LeBron James takes his talents to Liverpool

lebron james

LeBron James took his talents to Liverpool on Friday—and finally got his hands on a championship trophy.

The Miami Heat star toured the Premier League club’s facilities for the first time since becoming a shareholder of the 18-time English champions. James held up the Champions League trophy won by Liverpool in 2005 and posted a picture on Twitter of a red No. 6 jersey with his name on it.

The two-time MVP will sit in the directors’ box at Anfield Stadium for Saturday’s Premier League match against Liverpool rival Manchester United.

“Jersey ready for the big match 2morrow,” James tweeted.

— Reported by the Associated Press

Sale of Philadelphia 76ers expected to conclude next week

philadelphia 76ers

Comcast-Spectacor’s sale of the 76ers to a group of investors led by New York billionaire Joshua Harris is expected to close early next week, according to a source close to the situation.

Terms of the sale were agreed upon in July, but the deal has been pending approval of the NBA’s board of governors for more than two months. The NBA has been mired in a lockout since July 1. On Monday, the league canceled the first two weeks of the 2011-12 regular season…

The deal is for 100 percent of the Sixers for approximately $280 million.

— Reported by Kate Fagan of the Philadelphia Inquirer

Maurice Evans completed college degree while trying to help resolve NBA labor dispute

maurice evans

As a vice president with the National Basketball Players Association, Maurice Evans had made getting the players a new, fair collective bargaining agreement his primary goal since the season ended. The players’ union and the NBA owners have yet to meet that objective without losing regular season games, but Evans can still feel a sense of accomplishment about this offseason.

Because in the midst of attending numerous bargaining sessions in New York, running regional players meetings in Chicago and Las Vegas, and going over strategies with union president Derek Fisher and executive director Billy Hunter, Evans managed to finally get his degree in education from the University of Texas.

“I was very proud of that,” Evans said this week. “Unfortunately, that doesn’t make as much news as the bargaining sessions, but I’ve had a great and productive summer.”

Evans, 32, left Texas after his junior season in 2001, hoping to be drafted in the first round but wound up going undrafted. He scrapped his way into a NBA and has outlasted 12 first-rounders from that draft, but he always felt the void of not having his degree. “I know I’m a leader on and off the court and before you can commence in anything, you have to finish stages and that was the stage left open due to me continuing my NBA career,” Evans said. “Once I had a break due to this lockout, I was able to find the time.”

— Reported by Michael Lee of the Washington Post Blog

Phoenix Suns would hold 2011-12 training camp at Grand Canyon University

When and if the Suns hold a training camp for the 2011-12 season, they will be getting away for their building and bonding to west Phoenix.

After spending recent training camps in San Diego, Tucson and Italy, the Suns are planning to hold their preseason training camp at the new Grand Canyon University Arena.

The dynamics of the lockout dictate that the Suns have a plan that can work on the fly for whenever a collective-bargaining agreement is reached. The camp/preseason timetable could be crunched but the Suns still like the idea of leaving their usual confines at US Airways Center for a camp, even if it is only 14 miles away in this case. Training camp normally lasts about a week and includes some two-a-day workouts.

— Reported by Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic

Cavs D-League team named Canton Charge

canton charge

The Cleveland Cavaliers today announced that their new NBA D-League team in Canton will be named the Canton Charge. At the same time, the team’s colors, logo and court design were also debuted.  The announcement and unveiling was led by Cavaliers President Len Komoroski and Cavaliers Chief Marketing Officer Tracy Marek, along with Canton Mayor William J. Healy II and Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce President Denny Saunier. The events took place at the Canton Memorial Civic Center, which will serve as home court for the Charge.

“The Canton Charge franchise is powered by the Cleveland Cavaliers, but they are truly energized by the Greater Canton community,” said Cavaliers President Len Komoroski.  “Today, we are proud to unveil a team identity that is very much the result of a collaborative process between our organization and the great fans here.”

“We’re very excited about this and we think Charge is not only a great name for the team, but it can also help reflect an attitude and mindset for our entire community. Canton is charging ahead in multiple ways, and we’re working hard to make our future better and better,” said Canton Mayor Healy.

Extensive research was conducted to best determine the team identity by inviting fan input and direction in various forms. Thousands submitted their thoughts and ideas online via the team’s official website – www.CantonCharge.com and social media outlets. Fan focus groups and fan-on-the-street interviews also took place. Questions were answered, opinions were shared and fan direction was clear— it was very important to establish the close connection between Canton’s new NBA D-League team and the Cavaliers. A bond was easily seen and sensed. Fans wanted the team’s brand to translate the passion they already had for the Cavaliers and at the same time, to create a team identity that reflected great pride and energy in an aggressive way.

“Our fans spoke. We listened, and then we let their input and direction serve as the guiding element for our development process,” said Cavaliers CMO and team identity development process leader Tracy Marek. “It was a fun process and we think we ended up with a great name, logo and colors that represent what the team, the fans and the community collectively wanted. To CHARGE ahead!”

The goal was also to have the new team’s identity fit well with Canton’s strong history of being a passionate and supportive sports community. “There is a great partnership and momentum that can be created when a community, a team and fans all charge ahead together in support of each other and I think our business community understands how important and exciting this can be,” said Greater Canton Chamber of Commerce President Denny Saunier. “We look forward to being part of the fun and seeing the positive impact the Charge will have here.”

The Charge begins their inaugural season at the Canton Memorial Civic Center on Friday, November 25th at 7:30 p.m. against the defending NBA D-League Champion Iowa Energy. Individual game tickets will go on-sale in early November. Season tickets for the Canton Charge are on sale now and start as low as $5 per seat.

Read NBA fan reaction to the name and logo in this basketball forum topic.