Storyline: Morey's Hong Kong Tweet

256 rumors in this storyline

OK, China. It’s been a minute, but to recap, Morey, the Houston Rockets’ GM, sent a tweet in October in support of Hong Kong protestors just as the Lakers and Nets were getting set to play exhibition games in China. The Chinese government was very upset, and there was significant backlash. The NBA is still not on government-run TV there, and the financial loss to the league from ties being severed by Chinese business partners is substantial. For the first time Saturday, Silver kind of quantified the loss. He said the league’s reduced salary cap for next season, from $116 million down to $115 million, was due in part to losses in China. 11. “I think that the magnitude of the loss will be in the hundreds of millions of dollars,” Silver said. “Certainly, probably less than $400 million, maybe even less than that. It’s substantial. I don’t want to run from that. We were taken off the air in China for a period of time, and it caused our many business partners in China to feel it was, therefore, inappropriate to have ongoing relationships with us. But I don’t have any sense that there’s any permanent damage to our business there, and as I’ve said before, we accept the consequences of our system and our values. It’s not a position any business wants to be in, but those are the results.” If it’s “probably” less than $400 million, it’s safe to say the controversy cost the NBA $300 million anyway.

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This, too, is notable. Tencent, the Chinese streaming network, after initially stopping its coverage, has been showing up to three games a night. China’s state-run television network, China Central Television, canceled its broadcasts of the preseason games between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Nets and several other related league events in the aftermath of Morey’s tweet. Silver, at a live event soon after, said the Chinese government had demanded that Morey be fired — but he immediately said no. The N.B.A. has not been back on CCTV since.

This, too, is notable. Tencent, the Chinese streaming network, after initially stopping its coverage, has been showing up to three games a night. China’s state-run television network, China Central Television, canceled its broadcasts of the preseason games between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Nets and several other related league events in the aftermath of Morey’s tweet. Silver, at a live event soon after, said the Chinese government had demanded that Morey be fired — but he immediately said no. The N.B.A. has not been back on CCTV since.

“I believe that there are strains of separatism, because they don’t want to have anything to do with China,” Tsai says in defense of his letter. “They are very anti-China, burning the Chinese flag, beating up people who speak Mandarin, vandalizing Chinese-owned shops.” In his estimation, although the protests may have begun as a peaceful effort to strengthen the “two systems” part of the handover agreement, they’ve since morphed into a violent attempt to undermine the “one country” part. “People should think very seriously about saying that it’s not a separatist movement,” he says. “I think they should look at the facts.”

Whenever the controversy ends, the question is whether the Nets, with their Chinese owner, will supplant the Rockets as China’s team, a position Houston held from the time they drafted Yao Ming in 2002 till last fall’s controversy. Tsai doesn’t think it’s a big deal. Most of the China revenue, along with most NBA revenue in general, is shared by all 30 teams. “If the Nets are very well-known in China, maybe we will get a little bit more sponsorship revenue, maybe some Chinese company will have signs here instead of Qatar Airways,” he told Boudway, pointing to ads ringing the rafters at Barclays. “But that doesn’t really move the needle. What’s important is if the NBA is very popular in China.”

In an interview with Ian Eagle that aired prior to the Nets – 76ers game, Joe Tsai said the NBA and China are working to rebuild their relationship, referring to last fall’s controversy as “a short-term setback” in a four decade-long affiliation. In the YES interview. Tsai noted the popularity of hoops in China and the importance of international basketball to the NBA’s future. “Well, the NBA is global; it’s a global sport. Basketball is played everywhere in the world, and in China there’s over 300 million people that play basketball, that watch NBA games. Also let’s put this thing in a historical perspective; the NBA has been in China for 40 years.

“So when you look at these 40 years — all the history of the NBA in China, all the goodwill the NBA has built up — you have to take a long-term perspective. Now, we sort of have a short-term setback. Both sides are working to get our relationship back on track. The key thing is we need be broadcast on TV back in China. “There’s talk NBA ratings are kind of down for various reasons. But we don’t want to see ratings go down globally. We need the NBA games to be back on TV in China.”

