How would you respond to those who struggle to reconcile these established values that the NBA represents and the business relationship that the league has with China? Adam Silver: I think they’re very different. I don’t think it should be a surprise to people that in a league that is 80 percent Black, that issues of social justice are the issues that they choose to speak out on. To me, that’s the essence of what free speech is. Free speech is your decision as to what to speak out on and where to focus your attention. And through the relationships that we have in China—directly with the hundreds of millions of people in China that follow NBA basketball—we are an exporter of American values. And again, I’m not naive. I don’t mean to suggest that therefore their system of government will change because people watch NBA basketball. But I think through those relationships come commonality of interest and ultimately empathy and a better understanding of each other. I don’t know how else to say it, but I think it’s a net positive, because the alternative is disengagement.
January 23, 2021 | 5:54 pm EST Update
Shams Charania: Celtics guard Payton Pritchard has a Grade 1 MCL sprain in right knee and expected to return to on-court activities in two weeks.
Adam Zagoria: Former @NovaMBB big man Omari Spellman will play in the G league bubble with the New Orleans G League squad from Erie, per league source. He was in camp with the @New York Knicks
In yet another sign of the upward ascendancy of both the sports card and digital collectibles markets, three limited-edition NBA highlight video cards have sold for more than $30,000 over the past 10 days on NBA Top Shot, a blockchain-based platform that allows fans to buy, sell and trade numbered versions of specific video highlights.
Since its launch, the company has reportedly registered nearly $20 million in sales ($6 million from packs and $14 million on its secondary marketplace) with upwards of $1.5 million in trading volume in January alone.
On January 15, a Ja Morant highlight (No. 1 out of 49) was purchased off the platform’s secondary marketplace for a then-record $35,000. According to The Action Network, the Morant highlight’s original owner got it out of a pack and sold it in November for just under $2,000. That new owner then sold it last week for $35k, making an exceptional return on investment in less than 50 days. Four days after the Morant sale, a group of investors bought a LeBron James dunk highlight (No. 23 out of 59) for $47,500, capping off a 24-hour stretch in which the site saw more than $1 million in sales. Then, on Friday, a collector purchased a No. 1 LeBron James moment from Top Shots’ From The Top Series 1 set for a whopping $71,455, shattering the record.
January 23, 2021 | 5:49 pm EST Update
Tim Reynolds: AP sources: Duncan Robinson, Zion Williamson, Trae Young and Ja Morant among players being added to USA Basketball consideration pool for Tokyo Olympics. They’ll be in addition to Olympic vets like LeBron James, Kevin Durant and almost all others who were in the pool a year ago.