English Premiere League made $155 million from ads on jerseys. How long until NBA follows?

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ad_jersey.jpgNext summer, rather than talking about Carmelo Anthony, Tayshaun Prince, Tony Paker and the free agent class (or those just pushing for trades anyway) we’re going to be talking about “percentage of basketball related income” and figuring out salary cap structures.  We’ll be talking Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Next summer the players and the owners are going to argue about money. Splitting up your money and my money, but money none the less. It will not be pretty.

A large new stream of revenue might help offset that some… say advertisements on the front of jerseys. As is done in soccer worldwide, as was done by some WNBA teams last season.

I heard the groans. Bash the idea all you want, the English Premiere League alone made $155 million this season on those ads, according to Advertising Age. There are some NBA owners who see it as the future.

“It’s definitely on the horizon,” Mark Cuban, owner of the National Basketball Association’s Dallas Mavericks, said in an exchange of e-mails with Advertising Age. “I think it’s more an issue of ‘how much’ rather than ‘if’ [it happens].”

The EPL is one of the world’s elite soccer leagues, but it is also a sport without timeouts to slip in commercials. The revenue is certainly needed.

What would it take to get it done in the NBA?

Mr. Cuban agreed, saying “Find me a multi-year deal at $10 million or more per year and I will make it happen.”

As you might expect, the official NBA statement was more cautious — but not all that cautious.

“We are always watching the WNBA and the NBA Development League to see what works and what may be an applicable business practice, and we fully recognize that the presence of corporate branding on game uniforms is a widely accepted practice on the global sports landscape, particularly in soccer,” NBA spokesman Mike Bass said. “That being said, the value proposition to include branding on the NBA game uniforms has not yet presented itself.”

This year’s NBA champion will not have Bank of America or Herbalife or Chico’s Bail Bonds splashed across their chests.

But a decade from now…

Looks like Donovan to keep Andre Roberson, Steven Adams as starters

Los Angeles Clippers v Oklahoma City Thunder
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Billy Donovan was given the head coaching job in Oklahoma City to bring their offense into modern times — and it seems to be working, Russell Westbrook said he feels a lot more space in the system.

But if the Thunder are going to contend for a title, they need a top 10 defense as well — and to do that Donovan is going to keep a Scott Brooks move and continue to start  Andre Roberson and Steven Adams. Check out the starting lineup for their first preseason game Wednesday.

There also was this report via Anthony Slater in the Oklahoman yesterday about a scrimmage at practice.

Durant, Russell Westbrook, Serge Ibaka and Andre Roberson all started for the White team. Nick Collison joined them, but that was only because Steven Adams sat out with back soreness….

Donovan said the teams weren’t split by accident. That’s how they’ve been divided in practice. So at this point, it seems Roberson is this team’s starting shooting guard and Adams is the team’s starting center.

This is the smart move. Last season the lineup of Westbrook, Roberson, Durant, Ibaka and Adams was +13.4 points per 100 possessions over their opponents. Roberson and Adams are there for defense — neither brings much offensive game to the floor, but when you have Westbrook and Durant and only one ball between them, you don’t need more offensive threats. You’re going to get plenty of points.

If they can just stay healthy, Oklahoma City is a team to be feared.

Knicks’ legend Harry Gallatin passes away at age 88

Harry Gallatin
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The Hall of Fame player behind the original iron man streak is with us no more.

Knicks’ legend Harry Gallatin passes away at age 88, the team confirmed Wednesday.

Gallatin led the Knicks of the late 1940s and into the 1950s, when he set a then record playing in 610 consecutive games. Nicknamed “The Horse,” he was a beast on the boards who averaged 15.3 rebounds a game one season and averaged 11.9 boards and 13 points per game over the course of his 10-year career. He’s still fourth all time in total rebounds in Knicks franchise history.

Gallatin was a seven-time All-Star and twice All-NBA selection. After his playing days, he spent many years as the athletic director at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.

Our thoughts are with his family and friends.