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Could we be headed towards a lockout?
The NBA is expected to announce a $24 billion deal today that will continue their broadcasting partnership with ABC, TNT and ESPN through 2025. The extremely lucrative deal will begin in the 2017-2018 regular season, and will significantly raise the salary cap, which could lead to some interesting and tense negotiations come time for the new collective bargaining agreement, which is tentatively set to happen prior to the 2017 season. The last lockout, which came just before the NBA Lockout of 2011-2012, the most major issue being discussed was the owners’ will, or lack thereof, to share more of their revenue with their roster. This time around, there will most certainly be a conversation centered around how much of this large $24 billion sum will be designated to raise the earnings of NBA players, like LeBron James for example, who we’re 99% sure signed a short term deal with Cleveland in order to renegotiate his contract before the 2017 season considering there will be much more money on the table.
Should we expect a lockout in two summers? It’s too early to tell, but there will certainly be a playing field for it. Greedy owners and NBA stars’ increasing interest in being the highest paid at their position, be it for gluttony or status, coupled with the NBA’s exponentially expanding popularity and international reach could be a hot topic during these negotiations. Prior to this news breaking, the NBA Players’ Union already advised it’s members to prepare themselves for a potential lockout in 2017.
Unfortunately, it appears the trend of racist owners being uncovered by their “behind-closed-doors” didn’t begin and end with ousted former Clippers owner Donald Sterling in 2014, and now, the Atlanta Hawks will be shopped to someone else. Their owner, Bruce Levenson, allegedly reported his own actions–which, in this case, are racist e-mails he sent two years ago to members of the Hawks organization in an effort to help raise ticket sales by diversifying the fan base.
Below is an excerpt from the official statement Levenson released.
In trying to address those issues, I wrote an e-mail two years ago that was inappropriate and offensive. I trivialized our fans by making clichéd assumptions about their interests (i.e. hip hop vs. country, white vs. black cheerleaders, etc.) and by stereotyping their perceptions of one another (i.e. that white fans might be afraid of our black fans). By focusing on race, I also sent the unintentional and hurtful message that our white fans are more valuable than our black fans.
If you’re angry about what I wrote, you should be. I’m angry at myself, too. It was inflammatory nonsense. We all may have subtle biases and preconceptions when it comes to race, but my role as a leader is to challenge them, not to validate or accommodate those who might hold them.
In addition, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver had this to say about the quickly unfolding story.
Prior to the completion of the investigation, Mr. Levenson notified me last evening that he had decided to sell his controlling interest in the Atlanta Hawks. As Mr. Levenson acknowledged, the views he expressed are entirely unacceptable and are in stark contrast to the core principles of the National Basketball Association. He shared with me how truly remorseful he is for using those hurtful words and how apologetic he is to the entire NBA family – fans, players, team employees, business partners and fellow team owners – for having diverted attention away from our game.
No word yet on what the timetable will be concerning the sale of the team, but with the NBA season quickly approaching–September is the last full month of the offseason–we would imagine Silver and the Hawks aren’t wasting any time. The Hawks are coming off of a decent season, in which they secure the final Eastern Conference playoff spot shortly before almost eliminating the eventual Eastern Conference finalist Indiana Pacers, ultimately losing in Game 7 in their first round series.
Is this thing officially over?
Steve Ballmer has been confirmed as the official new owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, and the NBA is taking further action. Donald Sterling, who was banned from the league for the rest of his life because of the racist comments he made to his girlfriend V. Stiviano, is now being sued by the league in a nice little plot twist. The NBA is suing Sterling for “incalculable damages and devastating harm” against the league. The lawsuit serves as a counterclaim to the lawsuit Donald Sterling levied against the NBA last month, in which he accused the NBA and his wife, Shelly Sterling, of fraud.
Should the NBA win the suit, Sterling will have to compensate the league for all investigations it made into him and his endeavors, not to mention litigation fees from all the legal proceedings.
On the bright side, the sale of the Clippers to Ballmer has been finalized–he’s pictured with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver–and it appears Doc Rivers, Chris Paul, and the rest of the members of the team who planned to walk if Sterling remained the owner into the upcoming regular season, will stay in red, white and blue this season.
Unless, of course, they get traded.
