Report: Kevin Johnson no longer part of search for new head of players’ union, vote expected Monday

wpid kevin johnson1 Report: Kevin Johnson no longer part of search for new head of players’ union, vote expected Monday

Kevin Johnson worked wonders to help the city of Sacramento retain the Kings, when the team’s former owners seemed dead set on selling to a group that would relocate the franchise to Seattle.

Johnson was enlisted to try to achieve similar success in searching for a new head of the union for the players, after Billy Hunter was cut loose following questionable dealings and even more curious financial decisions.

But Johnson is out now, apparently, and the process is set to move forward without him.

From Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:

In email, Kevin Johnson has informed agents he’s no longer part of the search process for a new NBPA executive director, Yahoo has learned.

Johnson had been tasked with heading search committee for a new NBPA executive director, but terse email reveals committee is out of process

Sources had told Yahoo Sports in past 48 hours that are four finalists in process for new the NBPA executive director.

Wrote Kevin Johnson in email to agents: “While we’d hoped to help bring this to completion, it’s clear that won’t be possible.”

NBPA exec. committee wants to lead process toward hiring, leaving Johnson’s group feeling cast aside, sources say. And so it goes in NBPA.

3 NBPA exec. director candidates will make 45 minute presentations to players at union meeting Monday in Las Vegas — then a vote to elect.

What’s important here isn’t necessarily who ends up getting the job. It’s that the dysfunction in the union continues.

The players need more involvement for when it’s time to renegotiate the collective bargaining agreement, which is one of the reasons that Chris Paul agreed to take the role of president which had previously been given to players who had far less on-court responsibilities.

The stars need to step up in order to make a true stand against the owners, but they can’t do it alone. They need competent leadership in place, and by the powers that be forcing Johnson out before the process is complete, you have to wonder if they’ll ultimately make the wisest of decisions.

Tags: Chris Paul, Los Angeles Clippers

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28

07 2014

Joakim Noah is happy for LeBron, but hopes Bulls ‘can kick his a– as many times as possible’

wpid 474891551 e14063297554911 Joakim Noah is happy for LeBron, but hopes Bulls ‘can kick his a– as many times as possible’ Getty Images

Joakim Noah once referred to themHeat as being “Hollywood as hell” after losing to them in the 2011 playoffs, so he probably wasn’t all that broken up about LeBron James leaving Miami to return to the Cavaliers this summer.

But no matter where LeBron plays (or who the perceived favorites in the East might be), Noah is always ready to welcome the challenge of competing against him.

From K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune:

“I’m happy for LeBron James,” Noah said Friday. “He gets to go home. People are happy over there. But I really hope that we can kick his ass as many times as possible.”

Noah spoke at an event by his Noah’s Arc Foundation on the city’s West Side. And even with James moving from the Miami Heat to the Cleveland Cavaliers, Noah is fired up about the Bulls’ potential.

“Even when we sucked, I always felt like we had championship aspirations,” he said. “I don’t go into a game thinking we’re going to lose. Ever. I don’t care who we play against. But obviously, a lot of things need to go your way to win a championship. You have to be lucky. The chemistry has to be great.

“We feel like we’ve dealt with a lot of adversity. I think that that adversity will help us in the long run. Our team is hungry. Our team is working hours in the middle of the summer, guys are working out every day. Only time will tell. But it’s exciting.”

The Bulls added Pau Gasol and Nikola Mirotic to the roster, and drafted a rookie shooter in Doug McDermott who should be able to contribute immediately as part of the rotation — all legitimate reasons for Noah to be excited about the upcoming season.

The biggest piece that has yet to settle is Kevin Love, of course, who the Bulls and the Cavaliers are both targeting by putting together offers to try to strike a deal in a trade with Minnesota.

Noah’s comments won’t be bulletin board material in Cleveland, nor should they be. It’s refreshing to hear players speak in phrases that aren’t tiresome platitudes, and we can only hope that more of them choose to do the same once they realize that they’re only providing entertainment to the fans, and not enraging their competition by doing so.

Tags: Chicago Bulls, Cleveland Cavaliers, Doug McDermott, Joakim Noah, Kevin Love, LeBron James, Minnesota Timberwolves, Pau Gasol

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28

07 2014

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28

07 2014

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28

07 2014

LeBron James cheers on his son at AAU game in Lexington (VIDEO)

LeBron James visited Lexington, Kentucky over the weekend to watch is son compete in some AAU basketball. And by the looks of things, the game’s greatest living player tried his best to act like nothing more than a typical father excited to see his kid play.

The highlight comes at the 18-second mark, when LeBron James Jr. takes the ball on a dribble drive, and gets all the way to the basket for the and-1 finish. LeBron himself couldn’t have been happier, and at the fourth grade level, that’s about the best thing he could have hoped to see.

