Los Angeles Lakers Kobe Bryant arrives for a news conference announcing the players rejection of the league’s latest offer on Monday and the process to begin disbandand the union in New York November 14, 2011. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL BUSINESS EMPLOYMENT TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)


By Marcus Shockley

Julius Erving, a.k.a. “Dr. J” to those of us who remember his silky moves and ability to defy gravity on the way to the hoop, has managed to secure a nice bonus on some of his memorabilia, netting $3.5 million at a recent auction:

Southern California-based SCP Auctions reports more than 140 items from Julius Erving’s personal collection sold for a record $3.5 million. The auction ran from October until Sunday.
Among the highlights: His 1974 New Jersey Nets ABA championship ring sold for $460,471; 1983 Philadelphia 76ers championship rings sold for $244,240; 1983 All-Star game MVP trophy ($115,242); final game-worn jersey from May 3, 1987 ($88,826); and 1974-75 ABA MVP trophy ($173,10)

Meanwhile, as allegations of child abuse surfaced at Syracuse, the fallout has already begun. Isaiah Whitehead (SG, 6’2″, 2014) has dropped Syracuse from his recruiting list, and it isn’t coincidence, as his mother cited the recent stories as the reason for eliminating the Orange:

[…]in light of the investigation of Syracuse men’s basketball assistant coach Bernie Fine, the nationally ranked sophomore won’t be attending the school, his mother, Ericka Rambert, said. Fine has been accused of allegedly molesting two former ball boys, allegations that Fine and longtime Orange coach Jim Boeheim vehemently deny.

Some say that the offense run by D-III Grinell is designed to score as many points as possible while barely playing a whiff of defense, but even the 5-man substitution pattern makes it hard to account for Grinnell’s Griffin Lentsch, who scored 89 points in a win over Principia, breaking the D-III single game record:

Lentsch shot 27-for-55 from the floor, including 15-for-33 from 3-point range. He was 20-for-22 from the foul line. He played 36 minutes.

You might think launching 55 shots, including a whopping 33 from behind the three-point arc, makes Lentsch a ballhog. All I can think of is five guys on Principia in the huddle who are all thinking ‘whose man is that, anyway?’.

Unsurprisingly, the NBA players rejected the owner’s latest offer, leaving the NBA season in more doubt than ever.

Well, not to me. I predicted this over a year ago, but, ahem.

This has also led to a rash of new activity with foreign teams, as NBA players suddenly are trying to grab up the few remaining roster spots. The common misconception is that NBA players can simply get a contract with a team overseas, and normally it would be pretty easy if it wasn’t for the fact that they are competing with 400 other NBA players at the same time. The hard truth is that only a select few NBA players will get offers, such as Tyson Chandler, who was just offered by Zhejiang Guangsha in China.

Even more of a reality is that there are three things that have been apparent for some time:

Tyson Chandler
Photo Credit: Keith Allison

* The NBA players are not going to be able to continue to keep the business model they’ve grown accustomed to in place;

* The NBA player representation is not up to par;

* The NBA owners, this time around, are not the same addle-headed group that agreed to the last contract.

Younger fans may not be aware of this, but for many years, losing money while owning an NBA team was considered how business was done. Inexplicably for owners in other sports, teams in the NBA could be bought, lose money for several years, and then sold at a profit to the next billionaire.

Those days are over.

Back in November of 2010, I cited the fact that the last straw for the owners was the Summer of Lebron, and how it really riled the already angry ownership. It’s interesting how many people want to compare Lebron to Jordan (Lebron being merely the latest, actually), but Jordan has one major accomplishment in his career that gets overlooked by most. Before Jordan, players made really great money. After Jordan, players made gargantuan money.

Micheal Jordan revolutionized sports, not just basketball, in that everything we see in place today – the massive contract of A-Rod, the major endorsement deals of college players as soon as they get drafted – all started with Jordan.

After Jordan, players made significantly more. After Lebron, players (at least NBA players) will make significantly less. An interesting juxtaposition, although I doubt you’ll see it on SportsCenter.

Finally, several recruiting outlets are reporting that Anrio Adams (PG/SG, 6’3″, 2012) has qualified and has committed to Kansas, joining this year’s Jayhawk recruiting class.