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Dwight Howard traded to the Los Angeles Lakers

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You read it people, Dwight Howard got what he wanted.

For those people already billing the Miami Heat to re-peat in the 2012-13 NBA basketball season, you better think again because after Dwight Howard was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers, all of a sudden, the Heat’s trio don’t mean squat anymore.

It took four teams, 11 other players, five draft picks and countless rounds of talks over many months, but finally, the Magic decided the time was right to start over without Dwight Howard, the NBA’s best center and end a saga that has dogged the franchise for what seems like an eternity.

Howard is off to play alongside Kobe Bryant in Los Angeles, after a megadeal was worked out Thursday and completed Friday after the NBA reviewed and approved the particulars. As far as the other headliners involved, Andrew Bynum leaves the Lakers for Philadelphia and Andre Iguodala is heading to Denver. ”Are we taking a step back? Absolutely, we are,” Orlando Magic general manager Rob Hennigan said. ”But we’re taking a step back with a vision.”

The Los Angeles Lakers were set to introduce Howard later Friday…

Read More » Dwight Howard traded to the Los Angeles Lakers

U.S. Olympic Team not as good as hyped?

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Yeah, after a couple of exhibition games, that is certainly the case.

The U.S. Olympic men’s basketball team wore the throwback uniforms of the 1992 Dream Team on Sunday. The Americans’ play was much different. Kevin Durant scored 27 points and the United States held on for a narrow 86-80 victory over Argentina in an exhibition game.

The Americans got off to a hot start but their lead was down to four with 2:50 left after Manu Ginobili’s three-point play. But Kevin Durant and Chris Paul hit big 3-pointers as the U.S. won after being pushed for the second time in its four exhibition games.

Kobe Bryant added 18 points and LeBron James 15 for the U.S., which beat Brazil 80-69 in a similarly rugged game last week in Washington. Ginobili scored 23 points, Carlos Delfino had 15 and Luis Scola 14 for Argentina.

Back in Barcelona, where the Dream Team won gold 20 years earlier, the U.S. players wore that team’s throwback uniforms. The white uniforms with red and blue along the side and USA in the middle also had the letters “CD” in gold on the left shoulder in honor of coach Chuck Daly, the Dream Team coach who died in 2009.

Otherwise, the Americans are more interested in building for…

Read More » U.S. Olympic Team not as good as hyped?

NBA Jerseys to have Advertisement Logos

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Yeah, I guess these jerseys will be a little heavier in the next couple of seasons.

Way back in March, BDL’s Kelly Dwyer wrote a post detailing the NBA’s interest in putting advertisements on their NBA jerseys. He spoke for all of us here in noting that the idea is crass and distasteful to anyone more focused on the sport of basketball itself than on the bottom lines of multinational conglomerates and their partners within the league.

Sadly, jersey sponsorships are very much a step in the continued businessification of the sports world, and the time to make a meaningful stand against the movement was probably 20 years ago when every arena in the world traded its municipal name for that of a corporation. Some battles are lost well before they begin.

It is now time to get even more used to the idea of ads on jerseys, because it could be only a season or two away. At a meeting of the NBA’s Board of Governors on Thursday, the owners discussed how best to implement these sponsorships. After the meeting, deputy commissioner Adam Silver gave a sense of their plans at a press conference.

NBA jerseys almost certainly will feature small sponsorship patches on the shoulder area in two years, a move that league officials estimate could generate $100 million in revenues per season.

“I think it’s fair to say that our teams were excited about…

Read More » NBA Jerseys to have Advertisement Logos

 

2012 Olympic Team can kick ’92 Dream Team’s Asses

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And that folks is according to Kobe Bryant.

Could the current U.S. men’s Olympic basketball team heading to the 2012 London Olympic Games beat the 1992 Dream Team? It’s the inevitable question every Olympics.

Team chairman Jerry Colangelo already gave a thought to it when he said there was a “fair comparison” between both squads. But that doesn’t answer the question: Can this current group of guys heading to London score more points than arguably the greatest team ever assembled in a hypothetical, organized game of basketball?

Naturally, Kobe Bryant thinks it can.


“It’d be a tough one, but I think we’d pull it out,” the Team USA guard told reporters during practice on Monday.


Kobe conceded that the Michael Jordan-led Dream Team, which was comprised of NBA legends and Christian Laettner, would have the size advantage.

