Jeff Green donates $1 million to Georgetown athletic department

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Yes, Celtics forward Jeff Green is playing on a four-year, $36.24 million contract.

But he also already missed an entire season due to heart surgery. And he’s in a career where income typically stops, even for healthy players, well before they reach 40.

That’s a long way of saying $1 million is a lot of money, even to Green.

With that established, Green donated $1 million to his alma mater yesterday.

Georgetown release:

On their birthday, many people expect to receive gifts. On Thursday, Aug. 28, former Georgetown University men’s basketball All-American Jeff Green (C’12), who turns 28-years-old today, announced that he will make a $1 million gift to the athletics department for the John R. Thompson Jr. Intercollegiate Athletics Center.

The building is named in honor of Hall of Fame Men’s Basketball Coach John Thompson Jr., who guided the Hoyas for 27 years and influenced generations both on and off the hardwood.

As a junior, Green led Georgetown to the Final Four in 2007 and was selected with the No. 5 pick in the National Basketball Association Draft. Determined to finish his degree, Green continued attending classes during the offseason. He earned his degree in English, with a minor in theology, from Georgetown in 2012.

“I’m very fortunate to be in a position to give back to the University and to the program that has done so much for me,” Green said. “The environment created by Coach (John) Thompson III and his staff helped shape me both academically and athletically. Georgetown and Georgetown Basketball is at my core and is part of who I am.

“Georgetown athletes are going to get the chance to work and develop in a world-class, state-of-the-art facility. The Thompson Athletics Center will be the best in the country.”

A groundbreaking ceremony for the Thompson Athletics Center is scheduled for September 12, 2014. Green’s contribution is part of the $62 million project that will be completely supported through philanthropy.

“This generous gift from Jeff will help to enhance the experience of many future Georgetown student-athletes,” Head Coach John Thompson II said. “Jeff’s commitment to our school and to our program speaks not only to his experiences as a student and an athlete here, but gives a small glimpse into who he is as a person. We’re very fortunate to have Jeff Green represent this institution.”

The four-story, 144,000-square-foot Thompson Athletics Center will be constructed adjacent to McDonough Arena and include practice courts, team meeting rooms, men’s and women’s basketball coaches’ offices, and weight-training and sports medicine rooms for all varsity athletes. The new facility also includes a Student-Athlete Academic and Leadership Center, an auditorium, team meeting facilities for varsity programs and a new venue for the Georgetown Athletics Hall of Fame.

Good for Green for giving to a cause he deemed worthy. He can spend his money how he wants, and I’m sure he sees value in the university.

I’ll bite my tongue about the virtue of donating to a profit-generating entity like Georgetown Basketball, which – due to NCAA rules – doesn’t adequately adequately pay its employees (players) and therefore has extra money laying around.

But the idea of paying it forward to the next generation, especially when it’s through an institution that benefitted you? I can get behind that.

Brandon Jennings no fan of the NBA’s new Awards Ceremony event

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Come June 26, Drake will be on stage in New York City, handing out the NBA’s awards — Most Valuable Player, Defensive Player of the Year, Coach of the Year, and so on. (We need to set an under/over on the number of players Drake hugs that night.)

The NFL does it. The NHL does it. And the NBA has decided to follow suit with a broadcast awards ceremony where everything — except the All-NBA Team — will be announced that night. It’s happening because the broadcast partners want it.

Brandon Jennings is not a fan. Here is what the Wizards’ point guard Tweeted:

Jennings took down a Tweet that said if he had won the award he would have wanted to get it with the organization and his teammates around him. (And no, he knows he’s not winning the award. If you were going to put that in the comments be more creative.)

There’s something to what Jennings is saying. The NBA award roll out was awkward at times in previous years, but it gave the fans a chance to celebrate the awards with their favorite player. Now, everyone will watch it unfold on television from a ballroom in NYC. That feels a little colder. Also, we will get to see the reaction of those who don’t win (particularly this season, where several players can make a strong case for MVP).

It will be interesting to see how this first year goes, and how the league tweaks it going forward. The more than two month gap between the end of the regular season and the awards could feel a bit awkward. But we’re not going to knock the idea until we’ve seen it in action.

Portland GM makes it official, Festus Ezeli will not be back with team next season

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This season the Portland Trail Blazers found their center of the future (and the present) in Jusuf Nurkic.

Which makes the next step fairly obvious: Portland will not pick up the option on Festus Ezeli for next season, GM Neil Olshay confirmed at the team exit meetings Tuesday.

Portland signed Ezeli on what they thought was a great contract (one-year, $7.4 million, with a team option for the second year) because he was coming off knee surgery last summer. However, Ezeli was never healthy, needed a second surgery, and never got on the court. After taking it slow over last summer he practiced with the team twice in mid-October, there was more swelling, so he pulled back.

This summer Ezeli will not draw any guaranteed money from teams, but some teams may take a look at him. Athletic bigs get a lot of chances in the NBA.

Gordon Hayward will play for Jazz in Game 5 without minutes restriction

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Gordon Hayward has averaged 20.5 points a game in these playoffs — and that includes a 40 point outburst in Game 3 — but what has been more impressive is he has done it efficiently, with a true shooting percentage of 61.1. While Joe Johnson and others have stepped up, Utah will need Hayward’s shot creation if they are going to win this series.

They will have it Tuesday night in Game 5.

After missing the second half of Game 4 due to food poisoning (he tried to play but was ineffective in the first half), he is back and ready to go this time around.

So is Rudy Gobert. The Jazz will be at full health, while the Clippers remain without Blake Griffin for the remainder of the playoffs.

Having those two back is a boost for the Jazz, they need to score more consistently against the Clippers, but the bigger key will be defensively trying to deal with Chris Paul on the pick-and-roll. He has been masterful this series, and the Jazz need to keep him in check to give their offense a chance.

When NBA switches to Nike uniforms next season, Hornets will move to Jordan Brand

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There are not going to be dramatic changes to the look of the NBA when Nike takes over the apparel contract for next season, replacing Adidas. Instead of the Adidas logo, there will be a swoosh, sleeved jerseys will fade away, and some teams will modify their alternate jerseys, but the league is not getting a total uniform makeover next season. Things will look basically the same.

Except in Charlotte — they will not have a swoosh, they will have the Jordan Jumpman logo.

The why is obvious — Michael Jordan is the primary owner of the Hornets and, obviously, the guy the Jordan brand was named after. The Jordan Brand is part of Nike. The Hornets made the announcement this week buried in a press release about moving the fan shop at the arena, hat tip to Sole Collector for finding this. Here is what the release says:

The re-opening of the Hornets Fan Shop will coincide with the launch of the team’s new Jordan Brand uniforms as Nike becomes the NBA’s uniform provider beginning this season.  The Hornets will be the only team in the NBA wearing Jordan Brand uniforms, and with the agreement taking effect, the Hornets Fan Shop will have even more of the popular Jordan Brand Hornets merchandise than it has had previously.

While it’s not like the Lakers or Celtics are going to be changing up their traditional uniforms, even teams like the Hornets will keep a similar look under Nike.

What should be interesting to see is what the Christmas Day and All-Star uniforms look like under a Nike touch.