NBA will carve out a third package for another network, like Fox Sports or NBC Sports. ESPN, in particular, has been adamant during negotiations that the NBA not develop a new package to sell to a competitive sports network, sources said. Sports Business Daily

September 3, 2014 Updates

Roland Lazenby: If you look, [Jordan] did amazing things for the Wizards. They cleared up all the cap space. The thing that amazed all of Jordan’s close associates and observers — the great Johnny Bach being one of them, who was an assistant coach in Washington at the time — they all knew that when Jordan decided to play again, it was amazing to them, because it was very obvious the Wizards were not a team that could win. Jordan knew he could not win, and in his life he loathed any such situation. But he was trying to find some way to relate. He had obviously infuriated the late Abe Pollin, the longtime owner of the Bullets, who then became the Wizards. Abe Pollin, this huge figure in the D.C. community, a philanthropist and a guy that loved basketball. But let’s face it, the Wizards were awful. And Abe Pollin was such a good guy, he never fired anyone. He was so loyal he would just tolerate [pauses] incompetence. The Wizards were a team that, their main marketing campaign was, ‘Well, our team’s not very good, but here are all the other teams coming to town that are going to be fun to watch.’ Washington Post

When Roland Lazenby — author of the new biography “Michael Jordan: The Life” and numerous other sports books — came to the Varsity Letters sports reading series in New York this summer, one intrepid Wizards fan hazarded a question. Lazenby had just wrapped up what largely came across as a defense of Michael Jordan, the person, who — since the end of the era of “Space Jam,” the McDonald’s commercial with Larry Bird, and “It’s Gotta Be the Shoes” — has seen less than favorable coverage. “What do you make of Jordan’s time with the Wizards?” the Wizards fan asked, momentarily giving the underground bar where Lazenby spoke the same sort of hushed anticipation as a Thanksgiving dinner where someone mentions Uncle Larry’s affair, or the Cheever Letters, or whatever family secret no one’s brave enough to mention without being more than a few Scotches or eggnogs in. Washington Post

Colin Wilhelm: You start out your book examining Michael Jordan’s family, starting out with his great-grandfather Dawson. Why did you choose to do this? Roland Lazenby: I wanted to understand the family and the culture that Michael Jordan came from. In so many ways Nike did this breakthrough level of marketing with Michael Jordan, obviously, but the process of that sort of divorced him from his cultural background….To really understand him is to reconnect him with that cultural background. Dawson Jordan — who was 5 feet 5 and crippled, his great-grandfather, who was born in 1891 and died when Michael was 14 — he was the patriarch of the family. He lorded over the Jordan family….So I wanted to bring all of that together to really explain the family culture of Michael Jordan. Washington Post

August 13, 2014 Updates
August 11, 2014 Updates

ESPN, a giant corporate parent company with interests against their employees doing this if they want to keep any sort of journalistic integrity and relationships with LeBron James intact at the same time, warned him to suspend the plane and take down the billboards. That’s when, LeBatard said, he decided it had already gone too far to go back. I said I would not and could not because we were building this up for days on the radio to a crescendo and to simply stop talking about it and not do it with no mention would be dumb, inauthentic, confusing and not me. I was polite about it, but I was insubordinate. I refused to budge. We were flying the plane. So I was suspended, as I should have been. If I’d actually believed in any of this, I might have flown the plane anyway, even while on suspension, but this would be a pretty silly cause for which to lose your job. For The Win

Deep financial problems contributed to the departure of Thunder TV analyst Grant Long, who had held his position with the team since it moved to Oklahoma City in 2008. The Thunder announced his resignation on July 21. Oklahoman

Earlier this year, Long filed for bankruptcy in federal court. His initial paperwork included two out-of-state casinos that Long said he owed more than $300,000 — $195,000 to the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority and $125,000 to Bally’s Park Place. The bankruptcy case was later dismissed. According to records in his filing, Long earned $166,000 from the Thunder in 2013 and $193,000 in 2012. He listed his assets as $65,500 in personal property, including $40,000 for a 2009 Cadillac Escalade and $20,000 for a 2011 Infinity. Oklahoman

August 8, 2014 Updates
August 7, 2014 Updates

ESPN television and radio host Dan Le Batard was suspended for two days after he paid for billboards in Cleveland that mockingly read "You're Welcome LeBron; Love, Miami" and displayed the two title rings he won with the Heat. The billboards were a sly reference to James' famed letter to Cleveland, which seemed to thank everybody except for Miami fans and their four years of support. The top line was written in Comic Sans, of course. Arizona Republic

ESPN's version of The Fab Five documentary, produced by Jalen Rose, was certainly powerful, but there was one voice missing: Chris Webber. The leader of one of the most iconic teams in college basketball has decided to tell his own version of his life, NBA career, what happened at the University of Michigan and the Fab Five with his own book and documentary, which are coming soon. Webber confirmed the news in Flint during an appearance at Mateen Cleaves' "1 Goal, 1 Passion" basketball camp Thursday, Aug. 7. Booth Newspapers

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