Kentavious Caldwell-Pope to miss 3 road games as part of plea deal

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. — Kentavious Caldwell-Pope said he will not be able to play in three Los Angeles Lakers‘ road games outside the state of California in the next few weeks due to a modified 25-day restriction stemming from a plea agreement he reached on a misdemeanor offense while a player for the Detroit Pistons.

If the Lakers guard complies with this new restriction, he is slated to miss the Lakers’ games at Houston on Dec. 20, at Houston again on Dec. 31 and at Minnesota on Jan. 1. The only other Lakers’ road game during the 25-day restriction — which was given to Caldwell-Pope following a court appearance in Michigan this past week — is at Golden State on Dec. 22. Caldwell-Pope will be able to play in that game since he will not be leaving the state.

Caldwell-Pope already has missed one road game due to the restrictionand was not with the team for the Lakers’ 121-112 loss at Cleveland on Thursday.

“With the court situation, we came up with the agreement that I still get to carry on with my season but only in the state of California for the 25-day restriction that I have,” Caldwell-Pope said after practice on Saturday. “I was blessed that I am able to continue to play ball.”

Caldwell-Pope was originally cited for operating a vehicle while intoxicated but pleaded guilty in May to the lesser charge of allowing someone to operate his vehicle while under the influence, which carried a 12-month probation. Caldwell-Pope left the Lakers following a game in New York last Tuesday to Michigan, where he learned he had to return to California and miss Thursday’s game in Cleveland to start an intensive program over the next 25 days with the intention of ending his probation early.

“It helps,” Caldwell-Pope said of 25-day restriction allowing him to continue to play basketball. “With the court situation, we came up with the agreement that I still get to carry on with my season but only in the state of California for the 25-day restriction that I have. I was blessed that I am able to continue to play ball.”

“It was always a possibility that I would continue to play,” the guard added. “I just had agreed to some restrictions in order for me to continue to play.”

“As a result of his professional basketball work schedule, the court has modified the sentence and released him from probation early so long as he completes an intensive program over the next 25 days. There will be some travel restrictions, but we are pleased that Kentavious will now continue with his NBA season and move forward in a positive manner from this experience.”

Caldwell-Pope, who signed a one-year, $18-million contract with the Lakers as a free agent, is averaging 14.2 points, 4.9 rebounds and 1.8 steals while shooting 36.1% from 3-point range. The Lakers have leaned on Caldwell-Pope, 24, to provide veteran leadership, turn the Lakers’ defense around and at times be the team’s closer in close games.

“He is one of those guys that hits big shots for us and when you are on the road you can stall out a little bit like we have a tendency to do from time to time and he is somebody that can get it going and hit two or three straight jumpers or make a big play on defense or get a steal for us,” Lakers coach Luke Walton said. “There are things from both ends of the floor that we will miss from him. But it was nice having him back with us today in practice.”

On Saturday, the Lakers released a statement saying the team is “abiding by the terms of a program for Kentavious that were established for him by a court in the state of Michigan.”

Caldwell-Pope was suspended under the NBA’s personal conduct policy for the Lakers’ first two games of the season. The Lakers started rookie guard Josh Hart in place of Caldwell-Pope in Cleveland and Hart responded with a career-high 11 points and 10 rebounds in his first start.

“It has been very disappointing to me as well, as far as my teammates, I feel like I let them down as well, my coaches, the organization,” Caldwell-Pope said. “I just have to deal with this legal situation that came with it.”

Reports: Jahlil Okafor, Nik Stauskas traded to Brooklyn for Trevor Booker

JAHLIL OKAFOR THRILLED FOR A FRESH START WITH THE BROOKLYN NETS

NBA Agent Andy Miller relinquishes NBPA certification amid FBI probe

Adrian Wojnarowski | ESPN | 12/6/2018 11:24 AM CT
http://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/21690026/nba-agent-andy-miller-no-longer-represent-players-contract-negotiations

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Andy Miller, one of the NBA’s most prominent player agents, has relinquished his National Basketball Players Association certification and will no longer represent players in contract negotiations, according to a union memo distributed on Wednesday.

Miller, who was representing dozens of NBA players including Kyle LowryKristaps Porzingis and Serge Ibaka, is considered to be part of the FBI’s probe into college basketball.

