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Tag:Deron Williams
Posted on: July 14, 2011 2:30 pm
Edited on: July 25, 2011 1:40 pm
 

NBA warns Michael Jordan not to golf with players

Charlotte Bobcats owner Michael Jordan would reportedly face a $1 million fine for golfing with NBA players. Posted by Ben Golliver.

michael-jordan-golf

Losing seven figures on a golf course. Just another weekend for NBA legend and notorious gambler Michael Jordan, right? 

Not quite. This million dollar hit comes with a twist: the NBA would be pocketing the cash.

The Reno Gazette-Journal reports that Jordan, owner of the Charlotte Bobcats, is scheduled to play in the American Century Classic celebrity golf tournament. The only problem? So are a handful of NBA players, and the league has made it clear that team executives are not to have any contact with players during the ongoing lockout unless they're willing to stomach a $1 million fine. 
Jordan, who became the first former player to own an NBA team when he purchased the Charlotte Bobcats outright last year, faces a fine of $1 million if he plays a round of golf at the ACC with a current NBA player.

Jordan called the NBA on Tuesday to check in, and the NBA confirmed he would be fined if he played with a current NBA player.
The tournament's website notes that Boston Celtics guard Ray Allen, Sacramento Kings guard Jimmer Fredette, Dallas Mavericks guard Jason Kidd and New Jersey Nets guard Deron Williams are all scheduled to participate.

Again, the rule comes off a bit silly and petty, but it's the rule. A round of golf would represent hours of contact and there is sure to be plenty of media in attendance. Two guys yucking it up as they putt out doesn't quite jive with the league's public blackout policy towards its player institute on July 1. 

This warning to Jordan is the latest in a string of potentially fineable situations involving team employees and current players.

Earlier this week, we noted a report that Portland Trail Blazers Acting GM Chad Buchanan was warned for comments made about Las Vegas Summer League. Also this week, Minnesota Timberwolves president David Kahn called a press conference to fire coach Kurt Rambis and mentioned multiple players during the question-and-answer session with media members. And, on Wednesday night, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban attended the ESPYs with his team, although the league clarified that the contact had been pre-approved on the condition that no league business or CBA discussion would take place.

Since the lockout began on July 1, the NBA has yet to publicly issue a fine to a team executive who violates its gag order policy. 

Hat tip: Ball Don't Lie
Posted on: July 13, 2011 12:13 pm
Edited on: July 13, 2011 12:31 pm
 

Childress says playing in Europe isn't all great

Posted by Royce Young



The new most annoying story in the NBA is what players are going to do during the lockout, specifically, if they're willing to play overseas. Virtually every player has responded that he'd be open to it, with some going as far to actually sign (hello, Deron Williams).

The reasons are simple:

1) You get paid.

2) You get to play against good competition.

3) You get paid.

A handful of NBA players, other than Williams, have signed. Sonny Weems and Darius Songaila just put their name to contracts recently, with others still being rumored.

But it's not all it's cracked up to be. One NBA player who went to Europe for a season came back with a number of lessons. Josh Childress knows the system, knows what it's like and knows what players can expect. And as he told ESPN.com, playing in Europe isn't as easy as it sounds or all it's cracked up to be.
"One of the biggest things guys will have to realize is that whatever offer you get, there's no guarantee you'll actually get all that money," Childress says. "If a guy isn't playing well or a team is out of the playoffs, they'll just stop paying you. I know tons and tons of players who just walked away because they didn't want to go through the hassle of going to court to get their money.

[...]

"I played for one of the biggest clubs in Europe," Childress says. "But there were still six- and seven-hour bus rides, we didn't stay at the best hotels and we flew commercial nine out of 10 times. And not all coaches care about your body. It's more military style. There's no getting tired. I'll be interested to see how guys' bodies respond."
Basically, it sounds like it's a glorified D-League. Bus rides, subpar trainers, lacking medical attention and no pampering. I can't see any star NBA player being fine with that.

Childress was asked if he'd consider returning to Europe too.
"No, I wouldn't," he says. "And I don't know why guys would. I understand that guys really want to play. But you sometimes have to look at what you have and treat this as a business. The only way I could see it making sense is if you're a player from a particular country going back. But for an American player with a good-sized guaranteed deal here, I can't see why you'd do it."
Remember, pretty much every single player is saying, "I'd consider it," with basically no one saying point blank no. But the one player that's definitively said he won't is a guy that has actually played there. I think that says something.

