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Commissioner Adam Silver expects players to stand for anthem

Published in USA NBA
Friday, 29 September 2017 11:13

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said on Thursday he expects players to stand during the U.S. national anthem, which has long been a league rule, rather than follow the lead of NFL players who have been kneeling in protest.

The controversial issue of kneeling during the anthem has become more prevalent in the NFL in a gesture intended to call attention to what protesting players see as a pattern of racism in the treatment of African-Americans by U.S. police.

But Silver does not anticipate such gestures on the NBA's hardwood courts when the 2017-18 season begins next month.

"On the anthem specifically, we have a rule that requires our players to stand for the anthem. It’s been a rule as long as I’ve been involved with the league, and my expectation is that our players will continue to stand for the anthem," Silver told a news conference after the NBA's Board of Governors meetings.
"Last year many of our teams locked arms during the anthem, which I felt was a respectful show of unity. Many of our players have spoken out already about their plan to stand for the anthem. And I think they understand how divisive an issue it is in our society right now."

The gesture was initiated last season by then-San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and has since caught the attention of U.S. President Donald Trump, who last week called for NFL owners to fire those who refuse to stand.

Two days after Trump's comments, NFL teams staged a show of solidarity on Sunday by kneeling, linking arms or staying off the field during the U.S. national anthem.
"It’s disheartening to me to see so much disunity in our society. I think that sports historically, and in the NBA in particular, has been a unifying force," said Silver.

"While there’s always been disagreements in society, sports arenas have been places where people from all walks of life have come together and for a common experience."

While Silver acknowledged that freedom of expression is a core principle of the United States he said that given the platform NBA players have, whether through engagement with the media or social media, that they have those opportunities for their voices to be heard.

Silver did not say what would happen if any NBA players refused to stand during the "Star-Spangled Banner," simply adding: "All I can say is if that were to happen, we’ll deal with it when it happens."

Tilman Fertitta Agrees To Buy Houston Rockets For Record $2.2 Billion

Published in USA NBA
Saturday, 09 September 2017 08:57

Houston Rockets owner Leslie Alexander shocked the NBA recently when he announced that the team he has owned since 1993 was up for sale.

Earlier this year the Rockets were valued at $1.65 billion by Forbes Magazine, which was the eighth highest of the 30 NBA teams, but it was reported in recent weeks that Alexander had multiple $2 billion offers.


Tuesday morning he accepted one of those offers, selling the team to Galveston, Texas native and Houston resident Tilman Fertitta for $2.2 billion, which is the most an NBA franchise has ever been sold for.

The Rockets released a statement on the sale, and Fertitta commented on what it means to him to buy the team he grew up rooting for:

“I am truly honored to have been chosen as the next owner of the Houston Rockets. This is a life-long dream come true,” said Fertitta, a native of Galveston and life-long resident of the Houston area. “Leslie Alexander has been one of the best owners in all of sports, and I thank him immensely for this opportunity. He has the heart of a champion. Lastly, out of respect for the NBA’s approval process, I can say no more other than I am overwhelmed with emotion to have this opportunity in my beloved city of Houston.”
Fertitta is the owner of one of the largest restaurant corporations in the country, Landry’s, Inc., in addition to owning the Golden Nugget Casinos and Hotels.

Included in the deal is the Rockets arena, the Toyota Center in Houston and Fertitta did not have any other partners in the deal so he is the sole owner of the team.

Alexander bought the team for $85 million, so the value of the franchise increased by more than 25 times the amount he paid for it in 24 years.

NBA News: League Considering Significant Draft Lottery Reform

Published in USA NBA
Saturday, 09 September 2017 08:53

While many teams are able to acquire star players through trade or free agency, the most likely opportunity for many teams to get their hands on a young star is through the NBA Draft. It is because of that, that many teams who are far from championship contention begin ‘tanking’ in hopes of getting better odds of landing the top draft pick.

This strategy has been criticized by many and the NBA has explored some ways to prevent this from happening. Now according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the NBA and Commissioner Adam Silver are considering serious NBA Draft Lottery reform.


Among those changes, according to Wojnarowski, would be the league evening the odds of the three worst teams to land the top pick:

Currently, the teams with the three worst records have an ascending chance of winning the No. 1 pick, including (No. 3) 15.6 percent, (No. 2) 19.9 percent and (No. 1) 25 percent.

The NBA’s proposal would flatten those odds, and give the three teams with the worst record the same percentage of earning the No. 1 overall pick, league sources said. Now, the worst record to the fifth worst record has a gap of 25 percent to 8.8 percent, but new legislation would tighten that difference significantly, league sources said.

