Photo courtesy Philadelphia 76ers

Philadelphia 76ers announce jersey patch deal with StubHub

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Adam Silver and a vote of the owners has cleared the way, and by the 2017-18 season every team will have an advertisers patch on the left shoulder. Purists will howl because that is what they do, but there was a Kia patch on the NBA All-Star Game jerseys this past season and it was met with a collective yawn by the public.

The 76ers have announced a deal with secondary ticket market broker StubHub to sponsor their jerseys starting in the fall of 2017 (the season after next), the team has announced Monday. They are the first team to strike and announce a deal.

“This marks another groundbreaking first for the Philadelphia 76ers and StubHub. Our brands are now inextricably linked as we create lifelong memories for our fans in Philadelphia and around the world,” Sixers CEO Scott O’Neil said in a statement. “Our partnership with StubHub continues to generate progressive and forward-thinking platforms created to improve the fan experience and advance our industry.”

While there had been resistance from some owners, the NBA had been moving toward doing this for some time. Is it about making more money? Duh. Sorry to break it to you, but this is a business. It’s an entertainment business that counts on people being emotionally invested in the product, but it’s still a business. These NBA owners didn’t get to be billionaires by leaving a few million on the table.

While the finances of the deal were not publicly made official, ESPN’s Darren Rovell reports this is a three-year deal at $5 million per year. That’s more than most teams expected to be available (or at least that number was thought to be the max teams in L.A. or New York would get). This may bring in more revenue than expected.

The league approved a three-year trial of this program then the owners will revisit the issue (if you think the owners are going to give back a revenue stream after three years, I’d like to sell you a bridge).

The NBA is not going NASCAR with the number of patches, nor is it going European soccer (or WNBA) where the name across the front of the jersey gets replaced by corporate sponsorships. This is one small patch on the left shoulder. But go ahead and howl in the comments.

Jazz boost international bona fides with new minor-league coach

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Martin Schiller has been named coach of the Salt Lake City Stars, the Utah Jazz’s NBA G League affiliate.

Schiller previously served as an assistant coach of MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg in Germany and replaces Dean Cooper. He was an assistant coach for the Artland Dragons from 2010-15.

Schiller has also been an assistant coach on the German National Team since 2015, where he worked with Jazz assistant coach Alex Jensen.

Schiller hails from Vienna, Austria, and Stars vice president of basketball operations Bart Taylor lauded him for his international experience and player development background.

The Jazz organization is known to have close relationships with the international basketball community. The Jazz currently have eight international players.

Kyrie Irving will wear No. 11 with Celtics

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BOSTON (AP) — Newly acquired guard Kyrie Irving will wear No. 11 in Boston because the Celtics already have retired the numbers he wore in college and with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Irving wore No. 11 at two New Jersey high schools before switching to No. 1 at Duke. He wore No. 2 with the Cavaliers for the first six years of his NBA career.

The Celtics retired No. 1 for founder and original owner Walter Brown. They retired No. 2 for former coach and general manager Red Auerbach.

In all, the Celtics have retired 21 numbers, with Paul Pierce’s No. 34 next in line for the TD Garden rafters.

 

PBT Extra: Cavaliers’ new GM aces first big test with Kyrie Irving trade

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Everyone in the NBA — heck, nearly everyone living in the Western hemisphere — knew Kyrie Irving wanted out of Cleveland. That should kill the Cavaliers’ leverage and make it hard to get enough quality back.

New GM Koby Altman — the guy thrust into the job when David Griffin was shown the door — pulled it off brilliantly.

That’s what I talk about in this new PBT Extra. With Isaiah Thomas and Jae Crowder, the Cavaliers remain the team to beat in the East this season. The Brooklyn Nets pick gives them flexibility going forward, whatever LeBron James decides to do next season.

First time at the plate in the big leagues and Altman crushed it to straight away center field.

Cavaliers-Celtics deal first offseason trade involving players who just met in NBA Finals or conference finals

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The Cavaliers and Celtics played in last year’s Eastern Conference finals. The teams were widely expected to meet there again.

Yet, Cleveland and Boston just completed a blockbuster trade – Kyrie Irving for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and the Nets’ 2018 first-round pick.

That seemed odd.

In fact, it’s unprecedented.

That is an incredible fact, one which speaks to LeBron Jamescachet. The Cavs are emphasizing this season, LeBron’s last before a player option, by loading up with veterans Thomas and Crowder. With LeBron still reigning in Cleveland, the Celtics are delaying their peak by acquiring the younger Irving.

Adding to the intrigue: the Cavs and Celtics are still favored to meet in this year’s conference finals. At minimum, they’ll face off in a(n even more) highly anticipated opening-night matchup.