There’s still great uncertainty about the effects on league business, from the impact on salary-cap projections to the probability that the NBA can fully restore its relationships with Chinese broadcasters and corporate partners. Does the NBA have a shot of returning in the foreseeable future to China, where it has played preseason games in every non-lockout season since 2007? No team has felt the brunt of the fallout more than the Rockets. League sources say the franchise has lost more than $7 million in revenue this season from cancelled Chinese sponsorship agreements and nearly $20 million overall when terminated multiyear deals are calculated.

Just a year ago, Tencent Holdings Ltd. locked up one of the most coveted media franchises in the country when it paid $1.5 billion for five years of exclusive streaming rights to National Basketball Association games. A single tweet changed all that. Now, the Chinese social media giant may have to suspend airing those matchups — which drew half a billion viewers last year — after Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey triggered a media blackout in China by tweeting support for Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protests. That sums up a disappointing 2019 for a company that looked like it was back on track after a horrendous 2018.

Regarding the firestorm that Rockets GM Daryl Morey ignited last month with a tweet that supported Hong Kong protesters, angering Chinese officials while NBA teams were visiting the country, Stern said; “I think that Adam did a very great and courageous job of shepherding the teams through that situation and maintaining the even keel that he’s known for and stepping up for American values. “It pains me that people criticized him and the NBA, because he very forthrightly stood up for Daryl Morey and he expressed regret that those remarks offended people or pained people. But I understood what he was saying.

“The idea that people felt comfortable saying after the fact, ‘Well, the NBA is just trying to sell stuff.’ Well, yeah, and trade negotiations with China involving the U.S. involves America trying to sell stuff to China – $50 billion of pork bellies and soybeans and agricultural products. “So should we feel guilty the NBA, as part of a very curated relationship with China, might or might not profit from television, and a couple of games, and Nike apparel sales? It’s interesting to me. Nike: no. But pork bellies: yes.”

For National Basketball Players Association Executive Director Michele Roberts, the size and scope of the China saga provided a wake-up call: Something needs to change, or NBA players will continue to find themselves embroiled in international incidents. “We don’t have the luxury of confining ourselves to the four corners of the United States,” Roberts told The Washington Post in a phone interview. “As the game is expanding [globally] and the union is interested in having a greater impact outside the U.S., I need to, and the players need to, be more aware of the world around us. [The China standoff] were difficult days, and the problem hasn’t gone away. We need to address it as a union and as a sport. We’ve got to be a little bit more intentional about how we navigate the world given what happened this past [month].”

Roberts admitted that the union has not done enough to help prepare players before their international travels, and that it is the NBPA’s responsibility to take proactive steps to prevent its members from doing unintentional harm to their reputations and brands. “For many of the players that went over there, it was their first trip to China,” Roberts said. “Many had no idea what was going on in Hong Kong. Most Americans, let alone most basketball players, are not aware of the politics that have been of concern in China. If we’re going to be sending our guys all over the globe, then we have to make sure they’re armed with the knowledge of where they are going and what’s happening in the locales they’re visiting in and playing in.

Nearly a month later, an analysis of Twitter data suggests that much of the online conversation that erupted in the wake of the scandal, far from being genuine criticism from concerned citizens, was pro-China propaganda originating from social-media bots and trolls on the mainland. To arrive at this conclusion, The Economist analysed more than 419,000 tweets about the controversy posted by 75,000 Twitter accounts that commented on it in the week after Mr Morey’s original tweet. Which countries the tweets came from cannot be asserted with certainty. Twitter is blocked in China. But the ban is widely circumvented with virtual private networks (VPNs), which allow users to surf the web through a foreign server.

Some of the accounts examined had been opened after Mr Morey’s tweet, whereas others predated it. Using a machine-learning algorithm developed by researchers at the Indiana University Network Science Institute, each Twitter account in our sample was categorised as a real user or a suspected bot or troll based on 1,200 characteristics. These include the account’s friends and followers, social network, activity patterns, language and the sentiments of their posts.