Another potential change, that isn’t in the initial proposal, but could still be considered is teams not being allowed to pick in the top-3 in consecutive years:

Another idea born out of the Competition Committee itself that could gather support, league sources said: No team can pick in the top three of the draft in consecutive years. For example, if Minnesota wins the No. 1 pick and drafts Karl-Anthony Towns, it can pick no higher than No. 4 in the next lottery. For now, that idea is outside of the league office’s proposal but is expected to be considered in the upcoming committee meeting, sources said.

These would be huge changes for the league if they were to go into effect. While it is impossible to guess what kind of effect these changes would have across the league, teams would have to change their entire re-building strategies.

Commissioner Silver has been very proactive in trying to fix the issues he sees with the NBA, such as trying to prevent teams resting healthy players. Working on the draft lottery is another big change as Silver is undoubtedly making his mark on the league.

7 thoughts on Super Penguin All-Star Basketball

Published in Basketball
Wednesday, 06 September 2017 11:46

The 2017 Super Penguin Basketball All-Star Game will be underway in just four more days on 10 September.

Taking place at the Shanghai Oriental Sports Center, the star-studded basketball match will see ex-NBA Boston Celtics team mates Ray Allen and Paul Pierce face off, together with 10 other Chinese celebrities.

2017 Super Penguin Basketball All-Star Game
Line up
Ray Allen
Paul Pierce
Kris Wu (Wu Yifan)
Jiang Jinfu
Allen Wu (Su Xing)
Jackson Wang (Wang Jia Er)
Justin Yuan (Yuan Hong)
Guo Ailun
Da Peng (Dong Cheng Peng)
Zhang Feng Yi
Zhang Zhe Han
Dong Li

Here’s why we are looking forward to Sunday tip off:

1-on-1 matchup we’d most like to see: Ray Allen vs Paul Pierce
It doesn’t get any bigger than this. You can feel the heat from the fans rubbing their hands in delight as former Boston Celtics team mates Allen and Pierce squares off on the court. They have proven that they can work together in their 2008 NBA championship win, but who will come out on top this Sunday?

1-on-1 matchup we’d most like to see but won’t: Kris Wu vs. Jiang Jinfu
Having squared off in this year NBA All-Star Celebrity Game, fans will love to get a second bite of the “Chinese derby” cherry between singer/actor Wu and actor Jiang. On that occasion, Wu was on the winning East Team scoring three points. While Jiang scored two points and four rebounds for the West Team.

Most likely to have a successful career outside of the game: Guo Ailun
This rising Chinese basketballer is going places. Though only 23 years old, Guo became the first Chinese player to be signed to the Jordan Brand. He is currently plying his trade with his hometown team Liaoning Flying Leopards.

Asian we wish were playing: Jay Chou
It is no big secret that Taiwanese rapper Chou is a huge basketball fan. He was spotted taking in a NBA game while on family vacation. Chou also starred as the lead in the basketball action comedy, Kung Fu Dunk and faced off with Kobe Bryant in a 2012 charity game.

Most likely to wear no 23: Jiang Jinfu
Despite his admiration for NBA legends Kobe Bryant and Allen Iversen, Jiang is still a LeBron James fan through and through. The 26-year-old actor should feel at home in the iconic jersey; considering that he was on his way to being a professional athlete before being befell by injuries.

Most suited for small forward: Zhang Feng Yi
At 61 years of age, veteran actor Zhang seems like the last candidate for a basketball game. Let alone the small forward position. However, the 1.85m tough guy might surprise many with his dexterity, seeing how he trained as a dancer.

MVP: Guo Ailun
Voted second for the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) domestic MVP, Guo averaged 15.5 points, 5.9 assists, 3.2 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game in the 2015/16 CBA Season. If he brings that form, it will be hard for him not be declared MVP for the 2017 Super Penguin Basketball All-Star game.

Paris Saint-Germain sink St Etienne as NBA great Curry roars on Neymar

Published in Basketball
Thursday, 31 August 2017 08:01

Paris St Germain extended their perfect start to the Ligue 1 campaign with a 3-0 home win over St Etienne watched by NBA star Stephen Curry, who attended the match as a special guest of the French side's Brazil forward Neymar on Friday.

Golden State Warriors player Curry received a PSG team shirt with his name emblazoned on the back and took a ceremonial kick off before moving to the Parc Des Princes VIP section for the start of the game.

Neymar was returning Curry's hospitality after being his guest in the 2017 NBA finals when the Warriors blew away the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Two goals by Edinson Cavani either side of a 51st-minute effort by Italy's Brazilian-born midfielder Thiago Motta kept PSG top of the standings with a maximum 12 points from four games.

