Author: Kurt Helin

Stephen Curry

Would Stephen Curry go home to play for Charlotte someday? Don’t rule it out.


LeBron James is a trend setter.

And LeBron is going home to Cleveland. Suddenly there is a lot of talk about star players going to play for their hometown team, specifically raised hopes in Washington D.C. that Kevin Durant is going to return and play in the DMV.

What about Stephen Curry returning to Charlotte? Not happening in the short term, he’s got a good thing going on the other coast with the Warriors, but when CBS Sports Radio’s Doug Gottlieb asked him about it Curry spoke wistfully about the idea, as transcribed by the Bay Area News Group.

“I’ve always had thoughts about playing at home, what it would be like,” said Curry, who is in the middle of a four-year, $44 million contract extension with the Warriors. “My dad played there for 10 years, and people around the Greater Charlotte area in North Carolina have done a lot for my family growing up, so you always think about it.

“Right now I feel like I’ve got three years left on my deal, so this isn’t going to be an issue for me for a while. I love the Bay Area and where we are as a team trying to win a championship, and that’s what it’s all about. Of course everybody dreams about or thinks about what it’s going to be like to play at home. Obviously if that opportunity comes along it’s a different discussion.”

Curry isn’t a free agent until 2017 and, barring injury, will be a clear max player. He’s the face of all things Warriors and they will certainly offer the max salary.

It’s far too early to speculate on 2017 (or 2016 for that matter, not that it has stopped people) but this is just something to keep in your mind if you think about the future of Stephen Curry.

And no Toronto, it’s way too early to speculate about Andrew Wiggins coming home, too.

NBA said it would drop fine against Toronto if it dropped Drake. Raptors refused.

2013 NBA All-Star Game

The NBA fined the Toronto Raptors $25,000 because rapper Drake — the official “Global Brand Ambassador” of the Raptors even though he draws no salary from the team — said at a concert in Toronto that Kevin Durant attended that if KD came and played for the Raptors this is what it would sound like (and on cue the crowd went nuts).

By the letter of the law that’s tampering. By the spirit of the law far worse things happen as teams try to recruit players (the Wizards hire Durant’s old high school coach, for one example). However the NBA league office is filled with lawyers from the top seat on down and they are big on the letter of the law, so the Raptors got fined about the cost of on Drake gold chain.

However, the league gave the Raptors an out — drop Drake. That according to the Toronto Globe and Mail.

They also refused to address a key detail — that the NBA offered to drop the tampering fine if the team agreed to strip Drake of his title. The Raptors apparently refused.

Good for the Raptors, this was a slap on the wrist and anyone making more of it is overanalyzing the mole hill. Obviously part of why Drake is associated with the Raptors is to recruit players, just not so obviously. The league is a stickler on the tampering stuff to the point of being ridiculous, but everyone around the league knows it. Nobody takes the Drake fine seriously.

The tone of the rest of the article has a very cheesy #hotsportstake quality to it that comes off as “The NBA league office hates Drake, they keep picking on his poor Raptors, nobody wants us to succeed, woe is us, but we will stand up for what we believe.” Whatever. If that sells papers good for you, but the NBA had Jay-Z as an owner and loves Drake promoting the game. The league doesn’t hate you, heck you got an All-Star Game coming. If your GM gets fined for saying “f**** Brooklyn” at a playoff rally that’s not the league coming down on you, it’s because that was a poor decision by your GM. In fact this same writer would have flipped if Billy King said that about those poor, picked-on Raptors.

Move on Toronto. You have a genuinely good team that could well win about 50 games and finish top four again in the East. A team that could win a playoff round. A team with good young players that is entertaining to watch. Savor this, you’re in a good position. A lot of franchises would love to trade positions with you.

Steve Ballmer sends letter to Clippers fans

Celebrities At The Los Angeles Clippers Game

While Donald Sterling is making his last gasps at keeping ahold of the Los Angeles Clippers (moves that will fail), new owner Steve Ballmer is moving the franchise out of the shadows and into the sunshine.

Tuesday he started that process when he sent out this letter to the Clipper fan base via email.

To the Clippers Family –

You may now have heard that this morning I officially became the owner of your Los Angeles Clippers. So as my first official communication, let me say thank you for continuing to support the Clipper organization. We are now looking forward to an exciting new season and I can’t wait to experience the opening tip off with you.

Today marks the beginning of a new era in the life of our franchise. It also is the culmination of a dream that I have harbored for many years. To Coach Rivers, to our fantastic players, and most importantly to you, the dedicated fans that make this all possible, I pledge this: I will be hard core in my commitment to give the team the support it needs to be its best on and off the court. And I will do whatever is necessary to provide you, your family and friends with the best game-night experience in the NBA.

