The No. 1 question TNT has been asked since acquiring the rights to NHL games is whether Charles Barkley will join the broadcasts this season. The network will answer that immediately, putting the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer and “Inside the NBA” analyst on its first “NHL on TNT Face Off” at 6 p.m. To mark the occasion, the show will be commercial-free.
Big four sports teams have been spending freely this summer in spite of revenues lost over the last 18 months and the growing threat of the Delta variant. In fact, between July 27 and Aug. 9, NFL, NBA, NHL and MLB clubs negotiated $5.197 billion worth of new player contracts —according to Spotrac, that is more in cash-out commitments than any other 14-day stretch within the last decade. Spotrac founder Michael Ginnitti cited a scheduling anomaly that saw “all of these leagues drafting, doing rookie contracts, free agent contracts, [restructures] and long-term extensions” at the same time and a general bullishness on the value of live sports rights as catalysts for the record-setting period.
NBA teams made up about 60% of the dollar commitments from the 14-day period (about $3.17 billion dollars’ worth), signing players to massive deals under the presumption that the cap will rise significantly within the next two years. David Mondress (senior VP contract and basketball operations, BDA Sports Management) said the league’s strong track record for revenue growth has given teams the confidence “to spend to hold on to, or attract the best players. [And], with a salary-cap system and revenue sharing, team profitability is protected for all but the highest level of spenders paying significant luxury-tax money.”
Ginnitti suggested the short-term nature of NBA contracts and a player-friendly collective bargaining agreement were also factors in driving the record spend. “The ability for these guys to get early extensions is as great as ever,” he said. “Kevin Durant wasn’t even close to in need of a contract extension, and he takes a four-year, $198 million one. Steph Curry got a four-year, $215 million one. The biggest names in the sport are constantly needing new contracts because of the length of these deals. They are not doing 12-year deals like Patrick Mahomes did. They are not doing eight-year deals like NHL superstars do.”
The Lakers, Kings, Ducks, Galaxy and Chargers have mandated vaccinations for full-time employees at offices within the United States, according to a statement Wednesday from AEG, the parent company of the Kings and Galaxy and the Staples Center landlord of the Lakers. The requirement would include “limited exceptions as required by law,” the statement said.
They are an odd couple: Knicks rookie shooting guard Quentin Grimes and his half brother, Tyler Myers, a 13-year NHL veteran defenseman who plays for the Canucks. Myers was born in Houston, but was raised in Calgary with his oil-man father and led the hockey life. He became one of the slickest skaters patrolling the blueline, known for his finesse, even at 6-foot-8. He won the NHL’s Rookie of the Year award in 2010.