Will a DraftExpress Lawsuit Change the World of Video Highlights?

1466800210

You might not be familiar with DeAndre Daniels. The Toronto Raptors selected him with the No. 37 pick in the 2014 NBA draft. Now 25 years old, the 6’9″ forward has yet to appear in an NBA regular–season game. He has played professionally in Australia and Italy and most recently played stateside for the G League Erie BayHawks.

The odds of you knowing about Daniels are certainly higher if you are a Raptors fan or a UConn fan—he played a key role in the Huskies winning a national title in 2014. And if you follow high school basketball and college recruiting, Daniels’s name is likely to ring a bell. He was a five-star recruit out of Taft High School in Woodlands, California, and also played post-graduate ball at the IMG Academy.

There’s another group of basketball fans who when they hear the name “DeAndre Daniels” think, “I remember that guy.”

That group would be NBA draft fanatics.

Back in 2014, those who love to consume all things NBA draft likely came across scouting reports and video analysis of Daniels. In doing so they probably encountered a DraftExpress.com profile centered on Daniels. The profile, which is accessible for free and doesn’t require any kind of registration, includes an 875-word scouting report co-authored by Jonathan Givony and Mike Schmitz. The profile assesses how well Daniels projects to play in the NBA. It also includes a 12-minute, 24-second video that blends a series of short highlights of Daniels playing at UConn with graphics discussing Daniels’s strengths and weaknesses.

The DraftExpress profile on Daniels is now the subject of a federal lawsuit. And it is a lawsuit that could impact how websites show video clips of athletes.

Getty Images Sport

 

Wazee Digital, a technology company that licenses video footage for the NCAA, has sued DraftExpress and its founder and owner, Givony, for copyright infringement. The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York back in April, highlights the DraftExpress profile on Daniels to assert that DraftExpress has knowingly—and without Wazee’s consent—used video content that Wazee had registered with the U.S. Copyright Office. Wazee stresses that it derives “a substantial revenue stream from licensing game footage to various entities and media outlets, who create game highlights or other video montages and rebroadcast those videos on television and on the Internet.” DraftExpress, Wazee reasons, ought to pay for this content as well.

Benefiting Wazee is that courts have held that copyright law protects sports broadcasts. This dynamic ensures that the NCAA, as well as professional sports leagues, can earn substantial revenue from licensing rights to broadcast games.

Yet copyright protection in a broadcast does not, by itself, prevent DraftExpress from legally using portions of the content. To that end, DraftExpress asserts that its use of copyrighted broadcasts is through “fair use.” Generally speaking, the legal doctrine of fair use permits copying of protected material for certain uses. When fair use applies, the copying party need not obtain permission or submit payment to the party in possession of the copyright.

Although fair use analysis is somewhat subjective, federal law and the U.S Supreme Court have identified five basic factors. None of these five factors are necessarily more influential than the other and they are usually balanced against each another.

The first factor is the purpose of the copying. When the intent is for news reporting and sharing of information, fair use is more likely to apply. However, copying motivated by pursuit of money is less likely to gain protection. On one hand, DraftExpress can convincingly argue that its content is newsworthy and informative. Profiles of draft-eligible players educate NBA draft fans, journalists and others about those players. Accompanying video analysis only further informs readers. DraftExpress can also stress that its website offers such content for free. On the other hand, DraftExpress, like most sports websites, profits from advertisements, including pre-roll advertisements that run before videos. DraftExpress has seemingly secured a sizable audience to watch those advertisements given that ESPN recently paid for the right to publish future DraftExpress content.

The second factor is the nature of the original work. In this instance, the original work consists of videos copyrighted by Wazee. The more creative the original work, the more protection it tends to gain. In contrast, the more factual the original work, the less protection applies. The underlying logic is that creative content ought to receive significant protection in order to properly incentivize inventiveness—if creative individuals knew that their work could be easily copied, they might become less likely to invest their time, energy and money into developing those works. Conversely, works derived from facts and events are less original and less deserving of protection. Video of a basketball game requires some degree of creativity since it reflects broadcast design choices as well as studio direction. At the same time, video of a basketball game is factual in nature: it depicts a live sporting event that is controlled by the athletes, coaches and referees—not the broadcasters.

The third factor is the extent and substantiality of copying. A person who engages in unauthorized copying is more likely to gain protection under fair use if the amount of copying is relatively minimal. DraftExpress stresses that its video of Daniels consists of only 66 seconds of copyrighted video from game broadcasts that are several hours long. The substantiality aspect of the copying refers whether the material copied is critical to the original work. It seems unlikely that short clips of Daniels performing various moves on the court would be considered the “heart” of any original broadcast.

