Archive for the ‘ NBA ’ Category

Jabari Parker to the NBA

Jabari Parker Duke NBA

Jabari Parker made it official today by announcing his intention to enter the 2014 NBA draft, surprising…well, no one, really. Parker is expected to be a top 5 pick in the draft and could even be considered a number one possibility. Parker seems to have the most mature game of any of the early entries although that likely means he’s about as good as he’s going to get, which is still good enough to make an NBA team better.

Adam Silver NBA basketball

One thing is for certain; the debate over whether college athletes at high-revenue college programs should be paid is not going away. This, despite the NCAA’s best efforts to frame the conversation with rhetoric about ‘student-athletes’, a term they coined decades ago to justify not paying the players in their employ.

Now the NBA has decides to wade into the fray a bit more, with newly minted commissioner Adam Silver mulling over what they might be able to do for those athletes:

“Rather than focusing on a salary and thinking of them as employees, I would go to their basic necessities,” Silver said. “I think if [Connecticut Huskies guard] Shabazz Napier is saying he is going hungry, my God, it seems hard to believe, but there should be ample food for the players.”

To be clear, the NBA isn’t talking about outright payment of salaries to players but rather a subsidization of any gaps in college attendance. On one hand, it’s good the NBA is paying attention…while on the other, it’s hard to see these comments and wonder why the NBA owners were claiming massive losses during the recent labor agreements if they can offer possible subsidies for thousands of college players. The truth has to lie somewhere in the middle; either the NBA is talking about a limited program, or it’s just more rhetoric designed to give lip service to the issue.

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Joel Embiid Kansas basketball NBA draft

In a move that most expected after his solid year, Kansas’ Joel Embiid has declared for the NBA draft. At his news conference on Wednesday, Embiid shared his reasons for turning pro: “Looking at different scenarios and gathering info of what was best for me … either way was best for me. Talking to my mentor, it was best the choice.”

There was quite a bit of speculation leading up to this announcement that Embiid might have had a change of heart after it seemed a near certainty that he would make this move earlier in the season. Embiid suffered nagging injuries this season but still managed to average almost a double-double as a freshman. Many consider Embiid the number one pro prospect in this year’s draft with this announcement.

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TJ Warren NC State NBA draft

By Marcus Shockley

Well, it’s official. T.J. Warren has declared for the NBA draft:

North Carolina State University sophomore forward T.J. Warren announced Tuesday that he will forgo his remaining college eligibility and enter the 2014 NBA Draft.

Warren, the ACC Player of the Year in 2013-14, averaged 24.9 points per game and shot 52.5 percent for the Wolfpack. He set school records for points in a single season (871) and games with 20 or more points in a season (31).

I remember watching T.J. as a high school junior and thinking that teams were sleeping on him and that his scoring ability reminded me a lot of Paul Pierce. By the time TJ was a senior, he’d gathered offers from several major schools, and decided on NC State. Just a few days before he announced his decision, he talked to me in this video interview about his current thinking.

T.J. will be a solid pro player. Scouts and coaches have been doubting his ability since he was in high school, but his ability to score has been proven repeatedly. The one nagging thing that he’ll have to work on at this point is his foul trouble. But that will come, in time.

Best of luck to T.J. at the pro level.

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Chris Paul Booed…Again

Chris Paul Clippers

You would think that Chris Paul would be beloved in Los Angeles. After all, he’s helped make the Clippers, considered to be the worst-run organization in all of professional sports over the last 30 years, actually relevant. But, that’s not the case:

“I thought the city would have embraced him,” Clippers forward Blake Griffin said of Paul. “I mean, it seems like everywhere we go, people love Chris. I don’t know why he would get booed at a Dodger game.”

Paul said he understood being the victim of the Untrue Blue. Fans booed him at the Dodgers’ game against the San Francisco Giants on Friday, he said, because L.A. remains a Lakers town. Sadly, even being shown on the Dodger Stadium video board alongside Dodgers outfielder Carl Crawford couldn’t protect him from the scorn of a sellout crowd.

So what gives?