Miller is the president and founder of ASM Sports, and many of his former clients are expected to remain with other agents in the company, sources said. None of the company’s most prominent clients left in the wake of the FBI probe, which included the arrest of an ex-employee, Christian Dawkins, in September.

Miller, based in New Jersey, had represented several longtime All-Star players, including Chauncey Billups and Kevin Garnett.

Pitino sues University of Louisville Athletic Association

12487027-mmmainQuite frankly, I don’t understand how Rick Pitino can summon the gall to sue an institution that has supported him throughout all of his controversy at Louisville.  Although there is only one record of NCAA misconduct prior to his stint at with the Cardinals, it served as a foreshadow of the infamy to come.

In the 70’s, he served as both an assistant and interim head coach for the University of Hawaii.  While there, the program was hit by NCAA sanctions, with Pitino implicated in eight of the 64 violations.  The violations involving Pitino included giving plane tickets to a player, arranging for athletes to get used cars and giving out coupons for free food at McDonald’s.

Ironically, he would take the reigns of a troubled program at the University of Kentucky, which was facing NCAA sanctions prior to his arrival.

“This program is as rich in tradition as there is in all of basketball, but you’ve been brought to your knees with a tremendous scandal.” – Rick Pitino. 

He left Kentucky with a national championship, would go on to coach in the NBA, and then return to the college ranks at Louisville, where his third, and latest strike cost him his job and maybe his legacy.

Strike one: In 2009, he confessed that he had an affair with the wife of the team’s equipment manager and paid for her to have an abortion.  The woman, Karen Sypher, was later convicted of trying to extort Pitino for millions of dollars.  C’mon man.

Strike two: In 2015, Andre McGee, a former director of basketball operations was found to have provided strippers and prostitutes to players and recruits in a campus dormitory over several years.  The school declared itself ineligible for postseason play in 2016, and the NCAA suspended Pitino for the first five games of the coming season.

The scandal was heavily reported by ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” and YahooSports.  The allegations are detailed in a book entitled “Breaking Cardinal Rules: Basketball and the Escort Queen,” co-written by Katina Powell, who told ESPN she provided women for Louisville recruits in exchange for a total of $10,000 in payments.

Powell essentially served as a madam and in her book detailed about 21 recruiting “parties” with strippers and sex from 2010-2014 inside Billy Minardi Hall, an on-campus Louisville dorm for athletes and other students named for the late brother-in-law of Louisville coach Rick Pitino.  Powell gives an extensive interview with ESPN for its story and supplied information such as text messages and phone records.  One former Louisville recruit who is attending another school told ESPN:

I knew they weren’t college girls. It was crazy. It was like I was in a strip club.

Another player told ESPN that McGee…

would give us the money, just the recruits. A bunch of us were sitting there while they danced. Then the players left, and the recruits chose which one (of the dancers) they wanted.”

His lawyer, Scott Tompsett, planned an appeal of Pitino’s suspension because he said the ruling did not “identify a single specific thing that Coach Pitino should have done that he wasn’t already doing that would have either prevented or detected the illicit activities.”  Pitino has denied knowledge of the matter, to which Powell told ESPN, “How could he not know?”

Strike three: The latest scandal serves as the straw that broke the camel’s back.  In a federal complaint that I’ve previously posted, Louisville is alleged to have paid $100,000 to star recruit Brian Bowen.  That money was funneled from Adidas through Louisville in order to lure his commitment.  At the time he was recruited, Pitino told News Radio 840: “We got lucky on this one.  I had an A.A.U. director call me and ask me if I’d be interested in a player.  I said, ‘Yeah, I’d be really interested.’  In my 40 years of coaching, this is the luckiest I’ve been.”  Now, Bowen’s collegiate career, and Pitino’s coaching career are left in limbo.

Rick Pitino should use his absence from the basketball to re-evaluate his values, his purported lack of awareness, and what it means to be a leader.  He has been quick to point the finger of blame at everyone but himself.  In my opinion, even if he didn’t take part in either of the last two scandals, I attribute the consequences to blatant negligence.  How could this type of conduct continue under his nose?  Either he turned a blind eye to any instances of wrongdoing, or he elected to allow HIS team to be run behind closed doors by THEIR own devices, and not his.  That is not leadership.