I recall watching a special on Brandon Jennings who skipped playing a freshman year in college, instead going to Italy to play professionally for a season. He said it was always a challenge to get paid on time.

Yes, Europe is a good option, especially if a player wants or need to continue their stream of income. But by the way it sounds according to Childress, it doesn't sound as wonderful as some have built it up to be. There's not nearly as much money as some might think and the lifestyle definitely isn't one an NBA star would appreciate.

Like many have said, it's probably more talking -- even with Williams -- than anything else. I'm like the opposite of Kevin Love. I'll believe an NBA star playing in Europe when I see it.
Posted on: July 11, 2011 11:10 am
Edited on: July 11, 2011 11:23 am
 

Williams says lockout might affect future with NJ

Posted by Royce Young

Deron Williams, now of the New Jersey Nets and Besiktas in Turkey, spoke with ESPN.com about his decision to play overseas if the lockout drags into November or further.

Williams isn't shy about saying he thinks a lot of other players will flock overseas, especially if the owners get what they want.

"If the proposal (the owners) have, if that's what they're sticking with and that's what they want, then I think it would be hard for a lot of guys to come back to the NBA," he said.

Of course Williams will be an unrestricted free agent next summer and acknowledges that a prolonged lockout could greatly affect him re-signing with the Nets.

"I think it will kind of put a damper on things because I want to see where the Nets are going this season," Williams said. "See what kind of additions we can make, because that will definitely help. But I don't know. I still can't really say anything until the new CBA because who knows if I even can opt out? There's no telling."

That, right there, is one of the best bargaining tools the players might be able to use. Mikhail Prokhorov is a powerful negotiator in the labor talks and you can be sure that he wants to protect his new investment. Which means he needs to keep Williams, who he risked a whole lot to go get and build the future of his franchise around. Williams saying that he might just walk away in 2012 has to catch the Nets' attention, even if it's just words.

That's exactly what our Matt Moore saw as the Nets' big risk in a long lockout too. He wrote:
Mikhail Prokhorov did not get into this business to lose an entire season, the last he has Deron Williams under contract before an extension he hopes to sign him to, and then begin to build a contender under a system which negates every advantage moving his team to Brooklyn provides. But that's the reality that faces the Russian mogul.

Deron Williams is the big key for the Nets. They sent a fortune in the trade for Williams, with the understanding they would convince him of their grand vision and build around him on his next contract. It was a gamble. But they need the 2011-2012 season to convince Williams that the plan works, that the vision is in place, that they can succeed as the team Williams wants to commit to. Without the 11-12 season, Williams will end up entering free agency with his only time as a Net filled with failure. He may wind up with more wins with his team in Turkey than he won with New Jersey.
Depending on what happens with the new CBA, Williams certainly sounds a bit frustrated with what's going on. Almost as if he'd be just fine staying n Turkey if that meant he was going to get paid.

But the Nets could be backed into an awkward corner. Obviously Williams hasn't been sold on the future of the franchise and is approaching the 2011-12 season as an important one. But if there isn't a 2011-12 season, the Nets' investment in Williams could be a wasted one.

Something to think about.
Posted on: July 8, 2011 5:02 pm
Edited on: July 8, 2011 5:41 pm
 

Wade, Bryant would consider playing overseas?

Miami Heat All-Star guard Dwyane Wade and Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant would reportedly consider playing overseas during a lockout. Posted by Ben Golliver.

kobe-wade-dwill

New Jersey Nets All-Star point guard Deron Williams is known for his ability to lead a fast break. This time, it might involve crossing the Atlantic Ocean.

One day after Williams reportedly agreed with Besiktas, a club in Turkey, on a one-year contract with an opt-out clause so that he can play overseas in the event of an NBA lockout, reports are surfacing that other marquee NBA stars are potentially interested in following his lead.
 
