NFL Rumors

NBA teams may have reached the offseason doldrums, but NFL teams are already preparing for their preseason games that start next month. The Houston Texans are three sessions into training camp, held at The Greenbrier, a West Virginia sports resort. West Virginia homeowner and Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni swung by practice on Saturday, to Texans coach Bill O’Brien’s delight:
Two NBA players specifically pointed to the Knights’ success as an indication that Las Vegas would support a basketball team. The Knights made the Stanley Cup Final in their inaugural season and drew crowds beyond capacity for most games. “Even just from adding an NHL team, they’re doing great things,” reigning NBA MVP James Harden of the Houston Rockets said. “It’s built for it. Obviously, the money is there, but I think the fan support is there as well. We saw that in hockey.”
Storyline: Vegas NBA Team?
Blake Griffin of the Detroit Pistons largely echoed Harden’s thoughts, but said relocating a team would be difficult. “The hockey team here did really, really well,” Griffin said. “I don’t know if you consider it a sports town because of everything that’s going on here, but I think people appreciate sports here. I think all sports would do well here. It’s probably something in the future, but I think everybody realizes how much basketball brings to a city, and I don’t know that it would be easy to take a team away from a different city to bring one here.”
Todd Gurley caused a bit of a stir this month when TMZ asked him if all NFL players deserved guaranteed contracts, and what it would take for the league to do that. Gurley responded by saying it would take a lockout. A few days later, Gurley chuckled when asked about the exchange. “Us NFL players, we’re just mad about NBA contracts right now, that’s all,” he said. “I just want like $80 million. Those guys are getting like $150 [million]. It’s crazy. It’s insane.”
Trump’s rebuffing of the Warriors, however, was met head on by basketball’s biggest star, LeBron James, who called him a bum. Other prominent players spoke out, too. The president slinked away, the way a bully does when faced with unexpected resistance. “I don’t think he got what he wanted out of them because it didn’t generate very much controversy or passion among his base,” said Joe Lockhart, the former N.F.L. executive who was principally involved with devising the league’s crisis management of the anthem issue. “He was not able to generate debate within the N.B.A. community. They all seemed to fall in line behind LeBron and Steph Curry.”
Outside experts and historians cited plenty of reasons the N.F.L. and the N.B.A. find themselves on different sides of this cultural divide, ranging from the N.F.L.’s lack of guaranteed contracts to the N.B.A.’s smaller and more unified work force. “It’s clear that we’ve got two different leagues — two different kinds of owners, two different groups of consumers,” said Charles Ross, a history professor and director of African-American Studies at the University of Mississippi. “But we’ve got one group of African-American males. To be sure, the black athletes, whether they are in the N.B.A. or the N.F.L., are together.”