Fourth is how the relevant copying impacts the marketplace. Wazee contends that DraftExpress has caused the company to lose licensing fees that it believes DraftExpress owes. If DraftExpress can use such video without paying, DraftExpress is arguably diluting the value of Wazee’s broadcast licenses. After all, such a practice could encourage other websites to copy Wazee’s broadcasts without permission or pay. On the other hand, DraftExpress can assert that the relatively small amount of copying of Daniels and other players does not impact Wazee’s ability to license broadcasts of the entire games. Stated differently, DraftExpress featuring video highlights arguably doesn’t implicate the marketplace of selling entire game broadcasts.

Finally, the fifth factor is whether the “derivative work” (i.e., DraftExpress scouting videos) is sufficiently transformative from the original work. The U.S. Supreme Court has recognized so-called “transformative use.” The basic idea is that the derivative work uses the original work in such a distinct way that it becomes “transformed” into a different kind of work. DraftExpress’ legal filings suggest the company is confident it will prevail based on the transformative factor. In one filing, attorneys from DraftExpress’ law firm, Miller Barondess, detail how DraftExpress’ video of Daniels incorporates DraftExpress’s own original analysis and graphics:

[O]riginal graphics are followed by roughly 30-second-long clips, each illustrating one of Daniels’ strengths in actual gameplay situations. After assessing Daniels’ strengths, the Video Breakdown follows the same format to dissect and analyze his weaknesses (strengths begin at 28 seconds); (weaknesses begin at 6:01).

DraftExpress’ analysis of Daniels’ “Physical Tools” is illustrative. The “Physical Tools” segment begins 43 seconds into the video. An introductory graphic provides an overview of Daniels’ “Physical Tools,” which include “[e]xcellent size and length.”

Expect attorneys for Wazee, who have retained Adam Hirsch of Kutak Rock, to counter these points by insisting that graphic overlays and similar adjustments do not alter the underlying — and copyrighted — video of Daniels playing at UConn.

Like any lawsuit, Wazee v. DraftExpress could settle at any time. But if it proceeds toward a trial, its outcome would be important to anyone who posts highlight videos online and earns money by doing so. This is true for those who have monetized their YouTube accounts.

By: Michael McCann, November 27, 2017 | https://www.si.com/nba/2017/11/27/draftexpress-video-deandre-daniels-lawsuit-wazee-nba-draftLink to video conversation regarding the legal aspects at play here.

 

McCann, SI’s legal analyst, provides legal and business analysis for The Crossover. He is also the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at the University of New Hampshire School of Law and co-author with Ed O’Bannon of the forthcoming book Court Justice: The Inside Story of My Battle Against the NCAA.

76ers’ Jahlil Okafor remains hopeful for quick resolution

iI had the pleasure of watching this kid for two seasons as he excelled at Whitney Young High School here in Chicago.  Jahlil Okafor is a winner, a rare talent, and he has exhibited great patience as career in the NBA has stalled in the hands of Philadelphia 76ers front office. The recognitions speak for themselves.

  • Chicago Sun-Times Basketball Player of the Year as a junior.
  • Illinois Class 4A State Champion as a senior.
  • 2014 Mr. Illinois Basketball
  • McDonald’s High School All-American (Co-MVP)
  • Jordan Brand Classic All-American (Co-MVP)
  • 2015 ACC Player of the Year (Duke)
  • 2015 United States Basketball Writers Association Freshman of the Year
  • 2015 Consensus 1st Team All-American
  • 2015 NCAA Champion (Duke)
  • 2016 NBA All-Rookie 1st Team

This is all before dropping 20lbs and regaining full health after undergoing knee surgery at the end of the last NBA season.  His resilience has helped him overcome the passing of his mother and I really hope his determination never wavers.  The potential is undeniable.  Here is a web article featuring his story about overcoming tragedy and below is a new ESPN article by Adrian Wojnarowski regarding the conundrum in Philly. As a resident Chicagoan, avid Duke fan, and proponent for deserved opportunity, I am surely rooting for this kid and I believe his future is bright!

____________________________________________

Philadelphia 76ers center Jahlil Okafor‘s strange story drags on, but nothing changes. Sixers general manager Bryan Colangelo makes rounds upon rounds of futile trade calls. Out of respect, coach Brett Brown refuses to insert Okafor into the garbage minutes of blowouts.

Time passes and Okafor waits.

He isn’t a part of the franchise’s present, nor its future. He was the third overall pick in the 2015 NBA draft and a member of the first-team All-NBA Rookie team, but that’s disappeared into the distance. The Sixers are undergoing a franchise renaissance, armed with young superstars Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons.

As for Okafor, he has been cast aside, a casualty of a process that has moved on without him.

“I would like for them to just send me somewhere where I can get an opportunity,” Okafor told ESPN. “I’ve done everything they’ve asked of me and I would just like to get an opportunity to play with a trade or a buyout. I just hope something happens quickly.