The results show that nearly a quarter of the accounts tweeting about the NBA in the days after the incident had a higher than 50% chance of being bots or trolls. Many of these “suspect” accounts were created soon after Mr Morey’s tweet. Indeed, in the following week, the number of new suspect accounts increased by 400% over the previous seven days. In that earlier week, about 47% of the newly-created accounts in our sample were suspected of malicious activity by the machine-learning algorithm. After the tweet, this proportion rose to 60%.

Three months before his retweet heard ’round the world, Morey pulled off one of the summer’s many stunners by landing the former MVP in Westbrook, who has four seasons and $171.1 million combined left on his deal (with a player option for 2022-23). […] The end result, as he discussed with The Athletic after declining to address the NBA’s China controversy, came after a five-day stretch of negotiating while at summer league in Las Vegas that Morey describes as the “most intense” of any deal he has ever done. Considering the reputation he has earned in these past 12 years, that’s no small statement.

Griffin was asked whether he had an opinion on the situation and he conceded that he wouldn’t comment on the matter because he didn’t know too much about U.S. politics, let alone geopolitical issues. “To be honest … at the risk of sounding ignorant, there’s so many things in our government that I don’t completely understand, so I don’t pretend to know what’s happening over there,” Griffin said. “My only hope is that no one gets hurt.”

In his first public comments since the interview with ESPN, Fertitta, whose team opens the season on Thursday night against Milwaukee, agreed to provide written answers to questions through a spokeswoman. He said he “never considered firing or punishing Daryl” in the wake of Morey’s Twitter post. Fertitta also said that he needed to initially distance the Rockets from Morey because, “I felt it was important to make the distinction between Daryl speaking as a private citizen and Daryl as a representative of the Houston Rockets.”

Barkley added: “Daryl Morey, who I like, he can say whatever he wants to. But there are consequences. I don’t understand why these holier-than-thou politicians, if they’re so worried about China, why don’t they stop all transactions with China? “President Trump has been talking about and arguing with tariffs for China for the last two years,” Barkley continued. “I think it’s unfair for them to do all their business in China and just because this thing happens try to make the NBA and our players look bad. All American companies do business in China. Period.”

A group of 30 fans at the Houston Rockets’ season opener against Milwaukee held signs and wore shirts in support of anti-government protesters in Hong Kong on Thursday night. Houston general manager Daryl Morey angered the Chinese government with a since-deleted tweet in support of the protesters earlier this month. Tuesday’s opening-night games were not televised in China in the wake of Morey’s tweet, which caused tension between the NBA and Chinese officials.

But Shaquille O’Neal – an all-time great player, prominent voice on NBA telecasts and (maybe most relevantly here) minority owner of the Sacramento Kings – made himself clear. O’Neal on TNT: “We as American people, we do a lot of business in China. And they know and understand our values. And we understand their values. And one of our best values here in America is free speech. We’re allowed to say what we want to say, and we’re allowed to speak up about injustices, and that’s just how it goes. And if people don’t understand that, that’s something that they have to deal with. But I just think it was unfortunate for both parties. And then you’ve got people speaking when they don’t know what they’re talking about. But Daryl Morey was right. Whenever you see something wrong going on anywhere in the world, you should have the right to say, “That’s not right,” and that’s what he did. But again, when it comes to business sometimes you have to tiptoe around things.”

Mark Cuban, billionaire owner of the Dallas Mavericks, says pressure from China to silence NBA players and managers hasn’t changed anything at the basketball league “What influence? What did they do that caused us to change any behavior?” he asked during a panel discussion at the Wall Street Journal’s Tech Live conference in Laguna Beach, Cali., on Monday. “There’s just no reason to get in the domestic policy of foreign countries and it’s not like any of them have made us change out behavior at the NBA.”

During TNT’s pre-game show on opening night of the NBA season Tuesday, Shaquille O’Neal strongly defended Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey, who caused an international firestorm earlier this month by tweeting a pro-Democracy message about protesters in Hong Kong. “As American people, we do a lot of business in China,” O’Neal said. “And they know and understand our values and we understand their values. And one of our best values in America is free speech. We’re allowed to say what we want to say and we’re allowed to speak up on injustices, and that’s just how it goes.”

