Pretty much wherever LeBron James goes, there is a party.
In many cities where the Heat play, there are parties at clubs, ones where LeBron is paid to attend (and his friends end up making some money on the deal, think the show Entourage). But now the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports that a deal over parties when James is coming to Atlanta has led to a lawsuit.
Atlanta’s Opera nightclub is suing the Miami Heat player and the Gold Room over an appearance James is scheduled to make later this month.
In a complaint filed Monday in Fulton County Superior Court, Opera accuses James of reneging on a promise to appear for one hour on March 17, for which he was to be paid $25,000. James, who last summer infamously jilted his longtime team the Cleveland Cavaliers to join the Heat, will be in town the night before Miami is scheduled to play the Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena.
The conflict arose when James’ agent said competing club, the Gold Room, was also pursuing him for a special appearance. The suit claims James’ agent had already taken a $12,000 deposit and a second for $3,000 when he notified Opera on March 4 that James would not appear and would go to the Gold Room appearance instead.
The plantif later told the AJC that the issue is with the “agent” that is promoting the party, Chubbie Baby. As Matt Moore noted over at CBS Eye On Basketball, our promoter is an Ohio-based rapper, complete with a gun charge arrest required of all rappers.
If I were cynical, I would say that someone set up the deal with Opera then got a better offer from Gold Room and tried to switch. But I’m not going to be cynical, and I’m not going to pretend to know what really went down.
I’ll also let you draw your own broader implications, if you so choose.
Kobe Bryant‘s pregame tribute video stole the show in Philadelphia, but Tuesday night was Moses Malone tribute night. The former league MVP and Hall of Famer passed away in September, and his legacy was honored by the Sixers during a halftime ceremony. During the festivities, Malone’s son announced that his No. 2 will be retired by the organization next season.
There’s no question that Malone, one of the greatest players in the history of the sport, deserves to have his number retired. The only relevant question is: why didn’t this happen years ago? The ceremony next season should be good, but it would have been better if they had done it when Malone was alive to participate in it. No Sixers player has worn No. 2 since Malone anyway, but it’s been over 20 years since he last wore a Sixers jersey. Why couldn’t they have found some time in those two decades to have a ceremony and hang a banner?
Perhaps LeBron James‘ most underappreciated skill has been his passing. He is rightly hailed as the most unselfish superstar of his generation, but being a willing passer is only part of it: he’s also as good at it as any point guard in the league. Case in point: this two-handed halfcourt bounce pass on Tuesday night, finding Richard Jefferson for an easy dunk:
Kobe Bryant‘s relationship with his hometown of Philadelphia had its rocky sections — the Kobe’s Lakers beat the Sixers in the 2001 Finals, and then Kobe was booed during the 2002 All-Star Game — but all was forgiven on Tuesday night.
In his final trip to Philly, he was given a framed Lower Merion High School jersey — that’s Kobe’s school, in case you forgot — and it was presented by Dr. J.
Then the fans welcomed him like you see above.
That pumped up Kobe, who scored 13 first quarter points on 5-of-10 shooting, his best quarter of the season.
If you play for the Brooklyn Nets, and your name is not Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, expect you will come up in trade rumors this season.
First up on the block, Bojan Bogdanovic. The report comes from Mike Mazzeo of ESPN.
Bogdanovic is in the first year of a three-year, $11 million deal, which isn’t bad for a guy playing nearly 25 minutes a night and scoring 8.4 points per game. There is a lot of potential in his game, if developed in the right setting — he’s a good shooter out on the wing who works well off the ball. He seems to have regressed this season, but how much of that is due to the Nets and their guard play (and just generally struggling) is up for debate.
Is there going to be interest in him? Probably. As always, it is about the price, what the Nets will demand. Whether the Nets can get anything back they want is up for debate.
Right now a lot of GMs are testing the waters for players, judging the market. That is a long way from a trade happening. But don’t be shocked if the Nets make a deal or two before the February deadline.