“This is my third year in the NBA, and I know it’s a business. I don’t know if it’s fair or not, but in talking to other people in the NBA, talking to retired players, one thing I’ve heard them say is that what’s going on with me isn’t right and they’ve never seen anything like this before.

“I know it’s business, but in my eyes, I don’t know if it’s good business.”

There are legitimate reasons why Colangelo hasn’t found a trade for Okafor. A year ago, those centered on questions about Okafor’s durability and knee surgery to end the 2015-16 season. This season, Okafor returned 20 pounds lighter, fitter and far more deft on his feet.

Colangelo’s asking price has steadily dropped for Okafor, from two first-round picks to a first and a solid player to where it stands now, a second-round pick, league sources said. As for the politics of giving up on the No. 3 overall pick, remember: Colangelo didn’t select Okafor over Kristaps Porzingis in the 2015 draft — his predecessor, Sam Hinkie, did.

“We appreciate the effort that [Okafor] has put forth, and other than a little frustration expressed recently, he’s been patient waiting for an opportunity to play,” Colangelo told ESPN. “I continue to explore opportunities with both Jahlil and [agent] Bill Duffy to find a more suitable spot for him.”

Colangelo resisted any trade proposal that cut into the Sixers’ $15.1 million in salary-cap space prior to Nov. 15, because he planned to use that as part of his contract extension and renegotiation offer to forward Robert Covington. That limited the Sixers to trades that would bring back only the equivalent of Okafor’s $5 million salary, or less.

Once Covington agreed to his deal, the declining of Okafor’s $6.2 million fourth-year contract option for the 2018-19 season further compromised the Sixers’ ability to trade him.

Louisville not reinstating freshman Brian Bowen at center of FBI investigation

Bowen will remain on scholarship and is free to transfer, the school announced.

Photo by David Banks/Getty Images

Brian Bowen will not play for Louisville basketball this season, the school has announced. Bowen is the five-star freshman widely believed to be involved in the FBI’s investigation into corruption in college basketball.

The FBI alleged that Louisville agreed to pay “Player-10” $100,000 through Adidas for his commitment to the school. Bowen was suspended indefinitely following details of the report, and has since been cleared by the FBI. Louisville reportedly chose not to reinstate him.

While Bowen will not play for Louisville this season, the school announced he will remain on scholarship and is free to transfer.

Here’s the official statement from the school:

Brian Bowen will not play at the University of Louisville. He may remain on scholarship but will not be allowed to practice or compete

There has been major fallout at Louisville since the FBI investigation became public. Head coach Rick Pitino was fired, as was AD Tom Jurich.  Bowen’s commitment to Louisville in early June came as a major surprise throughout college basketball. The McDonald’s All-American was thought to be choosing between Michigan State and Texas before his camp reportedly reached out to Louisville at the last minute to set up an official visit.

Here’s what Pitino said after Bowen pledged:

“We got lucky on this one,” Pitino told Terry Meiners of News Radio 840. “I had an AAU director call me and ask me if I’d be interested in a player (Bowen). I saw him against another great player from Indiana. I said ‘Yeah, I’d be really interested.’ They had to come in unofficially, pay for their hotel, pay for their meals. We spent zero dollars recruiting a five-star athlete who I loved when I saw him play. In my 40 years of coaching this is the luckiest I’ve been.”

Former assistant David Padgett was named interim coach, and has guided the Cardinals to 4-0 start. Louisville has games coming up against ranked teams in Purdue and Seton Hall later this month.

“Brian has been a responsible young man for the institution since he enrolled,” interim Louisville athletics director Vince Tyra said in a statement. “He has endeared himself to his teammates and the men’s basketball staff with a positive attitude during a very difficult period.”

Chuck Person, Rashan Michel Indicted After FBI Probe of NCAA Basketball Scandal

NOVEMBER 7, 2017NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 10: Chuck Person exits the Federal Courthouse in Manhattan on October 10, 2017 in New York City. Several people associated with NCAA Basketball have been charged as part of a corruption ring. (Photo by Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)

Stephanie Keith/Getty Images

Suspended Auburn Tigers assistant coach Chuck Person and Rashan Michel have been indicted after they were arrested in September as part of the FBI’s investigation into corruption and bribery in college basketball.

ESPN.com’s Jeff Goodman relayed word from Department of Justice spokesman Nicholas Baise on Tuesday confirming the two had been indicted. Citing a source, Goodman added indictments for the eight other individuals arrested as part of the probe are forthcoming.

Yahoo Sports’ Dan Wetzel first reported Nov. 3 that all 10 men arrested as part of the investigation would be indicted this week.

According to Wetzel, “the charges are but a formality but would negate the need for a Nov. 9 preliminary hearing in New York scheduled last month by Judge Katherine Parker.”

Person—who has been suspended indefinitely without pay by Auburn—was charged with six federal crimes following a three-year investigation by the FBI.