If LaVine was worthy of that deal, someone who has been trying to rebuild the Kings was worthy of a lucrative deal, too. Hield wanted his loyalty rewarded and to know the Kings saw him as a key part of their future. A source with knowledge of Hield’s thinking said there were other cursory factors as well. For one, the unexpected China factor — how much money will they lose in the wake of Daryl Morey’s tweet supporting the protestors in Hong Kong? — is looming large for everyone in the NBA at the moment.

James’ response to Morey’s tweet wasn’t well received, with him toeing the NBA line and calling it “misinformed,” and later clarifying that he was upset by the timing of Morey’s tweet. But in an appearance on ESPN’s “Get Up” on Monday morning, Silver defended James’ response, as well as the decision many players have made to stay silent on the issue. Via Bleacher Report: “I think that these players, I mean, take LeBron who has an incredible track record of doing things that have changed people’s lives in the United States to be asked to comment on a difficult foreign issue is, I think, again there’s free expression and he should say how he feels. But, freedom of speech also means the freedom not to speak. And I’ve often said to players about issues here at home: If it’s something you don’t know about and you don’t feel comfortable responding, that’s OK as well. So, it’s been no-win for a lot of those players, so I’m very sympathetic.”

“If you want to make China a significant part of your business, you have to understand that there are political risks involved,” said a sports industry source this week with extensive history negotiating deals with China. “You don’t see movies about Tibet much anymore. You don’t see Chinese as villains. Look at ‘The Martian’; it was the Chinese coming to the rescue. Hollywood has learned – not without some criticism – and they have accepted. China is about to become the biggest box office in the world.”

“It’s interesting in this situation with China, they’re shoving a camera in our face and be like, ‘No you can’t say no comment we need you to speak on this,'” Iguodala continued, highlighting what he believes is a double standard. “They ready to attack LeBron for making a statement because they don’t like his statement, they feel like he should have took another stance. But when he’s home and he makes a stance about… and it’s like, ‘No this is not your place to make that statement.’ That was just mindblowing. That’s what bothered me the most.”
6 months ago via ESPN

China is refuting NBA commissioner Adam Silver’s claim that it demanded the firing of Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey over a tweet that supported anti-government protests in Hong Kong. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang says the “Chinese government never posed this requirement.” During an appearance in New York on Thursday, Silver said the NBA was “being asked to fire [Morey] by the Chinese government, by the parties we dealt with, government and business.”

NBA commissioner Adam Silver told reporters on Thursday that the league has dealt with “fairly dramatic” financial losses in the fallout of Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey’s tweet of support to the Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters. “The losses have already been substantial,” he said at the Time 100 Summit. “Our games are not back on the air in China as we speak, and we’ll see what happens next… I don’t know where we go from here. The financial consequences have been and may continue to be fairly dramatic.”
6 months ago via SCMP

A group of local Vancouverites are looking to test the National Basketball Association’s commitment to free speech on Friday morning (Hong Kong time) when the Los Angeles Clippers take on the Dallas Mavericks in a preseason game at Rogers Arena in downtown Vancouver. The game will start at 10.30am Hong Kong time. According to an article by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, a publicly funded news network, a group of people who support democracy in Hong Kong will stage a protest during the game. CBC spoke to the protest organiser, Lee Haber, who said the group’s goal is clear. “We want to test the NBA: Do you really stand for freedom of speech?” Haber told the CBC.

Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving regularly go there on Nike business, although they haven’t spoken publicly about last week’s contentious trip. But Spencer Dinwiddie’s self-endorsed signature shoe is made and marketed in China — and he says it still will be even after the latest flap. “[That] doesn’t have much of a bearing on what was going on,” Dinwiddie said. “That was completely outside Spencer. So, I mean, they still sell my shoes, so I don’t have any problems.”

Silver said the Chinese government asked for Daryl Morey, the general manager of the Houston Rockets, to be fired. Morey set off the international firestorm with a tweet using a slogan used by the protesters in Hong Kong, just as the league was preparing to stage games in Shanghai and Shenzhen between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Nets. “We said there’s no chance that’s happening,” Silver said. “There’s no chance we’ll even discipline him.”

