Archive for September 9th, 2011

Kenyon Martin weighing China offers

Kenyon Martin

Benjamin Hochman of the Denver Post reports:

A third free agent who played for the Nuggets last year is in serious talks to play in China.

Kenyon Martin has received significant interest from two professional teams in the Chinese Basketball Association, which would make him the highest-paid player in the history of that league, a source said today.

The CBA will not allow players contract opt-outs should the NBA season begins before the CBA’s season ends. The NBA is currently in a labor lockout.

The longtime Nuggets power forward is currently weighing his options. If he signed with a team he would make more than the reported $3 million that Nuggets teammate J.R. Smith would make for a Chinese team, the source said.

HollywoodReporter reports:

lebron james

Lionsgate has been hit with a quirky copyright infringement lawsuit over a piece of music used in documentary More Than A Game, which chronicles basketball superstar LeBron James’ rise during his high school days in Ohio.

The lawsuit filed Tuesday in Georgia federal court comes from Mason Hall, a songwriter who says he authored a copyrighted composition entitled, “We Ready.”

Hall is suing Lionsgate as well as what may or may not be a LeBron James label at Interscope Records (”Interscope Lebron LLC”) for using his composition in the film without license.

Before this lawsuit even touches upon the question of fair use, the plaintiff’s first task may be convincing a judge that the song in question is really his.

The AP reports:

A man has been sentenced to 97 years in prison for shooting Memphis Grizzlies guard Antonio Burks.

Criminal Court Judge Mark Ward on Thursday sentenced 20-year-old Darquan Lynneral Swift for the July 2009 shooting and attempted robbery during a dice game behind a vacant duplex. Burks, who played at the University of Memphis, and another man were critically injured and several others were robbed.

Rick Welts will leave his position as President & CEO of the Phoenix Suns effective September 15, announced today by Welts and Suns Managing Partner, Robert Sarver. Sarver also announced that the Suns business organization will report to General Counsel, Jason Rowley, as the team launches a national search for the position of President. Lon Babby remains the President of Basketball Operations.

Welts joined the Suns in 2002 as President and had the additional title of CEO the past two seasons. Rowley came to the Suns in 2008 as General Counsel.

“I’m at a point in my life where my focus is to align my personal and professional life in a way I’ve never been able to achieve before,” said Welts. “The most important people in my personal life are not in Phoenix, and the Suns have been completely understanding and supportive of my request to leave in advance of the end of my contract.”

“My nine-plus years at the Suns have been incredibly rewarding thanks to a group of employees second to none in professional sports and the support of great ownership,” Welts continued. “The Suns organization has always been a special place to work, and I leave knowing that will continue to be true in the future.”

Sarver said, “The entire Suns organization thanks Rick for his tireless work on behalf of the Suns. While he will be missed, we understand his desire to relocate outside of Arizona for personal reasons. We have a very talented executive team including Jason Rowley, whose familiarity with the Suns organization will allow him to manage the business operations seamlessly as we conduct our search for a new team president. Our search will include both internal and external candidates.”

Welts has worked in the NBA virtually his entire life, starting as a ball kid with the Seattle Supersonics in 1967 and including a 17-year stint at the NBA League Office in New York City, where he left in 1999 as Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer.

In a front-page New York Times story on May 16 of this year, Welts revealed he was gay, the most senior professional sports executive ever to take that step.

“The response from fans, co-workers, players and ownership of the Suns to my announcement has been the most gratifying experience of my life, one for which I will forever be grateful,” added Welts.

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