According to the Montgomery Advertiser‘s Matthew Stevens, Person allegedly “received $91,500 in bribery payments in a scheme to steer two unnamed Auburn players to certain agents and financial advisers,” while Michel “agreed to accept approximately $50,000 in bribe payments from an undercover federal agent.”

Since leaving his post as an NBA referee, Michel has become well-known for his custom clothing company that often works with professional athletes.

The other men named in the FBI’s investigation are Oklahoma State assistant Lamont Evans, Arizona assistant Emanuel Richardson, USC assistant Tony Bland, Adidas executives Merl Code and James Gatto, financial adviser Munish Sood, AAU coach Jonathan Brad Augustine and athlete adviser Christian Dawkins.

By: ALEC NATHAN 

_____________________________________________________________

Here are a summary of the indictments which were announced by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York on September 26.

*                *                *

Defendant Age Hometown Charges (Potential Maximum Term of Imprisonment)
Chuck Connors Person

 

53 Auburn, AL Bribery conspiracy, Solicitation of bribes, Honest services fraud conspiracy, Honest services fraud, Wire fraud conspiracy; Travel Act conspiracy (80 years)

 

Rashan Michel

 

43 Smyrna, GA Bribery conspiracy, Solicitation of bribes, Honest services fraud conspiracy, Honest services fraud,

Wire fraud conspiracy; Travel Act conspiracy (80 years)

 

Lamont Evans

 

40 Stillwater, OK Bribery conspiracy, Solicitation of bribes, Honest services fraud conspiracy, Honest services fraud,

Conspiracy to commit wire fraud; Travel Act conspiracy (80 years)

Emanuel Richardson, a/k/a “Book” 44 Tucson, AZ Bribery conspiracy, Solicitation of bribes, Honest services fraud conspiracy, Honest services fraud,

Conspiracy to commit wire fraud; Travel Act conspiracy (80 years)

Anthony Bland, a/k/a “Tony” 37 Los Angeles, CA Bribery conspiracy, Solicitation of bribes, Honest services fraud conspiracy, Honest services fraud,

Conspiracy to commit wire fraud; Travel Act conspiracy (80 years)

Christian Dawkins 24 Atlanta, GA Bribery conspiracy, Payments of bribes, Honest services fraud conspiracy, Honest services fraud (3 counts), Wire fraud conspiracy (2 counts), Wire fraud (2 counts), Travel Act conspiracy, Money laundering conspiracy (200 years)
Munish Sood 45 Trenton, NJ Bribery conspiracy, Payments of bribes, Honest services fraud conspiracy, Honest services fraud (3 counts), Wire fraud conspiracy (2 counts), Wire fraud (2 counts), Travel Act conspiracy, Money laundering conspiracy (200 years)
James Gatto, a/k/a “Jim” 47 Wilsonville, OR Wire fraud conspiracy, Wire fraud (2 counts), Money laundering conspiracy (80 years)
Merl Code 43 Greer, SC Wire fraud conspiracy, Wire fraud (2 counts), Money laundering conspiracy (80 years)
Jonathan Brad Augustine 32 Winter Garden, FL Wire fraud conspiracy, Wire fraud (2 counts), Money laundering conspiracy (80 years)

Quiaodan aka “Chinese Jordan” files suit against Jordan Brand for damaging its reputation after Jordan Brand won initial case in Chinese courts

“Chinese Jordan sued U.S. Jordan infringement! Claim 1 million 100 thousand yuan!”

0GsJzYPO2P

Beijing on July 19th news, between China Jordan sports company and U.S. basketball star Michael Jordan is the United States after renewed strife, Jordan sued Chinese Jordan, and recently, China Jordan will Jordan taken to court, claims 1 million 100 thousand yuan.

Event background:

China Jordan sports company is the Thirteenth National Official partners, a letter of attorney and U.S. basketball star Michael Jordan authorized lawyers issued to the Tianjin Municipal Sports Bureau and the National Committee of the China Jordan company that the lawyer’s letter. The famous reputation infringement, so Michael Jordan and his authorized court lawyer claims.

Beijing court network published the case that:

Michael Geoffrey Jordan (Jordan) authorized Shanghai Fangda (Beijing) law firm (hereinafter referred to as Beijing Fonda) to the Tianjin Municipal Sports Bureau, the Thirteenth National Games Organizing Committee issued a lawyer’s letter, recently, Jordan sports Limited by Share Ltd (hereinafter referred to as the Jordan sports company) and Jordan renewed strife. Because of that letter structure reputation infringement, Jordan sports company Jordan, Fonda Beijing to court to stop infringement, apology, rehabilitation, and claim the spirit of solatium, 1 million 100 thousand yuan rights fee.

