Archive for June 4th, 2014

Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling agreed Wednesday to sign off on selling the team to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer for what would be a record $2 billion, according to his attorney.

Sterling ”has made an agreement with the NBA to resolve all their differences” and as co-owner has given his consent to a deal that was negotiated by his wife, Shelly Sterling, to sell the team, said attorney Maxwell Blecher.

Representatives for Shelly Sterling declined to comment. The NBA declined to comment on Wednesday afternoon.

– Associated Press

Here’s the Los Angeles Times reporting the latest on Donald Sterling:

Donald Sterling remains holed up in his Beverly Hills mansion, ostracized by many, banned by the NBA and yet quietly pleased that his Los Angeles Clippers last week fetched a record sales price of $2 billion.

Sterling believes that if he had conducted the sale, instead of his wife Shelly, he might have pushed the price even higher, his lawyer, Max Blecher, said Tuesday. But Sterling’s real concern — one that might still send him to court in an attempt to block the jaw-dropping deal — is that the windfall does nothing to mend his wounded reputation.

“He doesn’t want to die and have his tombstone say, ‘Here lies a mental incompetent and a racist,’” Blecher said. “He is trying to do the best he can to see whether those stigmas can be eliminated or at least reduced. . . . That is what this is about.”

Sterling filed a federal antitrust lawsuit against the NBA on Friday that became largely moot when the pro basketball league quickly accepted an agreement from the Sterling Family Trust to sell the team to former Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer. The NBA then canceled a hearing that had been scheduled Tuesday and was designed to remove the Sterlings as owners of the Clippers.

Here’s ESPN Dallas reporting on Mavs veteran Dirk Nowitzki, who is still an extremely good player but not rocking the league quite the way he used to:

For the second consecutive season, Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki was not named to the All-NBA team, but he took the result in stride.

“For me, I had a good bounce-back year, but I agree [with the announcement],” Nowitzki told ESPN Dallas. “Obviously, I’m not in the cream of the crop anymore. I think that’s no surprise. I’ll still try to be efficient going forward.”

Forwards Kevin Durant and LeBron James (first team), Blake Griffin and Kevin Love (second team) and Paul George and LaMarcus Aldridge (third team) were honored by the league on Wednesday.

The 2012-13 season marked the first time since the 1999-2000 season that Nowitzki was not named to an All-NBA Team. That was largely in part due to him missing the first 27 games of the season after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his right knee. He did bounce back from that injury-plagued campaign by averaging 21.7 points per game this season.

Here’s ESPN New York reporting on big Ivan Johnson:

Ivan Johnson discusses playing basketball in China

The pay in China, Ivan Johnson said, is great.

It’s everything else that’s a problem.

“The food. They don’t cook it all the way through,” Johnson said Wednesday after auditioning for the Brooklyn Nets at their free-agent minicamp. “The rooms smell like [a] sewer. There’s a lot of stuff you gotta deal with over there. I dealt with it, though. I had to.”

Johnson’s advice for free agents looking to go overseas?

“If you’re in it just for the money, go to China,” he said. “If you want to fulfill your dreams, keep grinding. Keep grinding and you’ll get there.”

Here’s ESPN New York reporting on Nets veteran Kevin Garnett:

Kevin Garnett yet to indicate future plans

Kevin Garnett has yet to give the Brooklyn Nets any indication of what his plans are for the coming season.

So until Garnett decides whether he is going to retire or not, general manager Billy King will plan ahead with the thinking that Garnett is returning for a second go-around with the Nets.

“He’s under contract,” King said after a Nets’ free-agent workout on Wednesday. “So until a guy tells you he’s not under contract you go on the basis that he’s under contract and you got to plan accordingly. If a guy changes course and decides to retire then you make that decision.”

No retirement plans for Tim Duncan yet

Here’s the San Antonio Express-News blog reporting on veteran Spurs star Tim Duncan, whose squad faces the Heat Thursday in NBA Finals Game 1:

No retirement plans for Tim Duncan yet

At 38, Spurs legend Tim Duncan knows the end of his NBA career is near. But with his fifth championship in his sights, Duncan said at Wednesday’s media availability that he has yet to seriously contemplate retirement.

“I’ve not come to that point yet,” Duncan said. “I don’t know when I’m going to retire. I don’t know what the factors are going to be. I don’t know any of that and I don’t care about any of that stuff right now. I’m not thinking about that. It will happen when it happens. I’ll feel it and I’ll now it and I’ll call it a day.”

Duncan has a player option to return for what would be his 18th NBA season. Former NBA coach George Karl had speculated earlier this year, basing his information on unnamed sources, that Duncan will retire. But Duncan and Spurs coach Gregg Popovich roundly dismissed that notion as the future Hall of Famer continued to put up quality numbers, averaging 15.1 points, 9.7 rebounds and 1.9 blocks.

Here’s the Salt Lake Tribune, on the Utah Jazz:

Jazz powers are straight-up sick of watching their team get kicked around at the defensive end. They’ve said that again and again, and it’s more than sweet-sounding BS. If we all had five bucks for every time Dennis Lindsey has hammered the point, we’d all be rich enough to buy the Clippers. In the first real chance for the club to hire a head coach outside its organizational walls since … well, ever, this longtime weakness will be addressed. Defense can be taught, stressed, improved, insisted upon. Whoever the new coach is, he will think more like Tom Thibodeau than Mike D’Antoni. It’s not just that defense wins championships, it’s that defense prevents you from getting blown off your home floor by the Denver Nuggets and crushed on the road by the Milwaukee Bucks. It’s a jumping-off point for future success.

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