Cavaliers court

Cavaliers, Bucks want to put season ticket holders’ names on court


More and more, NBA teams are using the apron around the court (or part of the court itself) for branding — for example you can find your team’s .com address somewhere on the apron or those above-the-backboard camera angles.

Now the Cleveland Cavaliers and Milwaukee Bucks want to use some of that space — or space on the court — for a customer loyalty program.

The teams want to put the names of season ticket holders on the court somewhere. They presented the idea to the league office, which is considering it, reports John Lombardo at the Sports Business Journal.

One source said the Cavaliers are proposing to put the account holders’ names on the sideline aprons while the Bucks are considering putting the names near the half-court line on the playing floor. The locations are subject to change depending on league response to the proposal.

Neither league nor team officials would discuss the plans, pending their approval, but sources said that if allowed, the initiative could be in place by the start of the coming season.

There are a lot of details to be worked out here — such as where on the court or apron, how big, even which fans to reward — but by and large I don’t see the problem here. Well, so long as the names are not on a decal on the court, those can get slippery.

Like every other business, from your grocery store to your credit card, loyalty programs to reward regular customers are a part of keeping people who spend their money with you happy. The best way for an NBA team to do that is to put a quality, entertaining product on the court, but adding this, making some fans happy, seems a decent move. It’s not interfering with the product on the court, so why not?

But I’ll admit, it will take a little getting used to.

Kings’ Karl admits mistakes in DeMarcus Cousins trade controversey

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In the NBA, elite players have the leverage. It is just simple supply and demand.

DeMarcus Cousins is an elite player — and a favorite of owner Vivek Ranadive. He is not going anywhere.

Which made this summer’s “George Karl wants trade Cousins” a battle the coach couldn’t ultimately win — the owner wasn’t going to sign off on it, and the fans are going to side with Boogie. Remember Karl said he never had a player that was untradable, and that spiraled into reports Karl probed trade options with other teams, much to the frustration of management and Cousins himself.

Karl owned up to some of his mistakes in an interview on Comcast Bay Area, as reported by James Ham at

“To be honest with you, I apologized to DeMarcus for making the trade comment that I’ve never coached a player that’s untradeable,” Karl told Christensen. “That was wrong for me to say, because you all (the media) took it and blew it up into crazy.”

“But it’s my responsibility to be smart enough to not say things like that,” Karl continued. “So I did apologize because I thought that was the only thing, maybe some other things, but really the only thing that got us separated was that comment that then everybody wrote the we’re going to trade [Cousins].”

The relationship between Cousins and Karl — not to mention Rajon Rondo and other veterans — is the biggest key to the Kings’ season. Karl and Cousins say their relationship is solid now, but what happens when that is put under stress at some point during the season?

In talking to people around the team, the Kings players seemed to have formed a tight bond — even if part of the glue of that bond is a distrust of Karl that can work for them. This is a team that has the talent to compete for the bottom couple playoff seeds in the Western Conference, but everybody needs to be pulling on the rope in the same direction. We will see pretty quickly if the Kings can do that.

Pistons reveal “Detroit Chrome” alternate uniform


I’m a fan of the Pistons’ alternate uniforms in general — their “Motor City” ones may be may favorite alternates around the league.

Now they have a new one — Detroit Chrome.

The Pistons will break these out for seven home games this season. From the official release:

The inspiration for the Detroit Chrome jerseys came about as a way to honor our coolest cars from the past and the cars of the future. Detroit is universally known as the auto capital of the world, where chrome leaves an indelible mark on the cars we create. The uniforms feature a matte chrome base color with clean simple lines inspired by the classic muscle cars that have roared up and down Woodward Avenue for decades. The navy trim and Detroit emblazoned across the chest represent the blue collar work ethic that the auto industry and region was built on.

Clean, simple, cool — I like it.

That would look good in the first round of the playoffs, too. (I’m predicting they get the eight seed.)