Jordan sports company complained: “our company was established in 2000, and has been operating for nearly 17 years. After more than 10 years of development, it has become a well-known sports brand enterprise in china. The main use of the company’s “Jordan” brand and products, has been identified as the national “well-known trademark”, “Chinese brand”, “national Mianjian products”, our company for many years to obtain national and provincial honors, was awarded the “2013 national market sales of similar products in the top four, similar products for the year 2014 comprehensive market share of top five” hundred awards.

In addition, I also actively support the construction and development of sports events, to become partners, sponsoring sports equipment support for a number of national and provincial and municipal sports team, a positive commitment to social responsibility, the cumulative donations of more than two hundred million yuan, enjoy a high reputation, and establish a good social image.

Our company registered and used Jordan, QIAODAN and related graphics trademarks, of which the main use of the “Jordan” trademark was identified as “well-known trademarks” and “Fujian province” well-known brands”.

In June 1991, Jordan authorized Nike innovation limited partnership to apply for the registration of “MICHAEL JORDAN” and related graphics trademarks. However, Jordan has interfered with our company’s operation, and brought 78 malicious lawsuits against our registered trademark, which has led to serious economic losses and adverse effects on our company.

In February 9, 2017, Jordan authorized Beijing Fonda to the Tianjin Sports Bureau and the Thirteenth National Games Organizing Committee market development department issued a lawyer’s letter. Jordan sports company believes that the lawyer’s letter to the objective facts and judgment error description and summary, misleading court judgments for malicious content, the company made disparaging comments or even malicious slander, in an attempt to make the Tianjin Municipal Sports Bureau and the National Games Organizing Committee to terminate the cooperation between the two sides; the lack of professional Beijing Fonda and rigorous, misleading, damage the company’s reputation confuse right and wrong.

Jordan sports company said, Jordan has filed 78 cases of trademark disputes administrative disputes, as of the date of the letter issued by the lawyer, only 3 cases, the judge, the jury re decision, and the remaining cases Jordan lost. But the lawyer’s letter deliberately misled others into thinking that our company’s trademark had been completely revoked.

In these cases, there are 57 cases have been ruling the Supreme People’s court for retrial, to maintain the high court of Beijing decision, Jordan dismissed the application for retrial, these cases involve the trademark system I use the Jordan characters, Pinyin and graphic trademarks, including the use of the trademark in the national games. The ruling confirmed my company registered trademark “Jordan” and the elements do not exist on the negative, the negative impact of the social public interests and public order, do not belong to disturb the trademark registration order or damage the public interests, illegal occupation of public resources or otherwise seek illegitimate interests; Jordan does not enjoy the name right on the graphics and “QIAODAN”.

In addition, there are 10 cases by the Beijing High Court of second instance, has rejected Jordan’s appeal and upheld the original verdict; 8 cases are in the trial, but the second instance is the high court of Beijing Jordan dismissed the appeal and upheld; the other 3 cases the Supreme Court ruling only judges to make a new ruling, three trademarks and relates to only my company registered “defensive trademark”, does not use in the management of trademarks, will not be used in the games.

Jordan Fonda Beijing issued by the authorized lawyer’s letter did not explain the overall situation of litigation, the bad judgment to conceal the Supreme Court, the high court to Beijing, causing people mistakenly think that all of our trademarks are convicted of revocation, related to trademark use will lead to suffer adverse effects in the games the National Games, the lawyer’s letter misinterpreted the contents of the judgment of the Supreme Court, which seriously misleading, has obvious subjective malice. For example, Jordan sports company said in the indictment, the lawyer’s letter will trademark administrative dispute called trademark revocation case, the judges will be required to make a new ruling verdict that is due to the registered trademark name right infringement shall be revoked. Jordan sports company believes that the above statements one concept, third party, have lost seriously misleading the professional legal services should be in violation of the provisions of the “and rigorous, the Beijing Lawyers Association standard practice guidelines” No. sixth, severely damaged the reputation of the company, the company legal failure and third parties, against the legitimate rights and interests.

To sum up, Jordan sports company believes that the existence of a large number of letters inconsistent with the facts, does not comply with the Supreme Court, the Supreme Court judges will referee one concept, deliberate misinterpretation, misleading for the judgment of the court, and many of the company’s disparaging evaluations and even malicious slander, damage the company’s reputation. The lawyer’s letter is issued, the third party has the relevant matters concerned, inquiry, leading to social evaluation of the company decreased, suffered huge losses, it is taken to court, asked Jordan, Fonda Beijing to immediately stop the infringement, withdraw the lawyer’s letter, a public apology, restore reputation, eliminate the influence, and compensation for mental solatium 1 million yuan and 100 thousand yuan rights fee.

