The last time a lot of people wanted to wear a Bulls jersey was… oh, yea, back when the Bobcats owner played for them.
Derrick Rose has a long way to go before he is mentioned in the same breath with Michael Jordan, but he is filling in that gap in some ways. For example, he led the NBA in jersey sales, the league reported. These are sales at the NBA Store on Fifth Avenue and on NBAStore.com from last April to now.
Rose was fifth last year but his win as MVP and the Bulls playoff run last year vaulted his popularity and status among fans.
Second place went to Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin, who sold more jerseys during the regular season than anyone. Like the couple weeks of Linsanity itself it was a perfect storm of Lin being in New York and also reaching deeply into the Asian American demographic.
Rounding out your top five are Kobe Bryant (who had been No. 1), LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony.
In terms of team merchandise, it was the Bulls in first followed by the Knicks, Lakers, Heat and Mavericks.
Both the Knicks and Celtics had three players in the top 15 in player jersey sales. For New York, Amare Stoudemire joined Lin and ‘Melo. For Boston it was Rajon Rondo (No. 10), Ray Allen (No. 12) and Paul Pierce (No. 13).
One other interesting note: the Clippers had two players in the top 15 with Blake Griffin (No. 9) and Chris Paul (No. 15). The last time the Clippers featured two players was in April 2002 with Darius Miles and Lamar Odom.
In the weeks since Kevin Durant announced he was signing with the Golden State Warriors, we have yet to hear Russell Westbrook speak on his former teammate’s decision. This week, ESPN.com’s Royce Young indicated in a podcast interview that Durant was telling Westbrook and others in the days leading up to his decision that he was coming back to Oklahoma City. He later walked back his report, saying he misspoke. On Thursday, Durant himself told The Vertical‘s Shams Charania that he never said any such thing, or misled Westbrook or anyone else about his intentions.
“It’s false,” Durant told The Vertical on Thursday. “I didn’t say that – words about me telling Russell or Nick that I would stay or leave never came out of my mouth. We met as teammates, but no promises came out of it. In this day and age, I can’t control anything people claim out there. Someone can go out and say something random right now, and people will believe it.
“I never told Russell or Nick [Collison], ‘All right, guys, I’m coming back to the Thunder’ – and then a week later, I decide not to. Never happened. I don’t operate like that. I heard people say that story, but it’s not the truth.”
So that settles that.
CHICAGO (AP) The Chicago Bulls have signed guard Spencer Dinwiddie.
The Bulls acquired Dinwiddie in a trade with Detroit last month and waived him three weeks ago. He spent two years with the Pistons and appeared in 12 games last season, averaging 4.8 points and 13.3 minutes.
The Bulls announced the move Thursday.
The Wizards are getting a new practice facility.
For some reason, the Wizards have to pay just $4.46 million for it. Washington D.C. will cover the rest.
How much is the rest?
Jonathan O’Connell of The Washington Post:
The District”s sports and convention arm, Events DC, is proposing a series of upgrades to a planned Washington Wizards practice facility and entertainment center in Southeast that would likely reduce the total number of seats but add $10 million to the original $55 million price tag.
The new spending would be paid for by Events DC, which is funded by a percentage of hotel occupancy taxes. It does not require approval by the D.C. Council but will have to be voted on by the Events DC board Aug. 11.
Wizards owner Ted Leonsis pledged to move the team’s practices there as well as home games for the Washington Mystics and a future Wizards’ NBA D-League affiliate team. His company, Monumental Sports & Entertainment, agreed to pay $4.46 million — or 8 percent of the original $55 million cost.
But in a July 26 letter to D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson, Gregory A. O’Dell, president and chief executive of Events DC, wrote that the original $55 million budget was “based on a preliminary estimate, as development and analysis of the program and concept design had not yet been performed.”
So, the District agreed to pay for a project without knowing how much it would cost and got the primary beneficiary — Leonsis — to kick in a share based on a low early estimate? It’s almost as if politicians are inept or have ulterior motives.
At least Wizards practices and WNBA games will bring plenty of new money into the community.
As Leonsis said, “There’s never been a better time to be an owner of an NBA franchise.”