There were three factors weighing on Thomas’ tenure in Cleveland above all else: his health, his contract situation and the Cavs’ championship-or-bust credo. Any one of those three challenges would be a load to handle alone. Their combined impact suffocated Thomas and created an insurmountable atmosphere, which is saying something for a man who has made a career out of beating the odds. And there was a fourth factor that poisoned the pool for Thomas in Cleveland before he even dipped his toes into the water: James was against the trade that sent Kyrie Irving to the Boston Celtics to bring Thomas there in the first place. As he showed last year, James had respect for Thomas and his battle back from a hip injury. But James was skeptical from the start. The injury itself was worrisome. James’ agent also represented Jonny Flynn, a small guard who had his promising career derailed by hip injuries.
September 19, 2021 | 5:06 pm EDT Update
Tommy Beer: Oh man… The French Prince Frank Ntilikina says goodbye to New York in a video posted to his Instagram page. getting dusty in here pic.twitter.com/8q8hi6LCsl
September 19, 2021 | 4:26 pm EDT Update
Keith Smith: Jarrell Brantley, who played for the Utah Jazz for the last two season, has signed with BC UNICS in Kazan, Russia. BC UNICS also signed former NBAer O.J. Mayo. Mayo last played in the NBA in in 2015-16 with the Milwaukee Bucks.
September 19, 2021 | 3:08 pm EDT Update
“I’m optimistic about our team,” added Ballmer. “I’m optimistic about our team success, and that optimism is a force multiplier. In many ways, the reason we did this is consistent with that optimism as a force multiplier approach.”
The Clippers owner also paid the town of Inglewood $66.2 million for the land where Intuit Dome will sit. The Clippers will get some of that back, though. Intuit, the software company that makes Turbo Tax, will pay the team more than $500 million for a 23-year naming rights slot. That deal only enhanced Ballmer’s optimism. “This stadium is about being optimistic about our team,” Ballmer said. “It’s about being optimistic about our fans. Get in the building, pump up, make energy,” Ballmer added, clapping his hands. “Your energy can feed our team to greater success.”
The Clippers estimate the Intuit Dome will generate roughly $260 million in annual economic activity for Inglewood, including over 7,000 full-time and part-time jobs. The Clippers also committed to a $100 million community benefits package. “It’s a big market,” Ballmer said. “There’s plenty of fans that can be fans of the Clippers and Lakers. But we want to tell you who we are. I think there are many folks in LA who identify with this notion of being the underdog, the person who strides. It’s almost two LA’s. It’s not all showtime and movie business. Our fans are grinders.”