Jersey Strong. Brooklyn Ready.
That is your new Nets slogan for this season, the team’s last in the swamps of Jersey. Please don’t ask us to explain it.
To the right, you see the new logo, celebrating 35 years of history in the state they are deserting (with nice ABA ball touch to recall the franchise’s start). Well done, leaving Jersey with the same style you’ve become famous for.
The New York Times has quotes from the Nets about this.
“It will be our farewell moniker,” said Fred Mangione, the team’s chief marketing officer. “As we go out, we want to go out the right way.”
The team got league approval to put the logo on the players’ uniforms. It will also be on the court at Prudential Center and, of course, on a blizzard of merchandise. On opening night, the logo will appear on a magnetic team schedule and Deron Williams No. 8 replica Nets jersey that fans will receive.
For the record, I have no idea what that slogan is supposed to mean. Just get them to Brooklyn and we’ll see if they can find some focus there.
George Hill is going to suit up and play some professional basketball in Texas in October. No, the Pacers didn’t trade him back to the Spurs.
No, they haven’t solved the lockout. Not even close.
Hill has agreed to play in an exhibition game with another squad — the Texas Fuel of the ABA. That is the minor league around the United States that is a step below the D-League, but did feature a Dennis Rodman comeback sideshow at one point.
Hill will play in one game Oct. 16 the team announced Monday.
“We are very pleased to have George as part of the Texas Fuel while the NBA lockout continues,” Marlon Minifee, Texas Fuel GM, said in a released statement. “He is a great player and a terrific young man who has done so much for the community; I know we will miss seeing him play for the San Antonio Spurs, but we are excited about his being able to return home to Indianapolis when the NBA resumes play. For now, he will add so very much to our team with his skills and leadership.”
Well, there you go. Hill will not make as much money as he might playing in Spain, but he doesn’t have to travel very far. And fans in Texas get to see a Spurs player up close.
Mike Barrett, a member of the legendary 1968 U.S. Olympic team that won gold in Mexico City has passed away after a long battle with cancer. He was 67.
Barrett was considered undersized even at the time, standing just 6’2”, but he impressed everyone he played against. He played his college ball at West Virginia University Institute of Technology (also the alma mater of Sedale Threatt) but went into the Navy after college.
He was still invited to the tryouts for the U.S. Olympic team in 1968 — a team that included Spencer Haywood and Jo Jo White but was expected to struggle. They didn’t, winning every game and capturing the gold.
After that Barrett played three seasons in the ABA, where he made the All Rookie Team. In 2003 West Virginia Tech retired his jersey.
Barrett is survived by his wife, Carolyn, and his brother, Scott.
Cedric Ceballos is still in Arizona. No Lakers fans, not jet skiing on Lake Havasu, he lives there now. He’s the in-game MC for the Phoenix Suns. So, like the rest of us, he hopes to get back to his new job sooner rather than later.
But he’s picked up a side gig — he is now part owner of an ABA franchise.
He explained it to the Suns team Web site.
“I should’ve done it (a few years ago) just so I could’ve learned a little bit more,” Ceballos said. “After talking to and learning from (Suns President and CEO) Rick Welts, he encouraged me by saying that I should go and learn and get as much knowledge as I could.”
Ceballos actually played with some ABA teams after his NBA career wound down. He wants to get into the ownership side of the NBA business and this seemed like a good way to learn. He and Ron Tilly will co-own the Phoenix Scorpions, an expansion team in the ABA. The ABA itself is one of the minor professional basketball leagues in the United States (a step or two below the D-League). Still, it’s a good place to learn.
‘I think that you would need somebody that has a proper basketball background,” Ceballos said. “All of the help I’ve been getting over the years with (Suns Managing Partner Robert) Sarver and (Suns Chairman Jerry) Colangelo letting me into the office, and just learning and being taught under Rick Welts, motivated me to get involved and take my crack at it.”
Ceballos may have his hand in the only professional basketball in Phoenix this fall, but he will still be an employee of the Suns, hoping to be working there again soon also.