But where the 2012 squad lacks in size, it makes up with athleticism. And lots of it. Even though the current team is missing some of its best players due to injury, it’s still expected to dominate the Olympic competition because of its unmatched versatility and athleticism.

And isn’t the argument when comparing teams from different eras that teams from today have an advantage because they’re vastly more athletic? Kobe also pointed out that…

Read More » 2012 Olympic Team can kick ’92 Dream Team’s Asses

Melo says Knicks can match ridiculous Lin deal

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Looks like somebody is jealous.

Carmelo Anthony said Sunday it’s up to the New York Knicks to decide if they want to match the ”ridiculous contract” that the Houston Rockets have offered Jeremy Lin for the 2012-13 NBA basketball season.

It’s uncertain if they will now after agreeing to a sign-and-trade deal with Portland to bring point guard Raymond Felton back to the New York Knicks, after already signing Jason Kidd.

The Knicks have repeatedly said they would match any offer for Jeremy Lin, but the Rockets made it difficult with a three-year, $25 million deal that’s worth about $15 million in the third year. New York has until 11:59 p.m. EDT on Tuesday to match the offer sheet for the restricted free agent.

Asked if he could envision Lin being with the Knicks next season, Carmelo Anthony said: ”At this point there’s a lot going on. I stay away from that part right now. I would love to see him back, but I think he has to do what’s best for him right now.”

Anthony, speaking before practice with the U.S. Olympic team, was then reminded it’s up to the Knicks, not Lin, to decide whether he stays or goes. ”It’s not up to me,” Anthony said with a laugh. ”It’s up to the organization to say they want to match that ridiculous contract that’s out there.”

Lin had a sensational run after becoming the Knicks’ starter in…

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Dallas Mavericks acquire Elton Brand

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They needed to, after losing both Jason Kidd and Jason Terry to free agency.

Elton Brand thought he was going in for a harmless offseason workout at the Philadelphia 76ers‘ practice facility. Instead, he got his walking papers. Summoned to a meeting by team president Rod Thorn, Brand learned earlier this month the Sixers would use their one-time amnesty provision in the new CBA to let him go. The move means the $18.1 million Brand is owed in the final season of his five-year deal will not count against the salary cap for Philadelphia.

The two-time All-Star forward wouldn’t stay unemployed for long. The Dallas Mavericks won the bidding Friday to obtain Brand off waivers, the latest in a series of moves to build their roster after a frustrating start in free agency.

”I’m pretty happy with it,” Elton Brand said by phone Friday night. ”I think it can be good for me.” Dallas also completed a one-year deal with 7-foot center Chris Kaman, who tweeted Wednesday that he had reached an agreement with the Mavericks. The Sixers also continued to overhaul their roster when they agreed to a $6 million, two-year contract with former No. 1 overall draft pick Kwame Brown.

A year after winning their first NBA title, the Mavericks couldn’t persuade Deron Williams to come play for his hometown team. Williams stayed with the Nets for their move to Brooklyn and signed his new deal early Wednesday, the first day new deals could be…

Read More » Dallas Mavericks acquire Elton Brand

LeBron James is ready for the 2012 London Olympics

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LeBron James admits he’s tired.

The NBA’s compressed season after the lockout followed by the Miami Heat’s playoff run to the championship have worn on him, and he barely had a week off before reporting to Team USA’s Olympic training camp for the 2012 London Olympics.

But rest? LeBron James isn’t thinking about getting rest. He’s focused only on getting his second gold medal in London.

“Tomorrow is not promised, man, and this opportunity right here is not guaranteed each and every year,” LeBron said. “I got to live in the moment. I can’t say, ‘If I’m going to play now, what will happen to me next year?’ I’m not worried about that right now.”

This is LeBron’s third Olympics. He helped Team USA win the gold in 2008 in Beijing. His Heat teammates Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh withdrew from Team USA after the NBA Finals, citing injuries. After winning his third MVP award and carrying the Heat through much of the playoffs, James could have been forgiven for also declining to play in London.

USA Basketball executive director Jerry Colangelo said he never got a call from James’ representatives saying he might withdraw. And Colangelo never worried he would. “I love the game. I love basketball,” James said. “I made a commitment to be a part of this team and I’m fulfilling that.”

James averaged 37.5 minutes during the…

Read More » LeBron James is ready for the 2012 London Olympics

NY Knicks confident that Jeremy Lin will stay

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Jeremy Lin will be staying put, in New York and as the Knicks’ starting point guard.

