London Olympics bid are on the line all over the globe this summer — at Eurobasket in Lithuania, at the Americas tournament in Argentina, plus events in Africa and other spots around the globe.
And the NBA lockout could impact all of it.
Among the things that went away with the NBA lockout was the medical insurance that players have. Which means if the issue is not resolved quickly (it will not be) and those players want to play for their countries this summer, either they or their country have to purchase some expensive insurance. FIBA explained the situation on their Web site.
French Basketball Federation (FFBB) President Jean-Pierre Siutat was at the EuroBasket Women in Lodz, Poland, on Thursday night and was asked by FIBA about the lockout.
“The only difference between a lockout and a no lockout situation is that we have to pay more insurance,” he said.
“We are aware of the situation with the players, now we have to wait for them to say yes. We are currently trying to raise the necessary funds to cover the additional costs and are thus trying to find somebody who can help us in France – the government or some alternative sponsor. Considering that we have six players from the NBA, we’re talking about a substantial amount of money.”
The insurance would cover earnings lost due to an injury, which could get mighty expensive. So the insurance isn’t cheap.
But a team like France is not the same without its NBA players. Same with Spain (the Gasol brothers, to name a couple of many), Argentina (Manu Ginobili and others) and the list goes on and on.
If NBA players have to skip out because of insurance, it could impact which countries earn berths in the 2012 London Games. (The USA already qualified by winning the FIBA World Championships last year in Turkey.)
Joel Embiid calls out Karl Anthony-Towns’ defense during Instagram trash talk
Mavericks center Salah Mejri has a history of agitating, including against the Spurs.
Two years ago, Mejri dunked while Dallas got blown out by San Antonio and yapped at the Spurs bench – drawing laughter from Gregg Popovich and Tim Duncan. Last season, Mejri had Trevor Ariza and other Rockets trying to confront him after reportedly saying something about Ariza’s family.
The NBA changed its All-Star format this season from East vs. West to captain-picked teams (though still naming players equally from each conference).
That apparently wasn’t a big enough overhaul.
After including media and player votes last year, the league is making All-Star starter selection even more complex.
NBA All-Star Voting 2018 presented by Verizon will tip off with an early voting period exclusively on the NBA App and NBA.com beginning Thursday, Dec. 21 at 1 p.m. ET.
Voting via all other channels, including Amazon Alexa for the first time, will launch on Monday, Dec. 25 at 11 a.m.
Additionally, new for this season, five “2-for-1 Days” will allow fans to have their votes count twice on Dec. 31, Jan. 4, Jan. 11, Jan. 12 and Jan. 15 when voting through the NBA App and NBA.com, along with Sina Weibo and Tencent in China. All “2-for-1 Days” will be designated 12 a.m. – 11:59 p.m. ET.
TNT will reveal the All-Star Game starters, including the two captains, on Thursday, Jan. 18 during TNT NBA Tip-Off
The network will announce the reserves, as selected by NBA head coaches, on Tuesday, Jan. 23 during TNT NBA Tip-Off at 7 p.m. ET.
The team rosters for NBA All-Star Game 2018 in Los Angeles will be revealed on Thursday, Jan. 25 during a special one-hour edition of TNT NBA Tip-Off at 7 p.m. ET.
I suppose this is to drum up interest on otherwise quiet voting days. After all, this is really just about the NBA selling itself.
But the All-Star voting process has always left something to be desired. I don’t see how this changes that.
So imagining James’ last act coming in purple and gold isn’t without basis. But as of now, it’s also a longshot, according to league sources.
Shelburne and Windhorst are highly credible. I doubt they’d report this without connected sources.
LeBron’s agent, Rich Paul, and manager, Maverick Carter, have recently publiclydownplayed the importance of Los Angeles to LeBron. That felt like a coordinated attack on the LeBron-Lakers rumors, and this fits as a continuation.
But why wage that campaign? To keep the Cavaliers focused while LeBron still plays for them, even if he might leave after the season? To lower expectations among the Lakers’ massive fan base, so as not alienate those people (potential customers of the many LeBron-connected brands) when LeBron inevitably signs elsewhere? Both could be true, but there’s obviously a difference between each driving LeBron’s camp.