Kobe Bryant, Rudy Gay

Lakers’ Spanish broadcast team wins ‘Best Live Call’ for broadcast of Kobe’s game-tying three vs. Raptors (VIDEO)


The Lakers’ overtime win over the Raptors back in March was easily the best regular season game I attended in person last year.

Kobe Bryant was absolutely ridiculous in dragging his team first to overtime and then to victory, and just like sports writers can do some of their best work when a player or game exceeds expectations and reaches incredible heights, the same can be true of those making the call as a game is being broadcast live.

L.A.’s Spanish broadcast team, consisting of Adrian Garcia-Marquez and Francisco Pinto, were selected as the winners of the “Best Live Call” award that was decided upon by their colleagues in the industry at a meeting of NBA broadcast talent this week.

From Lakers.com:

“We are honored and humbled by this award,” said Garcia-Marquez. “It means so much to us that our peers gave us this distinction. Honestly, we were happily surprised to just have been included on a list with many legendary and talented gentlemen to whom we personally look up.”

In the call, Garcia-Marquez details the sinking of a contested, game-tying, overtime-forcing three-pointer from “La Mamba Negra”, who had drained two previous triples to keep the Lakers in the game.

“That play was absolutely Vino-inspired,” explained Garcia-Marquez.

The call was made by the team while working the Time Warner Cable Deportes broadcast.

It’s unclear who else was nominated, but what’s indisputable is how great the call of “Tres! Mamba Negra! Triple Doses!” was as Bryant dropped in the three that sent the game to OT.

It’s worth noting that while it may sound like the announcer said “tremendo huevos,” he actually said “tremendo juego,” which translates as “great game.” Although it’s obvious from the highlight that the latter phrase accurately describes Kobe’s effort here, as well.

In-cre-ible, indeed.

LeBron James posts photo with Tristan Thompson, sends message to Cavs

2015 NBA Finals - Game Five
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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.

Get it done!!!! Straight up. #MissMyBrother @realtristan13

A photo posted by LeBron James (@kingjames) on

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.


Hezonja throws down one-handed dunk in preseason debut

Orlando Magic Introduce 2015 NBA Draft Picks
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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.