Here’s the report, courtesy of USA Today, with a tip of the hat to The Basketball Jones:
On the heels of a stunning Game 1 victory over the Dallas Mavericks Tuesday night and on the brink of a possible first championship, NBA MVP, business mogul and fashion icon LeBron James has announced that he will launch a new, modern luxury concept store in Miami for fall 2011. The store, which will open with a mix of apparel, footwear, printed materials and lifestyle accouterments, with featured brands to include A.P.C., Original Fake and Nike Tier 0 product, will be called Unknwn.
The Jones’ Trey Kirby points out that this store, featuring high-quality streetwear with 50% less vowels than you’d have to deal with at similarly-named stores, could actually be a good idea:
This is a very good idea. Not only is everything in streetwear huge right now, LeBron’s got some great brands signed on. A.P.C. is one of the best denim makers in the world, Original Fake is one of the premier artist-driven brands around and Nike Tier Zero stuff is the fanciest Nike gear you can buy, plus there are sure to be other big-time brands available. (A.P.C. and Original Fake have both done collaborations with the Swoosh, so it’s no surprise they’re being offered at LeBron’s store.) In a city that doesn’t have a super high-end streetwear retailer, this store should do very well.
Considering that LRMR still isn’t drawing very many clients and its overhead has to be higher than LeBron’s vertical leap, it’s nice that LeBron is embarking on a business venture that actually sounds like a good idea. And it’s nice to see that LeBron may actually be learning useful things from his highly-publicized relationship with Jay-Z.
But even still, couldn’t this announcement have waited until the Heat win three more games and actually win the Finals, or a week or two after the Finals if they lose? I’m not a huge believer in superstition, but this seems like (no pun intended) a bad karma move from the league’s best player.
Larry Sanders is talking about getting back into the NBA. He walked away in 2015 to say he needed to deal with anxiety and depression, to find a balance in his life. Recently he told Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders this:
“But I feel like I’m in a much better place right now and I’m equipped to be able to put myself in that situation again.”
But where? A lot of teams could use an athletic big who averaged 1.4 blocks per game over the five years he was in the NBA, although with the conservative nature of NBA front offices they will not want to take much risk (Golden State reportedly thought about it and decided not to offer him a contract).
Sanders decided to ask Twitter where he should go, putting Twitter’s poll feature to good use.
The question becomes, where is there mutual interest from any of these teams?
If Sanders and his agent can win a team over in an interview, the contract will be small and the number of guaranteed years is not exceeding one (if even that). From the perspective of an NBA team, Sanders has to prove himself again.
But never underestimate how many chances big men get in this league.
(Hat tip Eye on Basketball)
Anderson Varejao was spending the past couple days helping his nation prepare to host the 2016 Olympics in less than two weeks, including carrying the Olympic flame.
But now he is on his way back to the United States to have his chronically bad back examined. Again. From Diamond Leung of the Bay Area News Group.
The Warriors re-signed Varejao on a one-year, veteran minimum contract where he will make $980,431. He is expected to back up Zaza Pachulia at the five spot, although his run would have been limited (which is good, he’s not terribly effective anymore).
A variety of injuries — back, Achilles, wrist — have meant the most games Varejao has played in a season since the 2010-11 season is 65. Last season that number was 53, the final 22 of it with the Warriors.
If Varejao can’t go or is limited, the Warriors may look around at other options. But the pickings are slim at this point.
Hopefully, this does not develop into something chronic.
After a promising rookie season and an impressive Summer League in Orlando where he averaged 18.8 points per game, Thunder second year player Cameron Payne had surgery to repair a Jones fracture in his right foot, the team announced Monday. Here it is from the Thunder’s press release.
Oklahoma City Thunder guard Cameron Payne underwent a successful procedure today to repair a fractured fifth metatarsal in his right foot, it was announced today by Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti.
The team is optimistic he will be ready to go by the start of the season (there is usually a 6-8 week timetable), but Payne and the Thunder need to be patient here. The fifth metatarsal is the bone that runs from the base of the little toe up to the ankle on the foot. While surgery can repair it, healing can be slow because that is not an area of the foot with great natural blood flow. The Thunder were down this road before with Kevin Durant, he came back eight weeks after the surgery but ended up needing a couple more to get everything fixed and missed 55 games because of it.
Payne played well as a rookie and is expected to see a healthy bump in playing time next season as a scoring guard off the bench behind Russell Westbrook. He just needs to get right first.
Coaches who win rings often get a pay bump. Guys who break a 52-year championship drought deserve one.
That includes guys who only coached half a season — especially ones working on the same contract they had before taking the big job.
Tyronn Lue and the Cavaliers just agreed to a healthy contract extension, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports.
That seems fair.
What Lue got that his predecessor David Blatt never could was real buy-in from LeBron James and the rest of the Cavaliers. Blatt came off as wanting to be the smartest guy in the room at all times — and don’t you dare discount his experiences coaching in Europe — while Lue was more humble and more direct. He didn’t get to put in everything he wanted, and the team didn’t play faster for him (statistically) as he wanted, but there was better chemistry.
This isn’t rocket science for Cleveland — if you have a coach that your franchise player backs, and said coach has proven he can win, you keep him.