In Los Angeles, the Clippers are the “other team”. The team that isn’t the Lakers, a team that “borrows” the court of the Lakers when they need to play a home game. It’s been this way since the Clippers franchise moved into L.A. from San Diego in 1984. The Clippers have horrible ownership and have been the laughingstock of the league, well, since even their days in San Diego.

Team owner Donald Sterling lobbied the NBA to allow him to move the Clippers to Los Angeles because of poor attendance…but the reason so few people were coming out to watch the games was that the team was awful for years. Bringing the team to L.A. did nothing to solve the poor management of Sterling and the Lakers were already well established. Remember, this was during the height of Magic Johnson’s ‘Showtime’ Laker teams. Sterling had purchased the team in 1981, and was based in L.A.

So the city of L.A. considered Chris Paul an outsider. They expected him to play for the Clippers for a season after David Stern’s ludicrous move to prevent him from going from New Orleans to the Lakers, then they expected him to move over to the ‘real’ L.A. team. Since he hasn’t, they haven’t embraced him.

Chris Paul is arguably one of the most marketable players in the NBA at the moment, with national endorsements, elite play and a winning personality. But as long as he stays with the Clippers, he will probably continue to be considered the ‘away team’ on the team’s home court.

Kyrie Irving NBA Cleveland Cavaliers

SiriusXM and the National Basketball Association announced yesterday that they will launch an exclusive NBA channel on Monday, December 9, that will cover the league 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and bring fans closer to the game.

SiriusXM NBA Radio on Channel 217 will debut on Monday at 7:00 am ET and will feature a star-studded lineup of exclusive interviews throughout the day including NBA Commissioner David Stern, NBA Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, Los Angeles Lakers head coach Mike D’Antoni, Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving, New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis, Indiana Pacers center Roy Hibbert, Detroit Pistons center-forward Greg Monroe, Boston Celtics head coach Brad Stevens, center-forward Kelly Olynyk and forward Brandon Bass, and Hall of Famers Chris Mullin and Bernard King. Other big guests for the opening week will include Celtics owner Steve Pagliuca, Golden State Warriors owner Joe Lacob, and Hall of Famer Clyde Drexler, as well as Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard and Toronto Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan. Atlanta Hawks guard Jeff Teague will also be interviewed on the channel on Dec. 12.

Along with one-on-one interviews with the biggest names in the game, the new NBA Channel will showcase more than 14 live NBA games each week and a daily schedule of NBA-focused news and talk from an unparalleled roster of hosts.

Featured hosts include former star players and coaches such as NBA Champions and TNT analysts Kenny Smith and Steve Kerr; three-time NBA Champion center Stacey King; former NBA Champion guard and head coach Lionel Hollins; former head coaches Mike Dunleavy, Sr., and Sam Mitchell; Hall of Famer and women’s basketball pioneer Nancy Lieberman; and former NBA guard Mateen Cleaves. In addition, Ian Eagle, Frank Isola, Mark Boyle, Joel Meyers and Jason Goff will provide their expertise on a regular basis.
NBA fans can call in to discuss the latest headlines and weigh in with their opinions on the issues of the day. The channel will also feature regular interviews with NBA legends; on-location broadcasts from special events like the NBA All-Star Game, The Finals, NBA Draft, team training camps; programming and specials focused on the history of the game; and more.

“The NBA has always been an important element of our sports lineup and we’re thrilled to be enhancing our coverage with the launch of SiriusXM NBA Radio,” said Scott Greenstein, SiriusXM’s President and Chief Content Officer. “Since 2003, we’ve given our listeners the ability to follow their favorite team’s games from anywhere across the U.S. in their car, at home or on their mobile device. Now they’ll have a radio channel that will deliver a 360-degree view of the league from the people who know the game best. Starting December 9, SiriusXM NBA Radio will be must-listen radio for NBA fans.”

