The Golden State Warriors want to make sure Stephen Curry feels appreciated. Curry is set to become the highest paid player in NBA history after scoring a record-breaking $201 million contract with the team. Bob Myers, Golden State’s general manager revealed Friday (June 30) that Curry’s multi-million dollar deal is scheduled to be finalized after his free agency ends on July 3.
The 29-year-old point guard joined the Warriors in 2009 as a seventh-round overall pick. At the time, Curry’s contract was worth $12.7 million over four years, and it’s clear that he’s made an impression not only on the league but the team that he has called home since beginning his professional career. In the last few years, the two-time MVP has helped lead the Warriors win double NBA championships, and arguably reinvigorated the Bay Area franchise.
In his first public comments since being hired as an advisor to Lakers governor and co-owner Jeanie Buss, Magic Johnson tread softly about the Lakers executive of whom he has been most critical through the years. His role, he said, was simply to help in any way he could.
“Jim [Buss] is calling the shots,” Johnson said during an interview with Spectrum SportsNet, the station that holds the rights to Laker broadcasts. “I want him to understand I’m just here to lend advice.”The Lakers hired Johnson on Thursday, two weeks after Johnson and Jeanie Buss were seen having dinner before watching a Lakers game together. Johnson’s duties will include “collaborating with coaches, evaluating and mentoring players, assessing future franchise needs, and helping ownership to determine the best path for growth and success,” according to a release on the team website.
Johnson, who was not available to other media outlets, described a versatile role, where he will advise team executives and employees on everything from business to basketball should they want it.He also indicated he did not want to force his way into any situation. He said he was open to helping Lakers Coach Luke Walton in working with players, but also open to being uninvolved in the players’ day-to-day development if Walton was comfortable with that. “What I want to do is try to just, little by little build the Lakers back up to where they should be,” Johnson said.
Johnson spent 13 seasons playing for the Lakers, winning five championships and three MVP awards. During that time, he grew especially close with late Lakers owner Jerry Buss, Jeanie and Jim’s father. The elder Buss sold an ownership stake in the organization to Johnson after he retired from playing. Johnson, who also has an ownership stake in the Dodgers and Sparks, sold his share of the Lakers in 2010.
No highlight, championship or individual accomplishment showcased during the 2016 ESPY Awards Wednesday night was more powerful than the show’s cold opening.
Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul, Dwyane Wade and LeBron James teamed up for a moving call to action for other athletes to use their celebrity, influence and resources to make a difference in a divided America plagued by gun violence, injustice and racism.
Anthony turned to Instagram last week as the nation was torn by the police shootings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile and the retaliatory attack that led to the deaths of five Dallas police officers to urge others to inspire change. This week, he said he plans to use the Summer Olympics as another platform to spread his message, indicating he is not taking this lightly.
Reminiscent of Muhammad Ali’s black athlete summit from the summer of 1967, Melo started the show on a moving note when he was joined by fellow NBA stars Paul, Wade and James in a three-and-a-half-minute speech that, because of its social significance, timeliness and let’s face it, the need right now for more thoughtful and serious social leadership, may have eclipsed the legendary Jimmy V speech as ESPN’s finest moment.
Good evening. Tonight is a celebration of sports, celebrating our accomplishments and our victories. But, in this moment of celebration, we asked to start the show tonight this way, the four of us talking to our fellow athletes, with the country watching.
Because we cannot ignore the reality of the current state of America. The events of the past week have put a spotlight on the injustice, distrust and anger that plague so many of us.
Former Philadelphia 76er Allen Iverson, is a newly announced inductee into the prestigious Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
“I’m just proud of my family and friends and my fans that helped me get to this point,” the Virginia native said during the finalist announcement back in February. The six-foot tall point guard/shooting guard played 14 seasons in the NBA, and was selected as the 1996 Rookie Of The Year with the 76ers. Additionally, “The Answer” is an 11-time NBA All-Star, a two time All-Star MVP (2001 and 2005) and was the NBA’s Most Valuable Player in 2001.
NBC 10 writes, “Among the Sixers’ all-time leaders, Iverson is tied with Wilt Chamberlain for first in points per game (27.6) and tied with Maurice Cheeks for steals per game (2.3). He is also first in three-point field goals (885). Iverson ranks second in points (19,931), minutes per game (41.4), minutes played (29,879), free throws (5,122) and steals (1,644) and is third in assists (4,385). Iverson ranks fourth in minutes per game (41.4), seventh in points per game (27.7) and is tied for 10th in steals per game (2.17) with John Stockton among all-time NBA players.”
The 2016 class is pretty star-studded. Shaquille O’Neal, Yao Ming, John McLendon (first African-American professional coach) and WNBA player Sheryl Swoopes are among the other Hall of Fame inductees, according to CBS Sports.
The Hall of Fame induction and festivities will take place in Springfield, Mass. from Sept. 8-10.
Madame Tussauds unveiled a wax figure of living basketball legend Steph Curry, which a team of sculptors spent four months making.