Hu Xijin, editor of the usually virulently nationalistic outlet Global Times, posted a surprising call for restraint on Weibo. “There’s no need for cutting cooperation with the NBA to become some sort of trend,” Hu wrote. “As America becomes more closed, China needs to keep a more open mind-set.” By Monday, Chinese media giant Tencent had resumed live-streaming NBA games. Nationalists voiced their disappointment online. “We have already surrendered?” wrote one Weibo user with the screen name Hsiung Fan. “I feel like an idiot to believe everything was real,” wrote another user named Yuchen Bao_Bao.

“This kind of highly nationalistic emotions are promoted by certain Communist Party and government branches rather than the government as a whole,” said Fang Kecheng, professor of communication and journalism at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. He pointed to state media, which serve as the propaganda department, as an example. “By publishing those articles criticizing Apple, the NBA, they can draw a lot of page views and shares and likes and followers,” he said. “They can report to their boss saying, we have been doing great and we have significant influence online, especially among young people.”

With that landscape in mind, the notion of James focusing on one of his NBA associates rather than the other important issues at hand was unproductive, to say the least. As I wrote recently, sources say there was a specific spark that led to the tweet from Morey, who has spoken out in support of civil liberty issues several times before on Twitter: The new law enacted by Hong Kong’s Chief Executive, Carrie Lam, that bans face masks during protests and is widely seen as a tactic to identify dissidents. What’s more, James’ view stood in stark contrast to the view shared by one of the league’s other legends with whom James has so often been aligned, the San Antonio Spurs’ Gregg Popovich.

“It’s a tough situation we’re all in right now with the association (NBA), us as athletes, GMs (general managers) and owners and so forth,” James said. “I think when the issue comes up and you feel passionate about it and you feel like it’s something you want to talk about, then so be it. “I also don’t think every issue should be everybody’s problem as well. When things come up, there’s multiple things that we haven’t talked about that have happened in our own country that we don’t bring up. There’s things that happen in my own community in trying to help my kids graduate high school and go off to college. That’s been my main concern the last couple of years with my school.

Hong Kong anti-government protesters were burning Lebron James jerseys and trampling on them following the comments made by the Los Angeles Lakers superstar on Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey’s now-deleted tweet in support of the protests. These actions by the protesters came after James talked about Morey, saying that: “Yes, we do have freedom of speech,” James said. “But at times there are ramifications for the negative that can happen when you’re not thinking about others when you only think about yourself.”

When the next slight comes, experts say China will expect the offender to fall in line with the usual response. At a minimum, that means an apology and muting of any message that even remotely challenges the power of the authoritarian regime or its “sovereignty.” In the case of the NBA, Commissioner Adam Silver said last week the league was “not apologizing for Daryl exercising his freedom of expression” but said he regretted that people got upset over his tweet. The NBA also shut up about Hong Kong, where protesters have been fighting for democracy and autonomy apart from mainland China and its one-party government in Beijing.

“Given the high popularity of NBA in China, perhaps over time this conflict could soften,” said Maria Repnikova, an assistant professor at Georgia State and author of the book Media Politics in China: Improvising Power under Authoritarianism. The key words are “this conflict,” which doesn’t apply to the next one or the one after that. Repnikova notes that Morey’s tweet came at a particularly sensitive time in U.S.-China relations. Besides the conflict in Hong Kong, China is engaged in a trade war with the U.S. that’s led to global economic anxiety. Against that backdrop, Repnikova told USA TODAY Sports that China’s reaction to Morey’s tweet can be viewed as a warning shot to others – a “signaling mechanism for other U.S. companies and entities to practice more caution in discussing China’s politically sensitive issues publicly.”

“Nearly a week ago today, in a Shanghai hotel room, or Shanghai hotel ballroom, Adam Silver got up and addressed the players, and LeBron James is one of the players who got up and spoke and said, ‘Hey, what are we doing here? Daryl Morey made these statements,’” McMenamin recalled on air Tuesday. “You know damn well if a player made the same statements and caused such poor ramifications for the league, there would be some sort of league recourse.”

