Report: Jiggaman Jay-Z, Prokhorov get first crack at LeBron James

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Sure, the Finals were fun, in a sort of “two-teams-shooting-35%-from-the-floor” sort of way. But now the real entertainment begins. Watching professional franchises, several steeped in rich history and other heralded by some of the most powerful men in the world, crawl and beg before a 25-year-old small forward from Akron, Ohio. 

First up? H.O.V.A. 
Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski reports that the New Jersey Nets will be the team invited to visit with LeBron James first regarding his free agency on July 1st. 
The Nets are hoping James’ relationship with the Nets’ representative, rap mogul Jay-Z, will be a key factor in where he decides to land. New majority owner Mikhail Prokhorov will also join team officials for the presentation. Prokhorov’s key influence should be his ability to model for LeBron what it’s like to be a billionaire, and to pitch a global influence for his brand. 
The teams invited (the Nets, the Bulls, the Heat, the Cavs, the Knicks, and, ahem, the Clippers) will not be hosting LeBron, but instead visiting Akron to make their pitch, as James’ manager told ESPN.com Friday
James has long been a friend with Jay-Z, with some describing him as a mentor to the young superstar. If the Nets want to convince James to play two seasons in New Jersey before making Brooklyn his kingdom, Mr. Carter may have the best shot at making an impact. 
On a taped segment on the David Letterman show Friday night, Jay-Z made it clear that they’ll be selling James on Brooklyn, not Newark. He also carefully sidestepped any comments that might result in a fine. 
Being first may not be the best thing for the Nets, as there’s a thing called the recency effect which influences memory on the first thing in a series you’re presented with. But bringing in a billionaire Russian businessman and the most famous rapper on Earth? That’s a pretty good way to make an impression.
Let the games begin. 

Report: Bulls hire North Carolina State’s Bobby Lutz as D-League head coach

WORCESTER, MA - MARCH 18:  Charlotte 49ers coach Bobby Lutz looks up in the first half a game against the N.C. State Wolfpack during the first round of the NCAA Men's Basketball Championship at the DCU Center March 18, 2005 in Worcester, Massachusetts.  (Photo By Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
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The Chicago Bulls are one of the teams getting a D-League affiliate franchise this season. The Windy City Bulls will play in the suburb of Hoffman Estates, and now they have a head coach: North Carolina State assistant Bobby Lutz.

Via Upside & Motor‘s Chris Reichert:

Lutz was previously linked to the Bulls’ D-League job in July but there was confusion as to whether he would actually get the job. Now, it appears he has. And he has familiarity with the coaching staff, having served as an assistant coach at Iowa State under Fred Hoiberg in 2010-11, prior to going to NC State.

Evan Fournier pokes fun at his ‘NBA 2K’ likeness

OAKLAND, CA - MARCH 07:  Evan Fournier #10 of the Orlando Magic dribbles the ball against the Golden State Warriors at ORACLE Arena on March 7, 2016 in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
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The release of NBA 2K17, the latest edition of the popular 2K video-game series, is less than a month away. Players are starting to get their likenesses in the game, as well as their player ratings, and tweet them out. Magic forward Evan Fournier wasn’t too happy with the way his came out.

Fournier’s countryman Rudy Gobert got in on the fun, too, changing his Twitter avatar to Fournier’s screenshot and encouraging others to do the same. He even created a hashtag for it.

At least they’re having fun with it.

Report: Sixers expected to waive Tibor Pleiss after trade with Jazz

PHILADELPHIA, PA - OCTOBER 30: Tibor Pleiss #21 of the Utah Jazz controls the ball in the game against the Philadelphia 76ers on October 30, 2015 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
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On Friday, the Jazz traded German center Tibor Pleiss to the Sixers along with two second-round picks for Kendall Marshall. The big draw of the trade for Philly was the picks, and Pleiss is not expected to stay with the Sixers, according to Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia’s Jessica Camerato.

Pleiss had a forgettable season with Utah, and the Sixers have a glut of bigs including Nerlens Noel, Jahlil Okafor, Joel Embiid and Dario Saric. It would have been virtually impossible for Pleiss to crack the rotation, and it’s unlikely another team picks up his contract, which has $3 million guaranteed this season.

Jordan releases new Russell Westbrook ad, may include a shot at Kevin Durant

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - MAY 28:  Kevin Durant #35 of the Oklahoma City Thunder (L) and Russell Westbrook #0 look on during a press conference after the Golden State Warriors defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder 108-101 in game six of the Western Conference Finals during the 2016 NBA Playoffs at Chesapeake Energy Arena on May 28, 2016 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by J Pat Carter/Getty Images)
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As a Jordan Brand athlete, Russell Westbrook is under the same Nike umbrella as former teammate Kevin Durant. But his latest Jordan spot, released Friday, has a very pointed tagline: “Some run, some make runways.”

Given the circumstances, it’s hard to interpret that as anything other than a reference to Durant signing with the Warriors and Westbrook signing an extension with the Thunder.