Listeners tuning in for the first day of programming will hear The Starting Lineup, hosted by Stacey King and NY Daily News writer Frank Isola, starting at 7:00 am ET. At 12:00 pm ET, Sam Mitchell and Jason Goff will host Off the Dribble. Steve Kerr and Ian Eagle will host Long Range at 3:00 pm ET. The channel will air live coverage of the Los Angeles Clippers vs. the Philadelphia 76ers that night starting at 7:00 pm ET, followed by the Dallas Mavericks vs. the Sacramento Kings. The following night, the channel will carry live play-by-play of the Miami Heat vs. the Indiana Pacers at 7:00 pm ET. For more information on the channel and programming please visit www.siriusxm.com/nba.

SiriusXM and the NBA recently agreed to a multiyear renewal of their broadcasting agreement. SiriusXM subscribers will continue to receive a comprehensive schedule of live play-by-play that includes every regular-season game from every team, all games from the NBA Playoffs and The Finals, and select Spanish-language game broadcasts.

NBA programming is available to subscribers with XM Select, Sirius Premier or Sirius All-Access plans. Those satellite radio subscribers who add SiriusXM Internet Radio access to their subscription can also listen to NBA games on the SiriusXM Internet Radio App and online. Schedules with SiriusXM channel assignments can be found at www.siriusxm.com/nba.

Basketball Pre-Season Roundup

Brandon Knight NBA

With both the college and NBA basketball seasons closing in, it’s time to revive our regular roundup feature, where we whip around the world of basketball and see what’s happening that’s interesting right now.

First off, Lebron James did a cool Q&A on Twitter, which makes us wonder – would MJ or Magic have done something like that? Pretty sure Magic would have, but not so sure about His Airness.

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Meanwhile, the Milwaukee Bucks picked up the fourth-year options on Brandon Knight and John Henson, and if you need an explanation on how the rookie pay scale works, you might want to review our discussion from last week.

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Gerald Wallace prepares for the upcoming season by ignoring the media.

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Derrick Rose is not only ready physically for the season, he’s been slowly increasing his conversation as well, most recently saying that the only true rival for the Chigago Bulls right now are the Miami Heat.

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The Utah Jazz are pretty happy with Derrick Favors and have signed him to a four year contract extension.

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Doc Rivers is trying to control the home arena for the Clippers by covering the Lakers championship banners when the Clippers play a home game:

“Well, I didn’t look at it as the banner thing. I just look at it as putting our guys up…. Listen, I think this is our arena when we play,” Rivers said. “So I just thought it would be good that we show our guys. No disrespect to them. But when we play, it’s the Clippers’ arena as far as I know.”

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Finally, Hall of Fame center Bill Russell was arrested for carrying a loaded handgun into an airport inside of his luggage. No explanation was given but Russell has apologized for the incident.

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Harrison Barnes Warriors

By Marcus Shockley

So I’ve been writing over the past week about ways to make yourself into an elite student, not just an elite athlete, first breaking down how to math word problems and then using Lebron to explain Newton’s laws of motion.

Today I’m offering one of the most powerful tools I know to improve your schoolwork in every single subject: reading comprehension. Wait! I can already see your eyelids drooping – but trust me on this, it’s going to be quick and easy and when you are done I promise you will not only have a better way of approaching all of your subjects but you’ll also know a lot more about the NBA Rookie Pay Scale.

Let’s tip this off.

In order to explain this, let’s start by imagining that you, yes you, get a phone call today from the NBA commissioner.

It turns out there was a glitch during the draft and you were supposed to be the NBA’s 7th pick in the 2013 draft, instead of Ben McLemore (sorry, Ben). The commissioner also tries to pull a fast one on you by telling you that you won’t get more than the rookie pay scale. You are pretty sure that the commissioner and the teams don’t have your best interest at heart, and you know you don’t have an agent advising you, so you rush to look up the rookie pay scale and you look to see what the last two 7th round picks signed for their first year. You see the following table, which lists the rookie pay scale per position picked. Remember, you were picked at the 7th spot:

Pick Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4 QO
1 $4,436,900 $4,636,600 $4,836,300 26.10% 30.00%
2 $3,969,800 $4,148,500 $4,327,100 26.20% 30.50%
3 $3,565,000 $3,725,400 $3,885,800 26.40% 31.20%
4 $3,214,200 $3,358,800 $3,503,500 26.50% 31.90%
5 $2,910,600 $3,041,600 $3,172,600 26.70% 32.60%
6 $2,643,600 $2,762,600 $2,881,500 26.80% 33.40%
7 $2,413,300 $2,521,900 $2,630,500 27.00% 34.10%
8 $2,210,900 $2,310,400 $2,409,800 27.20% 34.80%
9 $2,032,300 $2,123,800 $2,215,200 27.40% 35.50%
10 $1,930,600 $2,017,500 $2,104,300 27.50% 36.20%

Then you do a little more research (a.k.a. ‘Googling’) and you find that 2012′s 7th round pick, Harrison Barnes, signed his rookie contract for $2,923,920 for the first year, while Ben McLemore signed his contract for $2,895,960.

Okay, hold up. Both Barnes and McLemore signed for more than the rookie pay listed in the table, which was $2,413,300. In fact, both are getting considerably more in their first year – about half a million dollars. So what gives?

It turns out that the rookie pay scale is not an exact amount, but a range. Contracts can be up to 120% of the amount listed and not less than 80% of that amount. So while the team who is about to offer you a deal would love for you to take the rookie pay scale, you already know that the last two draft picks got quite a bit more, and you are ready to play hardball.

Now, back to reality.

Without looking back at the scenario we talked about, can you answer any of the following questions?

1. Are rookies in the NBA paid exactly at scale?

2. Does the rookie NBA pay scale – the amount the player gets paid – change based on their draft position?

3. At which draft position were Ben McLemore and Harrison Barnes both taken?

4. Who called you on the phone to tell you there’d been an NBA draft mistake?

I’m pretty sure you could recite the answers to all of those questions without even batting an eye, and you might be thinking, ‘well, duh, of course – I just read that information a few seconds before you asked me!’.

But see, here’s the point: you didn’t instantly recall the details of the draft scenario simply because you just read it.

Actually, you recalled it because it was interesting and it most likely involved several things you want to know more about – the NBA, money, how much money someone can make playing basketball, and so on. As sports fans, we also know there is a culture of knowledge around sports, and we don’t want our buddies beating us up because they know more than we do. So you were reading with focus and interest, even if it didn’t feel like it.

I’m pretty sure that tomorrow, you could explain how the rookie pay scale works if someone asked you about it. I’d go so far that you’d remember how the rookie pay scale works if someone asks you two years from now.

Here’s the real kicker: that, in a nutshell, is reading comprehension, and even though we aren’t always trying to learn the NBA salary scale, anything we are trying to read an retain can be done in the same way. All you have to do is read whatever it is you’re trying to learn with the mindset that you want to be able to turn around and explain it to someone else.

I’m not saying it’s always a breeze, but the concept will always work. Read as though you’ll have to really explain it, and you’ll find that you will pay more attention to the subject matter, and your brain will really try to get a fundamental understanding of what you are reading as opposed to just trying to memorize it (which never works).

You can follow Marcus Shockley on Twitter.

Fab Melo Celtics

USA Today is reporting that the Dallas Mavericks have added Fab Melo, D.J. Kennedy and guard Richard McConnell for training camp as they continue to try and tweak their roster for the upcoming season.

Mello and Kennedy spent most of last season playing in the D-League, while McConnell averaged 13.6 points per game playing in Italy.

Mikhail Prokhorov Nets

You’ve probably heard about the sit-down that NBA commissioner David Stern orchestrated between the New York Knicks owner James Dolan and the Brooklyn Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov:

One source maintained Prokhorov stokes the rivalry fires because he believes the feud “is great for both teams” and insisted it is “not at all personal” against Dolan, the Garden chairman and Cablevision CEO.

So basically, Prokhorov comes into the NBA, buys one of the worst franchises, moves it to the big city and starts picking a fight with the Knicks, who supposedly own New York? That makes sense for the Nets, who have long wanted a piece of the New York pie, but have always been on the outside looking in.

Of course, the Knicks responding to it just makes it effective. So, way to continue leading the Knicks into the abyss, Dolan.