On Sunday’s episode of “Last Week Tonight” on HBO, Oliver recapped China’s backlash against the NBA following Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey’s since-deleted tweet in support of pro-democracy protestors in Hong Kong. Oliver called China’s uproar over Morey’s tweet “absurd,” before facetiously criticizing Morey for letting Chriss go in a trade last season. “You wanna be angry at him, how about the fact he traded away power forward Marquese Chriss as part of a three-team deal with the Kings and Cavaliers back in February?” Oliver joked. “Chriss is [6-foot-10] with a 7-foot wingspan, plays way above the rim and can mix it up in the post. Yes, granted, he’s had his issues on the Suns — I’m not denying that. But he’s the exact type of athletic big man that could have balanced out [Russell Westbrook and James Harden] especially when he’s coming off the bench for P.J. Tucker. “What I’m saying, Daryl, is your tweet about Hong Kong was totally fine — nothing to apologize for there — but when it comes to Marquese Chriss, you f—-d up, Daryl!”

LeBron steps into the minefield


“I don’t want to get into a [verbal] feud with Daryl Morey, but I believe he wasn’t educated on the situation at hand, and he spoke,” James said before the Los Angeles Lakers played the Golden State Warriors in a preseason game at Staples Center. “And so many people could have been harmed not only financially, physically, emotionally, spiritually. So just be careful what we tweet and say and we do, even though, yes, we do have freedom of speech, but there can be a lot of negative that comes with that, too.”

