Wes Goldberg: Kerr anticipates Nico Mannion will participate in the G League bubble in Orlando next month.
Kai Sotto, the 7-foot-3, 18-year-old basketball phenom who is on a path to becoming the first native-born son of the Philippines to play in the NBA, is opting out of the start of the NBA G League bubble in Orlando next month in order to meet contractual obligations with the Filipino National Team — the Gilas. Instead of entering the G League bubble on Jan. 26 with the G League Ignite team, Sotto will travel to the Philippines and play with the Gilas when they host Korea (Feb. 18 and Feb. 22) and Indonesia (Feb.20) at Clark City in Pampanga. “The G League agreed for me to meet my previous commitments to play for the national team,” Sotto said via direct message. “They have asked for me to immediately report back to the bubble after my last national team game.”
DECATHLON, one of the world’s largest sporting goods retailers, and the National Basketball Association (NBA) today announced a new multiyear merchandising partnership that makes DECATHLON an official licensee of the NBA across Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Latin America and marks DECATHLON’s first partnership with a North American sports league. The partnership will feature a dedicated range of NBA team and league-branded base layers, accessories and footwear* designed by DECATHLON and sold under their basketball brand “TARMAK.” The collection will be sold exclusively in more than 1,200 DECATHLON stores worldwide and online at http://www.Decathlon.com. Products will be available for pre-order beginning in March 2021 ahead of the April 2021 launch in stores.
However, the league as a whole is playing significantly younger. The minutes-weighted average age on the floor has been 26.3 thus far. The “youngest” year of the 30-team era was 2019-20, at just below 26.5, but when we look only at the first month or so of the season, this average rises to just over 26.6. Beyond simple aggregates, players 22 and younger are taking up a sizably larger proportion of playing time so early in the year:
Connor Letourneau: Steve Kerr said he expects Nico Mannion to participate in the upcoming G League bubble in Orlando. Kerr isn’t so sure about his other two-way-contract player, Juan Toscano-Anderson.
Rick Bonnell: Hornets coach James Borrego was very relieved Charlotte will have a team in the G-League bubble. He didn’t get into specifics about which of the rookies would spend time at Disney when the G-League starts outside Orlando in February.