Neymar, who racked up three goals and as many assists in his opening two matches for PSG, looked somewhat subdued in Curry's presence and many of his passes went astray.

However, two trademark moments of brilliance from the 25-year old were enough to pick the lock.

On 20 minutes he delivered an inch-perfect pass to Cavani, who was hauled down by Saido Janko. The Uruguay striker converted the spot kick to put the home side ahead.

Motta doubled the lead, drilling in an unstoppable close-range shot after Marquinhos chested down an expertly floated Neymar free kick into the penalty box.

PSG keeper Alphonse Areola made several good saves as St Etienne, after soaking up incessant pressure, threatened to claw their way back into the game from rare breakaway moves.

Cavani extended his recent good form with his second goal and fifth in four league games when he rounded off a flowing move with a backheel finish from close range in the 90th minute.

In the round's other standout fixtures, Nantes are at home to Lyon on Saturday while champions Monaco entertain 1993 Champions League winners Marseille on Sunday.

Kevin Durant inspires Golden State Warriors to beat Cleveland Cavaliers and clinch NBA title

Published in USA NBA
Sunday, 18 June 2017 09:31

The Golden State Warriors beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 129-120 on Monday to win their second NBA championship in three seasons and cap a near-perfect run through the playoffs.

The Warriors, who beat Cleveland in the 2015 Finals only to lose to them last year after squandering a 3-1 series lead, went a record-setting 15-1 in the playoffs, their only loss coming in Game Four of the best-of-seven championship.

Kevin Durant signed with the Warriors hoping to win an elusive title and on Monday he not only reached his goal, but was also named the unanimous Most Valuable Player of the NBA Finals.
Durant, in his first season with the Warriors, led the way in a 4-1 series win over the Cavaliers to capture his maiden NBA title.

The 28-year-old American averaged 35.2 points, 8.4 rebounds and 5.4 assists in the best-of-seven Finals, which the Warriors wrapped up in five games.

To win his first NBA title, Durant had to overcome Cavaliers forward LeBron James, whose former Miami Heat team defeated Durant's Oklahoma City Thunder in the 2012 Finals.
"He's the only person that I was looking at since 2012," Durant said after the game.

"I knew it was going to be a battle I just tried to challenge him ... you can't stop the guy. But we battled.
"I told him we're tied up now and we're going to try to do this thing again but I'm going to celebrate this one tonight."

Warriors seize a three-game lead, Grizzlies beat Spurs in overtime

Published in USA NBA
Saturday, 29 April 2017 10:08

Catch up with the highlights of Saturday's NBA games.

Warriors 119, Trail Blazers 113

Stephen Curry scored 14 of his 34 points in the fourth quarter and the Golden State Warriors rallied from a 16-point third-quarter deficit to beat the Portland Trail Blazers 119-113 on Saturday night at Moda Center.
Klay Thompson added 24 points for the Warriors, who seized a 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven first-round playoff series.

Raptors 87, Bucks 76

DeMar DeRozan shook off his dismal Game Three performance and scored 33 points as Toronto evened their Eastern Conference first-round series with Milwaukee at two wins apiece.

DeRozan missed all eight of his field goal attempts and scored just eight points in Toronto's 27-point Game Three loss but scored 21 points in the first half on Saturday and made 12-of-22 shots.

The series continues Monday in Toronto with Game Six set for Thursday in Milwaukee.

Grizzlies 110, Spurs 108 (overtime)

Marc Gasol's floating jump shot over LaMarcus Aldridge with 0.7 seconds left in overtime gave the Memphis Grizzlies a 110-108 victory over the San Antonio Spurs on Saturday at FedExForum to even their first-round Western Conference playoff series 2-2.
Memphis won despite a playoff career-high 43 points for San Antonio's Kawhi Leonard. Mike Conley led the Grizzlies with 35 points and had nine rebounds and eight assists. Leonard added eight rebounds, six steals and three assists to his stat line.

Hawks 116, Wizards 98

Paul Millsap had 29 points and 14 rebounds for his second straight double-double and Atlanta led wire-to-wire in beating Washington in Game 3 of their Eastern Conference playoff series.

Millsap was 12 of 20 from the field and had five assists. His only problem was at the line, where he was 5 of 9. The Hawks, who trail in the series 2-1, also got 27 points from Dennis Schroder, 20 of those in the first half, with nine assists.

Warriors' Durant out indefinitely with knee injury

Published in USA NBA
Friday, 31 March 2017 09:10

Golden State Warriors' Kevin Durant has suffered a knee sprain and will be out indefinitely, the National Basketball Association said on Wednesday, dealing a blow to the team's bid for a third straight trip to the finals.

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