There wasn’t a dry eye in the building during this year’s NBA Draft when NBA Commissioner, Adam Silver announced that the league was drafting Isaiah Austin. As you remember less than two weeks before the draft, the Baylor athlete was diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder that affects the heart, Marfan Syndrome, this diagnosis made him ineligible to be drafted, but he has a good consolation prize.
After a conversation with Adam Silver earlier this week, Austin learned that when he graduates from Baylor he will have a job waiting for him with the NBA. The only catch is that he MUST complete his degree.
“Right now he’s going to have me do a little stuff with NBA Cares, just off-and-on right now until I get a full job,” Austin told TMZ.
“Adam Silver really wants me to be a part of the organization, and I’m thankful for the opportunity that he’s giving me,” Austin said.
I have to say that the actions of NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has made me fan; first the speed actions with the Donald Sterling matter, now this. Keep up the good work!
Your Jersey Girlfriend,
While Cavalier fans are over the moon about LeBron James‘ return to the team four-years later, the city of Cleveland could be looking at a huge pay day with King James back in the area.
According to Cuyahoga County executives in a Bloomberg Report, LeBron’s return to the Cleveland Cavaliers will have a $500 million a year impact on the local economy, with a boost from additional ticket sales and other spending.
Based on calculations by the Cuyahoga County Fiscal Office, James’s return will increase the benefit from Cavs games alone to about $268 million. Average attendance increased from about 12,000 before James joined the team to about 20,500 during his final season, the county said. Although attendance has slipped, officials expect sold out games next season with James on the court.
There will be two things we can see happen almost immediately. The first thing will be adding over 500 new jobs supported by the Cavaliers. Second will be the value of the team increasing, which now sits at $515 million. With James back in the picture the value is expected to clear a number over the billion dollar mark.
Seems LeBron isn’t the only one making millions off his return home.
Your Jersey Girlfriend,
All sports media will be about LeBron James today because he has finally made a decision: he’s returning home to play for the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Why did he decide to return? What was the impetus? Was there some behind-the-scenes drama unfolding we didn’t know about? To put those rumors to rest and to answer the pressing questions, LeBron penned an essay exclusively posted on si.com explaining his decision:
Before anyone ever cared where I would play basketball, I was a kid from Northeast Ohio. It’s where I walked. It’s where I ran. It’s where I cried. It’s where I bled. It holds a special place in my heart. People there have seen me grow up. I sometimes feel like I’m their son. Their passion can be overwhelming. But it drives me. I want to give them hope when I can. I want to inspire them when I can. My relationship with Northeast Ohio is bigger than basketball. I didn’t realize that four years ago. I do now.
Remember when I was sitting up there at the Boys & Girls Club in 2010? I was thinking, This is really tough. I could feel it. I was leaving something I had spent a long time creating. If I had to do it all over again, I’d obviously do things differently, but I’d still have left. Miami, for me, has been almost like college for other kids. These past four years helped raise me into who I am. I became a better player and a better man. I learned from a franchise that had been where I wanted to go. I will always think of Miami as my second home. Without the experiences I had there, I wouldn’t be able to do what I’m doing today.
I went to Miami because of D-Wade and CB. We made sacrifices to keep UD. I loved becoming a big bro to Rio. I believed we could do something magical if we came together. And that’s exactly what we did! The hardest thing to leave is what I built with those guys. I’ve talked to some of them and will talk to others. Nothing will ever change what we accomplished. We are brothers for life. I also want to thank Micky Arison and Pat Riley for giving me an amazing four years.
I’m doing this essay because I want an opportunity to explain myself uninterrupted. I don’t want anyone thinking: He and Erik Spoelstra didn’t get along. … He and Riles didn’t get along. … The Heat couldn’t put the right team together. That’s absolutely not true.
I’m not having a press conference or a party. After this, it’s time to get to work.
When I left Cleveland, I was on a mission. I was seeking championships, and we won two. But Miami already knew that feeling. Our city hasn’t had that feeling in a long, long, long time. My goal is still to win as many titles as possible, no question. But what’s most important for me is bringing one trophy back to Northeast Ohio.
I always believed that I’d return to Cleveland and finish my career there. I just didn’t know when. After the season, free agency wasn’t even a thought. But I have two boys and my wife, Savannah, is pregnant with a girl. I started thinking about what it would be like to raise my family in my hometown. I looked at other teams, but I wasn’t going to leave Miami for anywhere except Cleveland. The more time passed, the more it felt right. This is what makes me happy.
