Posts Tagged ‘Team Owner’

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.”

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The Charlotte Hornets announced chairman Michael Jordan has donated $2 million toward the relief effort for those in North and South Carolina affected by Hurricane Florence.

The former face of the NBA is contributing $1 million each to the American Red Cross and the Foundation for the Carolinas’ Hurricane Florence Response Fund.

“It’s truly devastating for me to see the damage that Hurricane Florence is doing to my beloved home state of North Carolina and to the surrounding areas,” Jordan said in a statement Friday. “The recovery effort will be massive, and it will take a long time to repair the damage and for families to get back on their feet. Together with the NBA, we have launched a platform to aid those most impacted. Please join me, the Hornets organization and the NBA and donate to one of the local organizations assisting in the relief and recovery efforts. To all those affected, stay safe and know that we’re here to help.”

Members of the Hornets organization will partner with Food Lion to pack disaster food boxes Friday to distribute to those affected by the hurricane in Wilmington, North Carolina, Fayetteville North Carolina, and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

The Hornets will also be partnering with the NBA and Fanatics to sell a special T-shirt with the Hornets logo in the middle of the North and South Carolina state lines, surrounded by the words “Carolina Strong.” The team and Association will donate 100 percent of the net earnings.

It starts at the top.

With the Minnesota Timberwolves seemingly in disarray from the outside looking in, owner Glen Taylor reportedly has “significant concern” over the culture created under both head coach/team president Tom Thibodeau and general manager Scott Layden, league sources told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Taylor’s concern runs so deep that he reportedly contemplated making organizational changes during the offseason.

Thibodeau was brought aboard in his dual role on April 20, 2016, with Taylor having reportedly “second-guessed” his decision recently to grant Thibodeau – who’s entering the third year of a five-year contract – the authority to control basketball operations along with being the coach.

Both Thibodeau and Layden are reportedly slated to meet with four-time All-Star Jimmy Butler on Monday, as Butler has begun to “seriously” contemplate his future with the franchise after during down a contract extension. The 29-year-old is locked in through 2018-19, and can enter unrestricted free agency next summer if he so chooses.

Minnesota can offer Butler a max contract worth $187 million over five years. Should he walk, the largest deal he could secure elsewhere is $140 million over four seasons.

While Thibodeau’s relationship with Butler – who he also coached during their days together with the Chicago Bulls – remains strong, the same can’t be said for Butler’s bond with teammate Karl-Anthony Towns. Butler was reportedly “fed up” with Towns’ attitude during the 2017-18 campaign, and that could play into Butler’s decision on whether or not he elects to re-sign.

The Timberwolves qualified for the postseason by the skin of their teeth on the back of a 47-win record, but were quickly ousted in five games in the opening round.

With the Lob City era in the rear-view mirror, the Los Angeles Clippers appear to be firmly in the Western Conference’s mediocrity bracket ahead of the upcoming season – maybe good enough to reach the playoffs, but little else.

That doesn’t mean owner Steve Ballmer plans to blow things up and tank.

“That ain’t us. Nuh-uh, no way,” Ballmer said at a season-ticket holder event Wednesday, according to the Los Angeles Times’ Helene Elliott. “People can do it their way. We’re going to be good our way. We’re not going to show up and suck for a year, two years. I think we got higher expectations on us than the long, hard five, six years of absolute crap like the (Philadelphia) 76ers put in. How could we look you guys in the eye if we did that to you?”

The Clippers could have upward of $40 million in salary cap space next summer, when the contracts of Tobias Harris and Marcin Gortat – among others – will come off the books. The team figures to be a major player in the Kawhi Leonard free-agency sweepstakes, although there will be plenty of competition from others, including the Lakers.

With that in mind, Ballmer also reiterated his intent to get the Clippers out of sharing Staples Center with the Lakers and into the proposed new arena that’s currently being slowed by litigation.

“We’re moving to Inglewood come hell or high water,” the former Microsoft CEO said. “We gotta have a house. So we’re working on a plan to get our own house. We want to get our own house. It turns out the way this works in L.A., which is much beloved to me, that if you start now you might be done in six years.”

All-Stars Kevin Love and DeMar DeRozan raised mental-health awareness around the NBA earlier this year by publicly discussing their past struggles.

However, as a growing number of players follow their example, some NBA owners reportedly hope to acquire mental health records to get a better understanding of their “investments,” according to ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan.

The National Basketball Players Association wants all mental health treatment to remain confidential. Love agrees, saying confidentiality should be non-negotiable, according to MacMullan.

The NBA hired Dr. William Parham, making him the league’s director of mental health and wellness, while commissioner Adam Silver and NBPA head Michele Roberts are reportedly prioritizing a mental health policy.

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Jeanie Buss has a message to the Los Angeles Lakers‘ faithful who are angry about the arrival of LeBron James.

“They’re not Laker fans if they’re not happy with LeBron joining the team,” the controlling owner of the Lakers said on Wednesday during an interview with Rich Eisen on “The Rich Eisen Show.”

Among those who have taken umbrage with the signing of James, a principal issue appears to be a loyalty to retired Lakers legend Kobe Bryant. James has often been compared and contrasted to Bryant in a decade-long debate about the league’s top player.

Despite Bryant’s retirement at the conclusion of the 2015-16 season, those old partisan lines seem to run deep, which was highlighted when multiple muralscelebrating the acquisition of James were vandalized.

“There was some unrest and some uneasiness, and I just think those are troublemakers that don’t get it,” Buss said of the negative reaction. “Los Angeles is going to be very proud of the way that LeBron will represent the Lakers team and they’re going to fall in love with him too.”

Buss also laughed off unsubstantiated rumors that Bryant, now 39 years old, would ever come out of retirement to play alongside James.

“(Kobe) always has an open door to anything he wants to do with the Lakers,” she said.

“I think his wife Vanessa would kill me if I said that,” Buss added. “But like I said, Kobe can do anything in my book.”

New Jersey Devils owner Josh Harris isn’t taking the future of his franchise player for granted.

Reigning MVP Taylor Hall has two years left on his contract, meaning he’s eligible to sign an extension at any point starting next July 1. Harris is putting long-term security for the 26-year-old at the top of his to-do list.

“High. The highest,” Harris said when asked where Hall’s next deal ranks on his priorities, according to Chris Ryan of NJ.com. “He’s committed, he’s authentic, he is an amazing player obviously. He’s a guy you build around. Whether it’s him, Nico (Hischier), Will (Butcher). Taylor is definitely going to be front and center, so it will definitely be a high priority. I hope I’m working with Taylor for a long time.”

Hall is slated to make $6 million for the next two seasons – the ninth-highest cap hit in the league for a left winger. He’s on track for a considerable raise after recording 39 goals and 54 assists in 79 games this past season. His performance helped carry the Devils to the playoffs for the first time since 2012.

New Jersey currently has just five players signed beyond 2020, and without taking on any big contracts this offseason, the Devils are set to have plenty of cap space to pay Hall – who would become an unrestricted free agent in 2020 if an extension isn’t agreed upon.