Curry attended the unveiling with his wife, Ayesha, and their daughters, Riley and Ryan, along with his mother. The basketball star had fun posing for pictures with the wax figure and cracking jokes. He even revealed that one of his first dates with his wife was to a wax museum.
“One of our first dates in L.A., we went to the museum on Hollywood Boulevard. So, that was one of our first experiences together, walking through and taking pictures with all the wax figures in that museum, and now to have one of my own is pretty special,” he said.
Shaquille O’Neal will become the third Miami Heat player to have his number retired, with the team announcing today that O’Neal’s No. 32 will join the No. 33 of Alonzo Mourning and No. 10 of Tim Hardaway already raised to the rafters at AmericanAirlines Arena.
“Shaquille O’Neal is one of the truly elite players in the history of the game and one of the greatest players to ever wear a Heat uniform,” Heat President Pat Riley said in a statement. “He took us to another level as a basketball franchise while leading us to our first NBA championship.
“Retiring his number in the rafters, along with Heat greats Alonzo Mourning and Tim Hardaway, is something we are very proud of.”
O’Neal’s jersey will be raised early next season, with the 2016-17 schedule not to be released until mid-summer.
With O’Neal honored for his relatively brief Heat tenure and single championship with the franchise, it makes it all but inevitable the Heat eventually will retire LeBron James‘ No. 6, with James spending more time with the franchise and winning two titles in his four seasons with the team.
Meadowlark Lemon, whose halfcourt hook shots, no-look behind-the-back passes and vivid clowning were marquee features of the feel-good traveling basketball show known as the Harlem Globetrotters for nearly a quarter-century, died on Sunday in Scottsdale, Ariz. He was 83.
His death was confirmed by his wife, Cynthia Lemon, who did not specify the cause.
A gifted athlete with an entertainer’s hunger for the spotlight, Lemon, who dreamed of playing for the Globetrotters as a boy in North Carolina, joined the team in 1954, not long after leaving the Army. Within a few years, he had assumed the central role of showman, taking over from the Trotters’ long-reigning clown prince Reece Tatum, whom everyone called Goose.
Tatum, who had left the team around the time Lemon joined it, was a superb ballplayer whose on-court gags — or reams, as the players called them — had established the team’s reputation for laugh-inducing wizardry at a championship level.
This was a time when the Trotters were known for more than their comedy routines and basketball legerdemain; they were also recognized as a formidable competitive team. Their victory over the Minneapolis Lakers in 1948 was instrumental in integrating the National Basketball Association, and a decade later their owner, Abe Saperstein, signed a 7-footer out of the University of Kansas to a one-year contract before he was eligible for the N.B.A.: Wilt Chamberlain.
By then, Lemon, who was 6 feet 3 inches tall and slender, was the team’s leading light, such a star that he played center while Chamberlain played guard.
Lemon was a slick ballhandler and a virtuoso passer, and he specialized in the long-distance hook, a trick shot he made with remarkable regularity. But it was his charisma and comic bravado that made him perhaps the most famous Globetrotter. For 22 years, until he left the team in 1978, Lemon was the Trotters’ ringmaster, directing their basketball circus from the pivot. He imitated Tatum’s reams, including spying on the opposition’s huddle, and added his own.
He threatened referees or fans with a bucket that like as not was filled with confetti instead of water. He dribbled above his head and walked with exaggerated steps. He mimicked a hitter in the batter’s box and, with teammates, pantomimed a baseball game. And both to torment the opposing team — as time went on, it was often a hired squad of foils — and to amuse the appreciative spectators, he smiled and laughed and teased and chattered; like Tatum, he talked most of the time he was on the court.
The Trotters played in mammoth arenas and on dirt courts in African villages. They played in Rome before the pope; they played in Moscow during the Cold War before the Soviet leader Nikita S. Khrushchev. In the United States, they played in small towns and big cities, in Madison Square Garden, in high school gyms, in cleared-out auditoriums — even on the floor of a drained swimming pool. They performed their most entertaining ballhandling tricks, accompanied by their signature tune, “Sweet Georgia Brown,” on “The Ed Sullivan Show.”
Through it all, Lemon became “an American institution like the Washington Monument or the Statue of Liberty” whose “uniform will one day hang in the Smithsonian right next to Lindbergh’s airplane,” as the Los Angeles Times columnist Jim Murray once described him.
Significantly, Lemon’s time with the Globetrotters paralleled the rise of the N.B.A. When he joined the team, the Globetrotters were still better known than the Knicks and the Boston Celtics and played for bigger crowds than they did. When he left, Larry Bird and Magic Johnson were about to enter the N.B.A. and propel it to worldwide popularity. In between, the league became thoroughly accommodating to black players, competing with the Globetrotters for their services and eventually usurping the Trotters as the most viable employer of top black basketball talent.
OAKLAND, Calif. — Stephen Curry‘s greatness as a basketball player can be measured by his record-setting shooting numbers that are changing the game. His immense popularity derives from something less tangible.