The Associated Press reports that Wade says he would consider playing internationally if the lockout continues.
"We've known that the lockout was a possibility for the last couple of years," he said. "It's not just something that came overnight. (Williams) didn't wake up and say, 'All right, go play in Turkey.' Obviously, this is something that he felt that if a lockout was to last a long time, 'I would consider playing.' It's because of the game. He wants to play the game, wants to play it at a high level, and if we can't play in the NBA, he's going to take that opportunity to try to play somewhere else. Hopefully, we don't get to that point, but if we do, I'm sure a lot of guys will possibly explore it."

And Wade made it clear: He could be in that group.

"If there's an opportunity there, I'd consider it," he said.

On Thursday, we noted that Besiktas was interested in adding Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant too.

Yahoo! Sports later reported on Thursday that Bryant is open to entertaining offers as well.

Bryant is willing to listen to overseas offers, sources close to him told Yahoo! Sports on Thursday. Those could come out of Europe or the Far East, and, yes, even Istanbul, the gateway bridging Europe and Asia.

As CBSSports.com's Ken Berger noted, the risk of injury, questions about whether international teams can afford to pay star-level contracts and roster space issues will likely ensure that we don't see a full-fledged pilgrammage of NBA stars overseas.

But Williams already has the Turkey option in his back pocket, and that's a nice thing to have. An available stream of tax-free money, a relatively low-pressure environment to play in against subpar competition, all the amenities and luxuries that go with being an international star in a cosmopolitan city like Istanbul. Things could be a lot worse. Other players, including stars, are smart to want that extra level of financial security and the opportunity to play competitively if they can get it.

Right now, it feels like stars, with nothing to lose, are putting up a sign that reads "NBA Player For Hire." Now we wait to see how many international teams are able to pay to play.  


Posted on: July 7, 2011 1:19 pm
Edited on: July 7, 2011 6:06 pm
 

Report: Besiktas of Turkey wants Kobe Bryant too

Turkish club Besiktas says it wants to sign Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant during the NBA lockout. Posted by Ben Golliver. kobe-deron

On Thursday morning, we noted reports that New Jersey Nets All-Star point guard Deron Williams could be headed to play for Besiktas of Turkey if the NBA lockout continues into the fall. Besiktas is the same team that signed Allen Iverson last season.

In a Thursday afternoon interview with the New York Times, Ergin Ataman, coach of Besiktas, confirmed that the team had reached an agreement with Williams and also said his club had its eye on an even higher-profile target: Los Angeles Lakers All-Star guard Kobe Bryant.
“If there’s a possibility, we’ll talk with Kobe if he’d like to play in Europe with Deron and with other guys to play we can talk with him,” Ataman said. “If Kobe would like to play with us, we will also contact his agent and maybe with him.”
Williams playing overseas is surprising. Bryant, who has $80+ million coming to him in salary over the next three seasons, playing overseas would be a shocker.

Kobe is reportedly open to the idea though.

Unlike Williams, Bryant has his age and the deteriorating condition of his knee, which recently required PRP therapy, to consider. At 32, he has a decade's worth of deep playoff runs already on his tires, and imagining Bryant playing competitively overseas is a giant red flag.

His legacy and status as one of the NBA's All-Time greats is still very much up in the air. If he is able to win another title -- or two -- he leapfrogs an entire class of stars to the very upper echelons of the discussion. If he is able to pass Michael Jordan on the NBA's All-Time scoring list, that's another important accomplishment.

Is there any amount of money that would make risking those accomplishments by playing overseas worth it?  

Earlier reports indicate that Bryant could barnstorm through China, which makes a lot of sense. By hitting the globe's biggest market for some exhibition games, Bryant could achieve the biggest possible financial return with the minimum amount of effort expended.

These comments read a bit like a publicity stunt. Then again, with Williams apparently deciding to take the Turkish plunge, we can't be too quick to write off anything.
Posted on: July 7, 2011 10:31 am
Edited on: July 7, 2011 2:45 pm
 

Reports: Deron Williams headed to Turkey

Posted by Matt Moore and Ben Golliver. deron-williams

Update (2:43 p.m.): Ken Berger throws some water on the fun, citing an agent with connections in Turkey who says "I'll believe it when I see it."

Update (11:00 a.m.)
:
 ESPN.com reported Thursday that "sources with knowledge of Deron Williams' plans confirm his intent to play for Besiktas in Turkey if lockout continues."

Original Post:
A Turkish television station is reporting Thursday that Besiktas, a Turkish professional basketball team, has an agreement in principle with Deron Williams to play for them during the lockout.  

