Los Angeles Lakers v Regal FC Barcelona

Lakers owner Jerry Buss supports increased revenue sharing

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David Stern says the league needs more of it. Small market teams say it is essential to maintain a competitive league.

But at the end of the day, “increased revenue sharing” means being Robin Hood, taking from the rich and giving to the poor. Corporate socialism. The kind of things the rich big market teams of every sport try to limit.

But in a sign of unity, the Lakers are on board, according to Kevin Ding of the Orange County Register.

“Not only are we not going to fight it, we’ll support it,” Lakers spokesman John Black said Sunday night, “due to the benevolence of our owner, who is willing to sacrifice for the overall good of our league.”

The Lakers are certainly a big market, big revenue team. They gross about $2 million a game, according to Forbes, which is three and four times what some smaller markets make. They also have large local television deals.

When Stern was in town last week he said what the big market owners want is ways to make sure the money that trickles down gets invested back into the business. In baseball, there is a problem with small market owners just pocketing that money and putting a lesser product out on the field.

Exactly how this is going to shake out remains a big question. As Stern correctly stated, it has to be a work in progress because you can’t have the details of revenue sharing without knowing with the new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) will bring. You also can’t have the details of a new CBA without knowing what the revenue sharing will look like. The two have to happen together.

That would be hard if the big-market owners fight it. But at least one seems to be on board.

Report: Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer urged Danny Ferry to resign

Danny Ferry, Mike Budenholzer
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When Danny Ferry’s racism scandal came to light, Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer publicly supported his general manager. Budenholzer called the “African” remarks about Luol Deng “very much out of character” and said Ferry was trying to learn from his mistakes.

And while Budenholzer might not have done anything privately to contradict his public statements, his tone apparently differed with Ferry and then-owner Bruce Levenson last fall.

Kevin Arnovitz and Brian Windhorst of ESPN:

Budenholzer very much owed his job to Ferry. His former Spurs colleague had pleaded with Levenson that the Gregg Popovich assistant was the man for the position. Yet Budenholzer felt Ferry should resign, lest the Hawks be subsumed in disruption when training camp opened, and he made his wishes known in a heartfelt conversation with Ferry and Levenson at that time.

In some respect, Budenholzer was just doing his job as coaching – trying to maximize his teams chances of on-court success. Ferry didn’t resign. He took a leave of absence that lasted until he agreed to a buyout this summer. That was apparently enough to avoid a paralyzing distraction. The Hawks won 60 games and reached their first conference finals since moving to Atlanta.

Ferry’s departure also significantly benefitted Budenholzer personally. Budenholzer ran the Hawks’ front office during Ferry’s leave, and the new owners have installed him as the teams permanent president.

The only other four active coaches with personnel control experienced much more success before getting the dual president/coach title.

Gregg Popovich coached the Spurs to four championships and 11 playoff berths before they named him president in 2008. Doc Rivers won Coach of the Year with the Magic and then guided the Celtics to a title during his 14 seasons before the Clippers plucked him to run their franchise. Stan Van Gundy steered the Heat and Magic to the playoffs in all seven of his full seasons, including a trip to the 2009 NBA Finals with Orlando, before getting hired by the Pistons. Flip Saunders won more games than every other Timberwolves coach combined, is responsible for every playoff win in franchise history and made four trips to the conference finals (including thrice with the Pistons) over 16 total seasons before Minnesota gave him the huge role.

Budenholzer has been a head coach just two seasons, including a 38-44 debut year. He has done a good job, winning Coach of the Year last season, and he might make a good team president.

But he lacks the track record most coaches need to gain such status. Budenholzer, more than anything, was at the right place at the right time.

Report: Rockets will try to sign Alessandro Gentile next summer

Alessandro Gentile, Paulius Jankunas
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The Rockets tried signing Sergio Llull this summer, but he opted for a long-term extension with Real Madrid.

So, they’ll just turn to another player in their large chest of stashed draft picks – Alessandro Gentile.

Marc Stein of ESPN:

Gentile, who was selected No. 53 in the 2014, is a 22-year-old wing for Armani Milano. He’s a good scorer, but he primarily works from mid-range – an area the Rockets eschew. He can get to the rim in Europe, but his subpar athleticism might hinder him in the NBA.

If Gentile comes stateside, he’ll face a steep learning curve. But he’s young enough and talented enough that he could develop into a rotation player.