Projected as one of the deepest and most hyped draft classes in recent years, the 2014 NBA Draft was unpredictable, but worth the price of admission. Aside from the predictability of Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker and Joel Embiid going one, two and three respectively, other picks weren’t as predictable.
A good example was UCLA’s Kyle Anderson getting scooped up at 30 by the San Antonio Spurs. That pick, by the way will benefit both the Spurs and Anderson in the long run. Imagine the combo of Anderson and NBA Finals MVP Kawaii Leonard.
Here are some other notable mentions from last night’s NBA Draft:
Michigan State’s Adreian Payne was drafted 15th by the Atlanta Hawks. He was one of the best dressed—if not the best dressed on draft night. His bowtie, lavender and purple blazer color coordination were all quite stylish.
Playing nightly for the Hawks, his fashion sense surely might make Outkast’s André 3000, an ATL native and fashion extraordinaire somewhat jealous. All joking aside, Payne’s wardrobe selection was a tribute to Lacey Holsworth, a young Michigan State fan who lost her battle with cancer shortly after the NCAA tournament. “It really was a meaning behind it,” Payne told The Source.
Months after Holsworth’s death, Payne honored Lacey during one of the biggest days of his life at the NBA draft. “I wore this for the—dedicated to Lacey Holsworth,” he said. “And it’s the color of her cancer that she had, leukemia, and I wear a band every day. As you can see, the band is the same color as the suit.”
Class act by the NBA and Commissioner Adam Silver by inviting ex-Baylor star Isaiah Austin to the NBA Draft. Austin found out on June 21 that he has Marfan syndrome. The rare genetic disorder weakens the connective tissues of the body because the body’s cells are not fully developed.
With his condition, Austin cannot play in the NBA. But the NBA wanted Austin to fulfill the dream of every young player, so they made him a ceremonial pick. “Coach Ray and Commissioner Silver has offered me a job with the NBA somewhere,” said Austin.
“So I can always be around the game that I’ve grown up to love and have a passion for.”
Just a year ago, the Brooklyn Nets made a splash by agreeing in principle to a draft night trade with the Boston Celtics that brought Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce to the Big Apple. In exchange, the Celtics acquired the rights to Kris Humphries, MarShon Brooks, Gerald Wallace and the rights to future first round draft picks beginning this year.
Hosts of this years NBA Draft at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, the Nets were without draft picks because of last year’s deal. With the Nets potentially not able to resigned backup guard and unrestricted free agent, Shaun Livingston, the Nets needed a body to fill that void. The void was lifted when Nets General Manager Billy King got on the phone and worked out a trade with the Minnesota Timberwolves. The T-Wolves sent their 44th overall pick; Oklahoma States’ Markel Brown to Brooklyn in exchange for $1 million in cash.
A combo guard and spot on defender at OSU, Brown averaged 17.6 points per game for the 21-13 (8-10 in conference) Cowboys.An explosive guard, Brown has been compared to Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook. Nets GM Billy King was pleased that Brooklyn was able to make a move to get Brown. “Markel Brown is probably one of the top assets and top picks in the draft,” said King.
“We looked at it as we had a chance to add youth to our backcourt.”
With the NBA Draft over and no NBA regular season action until the fall, the next sniff of organized hoops action you’ll find will be the Samsung NBA Summer League.
The Summer League will tip off on July 11 at 1 p.m. PT. Most of the draftees from Thursday’s draft will participate and 67 games will be played over the course of the 11-day event. Games will be played at the Thomas & Mack Center and Cox Pavilion on the campus of the University of Nevada Las Vegas.
(Photo Credits: Jason Schott/New York Sports Examiner)
Los Angeles Clippers (still technically current owner) Donald Sterling filed a federal lawsuit Friday against the NBA and Commissioner Adam Silver, alleging breach of contract and a violation of his constitutional rights after the league banned him last month for making racially charged comments in a privately recorded conversation with his female companion.
The suit seeks more than $1 billion in damages, the elimination of his ban, and the elimination of his $2.5 million fine. It also seeks the reinstatement of former team president Andy Roeser, the removal of interim CEO Richard Parsons, and the termination of the NBA’s plan to terminate his family’s ownership of the team.
But the NBA already might have rendered the latter request moot and boxed Sterling out legally.
