Kurt Helin

Sacramento Kings create DeMarcus Cousins in Madden and he’s a beast

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Officially, DeMarcus Cousins is 6’11” and 270 pounds. He’s strong, he’s agile, and he plays the game with a raw aggression in the post. The only thing that can slow him down is FIBA referees.

So for national video games day, the Sacramento Kings social media team decided to create Cousins in Madden 17, and make him a running back for the Raiders. And he is a beast.

Earl Cambell, eat your heart out.

If you feel like spoiling the fun and noting that in real life this wouldn’t work (Cousins’ center of gravity is too high), or that he’s doing this against the Saints defense and you or I could run for 100 yards and three TDs against them, just keep it to yourself. We’re having fun here.

Did Allen Iverson leave his Hall of Fame trophy in a hotel room?

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This is not verified. But it’s also not out of character.

A listener of “The Toucher and Rich Show” on Boston’s 98.5 The Sports Hub sent the show a picture allegedly of Allen Iverson’s Hall of Fame trophy, which he left at a hotel in Springfield.

Iverson was genuinely moved by the honor of being inducted into the HOF, but he also showed up late to his own press conference and missed an event for children he was scheduled to attend this same weekend.

Meaning he was Iverson being Iverson. The guy who at times did not pack for team road trips, when the plane would land he would just head to a store and buy new clothes (and throw the old ones out). Leaving the trophy seems plausible.

Kevin Seraphin says he asked Wizards for trade multiple times, was frustrated with Wittman

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NBA players like to know where they stand, and the appreciate a coach and a front office that are up front with them. Be critical of them, just don’t tell them how great they are then never give them a chance.

The latter is how Kevin Seraphin felt with the Wizards — which is why he said he asked for a trade.

Seraphin, now with Indiana on a new contract, spoke with the French newspaper L’Equipe about this, as translated by Hoopshype.

“Every year from my second season, I asked for a trade,” Seraphin said. “And every year it was the same thing: ‘We love you, we do not want to see you leave, you have a lot of potential.’ There was even a point when they said, ‘If we do not get an All-Star in return, we will not trade Kevin.'”

“(The year Paul Pierce arrived, 2014-15) may have been the hardest for me because I was really in shape. My playing time fluctuated without reason. I spoke a lot with Paul (Pierce) and John (Wall). And they did not understand. This summer, I met a staff member of the Wizards in a New York restaurant. He said, ‘Your problem is that you got Randy Wittman.'”

That there was some disconnect between Wittman and the front office regarding player use and style of play was fairly obvious. But in a very Wizards way, they let that drag out for a longer than expected time.

It will be interesting to see how much run Seraphin gets in Indiana, where Myles Turner should start at the five and Al Jefferson is going to get minutes as well. Not sure Seraphin is going to love Nate McMillan either, but at least he tends to be up front with players.

 

Report: Clippers near new local television deal where team retains streaming rights

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Online streaming of games is the future. It’s a fast-growing part of the NBA’s Broadband League Pass platform, where fans can buy just one game or an entire package (or the season) of games. Plus, nearly all local team broadcast stations stream the game online to fans that subscribe in that market to their service. (For an example here at NBC/Comcast, subscribers to Comcast SportsNet in the Bay Area can stream Warriors games online for free (there are links on this site in season). The same is true of the Celtics in Boston, the Wizards in Washington D.C., and so on.) The local broadcast partners have streaming rights.

But that may be about to change, starting with the Clippers and Steve Ballmer. He is near a new deal where the team will retain the streaming rights, reports the New York Post.

Los Angeles Clippers owner Steve Ballmer is weighing a deal with cable channel Prime Ticket that would allow the team to retain streaming rights, The Post has learned.

If the Clippers and Prime Ticket ink the TV rights deal, it would be the first among the four major sports leagues where the team kept streaming rights, sources familiar with the prospective deal said….

Under terms, the Clippers would only be able to offer a streaming service to Prime Ticket customers. The NBA retains out-of-market streaming rights.

For a tech guy like Ballmer (the former Microsoft CEO), this seems like a first step. Right now the Clippers would only be able to offer streaming to Prime Ticket customers, but you can be sure that the long-term goal here is to separate the two and expand that streaming market.

Streaming is growing as younger generations grow up using tablets and mobile devices to consume media more than traditional televisions. Those fans want their NBA games on those devices. This is both a fast growing segment of the eyeballs on any particular game, and it’s a lucrative one — whoever has the streaming rights can sell ads into the commercial spaces, as well as before the game starts to stream, plus have ads that pop up in the margins of the screen.

Currently the NBA itself controls the out-of-market streaming while the local broadcast partners have the in-market streaming. But as that streaming market grows, you can bet there will be a tug of war over who gets to control — and profit from — those streams. This is merely the first salvo in a long battle.

As a side note, this new Prime Ticket deal likely means more money for the Clippers, but not Lakers-level money. Despite the fact the Clippers have been a top NBA team and the Lakers have struggled, the Lakers still have had much better local ratings the past couple of seasons.

Duke to have pro days, close practices to NBA scouts, executives

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For a few years now, the talent factory that is Kentucky basketball under John Calipari, has closed practices to NBA scouts looking for scraps of information about players. Instead, they host a two-day “pro days” where the players are put through workouts attended by nearly every team. Then the doors close, like Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory.

This year, Mike Krzyzewski and Duke are following suit, something first reported by Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports (and confirmed by NBC’s CollegeBasketballTalk). NBA teams can come to two pro days in October, and still scout games, of course, but they will not be in practices.

Calipari started doing this in 2014 — the year of Karl-Anthony Towns, Willie Cauley-Stein, Devin Booker, and Trey Lyles — officially as a way to limit distractions. College coaches like their control. This year Duke has Harry Giles, Jayson Tatum, and Grayson Allen, who are all projected as potential first-round picks. While Coach K has yet to address why for the new policy, you can bet on the distractions point being at the forefront.

NBA teams are not going to like this, they want as much information as possible on players that they are about to make multi-million dollar investments in, but it likely won’t alter those players place on draft boards. If Giles and Tatum perform as expected on the court, they are still top five players next June. Whether scouts get into practice or not. Talent still wins out.