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Nets will reportedly give away 10,000 Kyrie Irving jerseys vs. Knicks

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The Brooklyn Nets will be without Kevin Durant for the majority if not all of next season. In his place they will have to make do with the young squad they have nurtured into a potential playoff threat… and Kyrie Irving.

Irving is one of the latest players to join the Nets, coming over from the Boston Celtics in a move that Brooklyn fans hope will be the start of a potential championship run in New York.

To that end, the Nets appear as though they will be giving away a pretty significant gift early in the season in Brooklyn. According to Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily nNews, the Nets will give away 10,000 Irving jerseys on October 25th as Brooklyn it takes on their crosstown rivals in the New York Knicks.

Via Twitter:

Giving away an entire jersey is a pretty big outlay.

The Nets certainly want Irving to know that he is important to them, and for fans understand that he is going to be just as revered as Durant in the coming years.

NBA sends memo to teams informing of crackdown on tampering, increased fines

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There were a lot frustrated, ticked-off owners and front office staff at July’s for a Board of Governor’s meeting — and tampering was what had blood boiling. Kyrie Irving (Nets), Kemba Walker (Celtics) and Derrick Rose (Pistons) were top free agent names who appeared to have their next teams — and maybe contracts — lined up before free agency officially began. The Celtics complained the 76ers may have tampered with Al Horford, and there were questions about what steps eventually brought Paul George and Kawhi Leonard to the Clippers.

“It’s pointless, at the end of the day, to have rules that we can’t enforce,” is how NBA Commissioner Adam Silver put it after that meeting.

Now the league is warning teams of a crackdown on tampering — steeply increased fines and tougher enforcement — in a memo to teams that Shams Charania of The Athletic saw.

 

The owners will have to vote on this at their September 20 meeting, Charania reports. Undoubtedly it will pass.

The memo says the crackdown is in response to the “widespread perception that many of the league’s rules are being broken on a frequent basis” about tampering and salary cap issues, according to Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press.

It all sounds tough on paper.

The question isn’t the new rules but how they are enforced. To this point, the league has had a hands-off approach to player-to-player conversations and recruiting, how tightly do they want to enforce it now? More importantly, how do they implement it? Take players phones to monitor texts? (Most player conversations are not about “work” or recruiting, it’s about the things you text your friends about.) What about when players go to dinners/clubs together and talk? Spencer Dinwiddie said he started to pitch the idea of Irving coming to the Nets in a business class the two took together, how exactly does the league learn about this and stop it?

Most front offices and agents do a very good job of plausible deniability — there are not traceable emails or texts making tampering challenging to prove. Things are not done formally, it’s through back channels and casual conversations. The league is talking tough, but enforcement is going to be another issue.

Spencer Dinwiddie reportedly looking for people to invest in his new contract

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The NBA is a new, bolder place. We know that because of how involved players are in their own branding, and how in control of their future they are.

But Spencer Dinwiddie wants to take it to the next level.

According to a new report from The Athletic, the Brooklyn Nets star will arrange his newest contract in a manner that allows him to take a big lump sum up front.

At the core of what Dinwiddie is doing is the idea of securitization. Save any fancy financial definitions, this basically means that Dinwiddie is going to seek investors who will give him a lump sum up front for his $34.36 million extension.

The goal for Dinwiddie is to then take that lump sum and invest it. Once he does that — and hopefully after he makes some money off those investments — Dinwiddie will pay back the original sum to his investors.

Via The Athletic:

Dinwiddie, according to multiple sources, is starting his own company to securitize his NBA contract in the form of a digital token as he begins a three-year, $34.36 million extension with the Nets. It’s unclear how much of the contract amount he wants to raise upfront, but it would likely be less than the total amount, according to sources.

What’s interesting about this approach is that Dinwiddie wants to use a digital token. Dinwiddie would be giving investors a digital key to their investment, which they could then use to cash out once the terms of the deal say they are owed their money back.

NBA contracts are guaranteed, but they can be voided for conduct or reduced due to buyouts. That’s unlikely to happen to Dinwiddie, but anyone investing would have to know those risks.

This seems like a pretty aggressive move. Anyone who understands the time value of money knows that cash in your pocket now is more valuable than cash in your pocket later, largely because of your ability to invest and earn interest over a longer period.

That appears to be what Dinwiddie wants to do, and if he pulls it off it could set a new precedent for NBA contracts.

Scottie Pippen doesn’t agree with Kevin Durant’s complaints about NBA (VIDEO)

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Kevin Durant has said a lot of things this summer. The current Brooklyn Nets superstar said in a recent Wall Street Journal story that he no longer feels a connection to the Oklahoma City Thunder, and the reasons why he decided to leave the Golden State Warriors.

