The Bucks took things a step further with a statement that was released early Sunday morning. The statement, which came from general manager Jon Horst, detailed the events that led to Antetokounmpo removing himself from EuroBasket competition. The full statement from Horst is as follows: “After a brief time in training with the Greek National Team, Giannis reported to our basketball staff that he was having right anterior knee pain following certain movements. At this time, we contacted the Greek National Team and requested that Giannis stop on-court running and jumping for a period of time to rest. Bucks Team Physician Dr. William Raasch consulted with Dr. Voulgaropoulos of the Greek National Team regarding the injury and as a result Giannis continued to sit out from training.
July 23, 2021 | 1:38 pm EDT Update
Former Duke men’s basketball captain Amile Jefferson has been added to the staff as the team’s director of player development. “This is an honor to be back at Duke and I’m so grateful to Coach Krzyzewski for considering me for this opportunity,” said Jefferson. “I’d also like to thank Coach Scheyer for his help through the process and look forward to his leadership in the future.”
Jefferson rejoins the Blue Devils after a four-year professional playing career that included time with the NBA G-League’s Iowa Wolves (2017-18), Orlando Magic (2018-20), Boston Celtics (2020) and the Turkish Basketball Super League’s Galatasaray (2020-21).
The Chicago Bulls are dipping their toe into the NFT game. On Wednesday, July 26, the organization will begin a six-day rollout of its first NFT collection, titled “The Bulls Legacy Collection.” The collection features a total of 567 “non-fungible tokens” — in other words, digital art pieces — modeled after each of the franchise’s six championship rings and replete with an identifying code to ensure each token’s uniqueness.
Each ring-inspired design will be released daily from July 26 through July 31 (on sale at 11 a.m. CT, 8 a.m. CT if signed up for priority access) with 91 uniquely encoded versions of the 1991 design becoming available for purchase on July 26, 92 versions of the 1992 design becoming available on July 27, and so on. Within each of those drops are tiers assigned at random: Legendary (six per ring design), iconic (23 per ring design) and rare (the rest). Collecting multiple of each tier can lead to prizes; for example, collecting a legendary-tier token from all six championship years can win a “Bull for a Day” experience, which includes courtside seats to a game and shooting hoops at the United or Advocate Center.
Each NFT features a 25-30 second video reel custom-fitted to each year’s NBA Finals matchup. The 1991 edition, for example, features the championship ring floating above a red carpet as a nod to the Los Angeles Lakers, who the Bulls defeated in that year’s Finals. Later in the clip, a game-clock reading “7.9” flashes across the screen, commemorating the time left in the fourth quarter when the Detroit Pistons infamously walked off the floor without shaking the Bulls’ hands at the end of Game 4 of the 1991 Eastern Conference finals.
July 23, 2021 | 1:16 pm EDT Update
LeBron James, 36, will be hard-pressed to beat MJ’s six NBA titles—he trails by two—but he already tops Jordan in another category—first NBA player to crack $1 billion in career earnings while still active. Jordan fell short of $1 billion during his playing career, even adjusted for inflation. Don’t shed a tear for MJ, though. His highest annual earnings have come in retirement, thanks to skyrocketing revenue at Nike’s Jordan Brand, and Jordan’s total earnings are now roughly $2 billion since he left Chapel Hill for the NBA in 1984.