“I believe he was either misinformed or not really educated on the situation, and if he was, then so be it,” James said. “I have no idea, but that is just my belief. Because when you say things or do things, if you are doing it and you know the people that can be affected by it and the families and individuals and everyone that can be affected by it, sometimes things can be changed as well. And also social media is not always the proper way to go about things as well, but that’s just my belief.”
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April 2, 2020 | 9:36 pm EDT Update
For the time being, and likely for weeks or months to come, basketball is no longer the team’s primary public concern. “We’re trying to get ahead of the game as best we can,” Tellem said. “As part of that, it’s changing our whole public face. Usually we’re talking about upcoming games, the draft, free agency, all those things in our advertising and content online and obviously we’re now changing that content.”
The league has not made public any plans for the remainder of the season or playoffs, which were supposed to start April 18. Per a contract agreement with the league, players received paychecks April 1 despite the suspended season, but the NBA has yet to reach a long-term agreement, ESPN reported. “There will be a time, when we flatten the curve and we’re on the significant down side of the curve, that professional sports and all sports will play an important role in the healing of this country,” Tellem said.
April 2, 2020 | 8:15 pm EDT Update
P.J. Tucker will release a new limited-edition collection of clothing items next week to help promote awareness of coronavirus safety measures and raise funds for the Houston Food Bank and local businesses and vendors. Tucker announced that he and The Better Generation will make items available for a preorder through the weekend or while supplies last. The items will include long and short sleeve shirts, shorts and a baseball cap and feature COVID-19 awareness graphics.
“We all came together and said we wanted to do something positive,” Tucker said. “With so much negativity and so much stuff going on right now in the world, we wanted to do something to give back and help out. We’re doing three different shirts, three different shorts and a hat. There is a social distancing logo and messaging on the back with the logo for the store.”
April 2, 2020 | 5:36 pm EDT Update
Porter, who spent one season at Missouri, said he’s got a private gym that he can access whenever he wants. “I’ve literally been in the gym just as much as I was in Denver, which has been really good,” Porter said on Altitude’s digital show. “I feel like I haven’t really lost a lot. And it’s been good for my ankle, too, because you know my ankle was still kind of sore.”
In his downtime, he said he’s been preparing for the NBA 2K tournament that will air Friday night on ESPN. Porter, a No. 12 seed, drew No. 5 seed Devin Booker of the Phoenix Suns. Booker’s a notorious gamer, but Porter liked his chances. “I’m just naturally good at 2K,” he said. “It’s kind of weird. 2K, if you’re good at actual basketball, like it translates.”
The Atlanta Hawks, through the Hawks Foundation and State Farm, are funding the preparation of 4,000 meals weekly to be delivered to the more than 1,000 frontline healthcare workers treating COVID-19 patients at Emory Healthcare through a four-week pilot that is part of the newly-formed Atlanta Healthcare Heroes inaugural program. The meals are provided in partnership with two local Atlanta restaurants, which are now able to re-employ “hundreds” of workers who were recently laid off or furloughed due to the financial effects of the crisis, according to Hawks CEO Steve Koonin.
April 2, 2020 | 5:11 pm EDT Update
Although it launched last October, the Utah Jazz is using their Utah Jazz Podcast Network as an outlet for players to broaden their off-the-court reach and skills. “Our players have obviously been focused on keeping themselves healthy and making sure that their family and those close to them are healthy,” Bart Sharp, the Jazz’s senior vice president of marketing, said. “But they’ve also expressed a desire to try and provide some sense of normalcy and entertainment to our fan base during this time and wanted to find ways in which they can help people during this unique period.”
Already, some of the Jazz’s most well-known players are lending a hand to help produce content for the team. Utah rolled out its first player-specific podcast series, Ingles Insight, centered around Jazz shooting guard Joe Ingles, on March 21. The fifth-year player out of Adelaide, South Australia, is accompanied on Ingles Insight by his wife, Renae Ingles. The inaugural episode had more than 11,000 downloads in the first week, over 200 five-star reviews, and was the second-most popular basketball podcast in the United States on Apple Music, Sharp said.
Another new video podcast series hosted by Utah power forward Georges Niang, Drive and Dish, launched its first episode on Tuesday, March 31. Filmed out of Niang’s home and recorded through Zoom, Drive And Dish is described by Sharp as an “interview-style” podcast. The first episode saw Niang talk with teammate Jordan Clarkson about what is going on right now in a basketball-less world: what Clarkson is doing during the quarantine, his various tattoos, his distinct fashion taste, and other topics. After the debut of Drive And Dish, Sharp and the Jazz are preparing for another podcast series starring both Niang and Donovan Mitchell.
April 2, 2020 | 4:36 pm EDT Update
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“I brought him up in the office and I told him my feelings,” Rivers said. “I said, ‘Lou, you’re one of these guys that wanna do whatever you wanna do, and you don’t want to buy-in. We asked everybody to come in. Everyone did except for you… I don’t know how this is gonna work.’ And he said, ‘I’ve been traded five years in a row. Why would I buy-in to you?’, and I didn’t have an answer.”
So with 19.5 seconds remaining in overtime and the Hawks trailing by seven to the New York Knicks, head coach Lloyd Pierce checked Carter into the game and the emotions began to hit him as the home crowd chanted. “I kind of made eye contact with coach (Pierce) and he’s like, ‘Yeah, yeah,'” Carter said on the latest episode of “Winging it with Vince Carter and Annie Finberg.” “Right then, it’s like a chill just hit me.”
April 2, 2020 | 4:30 pm EDT Update

Knicks front office staying put

For now, Leon Rose is proceeding as status quo with an inherited front office in following an unofficial NBA hiring/firing stoppage with the world stopped cold. According to sources, Rose is actively holding scouting meetings with his staff via conference call/video regarding the draft. “I don’t see any teams hiring or firing during this,” one NBA source said. “That’s the sense.”
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Pelicans shooting guard JJ Redick and his wife, Chelsea, are spearheading a campaign that will provide millions of meals throughout south Louisiana while it battles the coronavirus. On Thursday, the Redicks, the Pelicans and the Lineage Logistics, a food transportation and distribution company, announced donations to Second Harvest Food Bank. Together, they aim to provide 1.8 million meals in 23 parishes.
April 2, 2020 | 4:21 pm EDT Update
Karl has not coached in the NBA since leaving the Kings. Cousins has suffered a number of serious injuries. And so, on April Fools’ Day, Karl decided to joke about a potential reunion, saying that both were headed back to the Kings.