Archive for the ‘NBA’ Category

NBA commissioner Adam Silver sent a memo “strongly” encouraging all 30 teams to increase the number of women in their organizations in general, including in leadership roles, and improve reporting processes for sexual harassment, sources told The Athletic’s Shams Charania.

The memo apparently also asks teams to “evaluate all executives on efforts to eliminate harassment, conduct anonymous workplace surveys, (and) provide consistent discipline when misconduct is substantiated,” Charania writes.

The recommendations in the reported memo are extremely similar to the NBA’s recommendations to the Dallas Mavericks, which were made public Wednesday after an investigation into the franchise’s workplace culture. The league’s investigation determined that numerous instances of sexual harassment and inappropriate conduct had occurred within the Mavericks organization over a period of more than 20 years.

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Lonzo Ball‘s unorthodox shooting form and weak percentages during his rookie campaign with the Los Angeles Lakers drew a great deal of criticism.

The 20-year-old point guard is at least self aware of his shortcomings as a shooter, which is why he took it upon himself to try and improve that facet of his game by reworking his form over the summer.

“”We didn’t want to bother him [his shot],” said team president Magic Johnson on Thursday, according to ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk. “I think he decided to do that on his own.

“And, man, it is beautiful.”

Johnson said that Ball now brings the ball more in front of him and does the same with his follow through. Where he sets and releases his shot hasn’t changed.

“I think his shot looks incredible,” added general manager Rob Pelinka. “He was here every day. He was one of the most committed guys this offseason. … The way he’s shooting the ball looks a lot more fluid now.

“One of the things about his college metrics is he was an outstanding 3-point shooter. With this team, with so many different ball handlers, I think that’s a strength for him. If he pushes it ahead to someone and runs and fills a spot, and he’s a catch-and-shoot player, he’s going to have the ability, I think, to be a good shooter.”

Ball converted 41.2 percent of his 3-pointers during his lone season at UCLA, with that number dropping to just 30.5 percent during his first season in the NBA. The second overall pick of the 2017 draft shot 36 percent overall across 52 outings, including 33.5 percent on the catch-and-shoot and 31.7 percent on pullup shots.

Of the 154 players in the Association who played 1,700 or more total minutes, Ball ranked 153rd in true shooting percentage at 44.4 percent.

He underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left knee in July and will be ready for the start of Lakers training camp, although he’ll initially be held out of five-on-five drills.

The “Space Jam” sequel appears to be a go.

LeBron James‘ production company, SpringHill Entertainment, announced Wednesday that Ryan Coogler – whose past films include “Black Panther,” “Creed,” and “Fruitvale Station” – will produce “Space Jam 2.”

“I loved his vision (for ‘Black Panther’),” James told The Hollywood Reporter’s Marisa Guthrie, noting that there were no black superheroes when he was a kid growing up in Akron, Ohio. “So for Ryan to be able to bring that to kids, it’s amazing.”

SpringHill also confirmed that Terence Nance will direct the Warner Bros. film, replacing Justin Lin, and that James will star in the lead role. Production is tentatively slated to begin in 2019.

The original “Space Jam,” released in 1996, earned around $250 million worldwide and remains the highest-grossing basketball movie of all time.

“The ‘Space Jam’ collaboration is so much more than just me and the Looney Tunes getting together and doing this movie,” James said. “It’s so much bigger. I’d just love for kids to understand how empowered they can feel and how empowered they can be if they don’t just give up on their dreams. And I think Ryan did that for a lot of people.”

Jimmy Butler has reportedly requested a trade, and there’s one destination that appears to appeal to him most.

The Minnesota Timberwolves star would like to be in Los Angeles, although, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, it’s the Clippers that Butler is “most determined” to join. Earlier Wednesday, Wojnarowski reported the Clippers, Brooklyn Nets, and New York Knicks were considered Butler’s preferred destinations, though Los Angeles looks to have gained a slight edge.

While there was speculation that Butler might be interested in joining the Lakers, the addition of LeBron James reportedly lowered their appeal to the 29-year-old, who’d rather not play second fiddle.

According to Woj, the Clippers would have the cap room next summer to bring in another star at the max to partner with Butler, an idea that is said to intrigue him.

