Tag: New Jersey Nets

Deron Williams

Deron Williams explains why players flock to major markets


Deron Williams was not trying to make a statement about the balance of small versus large markets in the NBA, he was simply answering a question posed to him by the New York Post.

Williams, the star point guard of the Brooklyn Nets, is on the cover of the new video game “NBA Baller Beats.” The question was would he have gotten that prime spot if he still played in Salt Lake City for the Jazz.

“Probably not,” Williams told The Post yesterday. “There’s not a lot of national opportunities in Utah. There’s definitely some local stuff, some regional stuff, but not too much national stuff.”

For a lot of players, that potential for larger endorsement deals matters.

There are a handful of guys so big that it doesn’t matter where they play — Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Kevin Durant. That level of star is so big nationally and internationally that if they are based out of Cleveland or Oklahoma City it doesn’t hit their bottom line. But this is an elite few players.

For everyone else,  even a step below that — D-Will being an example — the opportunities for money and celebrity in big markets plays a role in making changes. If you are a good player or a role player, the opportunities in a big city can boost your income. So suddenly Los Angeles or New York become more attractive.

Understand that size of the contract (read: money) is always the main factor, with weather and lifestyle in the mix, too. But endorsement opportunities matter in the decision making process. And there is nothing that can go into a CBA to change the advantage big markets have there.

Thunder GM uses all kinds of qualifiers when talking Harden

U.S. Olympic basketball player Harden watches during a training session ahead of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the M.E.N Arena in Manchester

The Thunder want to re-sign James Harden, to keep him paired with Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and Serge Ibaka. But those three have already gotten their new contracts.

James Harden wants to stay with Durant and the Thunder, to chase titles with them in Oklahoma City. But he’s a max player getting his first big contract and there is not going to be a hometown discount for the Thunder.

Which means to keep him the Thunder owners — with a team in one of the smallest NBA market — would have to pay the luxury tax. They have said they would, but how much are they willing to pay?

It’s been a much-discussed issue, but notice when Thunder GM Sam Presti is asked about signing Harden during Ibaka’s press conference Monday he puts a lot of qualifiers in his sentences (via the Oklahoman).

“James is somebody we value,” Presti said Monday afternoon. “We think he’s an important part to what we’re trying to do with our team and we’re hopeful that he’ll be with us…

“By the same token, we’ve been very upfront and transparent with everybody that we have some inherent challenges that we face as an organization as a result of the new collective bargaining agreement,” the Thunder general manager continued. “I know we’d love to have him here. I think James would like to be here as well. But at the end of the day … you have to find a way to make it work for everybody.”

We will see how this plays out. Maybe the two sides reach a deal on an extension before the Oct. 31 deadline, but if Harden is giving no hometown discount they may not. Then Harden becomes a restricted free agent — other teams can make offers but the Thunder can match. In a world where Brook Lopez is a max player and Ibaka gets $12.5 million a year, Harden is a max player and some other team will make that four-year, $58 million offer to him.

Then it will be up to Presti and ownership to match it or let him go. At that point there will be no qualifiers, the choice is a binary yes or no.

Monday And-1 links: Who are the NBA’s worst owners?

Phil, George, Gavin Maloof

Here is our regular look around the NBA — links to stories worth reading and notes to check out (stuff that did not get its own post here at PBT) — done in bullet point form. Because bloggers love bullet points like Scotland loves Andy Murray.

• Who are the worst owners in the NBA? Tom Ziller tackles the question for SBN and he makes a good point at the top: If you are talking about the worst person who is an owner, Donald Sterling wins hands down. He should really have his own category for worst owner. But he is less hands on in recent years and there have been smart basketball moves following the drafting of Blake Griffin, and the Clippers are winning. Worst owner if you are a fan right now? Try and top the Maloof family. I dare you.

• A fantastic read in New York Magazine about Isiah Thomas and the Knicks, and how Knicks fans feel (which is not happy but they shrug more than get outraged anymore).

You’ll like this Mavs fans: In an interview with the Jazz’s Enes Kanter’s offseason workouts, he said that Elton Brand has looked really good.

• Andray Blatche has agreed to terms with the Nets but no deal has formally been signed because… that’s really not clear.

• Deron Williams says he is open to playing in the 2014 World Championships in Spain.

• The Spurs have worked out Jason Kapono.

• Josh Childress is supposed to work out for the Nets on Tuesday.

• The Dallas Mavericks hosted a “press conference” where season ticket holders got to ask questions of a few of the new Mavericks players for next season (Elton Brand and others), plus owner Mark Cuban and coach Rick Carlisle. It was pretty bland, but if you want to know what people said here you go.

• Suns players Kendall Marshall and P.J. Tucker took questions via social media.

• While Suns players are gathering to work out at the team facilities, Channing Frye’s shoulder is still holding him back from full workouts.

• One of the more underrated NBA players ever, Bob McAdoo, really is high on the Heat.

• The Heat are about to bring in Terrel Harris and Robert Dozier as training camp fodder.

• Speaking of training camp fodder, the Knicks are bringing in John Shurna.

• D.J. Strawberry has inked a deal with Hapoel Holon in Israel.

Chris Bosh’s shoes have Larry O’Brien trophy on them

Chris Bosh
Chris Bosh wears shoes with the Larry O’Brien trophy image on them. Photo via GQ.

Last week, NBA folks were all over New York Fashion week. Rajon Rondo was there working for GQ. Dwyane Wade,

Amare Stoudemire, Kris Humphries, Russell Westbrook, Tyson Chandler. even Knicks coach Mike Woodson made an appearance watching near a runway.

And Chris Bosh was there, too.

The photo on the right is courtesty GQ, and we need you to take a close look at the shoes/slippers that Bosh is wearing. That would be the image of the Larry O’Brien trophy on his shoes. (Hat tip to Dan Devine at Ball Don’t Lie for noticing this).

I bet even Kobe doesn’t have a pair of those. Yet. But once he sees them he’s ordering five, and putting a couple more on hold just in case.

I am slow to criticize fashion because I only wear clothes approved by my wife, but Chris seems to pull this off. Heck, the photo is in GQ, so far be it from me to say it doesn’t work on him. Or say “I bet those come with a free bowl of soup… looks good on you, though.”

No, not me. Chris, just be yourself.

Kris Humphries can laugh at himself, understands why you do, too

Lacoste - Front Row - Spring 2013 Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week

Kris Humphries reality-show marriage to Kim Kardashian was a joke. Not really a funny one.

But some people are laughing at the Nets power forward. And that includes Humphries himself, the power forward told the New York Post in a Page 6 interview.

“Hey, if you can’t laugh at yourself, you can’t make fun of other people,” he says. “I’m open to being made fun of. You can’t take life too seriously or be too sensitive because it’s like, who wants to live like that?”

I’m glad someone is laughing at this.

Humphries is trying to get the marriage annulled saying that it was all a publicity stunt to boost ratings. If you don’t think that’s plausible, you don’t know reality television. Even if it was a stunt Humphries still gets some blame for falling for the trick, he gets blame for being blinded by Kardashian’s… well, I think we know. (I’m talking about her television show and the lust for fame, of course. I don’t know what you are thinking of.)

But is he as bad a guy as the editing room and tabloid headlines made him out to be? No. If you’re looking for NBA players to dislike, there are other more worthy candidates.

Humphries is going to be back in the spotlight in Brooklyn, especially if he does major interviews and photo shoots with models (and especially if he averages 13.8 points and 11 rebounds a game again). Regardless, he’s still going to have some people who think he’s disgusting. He’s going to get booed and snickered at.

But at least he can laugh about it.