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.

Rich Cho on Trail Blazers getting swept: ‘Being a previous Portland GM, that didn’t disappoint me’

AP Photo/The Charlotte Observer, Jeff Willhelm
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In 2011, the Trail Blazers surprisingly fired Rich Cho after only season as general manager.

Cho – since hired and fired by the Hornets – seems to be holding a grudge.

John Canzano of The Oregonian:

That’s a sentiment many people hold toward their former employer. Few say so publicly. That Cho did indicates just how strongly he feels.

Under owner Paul Allen, the Trail Blazers have run through numerous executives. It’s part of the culture in Portland, and it leaves a lot of outgoing people bitter.

Current general manager Neil Olshey ought to be mindful of that.

Josh Allen’s old tweet: ‘I hate LeBron!!!!! #LeBronSucks’

AP Photo/Margaret Bowles
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Josh Allen, a quarterback from Wyoming, could be the No. 1 pick in tonight’s NFL draft. But his recently unearthed high school tweets – which include using the n-word with an ‘a’ at the end – are the sports story of the day.

And there’s an NBA tie.

Via Ryan Young of Yahoo Sports:

I hate LeBron!!!!! #LeBronSucks

— Josh Allen (@JoshAllenQB) June 7, 2011

Damian Lillard went down this same road with LeBron James, and they got past it.

But it would be a little more awkward if the Cleveland Browns – who have the Nos. 1 and 4 picks – take Allen. Then, Allen will face more scrutiny over this tweet – the most innocuous of the bunch.

Donovan Mitchell tells Thunder fans, Jazz teammates Utah not returning to Oklahoma City this season

AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki
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The Jazz blew a 25-point second-half lead in Game 5 last night, extending their series with the Thunder. Up 3-2, the Jazz are still in control. They can close out in Game 6 tomorrow in Utah. Blow that, and they must return to Oklahoma City for Game 7 Sunday.

But Utah rookie Donovan Mitchell is making it abundantly clear he doesn’t plan to do that.

Gabe Ikard of The Franchise 107.7:

Jake Edmonds of KUTV:

A confident proclamation that rallies his team or youthful exuberance run amok?

The narrative will be decided after Game 6. That’s just how this is done.

Report: Grizzlies moving toward keeping J.B. Bickerstaff as coach

AP Photo/Matt Slocum
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From the moment Robert Pera opted to retain control of the Grizzlies and end a prolonged ownership saga, it seemed interim coach J.B. Bickerstaff would remain Memphis’ coach.

Lo and behold…

Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:

Bickerstaff did a decent job before the Grizzlies started tanking. But that was a small a sample, and his prior work as Rockets interim coach was uninspiring.

To be fair to Bickerstaff, those were both difficult situations. He’s an experienced assistant who might be ready for this challenge.

To be less fair to Bickerstaff, this looks like Memphis taking the cheap route. The Grizzlies didn’t appear to conduct much of a coaching search, if any. Nor has Bickerstaff been mentioned with other openings. It probably won’t cost as much to hire him as it would a more-established option.

Memphis seems to be operating under the belief that a healthy Mike Conley and Marc Gasol will right the ship next season. And they might. But given the age and injury history of those two, I wouldn’t assume they stay healthy and productive all season. Even if they do, they’d have to carry an underwhelming supporting cast – with limited room for upgrade this summer – in a deep Western Conference.

The Grizzlies want Bickerstaff, who’d be a first-time non-interim head coach, leading that team trying to win now? That doesn’t seem like the right risk-reward balance – at least until considering his salary, and even then.