Archive for October 5th, 2011

According to multiple sources, staffers in the basketball operation – in coaching, training, scouting, equipment, media relations and so on — were presented with an option last fall, after the Heat had already signed James, Wade and Chris Bosh and was selling tickets at an unprecedented pace. To guarantee retention during a potential lockout, they had to accept the across-the-board 10 percent pay cut, from the lockout’s July 1 start through Sept. 30. On Oct. 1, that pay cut would grow to 25 percent through Mar. 31 or until the lockout ended, whichever came first. If the lockout lasted past Mar. 31, which would surely cancel the season, the reduction would rise to 50 percent.

Since Micky Arison has a reputation for treating employees well, many staffers were surprised and disappointed by the measures. While it amounts to more lost money for the likes of Pat Riley and Erik Spoelstra – both of whom did take cuts, according to two sources – it hurts those on the lower levels more. And, in the case of many, including scouts, there has been little real change in their duties, at least so far.

– Reported by Ethan J. Skolnick of the Palm Beach Post.

Manu Ginobili

An Internet report out of Italy on Tuesday indicated Spurs All-Star guard Manu Ginobili, who played several seasons in Bologna, Italy, had agreed to sign with Italian League power Virtus Bologna if Lakers star Kobe Bryant turned down a lucrative deal Virtus has offered him.

Ginobili’s agent, Herb Rudoy, on Tuesday emphatically refuted that report, writing in a text message, “Not true!” when asked if Ginobili had made any such agreement.

Bryant, who attended Tuesday’s negotiating session in New York between the NBA’s owners and players, was non-committal about his offer from Virtus Bologna.

– Reported by Mike Monroe of the San Antonio Express News blog

LeBron James

So far this season the Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary football team has been ready for anything that came their way on the football field, that was until Tuesday.

Members of the state’s third ranked Division III team were shocked when two-time NBA MVP LeBron James showed up for practice wearing full pads and took part in the late afternoon session.

“I not gonna lie, it was pretty cool to see him out there,” said starting quarterback Kevin Besser.

James borrowed the equipment and jersey of #13 Clayton Uecker, who did not practice today due to injury. Uecker is also the tallest player on the SVSM roster at 6′5″.

SVSM running back Sae’Von Fitzgerald said James looked just like every other member of the team with a helmet on.

– Reported by Dan Jovic of Fox 8 Cleveland

Enes Kanter

Jazz rookie center Enes Kanter has returned to the United States and resumed workouts with trainer Tim Grover in Chicago. Grover worked out Kanter last spring during predraft sessions. Utah then selected the Turkey native with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft.

Kanter plans to remain in Chicago for the immediate future, keeping an eye on the progress of the NBA lockout. Contract offers from Chinese professional teams are off the table.

“The China thing, what happened is … Enes’ priority is the NBA, as an NBA player,” said Max Ergul, Kanter’s agent. “Once [China] came up with that rule change — we thought they could’ve bent it around — it’s just not happening. They’re very stern; they don’t want a player coming and leaving. I’m not going to put my signature on something that might force him to stay there for a whole season.”

– Reported by Brian T. Smith of the Salt Lake Tribune

Dirk Nowitzki

Had there been no lockout or at least a quick solution, the Mavs might have been making plans to spend the afternoon of Oct. 21 at the White House for their championship visit. The Mavs were supposed to be Washington D.C. that night to face the Wizards in a preseason game. Of course, as the lockout dragged on there were no plans made for the big event for obvious reasons.

It certainly would be a shame if the lockout ruined any chance for the Mavs to pose with President Obama. The regular-season schedule has the Mavs playing at the Wizards on Jan. 10, the first night of a scheduled back-to-back that finishes in Boston.

– Reported by Jeff Caplan of ESPN Dallas

Jamario Moon

Former Toronto Raptors Forward Jamario Moon is taking full advantage of the NBA Lockout.

Moon a four-year NBA veteran with stints with the Raptors, Cavs, Heat and Clippers has agreed to join the Quebec Kebs of the National Basketball League of Canada.

“Just his presence will benefit our team,” said Kebs coach Robert Spon. “I think that a player like Jamario join the Kebs is good not only for ourselves but for our league.”

Moon considered a high flyer and a solid defender has averaged 6.4 points per game and 4.3 rebounds in 278 career games.

– Reported by BasketballBuzz.ca

Adidas—the world’s second-largest sporting goods brand after Nike—is in the fifth year of a reported $400 million, 11-year deal to be the NBA’s official uniform and apparel supplier.

That means Adidas pays the league an average of $36 million for the rights to design, manufacture and market all league apparel, including game uniforms.

The deal was expanded in March 2010 when the NBA granted Adidas exclusive rights to all apparel in Europe.

“Clearly, Adidas has much more direct loss in the sense that the NBA apparel license would be basically dormant” if a season was lost, said John Horan, publisher of Sporting Goods Intelligence, an industry news and research company.

It’s unclear whether Adidas’ contract with the league offers any contingency plans in the event of a work stoppage.

– Reported by Erik Siemers of the Portland Business Journal

Tony Parker

Tony Parker will play with a French team during the NBA lockout, earning a mere $1,995 per month despite his star power on and off the basketball court.

ASVEL, which is based in Villeurbanne, near Lyon in southeast France, announced on Wednesday that Parker will play for them.

Parker told the sports daily L’Equipe that the decision is “logical.” He is vice president of the club and wants to help it advance.

– Reported by the AP

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