Included in Durant’s recent comments were those decrying the state of a basketball player’s life, saying that sometimes he, “hate(s) the circus of the NBA.”

Folks responded strongly to Durant’s comments, with many understanding the mental strain an outsized, constant media attention would put on any person.

Then again, others felt as though players had to accept that attention in exchange for the hefty salaries and sponsorship deals they gain because of it.

You can put Scottie Pippen in that second category, by the way.

Speaking on ESPN’s “The Jump”, Pippen said that Durant ultimately had to have the right perspective.

I understand what Kevin is saying, but I also want to let him know that this is a part of our business. This is why he’s making all that money. Because, we’ve been able to globalize the game through our players. Not just what they do on a basketball court, but, you know — using digital stuff of them talking, travelling abroad, to help promote our game. It’s part of our package to help promote our game, because that helps our salaries grow. So I don’t get what he’s saying, especially with a player that’s been in the league as long as he has.

That’s a pretty reasonable expectation. Every person is allowed to have their mental headspace in balance, but the undeniable context of professional sports is of imbalance.

If he’s going to cash the big checks, he’s going to have to “play the game” as it were, even if that means not playing the actual game. And of course, he’s welcome to step away. People — musicians, sports stars, actors — have decided to simply call it a day after making a certain amount. It’s other factors that keep Durant in a uniform: he certainly doesn’t need any more money.

But this is largely a thought exercise. There’s no sense admonishing Durant in any real way, and we can’t live inside his head. He’s welcome to his experience, and at the very least Durant appears like he’s trying to deal with that every day. He’s allowed to be sick of the “circus” from time-to-time.

Kevin Durant: I never fit in like other Warriors

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Kevin Durant‘s time with the Warriors was both extraordinary and extraordinarily short.

In his three years there, Golden State won two championships and made another NBA Finals. Durant made an All-NBA first team and two All-NBA second teams. Usually, when a player and team reach anywhere near that level of shared success, they stick together.

But Durant, who signed with the Nets, left the Warriors this summer.

Why?

Durant, via J.R. Moehringer of the Wall Street Journal:

“I came in there wanting to be part of a group, wanting to be part of a family, and definitely felt accepted,” he says. “But I’ll never be one of those guys. I didn’t get drafted there.… Steph Curry, obviously drafted there. Andre Iguodala, won the first Finals, first championship. Klay Thompson, drafted there. Draymond Green, drafted there. And the rest of the guys kind of rehabilitated their careers there. So me? Shit, how you going to rehabilitate me? What you going to teach me? How can you alter anything in my basketball life? I got an MVP already. I got scoring titles.”

“As time went on,” he says, “I started to realize I’m just different from the rest of the guys. It’s not a bad thing. Just my circumstances and how I came up in the league. And on top of that, the media always looked at it like KD and the Warriors. So it’s like nobody could get a full acceptance of me there.”

His tenure in the Bay Area was great, he says, but because of media speculation, fan anxiety, “it didn’t feel as great as it could have been.”

This is a sound assessment. It’s a toned-down version of the report he felt disrespected with the Warriors, but it still hits similar notes.

Durant was never going to be as beloved as his teammates who lifted the franchise from the cellar to a championship before he arrived. He just didn’t have that type of equity with the fan base.

It didn’t help that so many assumed Golden State would’ve won the 2017 and 2018 titles even without Durant. Nearly all champions are appreciated. But to many, Durant felt superfluous.

Another complication: Durant preferred a different offensive system to the one other Warriors, including coach Steve Kerr, favored. That led to analysis that naturally separated Durant from the rest of the team, which trickled into feelings of greater divide.

If Durant wanted to have a comfortable fit, he could’ve re-signed with the Thunder. He was royalty in Oklahoma City. It sounds like he doesn’t regret leaving, though.

He also could’ve been instantly beloved by signing with his hometown Wizards. He didn’t sound interested in that, either.

Maybe it’ll be different in Brooklyn. Unlike the Warriors, the Nets were only just beginning to establish their identity when he arrived.

But he still comes with baggage – the notoriety of ring chasing with the team that eliminated him the prior season, having already established his greatness elsewhere, a torn Achilles that could keep his play from meeting expectations. At minimum, Durant will never be the homegrown star in Brooklyn. At worst, he’ll never be a star at all in Brooklyn.

Most likely, he’ll find a middle ground. Will he be happy in it? I’m not sure. It at least sounds like he has learned how to handle those circumstances.