The league announced Friday that it has a binding agreement with Sterling’s wife Shelly in which the team will be sold to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, pending approval by the NBA’s Board of Governors.
“The NBA will withdraw its pending charge to terminate the Sterlings’ ownership of the team,” the NBA said in a statement. “Because of the binding agreement to sell the team, the NBA termination hearing that had been scheduled for June 3 in New York City has now been cancelled. Mrs. Sterling and the (Sterling Family) Trust also agreed not to sue the NBA and to indemnify the NBA against lawsuits from others, including from Donald Sterling.”
That means Shelly Sterling and the Sterling Family Trust might have to cover the NBA’s expenses if Donald Sterling sues the league, as he did Friday. The Sterlings jointly own the trust, which owns the Clippers.
The determination was made according to the provisions of the trust related to the trustees’ mental capacity, leading Shelly Sterling to become sole trustee and giving her the power to make the sale herself, said the person, who requested anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly.
Sterling is seeking damages “to punish their wrongful conduct and deter it from occurring again,” according to the suit.
– Scott Randell (@DefinedByMvsic)
The dark cloud continues to fly above the NBA, even as conference championships are on their second week of play, and it will loom larger and become more ominous as the Sterling’s retain possession of The Los Angeles Clippers. After the public backlash hit its peak over a week ago, Donald Sterling handed over the team to his wife, Shelly Sterling. It has become clearer and clearer to see that Adam Silver isn’t going to let the issue go to rest, until she sells the team; thankfully, Shelly has gotten the picture and is fielding offers this week.
According to TMZ, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and his group of investors are early favorites to buy the team, when everything is said and done. Shelly met with Ballmer at her home on Sunday, where he pitched a competitive offer.
While Oprah Winfrey is no longer in the running, there are a number of groups that have made serious offers. Including the Grant Hill Group and Magic Johnson and the Guggenheim Partners, both of which are led by ex-NBA players. The team is reportedly worth over $1 billion, but it is unclear how the Sterlings and SIlver are going to handle the particulars of the selling. We will continue covering the story as we learn more, so keep it locked to the Source.
Racism is till very much alive and well, and unfortunately, this year, we’ve had several high profile reminders of that. Never mind the Donald Sterling fiasco–which is expected to be in or hovering around headlines as long as newly minted NBA Commissioner Adam Silver continues his quest to oust Sterling not just from the NBA, but as owner of the team–but our very own President, Barack Obama, was recently a victim of it.
A New Hampshire–specifically, Wolfeboro–vice chairman of police commission publicly used the “N word” to describe President Barack Obama, causing his own political colleagues to call for his ousting. While sitting in a public restaurant, a citizen overheard Robert Copeland referring to Obama as the “N word”, and reported it to town officials. When Copeland was brought to task via e-mail, he had this to say about his choice of diction:
I believe I did use the ‘N’ word in reference to the current occupant of the Whitehouse. For this, I do not apologize — he meets and exceeds my criteria for such.
The 82-year-old former vice chairman has tendered his resignation, after several urges from his colleagues and directive from his close friends.
The journey begins.
Donald Sterling has no plans on selling The Los Angeles Clippers. One would think after the bombshell that became his life’s narrative over the past three weeks, Donald Sterling would be doing his best to step quietly into the shadows, considering he placed himself on the fast track to being one of America’s most hated people…twice.
However, that isn’t the case. Both Donald Sterling and his wife, SHelly, have remained steadfast on their intent to remain the owners of The Clippers, despite head coach Doc Rivers, and several players declaring their refusal to remain a part of the team should the Sterling’s retain ownership.
Today, the NBA took a major step in its quest to get The Clippers new ownership, taking official issue with several things, as detailed below according to Sports Illustrated.
Significantly undermining the NBA’s efforts to promote diversity and inclusion.
Damaging the NBA’s relationship with its fans.
Harming NBA owners, players and Clippers team personnel.
Impairing the NBA’s relationship with marketing and merchandising partners, as well as with government and community leaders.
Disparaging African-Americans and minorities.
Directing a female acquaintance not to associate publicly with African-Americans or to bring African-Americans to Clippers games.
Criticizing African-Americans for not supporting their communities.
Popular belief suggests that the NBA has the legal ammo they need to righteously relieve the Sterlings of their ownership, but only time (and testimony) will tell.