Kurt Helin

Report: Licensing, player likenesses has caused last-minute CBA stumble

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It’s always about the money.

This time it’s not how to split up “basketball related revenue” — what caused the last lockout and forced the season to start late — rather, it is licensing and player likeness revenue that has proved a last-minute stumbling block on the way a new Collective Bargaining Agreement for the NBA.  Marc Stein of ESPN tweeted this:

In the NBA, control over licensing and player likenesses belongs to the league offices, which pays a fee for those rights to the union/players in the millions. With the growth of video games and other use of player likenesses, the union would like some control — and a larger slice of the pie — from that revenue.

Recently, the NFL players union got that and have a marketing arm handling things like player likenesses. The NBA union likely wants at least some steps down that road.

Both sides can (and at least one likely will) opt out of the current CBA on Thursday, but it will remain in place until July 1. Still, a new deal is expected long before we get to the lockout stages. The biggest issue — revenue splits — and other contentious issues have been handled. This is a relatively small issue that can get handled. USA Today’s Jeff Zillgitt makes another wise point about the final parts of a CBA negotiations.

Celtics team plane receives bomb threat upon landing in Oklahoma City. It was a false alarm.

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Fortunately, the entire thing turned out to be a false alarm.

However, the Boston Celtics’ plane was the target of a bomb threat as the team headed to Oklahoma City so the Celtics could face the Thunder Sunday night. Here are the details, via A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com.

There was a bomb threat to the Boston Celtics’ team plane to Oklahoma City on Saturday afternoon, but no one was injured.

The incident will be investigated by NBA security which will work in conjunction with the FBI on this matter which was one of several hoaxes called into airports across the country on Saturday.

When the Celtics’ plane landed the players were instructed to leave their personal belongings on the plane, and they were taken to the team hotel, where they had to wait for their bags to arrive while the plane was checked out by police.

Fortunately, this turned out to be nothing. Jae Crowder summed it up well.

Carmelo Anthony said he’s spoken to Kobe Bryant about how to deal with Phil Jackson


Phil Jackson likes to tweak his players through the media, he’s done it since he first got hired as a head coach in Chicago. He poked Michael Jordan that way. He prodded Kobe Bryant that way. And the latest target was the Knicks’ Carmelo Anthony, with Jackson saying on a CBS show that ‘Melo would stall out the offense by holding the ball too long at times.

Anthony didn’t like that. But he leaned on experience on how to deal with Phil — ‘Melo called Kobe, the Knicks’ forward told Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.

“Me and Kobe have countless conversations about that,” Anthony said Saturday after the Knicks practiced in Los Angeles ahead of Sunday’s game against the Lakers…

“That’s something I’ve learned over the years, especially with Phil,” Anthony said, referring to the advice Bryant gave him. “[Jackson’s] going to talk. Nobody can stop that. So try not to read into it too much.”

My guess, Kobe’s answer was punctuated with a lot more swear words than that.

Anthony said he and Jackson had a short meeting on Saturday and that he has moved past the dust-up.

“We talked. We had a conversation this morning. He said his piece. I said my piece. Two men spoke,” Anthony said. “There’s not many amends to be made. From my standpoint, there’s no problems, there’s no issues.”

What Anthony wanted to know was why Jackson keeps bringing him up in interviews. But that’s just Jackson — he tweaks his stars through the media to send a message. He can’t help himself. The problem is, those comments come off differently if you’re a coach (and around the team daily) and a front office executive (around the team far less).

We will see Sunday night when the Knicks take on the Lakers if the team has moved on.

Chris Paul is first player in 32 years to have 20 assist, zero turnover game (VIDEO)


No Clipper had every had a 20 point, 20 assist game before.

Nobody since Utah’s Ricky Green in 1984 had 20 assists and zero turnovers in a game.

Chris Paul did both Saturday night. The “point god” was on full display, leading the Clippers to a comfortable win over the Pelicans.

The Pelicans tried, as the game went on they committed multiple defenders to him, two or three guys trying to pick him up off the pick-and-roll, but do that and he just finds the open guy (which often seemed to be DeAndre Jordan on the roll). It was CP3 at his best — he can score, he can dish, and he is the best floor general in the game.


LeBron James, Cavaliers Rick-roll intro video for ’80s night

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The 1980s were back in Cleveland Friday night. Well, not completely, Bernie Kosar wasn’t leading the Browns to contention (although man, could they use him now).

No, the ’80s were back in the form of the throwback orange Cavaliers uniforms. And to complete the theme, the Cavaliers players dressed up and Rick-rolled the intro video — they did the complete “classic” Rick Astley hit “Never Gonna Give You Up.” And it was awesome.

The Cavaliers won the game 114-84 over the Heat behind 28 from Kevin Love, but that was secondary to the intro video.