To make the move I needed the support of my wife and my mom, who can be very tough. The letter from Dan Gilbert, the booing of the Cleveland fans, the jerseys being burned — seeing all that was hard for them. My emotions were more mixed. It was easy to say, “OK, I don’t want to deal with these people ever again.” But then you think about the other side. What if I were a kid who looked up to an athlete, and that athlete made me want to do better in my own life, and then he left? How would I react? I’ve met with Dan, face-to-face, man-to-man. We’ve talked it out. Everybody makes mistakes. I’ve made mistakes as well. Who am I to hold a grudge?
I’m not promising a championship. I know how hard that is to deliver. We’re not ready right now. No way. Of course, I want to win next year, but I’m realistic. It will be a long process, much longer than it was in 2010. My patience will get tested. I know that. I’m going into a situation with a young team and a new coach. I will be the old head. But I get a thrill out of bringing a group together and helping them reach a place they didn’t know they could go. I see myself as a mentor now and I’m excited to lead some of these talented young guys. I think I can help Kyrie Irving become one of the best point guards in our league. I think I can help elevate Tristan Thompson and Dion Waiters. And I can’t wait to reunite with Anderson Varejao, one of my favorite teammates.
But this is not about the roster or the organization. I feel my calling here goes above basketball. I have a responsibility to lead, in more ways than one, and I take that very seriously. My presence can make a difference in Miami, but I think it can mean more where I’m from. I want kids in Northeast Ohio, like the hundreds of Akron third-graders I sponsor through my foundation, to realize that there’s no better place to grow up. Maybe some of them will come home after college and start a family or open a business. That would make me smile. Our community, which has struggled so much, needs all the talent it can get.
In Northeast Ohio, nothing is given. Everything is earned. You work for what you have.
I’m ready to accept the challenge. I’m coming home.
The question now becomes how the rest of the Cavaliers roster will unfold and how they measure up in the Eastern Conference.
LeBron was right. Now it’s time to get to work.
I’m sure Johnny Manziel is somewhere smiling.
Your Jersey Girlfriend,
If you are like me you are honestly ready for the Donald Sterling / Clippers saga to end, but if you thought it was going to be easy, you were out of your mind.
Today the trial begins to determine whether or not Shelly Sterling, Donald Sterling’s estranged wife, actually has the authority to sale the Los Angeles Clippers team. If you remember back, Shelley Sterling struck a record breaking deal with former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer for $2 billion dollars.
So what is today’s trial about?
Well Shelly Sterling states that Donald Sterling is mentally incapable of being an administrator of The Sterling Family Trust, which owns the Clippers. In Shelly Sterling’s defense she had two different doctors examine Donald, which is required by the trust, to come to the conclusion that he was not capable of handling the business affairs of the trust.
However, Donald Sterling’s attorneys say that his wife “blindsided” him and he submitted to examinations under false pretenses.
How in the world does that happen? Two different doctors, who are not related to or affiliated with you come to the same exact finding.
According the Donald Sterling’s attorney, “He would have also eaten properly and have been well rested for the examinations and focused on taking the exam with the full and complete understanding what it was for and the serious nature of the exam”.
Nonetheless, Shelly Sterling’s attorney, Pierce O’Donnell, said that Donald Sterling voluntarily went to take scans of his brain and completely knew what was going on.
Also during this trial, the courts will determine what actually happens to the deal with Steve Ballmer, since the trust has been revoked. Weeks after the deal was struck, Donald Sterling revoked the trust. However this is where Ballmer could come in and play a part. If the sale does not move forward, Ballmer can sue the Sterling Family Trust for the deal not closing.
With all of these things happening, the courts and the Sterlings are playing with a short window of time. On July 15th is when the NBA owners are scheduled to meet and will vote on the new owners. Consequently, that is the exact same day that Steve Ballmer’s offer to purchase the team expires. If a deal of sale is not completed by September 15th, the league said it could seize the team and put it up for auction.
If the league was to put the team up for auction after the September 15th deadline, a number of the earlier bidders could get back in the game. Who knows, the team could even go for less or more than the $2 billion offer that is currently on the table.
Your Jersey Girlfriend,
If you didn’t know that a coach could be traded…well now you know.
In a deal between the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets and the Milwaukee Bucks, Nets head coach Jason Kidd has been involved in a trade that will make him the new Bucks’ head coach. The Nets will receive two second-round draft picks in the deal, the first coming in 2015 and the second coming in 2019.
Even though one year removed from being an actual player, Kidd was very unhappy with his situation in Brooklyn. Kidd requested a promotion that would have placed him above the General Manager, but that request was denied. Then to pour more salt in the wound, Kidd saw new coaches receive huge deals like Derek Fisher who received $25 million for five years to coach the Knicks, while Kidd received $10.5 million for four-years.
Kidd will get a new lease on his coaching life in Milwaukee, however it will just be interesting to see if he puts together the play-off calibre team in Milwaukee that he had in Brooklyn.
Your Jersey Girlfriend,