ESPN reported the details of Pitino’s suit against his former employer, which made him the highest-paid coach in basketball at more than $7 million a year.

Will a DraftExpress Lawsuit Change the World of Video Highlights?

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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.”

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

 

Nike Wins $1 Billion Contract With NBA as Adidas Walks Away

Matthew Townsend, Scott Soshnick
Bloomberg News

Nike Inc. won an eight-year deal to make uniforms for the National Basketball Association, taking over for Adidas AG after that company’s contract runs out in 2017.

Nike will become the first apparel partner to have its logo appear on all on-court uniform designs, according to a statement Wednesday. The company is paying about $1 billion for the contract, according to a person familiar with the deal who asked not to be identified because the terms are private.

“Nike will be instrumental in our collective efforts to grow the game globally while applying the latest in technology to the design of our uniforms and on-court products,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said in the statement.

Adidas said in March that it decided not to renew its 11-year NBA partnership. The decision reflected a change of direction by the German company, which is putting more emphasis on developing new products and sponsoring individual players. Last year, Adidas signed deals with four of the top six NBA draft picks, including Andrew Wiggins and Joel Embiid.

Nike will now have the global rights to design and make jerseys, in addition to warm-up outfits and shooting shirts. The Beaverton, Oregon-based company was already the footwear and apparel provider for USA Basketball, the governing body for the country’s Olympic teams. Nike also has some of the NBA’s best-known players as endorsers, including Kobe Bryant and LeBron James. Greg Rossiter, a Nike spokesman, declined to discuss the terms of the deal.

Stock Gains

Shares of Nike rose 0.5 percent to $103.88 at the close in New York on Thursday. The stock has gained 8 percent this year.

The company, which has been a marketing partner of the sports league since 1992, also will make apparel for the WNBA and NBA’s development league.

“Having the Nike logo on the jerseys can help grow the business,” said Brian Yarbrough, an analyst for Edward Jones & Co. “The bigger aspect is it keeps the competitors’ logos off the jerseys.”

In the fiscal year through May 2014, Nike’s basketball-related sales rose 19 percent to $3.1 billion. It’s the company’s second-largest category after running.

This marks the second time Nike, the world’s largest supplier of athletic gear, will replace Adidas as the sponsor of a major U.S. sports league. It also took over the National Football League license for uniforms and apparel in 2012 from Adidas-owned Reebok.

Nike has been on a roll after revamping its struggling China division and benefiting from the trend of consumers wearing fashionable athletic gear as everyday apparel. That’s helped the company generate growth in mature markets including North America, where sales increased 10 percent to $3.25 billion last quarter.

Ohio State PG D’Angelo Russell Picks CAA’s Austin Brown And Aaron Mitz

Jonathan Givony of Draft Express announced via Twitter that Ohio State standout freshman D’Angelo Russell has signed a representation agreement with CAA’s Austin Brown and Aaron Mitz.

According to Chad Ford’s Big Board, the Louisville, Kentucky native is a projected top three pick in the upcoming 2015 NBA Draft behind Kentucky’s Karl-Anthony Towns and Duke’s Jahlil Okafor. The recent activity on Russell’s Instagram account indicates that he seems to like the idea of being drafted either second or third in the upcoming draft; liking pictures of himself in both Lakers and 76ers jerseys . The 6’5″, 180 lb, 19 year old averaged 19.3 PPG, 5.7 RPG, and 5.0 APG in his one year with the Buckeyes while leading Ohio State to a 24-11 record and NCAA Tournament appearance.

It was clear during Russell’s short stint in Columbus that he was leader on and off of the court. He is highly regarded by his coaches and teammates as a tireless worker, and as just a freshman, Russell was the Buckeyes go to player. It was clear early on that Thad Matta had put the team in the young freshman’s hands. Russell is highly touted for his superb court vision drawing comparisons to the all-time great passers. Russell has clear superstar potential in the NBA, it is only fitting that he has signed with one of the premier player agencies, joining players such as Chris Paul, Kevin Durant, and Paul George who are also represented by CAA’s Basketball Division.

By Steven Swick | Sports Agent Blog

http://sportsagentblog.com/2015/05/21/ohio-state-pg-dangelo-russell-picks-caas-austin-brown-and-aaron-mitz/