[via the Akron Beacon Journal]

Tags: Cleveland Cavaliers, LeBron James

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28

07 2014

Report: Cavaliers trying to acquire other players to put in Kevin Love trade

wpid 459068085 Report: Cavaliers trying to acquire other players to put in Kevin Love trade Getty Images

The deal reportedly on the table from Cleveland for Kevin Love is No. 1 picks Andrew Wiggins, last year’s No. 1 pick Anthony Bennett (who looked good at Summer League) plus one or two first round picks.

If that was enough the deal would be done. Minnesota is trying to leverage Cleveland with Chicago and maybe Golden State (although the Warriors are not playing along) to get as much as they can.

Cleveland is looking around the league to get more parts to put in a deal, specifically non-guaranteed contracts, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.

The Cleveland Cavaliers are pursuing trade components to include as part of a package with Minnesota to acquire All-Star forward Kevin Love, league sources told Yahoo Sports….

The Cavaliers are working to obtain non-guaranteed contracts that could be a part of a package for Love, allowing the Cavaliers to deliver players that could be released immediately upon completion of a deal, sources said. This would give Minnesota salary-cap relief as part of a trade.

Those other pieces are likely to add Kevin Martin to the deal. Minnesota has wanted to dump Martin and his salary (three years, $21.3 million left on his deal) in any Love deal, and frankly Martin could provide some shooting the Cavs could use. To balance that out the Cavs need some non-guaranteed contracts.

Cleveland is apparently confident that they are close and can land a deal. That is as much about the lack of other great options out there for Minnesota — Chicago wants in with a deal based around Taj Gibson, and Denver is still out there as the best of the bad options for Minnesota (and that deal will be there, no reason for Minnesota to rush and take any of them).

[MORE: Coach K would trade Andrew Wiggins for Kevin Love with 'not one second of hesitancy']

The other part of all this: Will Kevin Love opt in for Cleveland? It’s what Chris Paul did for the Clippers, it is not something Dwight Howard did for the Lakers. Yes, Love reportedly would want to stay with LeBron in Cleveland, but situations and attitudes can change and the Cavs would be wise to get that one extra year guaranteed (plus Love could become a free agent in 2016 when the max salary will skyrocket with the new TV deal).

Still, it feels like a deal with get done with the Cavaliers. Eventually.

Tags: Andrew Wiggins, Anthony Bennett, Chicago Bulls, Chris Paul, Cleveland Cavaliers, Dwight Howard, Houston Rockets, Kevin Love, Kevin Martin, Los Angeles Clippers, Minnesota Timberwolves, Taj Gibson

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28

07 2014

Glen Rice Jr. named Las Vegas Summer League MVP, leads All Summer League team

wpid 4521250641 Glen Rice Jr. named Las Vegas Summer League MVP, leads All Summer League team Getty Images

LAS VEGAS — Glen Rice Jr. was filling it up all Las Vegas Summer League.

He and Washington Wizards teammate Otto Porter played well off each other, with Porter handling some of the shot creation and that set Rice up to just shoot and shoot — he averaged 25 points a game and had been shooting better than 50 percent until a rough last outing against the Kings (he finished at 46.9 percent). Rice is more of an attacking/slashing player than his father (one of the game’s great shooters) but he knows how to get buckets.

That was enough to make him the Summer League MVP.

It was well deserved as the guy who got in just 11 games for the Wizards last year made a case this summer that he should be allowed to back up Bradley Beal and be a scorer off the bench in Washington, maybe taking a few minutes away from Martell Webster.

Rice also made the All Summer League first team:

Guard: Glen Rice Jr. (Wizards)
Guard: Tony Snell (Bulls)
Forward: Otto Porter (Wizards)
Forward: Doug McDermott (Bulls)
Center: Donatas Motiejunas (Rockets)

Notice that the list has four second or third year players and just one rookie — even with talent it takes a while to adjust to the NBA game.

The All Summer League second team:

Guard: Russ Smith (Pelicans)
Guard: Tim Hardaway Jr. (Knicks)
Forward: T.J. Warren (Suns)
Forward: Jordan McRae (Sixers)
Center: Rudy Gobert (Jazz)

Tags: Bradley Beal, Chicago Bulls, Donatas Motiejunas, Doug McDermott, Houston Rockets, Jordan McRae, Martell Webster, New Orleans Pelicans, New York Knicks, Otto Porter, Philadelphia 76ers, Phoenix Suns, Rudy Gobert, Russ Smith, T.J. Warren, Tim Hardaway Jr., Tony Snell, Utah Jazz, Washington Wizards

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27

07 2014

Report: Lakers say ‘no done deal’ with Byron Scott

wpid byron scott1 e1352042407417 Report: Lakers say ‘no done deal’ with Byron Scott

A report emerged late Saturday from an extremely reliable reporter that the Lakers had agreed to terms with Byron Scott to be the team’s next head coach.

Scott himself certainly acted as though the deal was done, too.

“It feels fantastic,” he told Jim Hill of KCBS-TV. “This is a dream come true. I always wanted to coach the Lakers, especially when I got to coaching. It’s so unreal. I have to thank [general manager] Mitch [Kupchak], Jeanie and Jim Buss to give me this opportunity.”

