NCAA East Regional Final - Georgetown v UNC

Jeff Green donates $1 million to Georgetown athletic department


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.

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.