Butler averaged 22.2 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 4.9 assists over 59 games last season.

Jimmy Butler has requested a trade from the Minnesota Timberwolves and has presented three destinations where he would be interested in signing an extension, according to Jon Krawzynski of The Athletic.

Per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Butler’s preferred teams are the Brooklyn NetsLos Angeles Clippers, and New York Knicks.

Timberwolves president of basketball operations and head coach Tom Thibodeau reportedly traveled to Los Angeles to discuss the direction of the franchise with Butler on Tuesday.

Thibodeau reportedly resisted the idea of trading his disgruntled star, but Butler was adamant about finding a new home.

The demand puts Thibodeau and Minnesota in an awkward position after dealing for Butler last summer along with rookie Justin Patton – who recently had a third foot surgery since being drafted – for Kris DunnZach LaVine, and No. 7 overall pick Lauri Markkanen.

Thibodeau parted ways with the young trio with hopes that Butler would become a leader for Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins.

There have been reports of Butler’s displeasure with the Wolves duo, but this was reportedly not the reason for his demand.

Butler led the Timberwolves to their first postseason appearance since 2004 but failed to advance after being eliminated by the Houston Rockets in Round 1.

The 29-year-old averaged 22.2 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 4.9 assists in 59 contests last season.

The NBA announced Wednesday that Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has agreed to donate $10 million toward programs combating domestic violence and promoting the development of women in the sports industry following an NBA investigation into workplace misconduct.

Some of the Association’s key findings include:

  • Numerous instances of sexual harassment and other inappropriate conduct within the organization spanning over 20 years
    • Improper conduct toward 15 female employees by former Mavericks President and CEO Terdema Ussery, including inappropriate comments, touching, and forcible kissing
    • Improper conduct by former Mavericks ticket sales employee Chris Hyde, including inappropriate sexual comments to women, sharing of pornographic images and videos, unwanted sexual advances, and violent and threatening outbursts toward workers
    • Two acts of domestic violence by former Mavs.com reporter Earl Sneed

“The findings of the independent investigation are disturbing and heartbreaking and no employee in the NBA, or any workplace for that matter, should be subject to the type of working environment described in the report,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said. “We appreciate that Mark Cuban reacted swiftly, thoroughly and transparently to the allegations first set forth in Sports Illustrated, including the immediate hiring of Cynthia Marshall as CEO to effect change, but as Mark has acknowledged, he is ultimately responsible for the culture and conduct of his employees.”

In response to the findings, the league added it will place mandated sanctions on the Mavericks that requires the franchise to increase the number of women on staff, enhance formal reporting processes for victims of misconduct, implement regular anonymous surveys to evaluate workplace culture, and expand and improve the Mavericks’ human resources department.

The NBA also requires Dallas to provide quarterly reports of their implementation of the league’s recommendations, immediately report any instance of significant misconduct by an employee, enhance and update the annual “Respect in the Workplace” training for staff, and implement a program to train all staff on issues related to domestic violence, sexual assault, and sexual harassment.

For his part, Cuban has apologized for the severity of the incidents and accepted responsibility.

“An apology to the women involved and to their families,” Cuban said on ESPN’s “The Jump” on Wednesday. “I’m just sorry I didn’t see it and didn’t recognize it. I didn’t know and I don’t have an explanation. And I have to be accountable for it.”

The Philadelphia 76ers have reportedly ended their search for a general manager by hiring former NBA All-Star Elton Brand, league sources told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Brand is expected to be officially introduced by the team on Thursday, Wojnarowski added.

The 39-year-old has quickly transitioned from former player to the Sixers’ front office, beginning as a player-development consultant following his retirement in October 2016.

Brand was named the general manager of the team’s G League affiliate Delaware Blue Coats in August 2017 and the 76ers hired him as their vice president of basketball operations a year later on Aug. 27, 2018.

In 17 years in the NBA as a player for the Chicago Bulls, Los Angeles Clippers, 76ers, Dallas Mavericks, and Atlanta Hawks, Brand averaged 15.9 points and 8.5 rebounds on 50 percent shooting.

The first overall pick in the 1999 draft, he was named Rookie of the Year in the 1999-00 season and was an All-Star in 2001-02 and 2005-06.