It is reported that Beijing Chaoyang Court has formally accepted the case. At present, the case is under further investigation.

http://www.bestchinanews.com/Sports/16106.html,  2017-07-20 00:53:28

 

 

USA Today explores D. Wade’s “World of Wade” Brand by Li Ning

Dwyane Wade has quietly built the most eclectic brand in sports by going his own way

NEW YORK — Dwyane Wade insists this wasn’t all planned. He’s sitting across the table from a display of his wares, the eclectic mix of ties, basketball shoes, socks and leisure wear that he’s created and imprinted as part of his brand. He’s wearing a tailored suit with a bold collar bar that sets everything off. He’s already taken the photo that he’ll later post to Twitter — but not Instagram.

This wasn’t all planned, the 35-year-old says. And how could it be?

But, how couldn’t it be?

The Chicago Bulls guard is sitting in the offices of Rubenstein, the famed New York public relations firm. Wade is the only athlete represented by the firm. He might tell you he didn’t know that, and it might be true.

Wade was the first NBA player to sign with Stance, probably the first ever to sign a sock deal separate from his shoe deal. Not the last. Stance hadn’t even begun to negotiate with the NBA at the time, but it now outfits all 30 teams with their on-court socks. Wade still has his own line with the company. Dress socks, not basketball socks.

They match his ties. That deal is with Tie Bar, where he’s the only athlete with his own line. He’s the only NBA player partnered with Mission apparel, where he is listed second on the brand’s athletes page — behind only a fellow equity partner, the iconic Serena Williams. And the shoes? Those are Li-Ning, the Chinese company that gave Wade enough money and freedom that he left Nike’s Jordan Brand imprint. Ten NBA players wore Li-Ning last season, and seven of them wore Wade’s signature shoes. He also created a capsule collection with designer brand Dsquared2.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BREWCGvgyhq/embed/captioned/?cr=1&v=7&wp=558#%7B%22ci%22%3A0%2C%22os%22%3A10447.995%7D

These things weren’t all planned, exactly. Wade wasn’t setting out trying to create a fashion empire, the one that now has been brought together in a partnership with Amazon Fashion. He’s the first athlete to partner with Amazon Fashion in this way, of course. Exclusivity is part of the Wade brand. He’s eschewed many of the normal channels to create a diverse portfolio, emphasizing partnerships over traditional endorsements.

“What you’re trying to do is set up a brand that is lifelong, like Michael Jordan,” Wade says. “Eight years ago — around when I turned 27— I started thinking different. It was crazy because I was right at the height of my career. That’s the prime, that’s it. But at that moment, I started thinking differently. I started thinking about life after. I started thinking about what moves I can make, what positions can I put myself in to give myself an opportunity.”

https://www.instagram.com/p/BUIFmjjANir/embed/captioned/?cr=1&v=7&wp=558#%7B%22ci%22%3A1%2C%22os%22%3A10466.650000000001%7D

Eight years ago was 2009. Wade had led the NBA in scoring, averaging 30.2 points, 7.5 assists, 5.0 rebounds, 2.2 steals and 1.3 blocks a game in the best individual season of his career. He also was a year removed from the 2008 Summer Olympics, when he and close friend LeBron James began discussing the partnership that would rock the NBA world in 2010.

This wasn’t all planned, no, but Wade can’t deny the synergy. If he hadn’t won a championship in his third NBA season, would he have been willing to ride shotgun in his eighth? If he hadn’t brought James to Miami, would he have two more rings? If he hadn’t won those three rings, would a respected brand let him design a “Camo Conspiracy” tie?

“Everything has to work perfectly for things to work out,” Wade says. “For me, getting drafted to Miami, a sexy — even though it’s not the biggest — market, everyone knows Miami. Then I’m playing with (Shaquille O’Neal), one of the biggest entrepreneurs and personalities, really has his DNA in everything he’s doing, who I learned from. Everything worked perfectly. It’s all part of the journey.”

So it couldn’t have been planned, not exactly. But Wade took risks — like the chance of losing his “cool factor,” by joining Li-Ning, he says —and positioned himself with these companies in a way that gives him the unique ability to express himself. He’s important to Mission’s “athleisure” brand in a way that he couldn’t be with Nike, important to Stance in a way that he wouldn’t be if he were just joining.

“Dwyane Wade could not be a better partner,” a Stance spokesman wrote in an email statement to For The Win. “No matter the need — an idea, a meeting, a social post, a photoshoot, etc — he can always be counted on, and all of that hard work has played a significant role in Stance’s growth over the past few years.”

https://www.instagram.com/p/BR9F9RTAJ27/embed/captioned/?cr=1&v=7&wp=558#%7B%22ci%22%3A2%2C%22os%22%3A10472.5%7D

Wade has set himself up for a future that seems to be coming quickly, one where he’s simply not an NBA superstar anymore. He was not selected for the All-Star Game for the first time since his rookie year last season. He is aware that he’s moving closer to retirement than his prime.