While many NBA greats rely on uncommon height and athletic ability that average fans can only dream of having, Curry’s game relies on the skills that every casual player can work on: shooting, dribbling and passing.
The difference is, perhaps nobody ever has put those three skills together the same way Curry has in the past year, as he has dominated on the court and made the once-downtrodden Golden State Warriors the NBA’s must-watch team.
“The way that I play has a lot of skill but is stuff that if you go to the YMCA or rec leagues or church leagues around the country, everybody wants to shoot, everybody wants to handle the ball, make creative passes and stuff like that,” he said. “You can work on that stuff. Not everybody has the vertical or the physical gifts to be able to go out and do a windmill dunk and stuff like that. I can’t even do it.”
That’s about all Curry is unable to do on the basketball court. His amazing year, in which he won an MVP, led Golden State to its first title in 40 years and helped the Warriors get off to a record-setting start this season earned him The Associated Press 2015 Male Athlete of the Year.
Curry finished first in a vote by U.S. editors and news directors, with the results released Saturday. He joined LeBron James, Michael Jordan and Larry Bird as the only basketball players to win the honor in the 85 years of the award. Curry beat out golfer Jordan Spieth, who won two majors, and American Pharoah, who became the first horse since 1978 to win the Triple Crown.
While American Pharoah got three more first-place votes than Curry’s 24, Curry appeared on 86 percent of the 82 ballots that ranked the top five candidates. More than one-third of the voters left American Pharoah off their list.
“That’s a real honor,” Curry said. “I’m appreciative of that acknowledgement because it’s across all different sports. … It’s pretty cool.”
These days Cleveland Cavaliers’ superstar LeBron James is sporting smaller game shorts and a tighter-fitting jersey as a way to help shape the future.
The four-time MVP has done some self-reflecting in recent years. He’s observed the changes in the NBA, which led to questioning himself: Am I doing all that I can? Am I truly leaving my imprint on not only the game, but also the league?
“I’m always thinking about ways I can be of help,” James told cleveland.com. “That’s what it’s about, making sure you’re doing your part.”
James has proven to be more than just an athlete, as he’s the most socially conscious athlete of this generation with his willingness to voice his opinion on issues of the day.
His personal objective is making a difference, on the court or off of it.
This season he trimmed his uniform shorts by a couple inches, and had his jersey made snugger than in years past. He had expressed to those close to him he wants to leave the baggy look behind and place a renewed emphasis on professional appearance when it comes to the size of his uniform as well as his pregame and postgame attire.
When he arrives for work at The Q, he typically wears a sportcoat. It’s his way of reaffirming that it’s a business atmosphere. Professionalism and conduct were a main focus of the Cavaliers’ pre-regular-season team meeting in late October.
As James is the biggest name in the league and arguably in all of sports, he feels an obligation to shift the minds of kids on what is considered fashionable and acceptable. The kids who will play in the NBA in the future look to today’s players as role models.
When it’s all said and done, if James goes down as the best basketball player of all-time and that’s the extent of it, he’d consider that a failure of a career.
Growing up in Akron, he has seen the effects of poverty and a lack of education. He’s witnessed how senseless murders affect families for generations and he’s seen the effects of people who could have had an influence doing nothing to put a stop to it.
“I have a calling, man,” James told cleveland.com. “Everything I do is for the people I love. I was just brought up that way.”
James can’t force change, but he can force people to think and take notice. It’s pretty cool to dress professionally, and he wants everyone to know that.
Brooklyn Nets rookie Rondae Hollis-Jefferson is sharing his newfound wealth with one of his biggest supporters — his mother.
In a special feature with the New York Post, Hollis-Jefferson discusses why he decided to buy his mother a house in New Jersey just months after signing his contract with the team. Along with his brother, NBA D-LeaguerRahlir Hollis-Jefferson, the baller executed the idea just in time for mother Rylanda Hollis’ birthday.
Hollis-Jefferson planned a birthday party in the new home and waited with his family, friends, and a videographer to film the big moment (to the tune of Boyz II Men’s “Mama,” of course).
The realtor opened the door and said, “Oh, who are you looking for?” When my mom said the name, the realtor said, “Oh, OK, come in.” Then everyone popped out and said, “Surprise!” and me and my brother had the cake, and she just started crying. To actually be able to show her the house and stuff on her birthday, it was a dream come true. It was a blessing. Instead of worrying about where your mom is going, what she’s doing, it puts you at ease knowing she has a place of her own, and that she has somewhere to lay her head at night. It’s pretty special.
Hollis-Jefferson signed his contract with the Nets in July for an estimated salary of $1.33 million this season. The Huffington Post reports Hollis-Jefferson also took a stand against New York’s problematic rental increases during a recent interview.
Hollis-Jefferson even explained why he decided to take the frugal route and not purchase a mansion for his first home. Instead, he got a rental with his brother and a friend in Northern New Jersey.
Check out the thoughtful surprise in the video below: