UPDATE 6:12 PM: CNBC’S Darren Rovell has the details, including confirming that there is no New York or Los Angeles clause. He also reports that this deal is for longer than the previous seven year deal, and that this one is less about a flat fee and more about percentage of profits.
Perhaps going to New York would sell more shoes, but he’d likely sell
more shoes in China and other emerging markets, where volume really
counts, if he wins championships. One of the reasons why James is far
behind Bryant in China is that he isn’t revered as much because he
doesn’t have the rings that Kobe has. In that case, it might make more
sense for James to stay in Cleveland, who made it to the Finals in 2007
under James and, at 58-16, have the best record in the NBA.
5:02 pm: It is America’s greatest urban legend — that LeBron James gets a big bonus from Nike if he signs to play in New York or Los Angeles. Either that or the legend that two cell phones near each other can cook popcorn.
Turns out both are false.
According to the all knowing twitter account of Brian Windhorst at the Cleland Plain Dealer, there is no such bonus in the new contract extension that LeBron signed with Nike. LeBron is getting paid no matter where he plays.
Whether it was or wasn’t in the previous contract can be left to a grassy knoll debate. But it doesn’t really need to be there in the future.
At the recent Sloan Sports Analytics Conference in Boston, Phil de Picciotto of Octagon called LeBron the exception to the rule. While most players get a huge boost being in LA, NY or Chicago, LeBron is already an international brand based out of Cleveland. His market is international, not solely domestic, and in today’s media environment Cleveland can be New York when you reach a certain level.
LeBron is at and past that level. What grows him from this point is winning titles. He needs to go where he can do that best. And if the question is the Knicks or the Cavaliers for winning right now… sorry New York.
Houston Rockets G Patrick Beverley is known around the NBA for being a dogged defender. His skill set was on full display on Friday night, where Beverley shut down Oklahoma City Thunder superstar Russell Westbrook on a potential game-winning 3-pointer in the closing seconds.
It all started early in the matchup, when Beverley — notorious for getting under the skin of both Westbrook and other NBA opponents — flopped with some serious gusto just 36 seconds into the first quarter.
The game continued like this, but the real highlight of Beverley’s defensive night was stopping Westbrook — who dropped his 7th straight triple-double — on an isolation play with six seconds left in the fourth quarter.
With the ball on the left garden spot, Westbrook gave a couple of dribble hesitation moves to Beverley, then tried to rise up for the go-ahead bucket.
Beverley was right up on him, and forced an airball from Westbrook:
The Rockets guard was so happy about the stop and the eventual win that he celebrated a little too enthusiastically with Houston coach Mike D’Antoni.
Going for a chest bump, Beverley wound up blasting through his own coach:
Toronto Raptors stars Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan are becoming one of the best duos in the NBA, on and off the court. They joked around in the locker room after their win over the Boston Celtics on Friday night, 101-94, but the comedy started before the two even left the floor.
In a postgame interview with CSNNE DeRozan was asked what the message was at halftime from coach Dewane Casey.
DeRozan — with Lowry looking devious in the background of the shot — was gracious.
“Just get [Lowry] the ball,” DeRozan smiled.
Pleased with the result, Lowry responded with a “That’s a good message right there!” before running off to the locker room.
The interview continued to be interrupted, with Raptors big man Jared Sullinger giving the camera a drive by “DeMar for President!”
New England Patriots RB LeGarrette Blount even showed up to show DeRozan some love.
The Golden State Warriors are so talented, perhaps the officials are predisposed to blowing whistles in their favor. At least, that’s the only explanation you could give to a Utah Jazz fan after seeing what happened between Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, and Utah’s Joe Johnson on Thursday night.
As Durant came off a curl on the far side of the court, he used a screen set by Curry on Johnson.
With the ball in his hands, Durant rose to fire but found himself locked in arms with another player. Durant’s shot attempt helplessly bounced away as he shot, and officials whistled Johnson on the play.
Of course, a closer look reveals that the player Durant’s arms were tangled up with was … Curry.
Yes, Curry had arm locked what he thought was Johnson on the screen but was instead his teammate and MVP candidate.
It didn’t matter, as referees awarded Durant the free throws, of which he only made 1 of 2.
Perhaps that’s some solace?
Golden State beat Utah, 106-99.
New York Knicks C Joakim Noah has an awkward jumper and free throw technique, there’s no denying that. His two-handed, horizontal approach to shooting a basketball is ripe for criticism.
DeMarcus Cousins thinks so, at least.
During a game between the Sacramento Kings and the Knicks, Cousins decided to give Noah a little tongue-in-cheek trolling about his form.
Looks about right.