Dapper Labs has closed a $12 million funding round led by National Basketball Association (NBA) stars Spencer Dinwiddie, Andre Iguodala, JaVale McGee, Aaron Gordon and Garrett Temple, according to a press release shared with CoinDesk. The funds will be used for further development of blockchain games including the eventual launch of NBA Top Shot out of private beta, Dapper Labs founder and CEO Roham Gharegozlou told CoinDesk in a phone interview. “Sports are our most important vertical now,” Gharegozlou said.
Now that the Wizards have lost their first two games at Disney World, that rule is coming back into the forefront. The Wizards are currently tied in the loss column with the Hornets, who aren’t in Orlando but are locked in with the eighth-best lottery odds. What that means is if the Wizards continue to lose, they can’t gain more ping-pong balls for lottery night, which is set for Aug. 25. And now there is a distinct possibility they could have worse odds than a team with a better win percentage than them.
Storyline: Draft Lottery
Jonathan Isaac suffered a torn ACL on Sunday night and will be out for the remainder of the season, and the injury came at a time when the Orlando Magic star was gaining tremendous popularity. Isaac’s jersey sales have skyrocketed recently, with only LeBron James having a hotter-selling jersey. The increase in sales was likely a response to Isaac refusing to kneel during the national anthem recently.
After Isaac’s injury in early January, Magic officials expected Isaac to miss the remainder of the season and the playoffs, but the pandemic gave him extra time to rehabilitate and strengthen his leg. When players were allowed to return to the Magic practice facility in mid-May for optional individual workouts, Isaac often worked twice a day with team performance staff and medical staff. The current Magic front office has a reputation for being ultra-cautious with the health of its players, especially its younger players. But questions now will be raised whether Isaac was allowed to return too quickly.
Isaac, a 22-year-old forward and potential franchise cornerstone, crumpled to the court and clutched his knee as Magic head athletic trainer Ernest Eugene and athletic trainer and manual therapist Aki Tajima attended to him. A pained expression crossed Evan Fournier’s face. Wes Iwundu looked to the ground, his hands cupped to his face. Fultz prayed. “That was tough, man,” said Aaron Gordon, another of Isaac’s teammates. “That one brought me to tears instantly just because I know how good of a guy J.I. is and I know how hard he works and how hard he has worked to get back.”
“It was very difficult to see him go down like that again, especially the same knee,” said Nikola Vucevic, who saw the injury occur from the Magic bench area. “He was looking great, actually. We were all very happy for him mainly just because he’s a great guy and great teammate. We all have a lot of respect for him, and so for him to go down like that was very difficult to see, especially when you know that he had just came back.”
Storyline: Jonathan Isaac Injury