Now we have four rappers who are part owners of NBA teams. Still only one that anyone talks about, but four total.
Will Smith — rapper, actor, the Fresh Prince himself — and his wife Jada Pinkett are now minority owners of the Philadelphia 76ers, it was announced at the introductory press conference for the ownership group. He did not attend the press conference because, well, he’s Will Smith. “Men in Black 3” and all. But he’s all in.
Smith was born and raised in West Philly, if you didn’t know. That was before he moved to Bel Air. But he didn’t forget how to play hoops — we have the video footage.
Smith is part of the new ownership group headed by Joshua Harris, who came in and made a splash at their first public introduction. That started by slashing ticket prices for the majority of seats in the building.
The new owners also set up a Web page where fans can leave thoughts and suggestions for ownership. Just don’t tell them to trade Elton Brand (they already know).
As for the other rappers in the ownership game, there is Jay-Z and his one-percent of the Nets, Usher with the Cleveland Cavaliers, and Nelly with the Charlotte Bobcats.
The new Sixers owners also officially let former GM Ed Stephanski go, which was the humane thing to do rather than watch him twist in the wind. He was on his way out with Rod Thorn and others being called in. Stephanski is in the running for the Portland GM job and started to have serious talks with Toronto but those have apparently run into a snag.
On Monday, Dion Waiters agreed to a one-year, $2.9 million deal with the Heat, far less than most people thought he would get as one of the few significant free agents still on the market. Tuesday afternoon, he posted an explanation on Instagram for his deal.
Here’s what he said:
I didn’t do it for the money… I did it for the opportunity to go out & ball & have fun. Everything else will take care of its self!!! I just felt like it was the best situation for me…& my family. I could have waited & got wat I wanted. But I rather be happy then miserable at the end of the day!!! Meaning Yu can have everything & still not be happy… #heatnation let’s get it!!! #provethemwrong #stamped #Philly
It seems clear, based on the market, that the kinds of offers Waiters was hoping for weren’t out there for him. In Miami, with Dwyane Wade gone, he’ll probably start at shooting guard and have plenty of opportunities to prove himself in hopes of landing a long-term deal next summer.
While we wait for the Celtics to make a bigger move to trade for another star, they’re filling out the end of their roster. Sheridan Hoops’ Michael Scotto is reporting that they’ve signed Demetrius Jackson, the No. 45 pick in last month’s draft, to a four-year deal.
Jackson declared for the draft after his junior season at Notre Dame. Talent-wise, he has the chance to be a major steal for Boston — DraftExpress has him ranked as the 17th-best overall prospect in this year’s draft class. But he might not play much his first year. The Celtics’ roster is already crowded and there’s still the chance that they’ll make another move with some of their much-vaunted assets if the right star becomes available.
ATLANTA (AP) — The Atlanta Hawks have signed undrafted rookie free agent center Matt Costello of Michigan State.
The 6-foot-9, 245-pound Costello averaged 5.7 points and 5 rebounds on the Hawks’ summer league team in Las Vegas.
Costello averaged 10.7 points and 8.2 rebounds as a senior at Michigan State. He holds the school’s career record with 146 blocked shots.
Terms of the deal were not released.
Jamal Crawford knows how to get buckets.
He does it against NBA level defenders, so put him in a free-flowing pro-am — let’s say the Seattle pro-am in his hometown — and he barely breaks a sweat dropping 44. And nailing the game winner.
Doc Rivers hopes to see a lot of that next season.