At least that’s what the NY Knicks feel heading to the 2012-13 NBA basketball season. Coach Mike Woodson repeated Wednesday that Lin will ”absolutely” be back next season and will enter training camp as the starter at his position, even with the Knicks agreeing to a deal with veteran Jason Kidd.

Jeremy Lin has agreed to sign an offer sheet with the Houston Rockets for about $28 million over four years. The Knicks have said all along they planned to match any offer for their restricted free agent, and Woodson said the Knicks ”never once” blinked at knowing they would have to pay that figure.

The offer sheet still hasn’t been signed and sent to the New York Knicks, who would then have three days to match, so Woodson said he couldn’t comment much about it, but added that ”Jeremy Lin has always been a big part of what we we’re trying to do as we move forward with our franchise.”

Lin took to his Twitter page Wednesday to deny a report that he was unhappy with the Knicks for not signing him right away and forcing him to get another offer first. He earned the starting spot in February and emerged as a breakout star before his season was cut short by surgery to repair torn knee cartilage. Woodson said Lin would go into training camp as the starter because he doesn’t believe players should lose their spots because of injury, and that he would benefit from playing with Kidd.

”Jason’s a veteran guy that brings leadership and…”

Read More » NY Knicks confident that Jeremy Lin will stay

Brooklyn Nets won’t sign Dwight Howard

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Well, at least that’s what it appears to be as of the moment.

The Brooklyn Nets have signed center Brook Lopez on a four-year, $61 million contract extension, effectively ending their pursuit of Orlando Magic All-Star Dwight Howard for the 2012-13 NBA basketball season.

Once Brook Lopez – the centerpiece of a package the Nets offered the Magic – signed his contract Wednesday it assured that he can’t be traded until Jan. 15 under NBA rules.

Rob Hennigan, general manager of the Orlando Magic, indicated earlier Wednesday that the franchise was unlikely to strike a deal with Brooklyn – the only team with which Dwight Howard has said he’d sign a long-term extension. “As currently constructed,” Hennigan said of talks with the Nets, “there’s not a whole lot there.”

Orlando has engaged Houston in trade talks and is still holding dialogue with the Los Angeles Lakers, but Hennigan didn’t sound to be in a rush to make a deal. After a three-team deal with the Cleveland Cavaliers fell apart this week for Dwight Howard, the Nets unsuccessfully scrambled to find a way to do a trade directly with Orlando, or perhaps even recruit additional teams at this late stage in the Lopez talks, sources said.

Hennigan said he spoke with Howard on Wednesday and didn’t rule out the chance Howard could still be on the Magic’s roster when training camp begins.

Nets president Billy King made an improved offer on…

Read More » Brooklyn Nets won’t sign Dwight Howard

Ray Allen leaves Boston to join the Miami Heat

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Ray Allen will take less money for a chance at another NBA championship.

Ray Allen told the Miami Heat on Friday night that he intends to accept their contract offer and leave Boston after five seasons heading to the 2012-13 NBA basketball season, even though the Celtics could pay him about twice as much as the reigning NBA champions will be able to next season. Miami could only offer Allen the mini mid-level, worth about $3 million a year.

Miami Heat owner Micky Arison tweeted the news just after 9:30 p.m., or about 2:30 a.m. Saturday in Europe, where Arison has been for several days. ”I was just woken up with great news,” Arison wrote. ”Welcome to the family.” Arison ended the tweet by making mention of Allen’s jersey No. 20, and didn’t mention the NBA’s leading 3-point shooter by name.

A person briefed on details of the decision told The Associated Press that Arison got the word from Heat President Pat Riley, who made Ray Allen the team’s top free-agent priority – especially in recent days. Allen, who will be 37 this month, arrived in Miami on Thursday for a visit, went to dinner with Riley, coach Erik Spoelstra, team executive Alonzo Mourning and others Thursday night, then left Friday to presumably decide his future.

Hours later, the choice was made. Allen’s agent, James Tanner, confirmed the decision to the AP not long after Arison’s tweet. Allen, who made a career-best 45 percent of his 3-point attempts this past season cannot officially sign until Wednesday because of the league’s moratorium.

Allen becomes the latest player to be sold by Riley on…

Read More » Ray Allen leaves Boston to join the Miami Heat



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