The Clippers franchise is a true public trust, and my goal is that the Clippers will play an ever-increasing role in the life of our community. We will achieve this goal the same way we will succeed on the court: By waking up every day and figuring out how we can be better – how we can do more – how we can ensure that the Clippers organization is not only winning on the court but also making a real difference in the community.

That is the challenge I set not only for myself but the entire Clippers organization.

Please join me for our Fan Festival, on Monday, August 18th at the STAPLES Center at 12:30 p.m. to celebrate what promises to be a bright future!

Steve A. Ballmer

At Microsoft, Ballmer was the guy who brought the energy. He has real star power and charisma. He is the kind of guy who can push and motivate the Clippers organization driving it forward, the opposite of the way Donald Sterling sucked energy from it. Ballmer may or may not turn out to be a great NBA owner, but I guarantee he will be an improvement over the last one.

In terms of the market, the Clippers are never going to be replace Lakers in Los Angeles, that brand is an indelible part of the city. But there is market share to be seized — with casual fans, with newcomers to the area, with fans who just want to be entertained and see elite basketball. The Clippers are contenders and will be the better team on the court going deeper in the playoffs for at least a few years. Ballmer doesn’t need to reach the hard-core Lakers fans — Los Angeles is a huge city. There is room to make inroads. Ballmer is just the guy who can lead that.

Donald Sterling’s Hail Mary, asks appeals court to overturn Clippers sale. It will fail.

Donald Sterling, V. Stiviano

This is not going to work.

As soon as Judge Michael Levanas signed and filed his final order Tuesday morning clearing the way for the sale of the Los Angeles Clippers from the Sterling Family Trust to Steve Ballmer, the money was transferred and the sale executed. It’s done. The final horn has sounded. Game over.

But you didn’t think Sterling would just quit, did you? He’s a rich, angry, desperate man who will keep trying to bully the league through the courts because that’s who he is.

Sterling went to an appellate court Tuesday in the hours after the sale went through trying to get the sale blocked and overturned, reports the Los Angeles Times.

Hours after the announcement of the Clippers’ sale Tuesday, Donald Sterling petitioned an appeals court to overturn the move.

“An immediate stay from this court, and an order halting or unwinding the sale, is necessary,” the filing said, “to allow meaningful review of the novel and erroneous legal determinations made here, and to restore public faith in our justice system….”

Pierce O’Donnell, Shelly Sterling’s attorney, called the petition “patently frivolous.”

It’s not going to work, not according to the legal people I spoke to about this. No judge is going to go back reverse the sale or overturn the order (Sterling has already had that shot down once). You can’t unring the bell.

Make no mistake, Donald Sterling will not go quietly. He will stick around and be a thorn in the side of the NBA for a while. He has his attorneys on speed dial and the money to pay them to harass the NBA until he gets bored with it. Which is going to take a while, he’s a bitter man.

Sterling knows he is never going to own the Clippers again, never again attend of their games. He had a lot of his identity wrapped up in being the guy who owned the Clippers — he loved the doors it opened, the people who kissed his behind because they wanted to be close to the team. And if he can’t have that he’s going to lash out at those that do and those that he blames for taking it away from him. Like a petulant child.

When the answer for who is to blame remains in the mirror.

NBA schedule officially released on Wednesday, some games leaking out already

LeBron James

Wednesday we’re going to find out what games we are going make the family watch on Christmas Day, which piss off our drunk uncle who will complain about how basketball was “better back in his day.”

Wednesday at 6 p.m. ET the NBA will announce the league’s schedule for next season in a special on NBA TV. That show will highlight the marquee games of the season — starting with the Oct. 28 double header tip off — and by the time it is over all the teams in the NBA will have released their schedule.

But some things are starting to leak out. Here is what we know.

• Christmas Day will feature five games and we apparently know all of them: Cavaliers and LeBron James at the Miami Heat (likely one of the two ABC marquee games); the Thunder and Spurs face off according to Darnell Mayberry of the Oklahoman (likely the other ABC game); the Clippers and Warriors (likely the last game of the night, as it was last year); the Knicks and the Wizards (likely the first day of the game); and the Bulls and Lakers (reportedly in Chicago).

• The Oct. 28 double header to open the season will feature the Spurs in one game, according to multiple reports, although there seems to be a split between whether the Cavaliers or Mavericks are the opponents (the Cavaliers make more marketing sense). The late game is reportedly the Rockets and Clippers.

• The Knicks reportedly will open their season with a brutal back-to-back of the Bulls and then Cavaliers.

• Andrew Wiggins reportedly will make his NBA debut Oct. 29 when the Timberwolves travel to Memphis to face the Grizzlies.

• The NBA will play two regular season games overseas, both on Nov. 12 — the Rockets and Timberwolves in Mexico City, and the Knicks and Bucks (coached by Jason Kidd) in London.