Eric Freeman

  • NBA says owner Michael Jordan can't pick Jordan Brand endorsers

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 1 day ago

    The $250,000 fine imposed upon the Los Angeles Clippers Tuesday for presenting then-free agent DeAndre Jordan with an impermissible third-party endorsement with Lexus has brought greater attention to the various ways in which NBA franchises may choose to circumvent the salary cap. With every collective bargaining negotiation featuring talk of competitive balance and the necessity for a lower cap, preserving the sanctity of those rules matters to the league's ability to claim an even playing field for all 30 franchises. Teams must pay their players via league-approved salaries and nothing else.

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    The answer is apparently to keep Jordan from making any decisions involving a conflict of interest. According to ESPN's Darren Rovell, the NBA will bar Jordan from picking endorsers for Jordan Brand:

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  • Stephen Curry isn't thinking about leaving the Warriors in 2017, for now

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 1 day ago

    Life is good for Stephen Curry, reigning NBA MVP and champion as point guard of the Golden State Warriors. He is widely identified as one of the best players in the league, has popularity that perhaps only three players can match, and at 27 years old looks set to occupy that space for some time. Stalking aside, it's hard to see many downsides.

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    It should therefore not come as much of a surprise that Curry sees little reason to leave the Warriors when he becomes a free agent in the summer of 2017. From Jimmy Spencer for The Sporting News:

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  • Check out 19 glorious minutes of the 100 best dunks of the NBA season

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 2 days ago

    Conventional internet wisdom says that a video will not go viral if it is more than a few minutes long. The idea is that millions of viewers will not gravitate towards a clip that requires so much time, no matter the level of its quality. In an era with so many publications and aggregators competing for attention, anything longer than a pop song asks too much of its audience.

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    Whoever first developed this idea probably did not consider that a collection of 100 terrific in-game dunks can hold anyone's interest for a prolonged period of time. As proof, the NBA put out a 19-minute video of the 100 best dunks of the 2014-15 season. It is worth carving out the time to watch it all:

    It should be noted that this is not a countdown but a compilation of the 100 best dunks ordered chronologically. It's almost more like a greatest hits album, because the audience gets to journey through the dunk narrative of 2014-15 and reflect on how we went from October to June.

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  • Wesley Matthews plans on being ready for opening night

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 2 days ago

    When the Dallas Mavericks signed shooting guard Wesley Matthews to a lucrative four-year, $70-million contract this summer, they did so with full knowledge that he probably would not be ready for opening night of the 2015-16 season. The torn Achilles tendon that Matthews suffered on March 5 typically requires a lengthy recovery, one that the franchise would presumably be willing to endure given their long-term investment in a player who turns 29 before the start of the upcoming campaign. To that end, head coach Rick Carlisle has already said that the team plans to be careful with its new addition.

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    Matthews has different plans. In a new interview with Tim Cato of Mavs Moneyball, the ex-Portland Trail Blazers guard says that he has every intention of returning for opening night, October 28, when the Mavericks visit the Phoenix Suns:

  • Kevin Durant says not to trust any free agent rumors this season

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 5 days ago

    When Oklahoma City Thunder superstar Kevin Durant becomes a free agent next summer, he will do so with anywhere from five to a dozen franchises (if not more) convinced that they must make every possible move and pitch to get him to join them. Historically exceptional players do not hit the open market very often, and it makes sense that they would inspire excitement from fans and basketball professionals alike.

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    That level of interest also means we're likely to hear a bevy of Durant rumors throughout the 2015-16 season, most of which will be anonymously sourced and likely contradict each other. Durant has anticipated this future and wants us all to ignore the rumors as best we can. From Ken Berger for CBSSports.com (via PBT):

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  • J.R. Smith agrees to return to Cavaliers for at least one season

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 6 days ago

    J.R. Smith's big summer gamble appears to have ended in something other than outright disaster. The veteran shooter announced via Instagram on Thursday that he has reached an agreement to re-join the Cleveland Cavaliers. Chris Haynes of the Northeast Ohio Media Group later reported that Smith will earn $5 million for the 2015-16 season with a player option for the second year of the deal, later confirmed by Yahoo's Marc Spears. Smith will also have a no-trade clause, which is not insignificant given his controversy-filled history and the deal that sent him to Cleveland from the New York Knicks last January.

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    You can take a look at Smith's Instagram post here:

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  • Bulls star Jimmy Butler is inspired by his friend Mark Wahlberg, naturally

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 6 days ago

    Professional athletes find inspiration in familiar places — family, friends, artists, and past greats in their chosen sports. If there's anything special about that group, it is due to the unique lives of the rich and famous. When an athlete makes friends through work, they are usually fellow millionaires and mega-popular entertainment superstars, not people like the husband of Barbara from accounting who also happens to be really into craft beer. Those who hang in special circles make special acquaintances.

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    Or maybe Butler is just trying to score a cameo in "Entourage 2." I'm sure many NBA players would do much more than befriend Mark Wahlberg for that honor.

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  • Toronto's Patrick Patterson has a raptor skull on his coffee table

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 7 days ago

    Professional athletes often show their commitment to a team with some symbolic act, whether it be a tattoo or even giving a child some name that connects to the franchise. The idea is pretty simple — a mere contract does not prove just how strong the bond is, so the player must go above and beyond to show how much he values his employer. On the other hand, no general manager or owner has gotten a tattoo of a star player as part of a reciprocal promise (as far as we know).

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    Toronto Raptors forward Patrick Patterson has now set a very high bar for any player who wishes to display his affection for his team. Recent photos of Patterson's Toronto home show that the vet, set to enter his third season with the team, has a raptor skull on his coffee table:

    Interior design service BoConcept has another look at the skull (via Raptors HQ):

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  • Report: David Stern's friends want him to run for New York City mayor

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 7 days ago

    Longtime NBA commissioner David Stern has kept relatively quiet since officially retiring and given way to current league boss Adam Silver in February 2014. Apart from the occasional appearance at a game or NBA event, the nearly 73-year-old Stern has kept private and spent his life like many other retired septuagenarians. It's a change of pace for someone used to being in the public eye but certainly not an atypical experience.

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    If a new report is to be believed, though, then some of Stern's friends want him to take on a position even more prominent than his last job. According to Page Six's Richard Johnson in the New York Post — an always reputable source! — a group has implored Stern to run for mayor of New York City (via PBT):

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  • Michael Jordan would rather you not see him in his reading glasses

    Eric Freeman at Ball Don't Lie 8 days ago

    NBA legend Michael Jordan took the witness stand Tuesday in an ongoing trial related to the unauthorized use of his image in an advertisement by the now-defunct supermarket chain Dominick's Finer Foods. The store took advantage of Jordan's 2009 Hall of Fame induction — you know, the one where he aired petty grievances for 20 minutes — to use his image in a promotion, and Jordan and his business associates responded with a lawsuit. The chain does not deny wrongdoing, so jurors are essentially deciding if Dominick's owes Jordan the millions he says such a licensing agreement would be worth or a smaller but still quite large figure.

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    Was there a courtroom sketch artist on hand to show Jordan in his specs? We will settle for the Tom Brady one if necessary!

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