Will Lakers, Clippers oppose Kings relocation to Anaheim?

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Does the greater Los Angeles area really need more NBA teams than New Yorks has, and will have even after the Nets move to Brooklyn? More than Chicago?

The Sacramento Kings are serious about a move to Anaheim and negotiations are ongoing. But according to Mitch Lawrence at the New York Post (via Eye On Basketball), the Lakers and Clippers are not on board.

The move to Anaheim will be opposed by the Lakers and Clippers, who see it as an encroachment on their territory. But sources close to the Maloofs say they’re willing to pay the two L.A. teams whatever it takes to relocate. That would be in addition to the league’s relocation fee of $30 million.

League sources already said that the Honda Center in Anaheim is far enough away from the Staples Center that is home to the Lakers and Clippers that the Kings would not have to pay territorial rights fees to the Lakers and Clippers. However, the NBA Board of Governors (the other owners) could vote to make the Kings pay fees to the two Los Angeles teams.

Certainly the Lakers and Clippers would like some compensation. The question is would it really be enough to deter a move?

Lawrence also points out that billionaire in Henry Samueli — the owner of the NHL’s Anaheim Ducks and who runs the Honda Center — could loan money to the Maloof brothers to help pay for a move. However, the Maloofs have said publically they are not taking a loan or selling a portion of the team too Samueli.

This move is gaining a lot of momentum, even if we think that a third team in the market will face challenges. Especially if they try to complete a move and woo a new fan base after a lockout rips away part of the inaugural season in their mew home. (“Hey Orange County, come see us play! Right after our millionaire players and billionaire owners get done fighting over how to divide up your money.)

Meanwhile, some very loyal fans in Sacramento have tried to fill the building and make their emotional appeals. Their points are valid. But likely to fall on ears that only hear the noise made by the rustling cash of Anaheim.

Remembering Notre Dame, Laker legend Tommy “the hawk” Hawkins

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Tommy Hawkins passed away recently at the age of 80.

The former NBA player was the first black athlete to earn All-America honors in basketball at Notre Dame (he still holds the school’s total rebounds record), was drafted in the first round, and went on to have a 10-year NBA career playing for the Minneapolis/Los Angeles Lakers as well as the Cincinnati Royals. Los Angeles fans may also remember him as the long time director of communications for the Los Angeles Dodgers after his playing days ended.

The NBA put together this well done video look back at Hawkins’ career.

Celtics’ Brad Stevens said early September tests will show if Thomas ready for camp

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Isaiah Thomas said he expects to be ready for the Celtics’ training camp next month. The guard’s All-NBA season came to an early end in the playoffs when he aggravated a labral tear in his right hip initially suffered back in March. At least the injury did not require surgery.

Players are also about the worst judges of when they will recover from an injury. They pretty much all think they are invincible and will be healthy faster than doctors predict.

Coaches tend to be more pragmatic. Take Boston’s Brad Stevens, who told Chris Mannix on The Vertical Podcast that tests in a couple of weeks will show if Thomas is ready for camp.

“He has another follow-up and another scan in the early part of September. Obviously, it’s been a lot of appropriate rest, a lot of rehab. There have been some good strides here certainly in the last month or few weeks, but we’re not going to know that until after that early September timeframe.”

The Celtics are understandably going to be cautious with Thomas, while Thomas wants to prove he is healthy and has no ill effects from the injury as he enters a contract year (one where he expects to get PAID). Also, the Celtics could use him in camp as they start to figure out how he and Gordon Hayward can share playmaking duties.

Still, from the outset, the timelines have suggested he should be ready for camp in late September. Coaches are just cautious on these things by nature.

Allen Iverson predicts LeBron James will win MVP

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LeBron James has four NBA MVP trophies in his case. (Does he keep that case in his home in Akron or the one in Los Angeles… that’s a question for another day.) Only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (six) and Michael Jordan (five) have more.

Could LeBron James add a fifth to his case this season?

Allen Iverson said yes at last weekend’s Big3 playoffs in Seattle.

LeBron was fourth in preseason odds to win the MVP at 15/2, behind Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant, and Kawhi Leonard.

To me, LeBron could be a good bet. If/when Kyrie Irving is traded, the chances of LeBron getting the MVP go up. If LeBron puts up impressive numbers (again) and leads a depleted Cavaliers team to a top two seed in the East, he is certainly going to be in consideration. And should be.

It’s a long season, and personally, I think you need to get midway through the season before seriously considering the year-end awards. But history says LeBron will be in the mix, and Allen Iverson could be proven prophetic.

Phoenix Suns with quality solar eclipse joke on Twitter

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With the cooler-than-I-expected solar eclipse on Monday came a lot of bad solar eclipse jokes on Twitter. Because that’s what Twitter does. Especially the NBA Twitterverse. We knew a lot of “where on the flat earth will Kyrie Irving watch the eclipse?” jokes were coming.

There were a couple of good ones, however.

Appropriately, the Phoenix Suns won the day.

One personal favorite here, an old meme that never goes out of style.