Category Archives: NBA

20130529_jla_av3_140.0_standard_730.0

Danny Ferry Audio on Luol Deng Emerges, and It’s Not Good [UPDATE: Ferry Takes Leave of Absence]

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution provides audio of a recording it claims features Atlanta Hawks GM Danny Ferry making controversial remarks regarding Luol Deng:

Warning: Video contains graphic language

Yesterday, Adam Silver told USA Today’s Sam Amick that he did not believe Ferry should be fired for the remarks. The whole scandal has been largely overshadowed by the NFL fiasco this week, but this audio may well cost Ferry the Hawks GM job.

[UPDATE: Atlanta Hawks general manager Danny Ferry will take an indefinite leave of absence in the aftermath of the controversy regarding racist comments he made about free agent Luol Deng, as reported by Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.]

Share
813ba97563ec9ce5b5fbab01e6152acb_crop_exact

DeMarcus Cousins Almost Punched Jonas Valanciunas During the FIBA World Cup [Video]

An elbow to the throat almost caused an ugly scene during the semifinal game between the United States and Lithuania at the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup.

Jonas Valanciunas gave DeMarcus Cousins an elbow to the throat while boxing out. Boogie reacted and *almost* punched Valanciunas in the back of the head. Cousins got a technical.

Thankfully, things promptly settled down. Amazingly, this can be considered restraint and a sign of maturity on the part of Boogie Cousins. A year ago, he might have thrown a punch.

Share
AR-140729686

Jeremy Lin Pretends to Be Wax Statue, Pranks Fans at Madame Tussauds in San Francisco [Video]

On Aug. 14, 2014, Los Angeles Lakers point guard Jeremy Lin was honored with a wax statue at Madame Tussauds wax museum in San Francisco. For those who have never seen a Madame Tussauds wax figure in person, know that they are incredibly lifelike.

Naturally, Lin saw the opportunity for a great prank, pretending to be a statue and then coming to life.

If this prank looks familiar, perhaps you saw it performed with Pittsburgh Steelers safety Troy Polamalu, who executed it to perfection back in 2011.

[Madame Tussauds SF]

Share
Bw_-43oCEAAnyOX.jpg-large

James Harden Fell Off a Segway in Barcelona [Video]

James Harden had some trouble with his segway

James Harden and Team USA are in Barcelona for the knockout portion of the FIBA Basketball World Cup. After a 23-point win over Mexico on Saturday, Harden had some time off for site-seeing. Here’s Harden tooling around Barcelona on a Segway. He spins and falls off while crossing a bridge. It was the best outcome the Rockets and Team USA could have hoped for. Team USA is back in action Tuesday against Slovenia.

[YouTube]

Share
PI-NBA-Atlanta-Hawks-Bruce-Levenson-042814

Bruce Levenson: Atlanta Hawks Owner Puts Team For Sale After Self-Reporting Racially Offensive Email

Bruce Levenson, owner of the Atlanta Hawks, says he’s going to sell his controlling interest in the franchise after self-reporting an email from 2012 that contained racially-charged comments about the team’s fanbase. Levenson was one of the NBA owners to publicly speak out against Donald Sterling earlier this year.

He issued this statement on Sunday morning:

“Over the past several years, I’ve spent a lot of time grappling with low attendance at our games and the need for the Hawks to attract more season ticket holders and corporate sponsors. Over that time, I’ve talked with team executives about the need for the Hawks to build a more diverse fan base that includes more suburban whites, and I shared my thoughts on why our efforts to bridge Atlanta’s racial sports divide seemed to be failing.
In trying to address those issues, I wrote an e-mail two years ago that was inappropriate and offensive. I trivialized our fans by making clichéd assumptions about their interests (i.e. hip hop vs. country, white vs. black cheerleaders, etc.) and by stereotyping their perceptions of one another (i.e. that white fans might be afraid of our black fans). By focusing on race, I also sent the unintentional and hurtful message that our white fans are more valuable than our black fans.

If you’re angry about what I wrote, you should be. I’m angry at myself, too. It was inflammatory nonsense. We all may have subtle biases and preconceptions when it comes to race, but my role as a leader is to challenge them, not to validate or accommodate those who might hold them.

I have said repeatedly that the NBA should have zero tolerance for racism, and I strongly believe that to be true. That is why I voluntarily reported my inappropriate e-mail to the NBA.
After much long and difficult contemplation, I have decided that it is in the best interests of the team, the Atlanta community, and the NBA to sell my controlling interest in the Hawks franchise.
Hawks CEO Steve Koonin will oversee all team operations and take all organizational reports as we proceed with the sale process.
I’m truly embarrassed by my words in that e-mail, and I apologize to the members of the Hawks family and all of our fans.
To the Hawks family and its fans, you have my deepest gratitude for the past ten years. Working with this team and its extraordinary executives, coaching staff, and players has been one of the highlights of my life. I am proud of our diverse, passionate, and growing legion of Hawks fans, and I will continue to join you in cheering for the best team in the NBA.”

NBA commissioner Adam Silver issued his own statement.

“Following Bruce Levenson notifying the league office this July of his August 2012 email, the NBA commenced an independent investigation regarding the circumstances of Mr. Levenson’s comments.

“Prior to the completion of the investigation, Mr. Levenson notified me last evening that he had decided to sell his controlling interest in the Atlanta Hawks. As Mr. Levenson acknowledged, the views he expressed are entirely unacceptable and are in stark contrast to the core principles of the National Basketball Association. He shared with me how truly remorseful he is for using those hurtful words and how apologetic he is to the entire NBA family – fans, players, team employees, business partners and fellow team owners – for having diverted attention away from our game.”

The Clippers sold for $2 billion to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer after the NBA banned Sterling for life.

It’s a tricky situation. Levenson’s intent in his email was to explore ways the team could attract more white males, a demographic he felt could help increase the team’s overall season-ticket sales. You can read the full email via USA Today.

But where Levenson’s email became offensive and troubling was when he wrote sentences like, “My theory is that the black crowd scared away the whites and there are simply not enough affluent black fans to build a significant season ticket base,” or “I have even bitched that the kiss cam is too black.”

Even in the context of trying to attract a more white audience, those comments were offensive and, at best, stereotypical.

However, the fact that Levenson not only reported his own behavior but is also willingly entering the selling process should ensure this situation is far less messy than what transpired in Los Angeles.

Share