Moving his family — Wade’s wife is the accomplished actress Gabrielle Union, and he has three sons and custody of a nephew— back to his hometown of Chicago to show them his roots is all part of this plan. Yet it couldn’t be planned because he never intended to leave the Heat. Family is crucial to Wade, who wrote a book about fatherhood not long after getting custody of his oldest two sons. It’s as much a part of his brand as the Way of Wade sneakers. But the synergy finds its way into those worlds, too — and not simply in how he uses his nephew as a measuring stick for his latest sneaker patterns.

“I’m very open with my kids,” Wade says. “I sat down with my son. My son loves basketball, and he could play basketball, and hopefully for him, his goal and dream becomes a reality and he becomes a basketball player in the NBA. But the thing I told him was, I’m building a brand. And I’m building a Wade brand. So in a sense, I’m building this for you. In a sense, if that day comes in five years, and we’re having that conversation, I already went through all the tough stuff. I’m building it for you to take over. You won’t have to come into it new like the Balls are doing. I’ve already went through 10 years of the bullcrap. So I let him know, I will sign you to a shoe contract if you’re good enough.”

https://www.instagram.com/p/BVzk_YhA0xJ/embed/captioned/?cr=1&v=7&wp=558#%7B%22ci%22%3A3%2C%22os%22%3A13892.630000000001%7D

On the court, Wade is entering a pivotal season. He opted into the second year of his two-year, $47 million contract despite knowing the Bulls were going through a rebuilding phase. He’ll likely be the only player over 30 on the team, and he may even be waived before the season ends, allowing him to possibly rejoin James with the Cleveland Cavaliers. After that, who knows?

Perhaps that’s why he’s chosen to enjoy himself now. He and Union have shown the world their beautiful vacations through social media. He’s cracked wise at former teammates, shut down Twitter trolls and embraced the idea of mentoring the Bulls’ youth. Moments like announcing a partnership with Amazon Fashion feel like a victory lap in the middle of an unfinished race.

“Thumbs up — 27-year-old me would give two thumbs up to 35-year-old me,” Wade says. “You took some risks, you did some things that were unpopular at the time. And maybe in five years, I’ll give it even bigger thumbs up, but I’m definitely happy with me doing it the way I’m going to do it. I got out of line a little bit, and I’m happy with it because it’s me.”

By:  | USA Today | Sports | For the Win | http://ftw.usatoday.com/2017/07/dwyane-wade-amazon-fashion-li-ning-shoes-way-of-wade-6-stance-socks-tie-bar-mission | July 12, 2017 1:46 pm

 

“Chris Paul provides a missing ingredient to Houston Rockets’ roster”

✅ Chris Paul joins forces with fellow All-Star James Harden in Houston.

harden cp3

Chris Paul provides a missing ingredient to Houston Rockets’ roster while James Harden remains face of franchise, Paul’s ability to lead will be instrumental to success.

James Harden is the face of the franchise and the Rockets will re-emphasize that later this summer when they give him another contract extension worth more dollars than he has whiskers on his chin.

He is the Rockets’ leading scorer, an offensive savant who can shoot, drive, swivel, dance, act or bully the ball into the bottom of the net all on his own.

He can find open teammates in traffic and set them up with open shots due to his willingness and uncanny ability to pass, not to mention that he draws defenders like metal filings to a magnet.

He will make you shake your head in wonderment one trip down the floor with a twisting, turning, hips-go-this-way-and-long-arm-the-other drive and make your eyes bug out of your head the next time with a step-back 3-pointer that might be launched from just over the county line.

But in five All-Star seasons in Houston what Harden has not been is the kind of transcendent player who lifts his team up to the next level as a true championship contender.

A leader.

Enter Chris Paul, the best pure point guard in the traditional sense of the past decade, to duplicate many of the ball-handling and distributing tasks that Harden performed last season with numbers that made him a runner-up to Russell Westbrook in the MVP balloting.

Oh, let the mad scientist Mike D’Antoni worry about how to split the ball and the time and the roles to make it all work. The 2017 Coach of the Year has never met an offensive puzzle that he can’t solve and usually makes the tweaks or radical moves — i.e. Harden as full-time point guard — that are so off-the-wall brilliant and simple that you wonder why nobody else thought of them before.

How will James Harden, Chris Paul coexist?

Just figure that by the time New Year’s Day rolls around, Mad Mike will have the Rockets moving and scoring the ball at a rate that will test the limits of your calculator.

But the real test will be whether the Rockets are still alive in the playoffs when Memorial Day arrives in late May.

That’s where Paul comes in. If there’s a deeper reason for his presence in the Rockets’ lineup, it is to be the burr under the saddle that perhaps uncomfortably drives Harden to a loftier place.

Rockets GM Daryl Morey is thrilled to have the “league’s best two playmakers.”

General manager Daryl Morey, of course, is far from done with all of his wheeling and dealing attempts. He’ll be right there chasing Carmelo Anthony, Paul George, Paul Millsap, Kyle Lowry and maybe the ghost of George Mikan in his usual spaghetti-plate-against-the-wall style to find something that sticks.

