NBA makes new League Pass features official, all nationally televised games now archived

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When the NBA posted the list of features for its League Pass offering this season, a couple of new ones immediately caught the attention of the hardcore fans that routinely pay for the privilege of watching every game during the regular season.

A limitation in the past was the lack of nationally televised games available, which was an issue because a lot of the most highly-anticipated matchups appear on ABC, TNT, ESPN, or NBA TV.

While they’re still not available live through League Pass, they are now part of the archives, which means you can watch them after they’ve aired or even days later.

From the official release:

“NBA LEAGUE PASS will mark its 20th season by providing fans with new features including direct access to a national game archive featuring all televised games on ABC, ESPN, TNT, and NBA TV throughout the regular season, and live feeds of both home and away team broadcasts for all games.

“The new enhancements will be available on NBA LEAGUE PASS Broadband, which is available complimentary to NBA LEAGUE PASS and as a standalone product.  Additional package options include NBA LEAGUE PASS Mobile and NBA LEAGUE PASS Choice, allowing fans to choose up to five teams to watch during the regular season.”

The second enhanced feature is the ability to choose which broadcast you want to see, which is great if you want your hometown feed instead of hearing your favorite team being disparaged by the opponent’s on-air crew (we’re looking at you, Sean Elliott).

The league confirmed its pricing for the various League Pass offerings a few weeks back, and it’s worth noting that you’ll get the best deal if you purchase the package through your cable or satellite provider. You’ll get the TV, broadband, and mobile versions all for an early bird price of $189 by doing it this way.

If you don’t have cable, you can still purchase the League Pass Broadband offering by itself for the same price for all 30 teams, or you can choose five teams to watch and pay just $129. The mobile version alone will set you back $49.99.

League Pass was already a must-have for NBA fans everywhere. The ability to now get all of the nationally televised games through the service via the archives is a fantastic upgrade, at no additional cost.

Akron store already selling “Stay Home 23” shirts, hats as LeBron decision looms

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We’ve seen this movie before.

There is all sorts of buzz around the league that LeBron James has one foot out the door in Cleveland. While people around LeBron denied he the rumor he is “100 percent” leaving, good luck finding any league source who thinks he is staying put next summer. Nothing is set in stone, his options — including staying — remain open, but we’ve all been down this road before.

The hometown fans are going to do their part to urge LeBron to stay.

Fan sentiment has some pull with LeBron (he came back to win the city a title). However, what matters more is a sense of a plan to keep the Cavaliers as title contenders for the coming years — and that is more than just Dan Gilbert paying the tax. The Cavs did nothing this summer that got them closer to beating Golden State, and while they swung for the fences with Paul George, what they really needed was wing defenders and athletes, and they didn’t get those either. Luc Mbah a Moute signed a one-year deal for the minimum somewhere else. Instead, Cleveland overpaid Kyle Korver.

Despite all that, the Cavs remain the team to beat in the East. If Cleveland gets to the Finals — LeBron’s eighth in a row — and they win or make it close, he may see staying as his best option. A season can be a lifetime in the NBA in terms of shifting attitudes. Still, I wouldn’t bet the rent on it.

Marshall Plumlee gets camp invite, partially guaranteed contract from Clippers

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The Los Angeles Clippers have 14 fully guaranteed contracts on their roster, plus a partial guarantee for DeAndre Liggins (who likely is on the roster opening day). They also are pretty much set at center with DeAndre Jordan and Willie Reed (plus when they go small they can play Blake Griffin there, something I wish they’d do a little more).

That said, Doc Rivers — just a coach now — needs bodies for camp, so in comes former Duke star and Knick Marshall Plumlee, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

Plumlee played in 21 games for the Knicks last season, logging a total of 190 minutes. He bounced between New York and the D-League Westchester Knicks, when down he averaged 12.3 points and 9.8 rebounds a game.

He’s not making the Clippers’ squad (barring injury), but he could show well and get noticed by other teams. Over the course of a season, there will be a need for bigs as guys go down injured, Plumlee is getting a chance to show how his game has developed. And he makes some money in the process.

Kawhi Leonard is smiling, and that confuses Manu Ginobili (PHOTO)

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Much like Kevin Durant, it appears that Kawhi Leonard is having a great summer.

In fact, this appears to be the Summer of Kawhi Smiling. Which, according to one of his longtime teammates, is a bit confusing.

When the Spurs posted a photo of Leonard with a big old grin on his face to their Twitter feed recently, San Antonio legend Manu Ginobili responded asking the team whether something was up.

Specifically, Ginobili said that he had seen more photos of Leonard smiling in the past two days then he had in six seasons as a teammate.

Via Twitter:

You can leave an anonymous tip about why Kawhi Leonard is smiling so much by contacting the produce manager at your local H-E-B.

Kobe is the Lakers’ all-time leader in steals (and other trivia rookies don’t know)

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“He played 20 years … I mean, yeah I guess.”

That’s what Los Angeles Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball had to say in this video after learning that Kobe Bryant was the all-time leader in steals for his franchise. You have to hand it to him, it is a little surprising. Even more surprising is that Bryant has 220 more than Magic Johnson at No. 2.

In a video posted to YouTube by Complex on Saturday, rookies tried to answer questions similar to the one Ball pondered over, like what team drafted their head coach, who the NBA all-time leading scorer is, and what day the first game of the season starts on.

A lot of the responses were pretty funny, including the guys getting wrong what year Adam Silver became NBA commissioner. Poor David Stern has already been forgotten about!

Meanwhile, Ball looked the sharpest. He’s going to come in handy when the Lakers play pub trivia.