The NBA has instructed teams to be vigilant about the impact of a verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial for the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis this week, including the possibility of game postponements, sources told ESPN. The looming specter of possible protests, civil unrest and team reactions in the aftermath of a court verdict has the league office preparing for the prospect that a night or two of league games could be halted this week, sources said.
Final arguments are expected Monday in the case against Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer who kneeled on Floyd’s neck for over nine minutes before Floyd’s death last May. Chauvin has plead not guilty to second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter charges.
Former UConn Huskies coach and 13-year NBA veteran Kevin Ollie has been hired as head coach and director of player development for the Overtime Elite, a new professional basketball league for top prospects between 16 and 18 years old, sources told ESPN. A formal announcement is expected on Monday morning.
Overtime Elite, which will feature up to 30 players ages 16 to 18 who will be paid a minimum salary of $100,000 along with bonuses and equity, is slated to begin in September 2021. If an Overtime Elite player doesn’t ultimately pursue a pro career, the league will pay them up to $100,000 towards college tuition. Overtime, which includes Durant, Carmelo Anthony and late NBA Commissioner David Stern among its investors, was founded in 2016. Ollie, who is still in arbitration with UConn over the $10 million he was still owed on his contract and isn’t permitted to discuss his exit from the program as a result, wrote an Op-Ed for The Athletic about his return to the basketball world.
OTE is designed to offer the world’s top prospects the development, education and economic empowerment to address these issues head-on. On the court, OTE players will compete against the top prospects from around the world. They will have access to pro-grade training and coaching to level-up their game, and to world-class facilities, nutritionists and sports scientists who can hone their bodies. Players will also earn six-figure salaries and have the opportunity to be compensated for their name, image and likeness. They will earn a high school diploma and receive professional training in financial literacy, social media, media training and the business of basketball. I had to learn all of this on my own when I entered the NBA.
Marc J. Spears: The NBA Foundation announces more than $3 million in grants for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Miami, Braven, Center for Leadership Development, City Year, CodeCrew, The Collective Blueprint, NAF, New Heights Youth and Road to Hire as part of the Foundation’s second grant round.
Bought-out players typically sign for a prorated portion of the minimum salary, allowing their new teams to add talent without regard for the salary cap. “It’s a definite concern,” says another team executive working in a small market. “Without a doubt, players that are entering the buyout market will only be looking at contending teams. And most of the time, historically, their preference has been to go to the teams in the bigger markets…. And it gives teams an opportunity to sit back and add players on minimum deals that they normally wouldn’t be able to acquire.”