Update: The designer, who built LeBron’s shoes, I might add, has apologized on Twitter.
Saturday night after Derrick Rose tore his ACL and was rendered out for the season, a Nike designer tweeted the following regarding Derrick Roe and his association with adidas:
You got one guy only getting stronger, and one guy breaking down before our very eyes. You chose poorly Pooh… #shouldasignedwithNIKE #GWS
via Twitter / @sevenzro1: You got one guy only getti ….
See, the hashtag is nice, because we couldn’t pick up what he was trying to say otherwise. It clearly designates his position on the issue. Granted, he’s the only person on the planet who would connect which shoe company he chose with a series of injuries, but still, it’s nice that he gave the blueprint for just what he was trying to say. The most amazing part? As of 11:20 a.m. on Sunday morning, after Yahoo! Sports posted on it, he still hasn’t deleted the tweets.
Not only that, but cruise on over to that Yahoo! link and check out his defense of his position. He’s playing the “I”m outlandish and if y’all don’t like it, too bad!” card which works, if, you know, you’re a civil rights activist or even a shock jock radio host. But if you’re some dude on the internet that’s making fun of a player for enduring a serious injury when you work for a company that deals with professional athletes, that’s not such a good look.
Rose suffered a terrible injury. It’s a freak injury. These things happen to Nike guys, to Gatorade guys, to Powerade guys, to everyone. And this approach isn’t going to win him any favors with anyone… least of all his bosses at Nike.
Tristan Thompson is a man without a contract. By not signing the qualifying offer with the Cleveland Cavaliers he put himself in limbo, the rare NBA holdout. Right now his options are to sign the deal on the table (the Cavs still have the five-year, $80 million offer out there), get the Sixers or Blazers to offer him a max contract (which neither team has shown any interest in doing), or hold out and hope the Cavaliers make a better offer. If he holds out for the entire season he becomes a restricted free agent again next summer — exactly like he is right now.
Without signing the qualifying offer and the threat of leaving, Thompson hurt his leverage.
But he has a little leverage. He and his agent Rich Paul had one other card, and it got played Saturday.
LeBron James and Thompson share an agent in Paul. LeBron has largely remained silent through this process but if he wants something in the Cleveland organization, he usually gets it. And he wants Thompson back at practices.
LeBron’s leverage is going to be put to the test. The Cavaliers have let it leak they are not that concerned about LeBron leaving them next summer over this — and they’re right. The damage to LeBron’s brand if he broke the hearts of Cleveland fans again would be crushing, unless he leaves for a very good reason. Overpaying Thompson is not that reason.
However, LeBron’s comment could push the Cavaliers to try to find a compromise.
For the Cavaliers, a lot of how they view all this comes down to their tax bill. The Cavaliers already have $94.9 million in guaranteed salary on the books, putting them $10.2 million over the luxury tax line, at a cost of more than $16.25 million. What this means if (or when) they sign Thompson is his first $10 million in salary would cost them $28.75 million in tax and every dollar above that for the next $5 million costs them $3.75-to-$1. Look at it this way, by my count $14 million this year to Thompson would cost $43.75 million in tax — the total for Thompson at that price is $58 million. While that’s not all on Thompson it’s a lot of cash, and Thompson wants a max deal that starts at more than $16 million a year.
Owner Dan Gilbert is already going to pay the highest tax bill in the NBA this season, but if he balks at those figures it’s hard to blame him.
Mario Hezonja, the No. 5 pick in this year’s draft, has never lacked for confidence. The Croatian guard made his pro debut in the Magic’s preseason game against the Hornets on Saturday and did this:
Between Hezonja, Elfrid Payton, Victor Oladipo and Aaron Gordon, the Magic have a nucleus of young players that has the potential to be a lot of fun. Even if they’re still a few years away from contending, they’re definitely going to be a League Pass favorite this year.