Adam Silver: Ads on jerseys likely within five years

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It’s going to happen.

It’s not going to go from today’s jerseys to looking like a NASCAR driver. The word Celtics is not going to be replaced by “McDonald’s” like a European soccer team.

However, logos as some form of advertising will be coming to NBA jerseys eventually, likely within the next five years. Some owners have been pushing for it (*cough* Mark Cuban *cough*) and NBA commissioner Adam Silver threw out the five year figure while speaking at the IMG World Congress of Sports, as reported by Darren Rovell of ESPN.

“It just creates that much more of an opportunity for our marketing partners to get to get that much closer to our fans and to our players,” Silver said at the conference, put on by the Sports Business Daily/Journal. “It gives us an opportunity just to have deeper integration when it comes those forms of sponsorship.”

In 2011, it was Silver who said putting logos on jerseys would be worth about $100 million a year to the NBA. But Silver told ESPN.com last month that the discussion over the logo patches on jerseys had slowed in recent years because it was unclear how sponsors on jerseys would compromise advertising being sold by the league’s national television partners, Turner and ESPN.

In-game and in-show advertising is a growing norm because in our DVR/streaming world we fast forward through or walk out of the room during the commercials. So a Ford Fusion shows up in “New Girl” or in “The Amazing Race” so that the product placement is just part of the story.

NBA owners are in this for the money — did you see the last lockout? — and eventually they will do this as a way to raise revenue. It will be a golden arches of McDonald’s up on the shoulder (and if you wonder why the league pushes sleeved jerseys know that is more real estate to put relatively unobtrusive ads).

Go ahead and hate it if you want, but it’s coming not only to the NBA but to every major professional sport in the USA. It’s not a tide that can be stopped.

Magic’s Aaron Gordon skies to finish amazing alley-oop (VIDEO)

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Aaron Gordon may not have had the best dunk contest this year — apparently drones and dunks don’t mix well — but the guy can still get up and finish with the best in the league.

As he did on this alley-oop against Detroit.

Elfrid Payton had to throw a lob that would get over Andre Drummond, but how many guys in the league can get that high, reach back and finish that? Damn.

Former Hawk Pero Antic’s celebration accidentally punches teammate in face in Eruoleague (VIDEO)

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Former Atlanta Hawk Pero Antic is now playing for Turkish powerhouse Fenerbahce, in case you were not aware.

Fenerbahce was facing Anadolu Efes in a EuroLeague game, it was tight late and former NBA player Ekpe Udoh was at the free throw line for Fenerbahce. He missed his second shot, but the rebound caromed out-of-bounds off an Anadolu Efes player. Antic was pumped.

Maybe a little too pumped.

Ouch.

That was Nikola Kalinic, by the way, the guy Antic now owes dinner to. Kalinic would like the dinner more than the hug and kiss he got from Antic right after the play.

Also, Anadolu Efes held on to win 80-77.

(Hat tip to Ball Don’t Lie.)

James Harden helped recruit Lou Williams to Houston

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The Lakers had been shopping Lou Williams around in the run-up to the trade deadline, the only question was would they get a first-round pick for him. Rumors around the league say that Houston had offered them one weeks before, it was on the table, but the Jim Buss/Mitch Kupchak front office held their cards close and hoped a better deal would come through.

While all that was going on James Harden decided to ease the process and did a little recruiting calling up Williams, the sixth-man guard told Shams Charania of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports.

“When James called, he asked me if I was interested in playing with them,” Williams told The Vertical. “I told him that I loved the Lakers, but James and them have a group that fit my personality, fit how I play. He said he was going to make it happen.”

Williams then laughed, sitting on the edge of a visiting court following a recent practice. “I’ve heard that before, so I didn’t really put stock into it,” Williams told The Vertical. “I guess James did put the word in, and the team made it happen.”

We all know what happened, Jeanie Buss removed her brother and Kupchak a few days before the trade deadline, Magic Johnston stepped in, called around, and quickly pulled the trigger on a trade that sent Williams to Houston (the Lakers also got Corey Brewer). Williams has averaged 14.5 points per game and had some strong performances with the Rockets, although he’s still finding his groove with the team on the court. Still, he’s been an upgrade for the Rockets’ bench.

Harden knew he would be, so he did his part to make sure it happened.

Take a look back at just how great Shaq was with the Lakers (VIDEO)

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Shaquille O’Neal was as dominant a force as the NBA has ever seen.

His peak years came with the Lakers, when paired with Kobe Bryant one the court — and Phil Jackson manipulating both of them — they won three titles (and arguably would have had more if they stayed together). Those Lakers teams were one of the NBA’s great teams.

Friday night, the Lakers unveil Shaq’s statue at Staples Center. Take a look back at some of Shaq’s Lakers highlights.