That worked in 2013 when Morey convinced Dwight Howard to join the Rockets and got them to the Western Conference finals in 2015 after, coincidentally enough, Paul’s L.A. Clippers did a swan dive off a 3-1 series lead.

It was an unexpected playoff run that ended with Harden worn out and spent physically and emotionally, turning the ball over a record 12 times in the last game and dribbling himself right into the floor on the final possession. Then last season ended in a similarly dubious fashion for Harden when he no-showed at home against the Spurs without Kawhi Leonard and Tony Parker, not even taking his first shot until 18 minutes into the elimination Game 6.

The Harden and Howard partnership disintegrated beneath the weight of a passive-aggressive personality conflict that to this day neither will own up to publicly. Both wanted to be known as the leader, yet neither was/is capable.

Harden’s 2016-17 season of solo virtuosity ended with a 2-for-11, six-turnover flameout and a hurried sprint into summer leaving his teammates holding the bag and still not facing up to the questions about what happened. The image left was that he surrendered.

No one has ever accused Paul of surrender. Even though his own resume still does not include a single game played past the second round of the playoffs, his reputation on the court and in the locker room is as a bulldog, a martinet. He holds teammates responsible for missed assignments during games and in practices. His back pats and pep talks are outnumbered by his in-your-face confrontations on the court and chewing out of slackers in the locker room. Yes, he’ll probably mention it when Harden lets his man sail in for a layup.

For all the burden that will be unshouldered not having to start and finish so much of the offense, Harden will have to carry a different load of a teammate — a friend that he says he respects — expectations.

The Rockets can still call themselves Harden’s team, if it makes everybody feel good. But there’s a new boss that they can only hope makes him better.

Chris Paul provides a missing ingredient to Houston Rockets’ roster

While James Harden remains face of franchise, Paul’s ability to lead will be instrumental to success

Fran Blinebury | NBA.com

Jun 29, 2017 8:09 PM ET

Sports Agent Blog’s NBA Draft ’17 Recap

2017 NBA Draft Recap: Excel Sports Is Number 1 For The Second Straight Year

Cameron Ballard Portfolio (1)

Top 5 Agencies of the 2017 NBA Draft

  1. Excel Sports Management
  2. Priority Sports
  3. CAA
  4. Wasserman
  5. ASM Sports

Honorable Mention: Octagon

Top 5 Agents of the 2017 NBA Draft

  1. Andy Miller – ASM Sports (4 clients drafted including one first-round pick at #16)
  2. Jeffrey Wechsler – 24/7 Sports Management (2 clients drafted at picks #3 and #6)
  3. Jeff Schwartz – Excel Sports Management (2 clients drafted at picks #11 and #22)
  4. B.J. Armstrong – Wasserman (2 clients drafted at picks #4 and #43)
  5. Happy Walters – Catalyst Sports (2 clients drafted at picks #5 and #42)

Honorable Mention: Aaron Mintz – CAA (2 clients drafted at picks #12 and #38)

Highlights

  • Excel Sports Management had 6 clients drafted including four first-round selections and three top-twenty picks
  • Priority Sports had 6 clients drafted including three first-rounders and one top-ten pick
  • CAA had 5 clients drafted with four first-rounders all going in the top-twenty picks including one top-ten pick
  • Wasserman had 5 clients drafted including two first-round picks with one going in the top-five and both in the top-twenty
  • ASM Sports had 5 clients selected including one first-round pick
  • Octagon had 3 clients drafted including two first-round picks
  • BeoBasket had 3 clients selected
  • 24/7 Sports Management had 2 clients drafted including a top-five and a top-ten pick
  • Tandem Sports + Entertainment had 2 clients with both going in the first-round
  • Catalyst Sports had 2 clients drafted including one top-five selection
  • Roc Nation Sports had 2 clients drafted including one first-round pick
  • Young Money APAA Sports had 2 clients drafted
  • Goodwin Sports Management had 2 clients selected

By: Sports Agent Blog | Writer: Cameron Chung – June 24, 20170

 

2017 NBA DRAFT: NBA Inside Stuff – Jayson Tatum Interview/Trains w/ Grant Hill (#DUKE)

2017 NBA DRAFT  |  NBA TV  |  NBA Inside Stuff

Duke great Grant Hill spends a day with Jayson Tatum (former Duke standout freshman) as he prepares for the 2017 NBA Draft.  Drafted 3rd to the Boston Celtics, he was a Top-5 projected NBA prospect, an agile SF who scores with ease. He can get a bucket at all 3 levels, and he proudly considers himself “high character.”

Best of luck young man!

Jayson Tatum Interview/Trains w/ Grant Hill (#DUKE)

NBA TV Inside Stuff