But there’s one minor problem with all of this: the Lakers say a deal hasn’t yet been reached.

From Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times:

The Lakers continued to negotiate with Byron Scott to be their coach but had not reached an official agreement as of Saturday evening, according to a person familiar with the situation.

The Lakers were quick to downplay an ESPN.com report that they had given Scott a four-year, $17-million deal with a team option for the fourth year.

“There is no done deal,” said a person who requested anonymity because of the fluidity of the situation.

So, where do we go from here? Likely to a point where the deal becomes official sometime soon.

The Lakers have targeted Scott all along, even though they’ve done so for reasons that seem difficult to justify. Still, it’s been tunnel vision with Scott for months now — despite the team having talks with other more qualified candidates.

If in fact things aren’t very near to the finish line where the negotiations are concerned, it won’t be a great start with Scott in his new role, confirming something to the media that hasn’t yet happened. But more than likely, the deal will be formally announced in the next 24-48 hours, and the terms will closely resemble those in the original report.

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27

07 2014

Report: Kevin Johnson no longer part of search for new head of players’ union, vote expected Monday

wpid kevin johnson Report: Kevin Johnson no longer part of search for new head of players’ union, vote expected Monday

Kevin Johnson worked wonders to help the city of Sacramento retain the Kings, when the team’s former owners seemed dead set on selling to a group that would relocate the franchise to Seattle.

Johnson was enlisted to try to achieve similar success in searching for a new head of the union for the players, after Billy Hunter was cut loose following questionable dealings and even more curious financial decisions.

But Johnson is out now, apparently, and the process is set to move forward without him.

From Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:

In email, Kevin Johnson has informed agents he’s no longer part of the search process for a new NBPA executive director, Yahoo has learned.

Johnson had been tasked with heading search committee for a new NBPA executive director, but terse email reveals committee is out of process

Sources had told Yahoo Sports in past 48 hours that are four finalists in process for new the NBPA executive director.

Wrote Kevin Johnson in email to agents: “While we’d hoped to help bring this to completion, it’s clear that won’t be possible.”

NBPA exec. committee wants to lead process toward hiring, leaving Johnson’s group feeling cast aside, sources say. And so it goes in NBPA.

3 NBPA exec. director candidates will make 45 minute presentations to players at union meeting Monday in Las Vegas — then a vote to elect.

What’s important here isn’t necessarily who ends up getting the job. It’s that the dysfunction in the union continues.

The players need more involvement for when it’s time to renegotiate the collective bargaining agreement, which is one of the reasons that Chris Paul agreed to take the role of president which had previously been given to players who had far less on-court responsibilities.

The stars need to step up in order to make a true stand against the owners, but they can’t do it alone. They need competent leadership in place, and by the powers that be forcing Johnson out before the process is complete, you have to wonder if they’ll ultimately make the wisest of decisions.

Tags: Chris Paul, Los Angeles Clippers

Source

27

07 2014

Report: NBA considering week-long break for All-Star Game next year

 Report: NBA considering week long break for All Star Game next year NBA All-Star James, Anthony, Wade, Bosh and Irving look up at the clock in the fourth quarter of the NBA All-Star basketball game in Houston

This is something a lot of players had requested. Commissioner Adam Silver said last All-Star Break that players had told him they wanted more time off around the All-Star Game.

For guys going to the All-Star Game there is not much of a break — a game Wednesday or maybe Thursday, they fly straight to the host city and have obligations and events from Friday through Sunday, then they are back on the court the next Tuesday. They rightfully say they don’t get much rest. As for guys not in the All-Star game who are supposed to get five days off (but it’s really four thanks to a mandated practice day)… who doesn’t want more vacation time?

Players had requested a week-long All-Star break and they may get it starting next season in New York, reports Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel.

The NBA is poised to turn the All-Star break into All-Star week this coming season, the Sun Sentinel has learned, providing teams with a full week off at midseason.

The move, which would give players seven days off between games in mid-February, would result in an increase of one or two back-to-back sets per team for the coming season, a party familiar with the process said.

“That’s the model they’re using right now while they’re filling in the schedule,” an NBA source familiar with the process told the Sun Sentinel Friday. “Could they go back and use some of those dates if needed? That’s possible. But the week off looks like what’s going to happen.”

The NBA’s schedule is supposed to be released in August, with move of LeBron James to Cleveland forcing the league’s television partners to reconsider what would be the marquee games on what days. A week off in the middle also would force some shifts in the calendar.

I’m good with this week off. On the court, it means more time off to rest injuries, plus tired legs and minds, which should mean a higher level of play to follow.

Plus, that week we’re all talking about the trade deadline anyway. It’s not like the NBA is going to be out of the news cycle.

However, this is not the kind of concession Adam Silver and the owners are going to just give the players for free. This is the kind of thing that comes up in collective bargaining when Silver starts talking about having a 20-year-old age limit (or some other priority of Silver and the owners). There’s no such thing as a free week off.

Tags: Cleveland Cavaliers, LeBron James

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07 2014



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