Yowza.

Williams, who is under contract for 2011-2012 with the New Jersey Nets, would have to obtain FIBA clearance before heading to Istanbul. A source informed Ken Berger of CBSSports.com Thursday morning that the Nets had not been made aware of any such offer. That does not preclude such an offer from having been made, just that the Nets aren't aware of such an offer, though you would think they'd have some idea of the legitimacy if things were this far along. 

Williams heading overseas would be the kind of substantial move from an All-Star that could actually put the fear of God into ownership. If a wide enough swath of players are able to make decent money overseas during the lockout, that kind of takes the bite out of the lockout, the entire point of this ridiculous power play. Essentially, the owners' ability to starve the union out would be mitigated, even with lesser players unlikely to be offered similar contracts. If enough players can find ways to create income and keep the union's position strong, the owners lose their biggest power position.

The flip side is that Deron Williams is playing in Turkey, though I'm sure Istanbul is very nice. With a wife and new daughter, that can be draining in terms of travel, though probably not moreso than the normal amount of travel he does during the course of the NBA season. Additionally, television reports of this nature are often sketchy and it wouldn't be the first time an international team has leaked information about a possible signing of a major American player before the chickens were hatched. We'd advise a healthy dose of skepticism here. 

Williams would join Allen Iverson among point guards labeled (under false pretenses or not) coach killers who have played in Turkey for Besiktas. FIBA has not released an official statement regarding their plans for clearance during the lockout.  

(HT: IamaGM.com)
Posted on: July 5, 2011 2:48 pm
Edited on: July 5, 2011 2:50 pm
 

The lockout could really sting the Heat

Posted by Royce Young

Some owners are reportedly just fine with losing an entire season of basketball to get a favorable deal. That's not a good thing for players because not only do they miss out on their paychecks, but it also hurts players who had to postpone their free agency and are now a year older.

And think about teams that have superstars players in the final year of their contracts: Chris Paul, Deron Williams and Dwight Howard could all potentially walk from their current teams without ever playing another game for them. And not only that, but because the lockout halts all business, the Hornets, Nets and Magic wouldn't even have an opportunity to pull a Carmelo-ish trade and try and get something in return.

Definitely a little something for those owners to think about, especially when time starts to run out.

But think about how a lockout could affect the league's most visible team. Via the Miami Herald:
"If next season goes by the wayside, that means (Heat owner) Micky Arison has only two more seasons guaranteed with the Big 3 under contract. What could happen after that is too scary to even consider right now. Put yourself in Arison's shoes, and you would be walking to the negotiating table right now to make sure a deal gets done in time."
James, Wade and Bosh all gave themselves early termination options after the 2013-14 season. A lost season would definitely make winning not one, not two, not three, et cetera, et cetera, much more difficult.

So that's four teams that have a little different perspective as negotiations continue on. Of course the Hornets are owned by the NBA so that's awkward, but for the Magic, Nets and Heat for sure, there's some incentive in making sure 2011-12 happens. Making money is always the top goal for the owners, but having a winner and/or star players typically helps that.

And watching Howard, Williams or Paul walk without anything in return could damage some bank accounts. Same with Arison and the Heat. That team, while the most polarizing in the league, is also a lightning rod of popularity. Everyone watches the Heat. Arison would be missing not just one extra shot at a title, but another season of consistent sellouts and crazy merchandise sales.

Something to think about, at least.
Posted on: July 2, 2011 5:16 pm
Edited on: July 2, 2011 6:12 pm
 

Report: Nets to go hard after Dwight Howard

Posted by Royce Young

Big shocking news here people: The New Jersey Nets are going to try really hard to get the best player in the 2012 free agency crop to make their team better.

I know, I can't believe it either.

According to ESPN.com, the Nets "intend to make a hard push for [Dwight] Howard in an attempt to convince [Deron] Williams to commit long term."

Basically, it sounds the like Nets are saying, "Hey everyone, we're going to try real, real hard to get Dwight Howard. REAL hard. You hear that Deron? Real hard."

It's what they have to do though. Mikhail Prokhorov and the Nets took a strategical risk trading Derrick Favors, Devin Harris and draft picks for Williams, without the sure road to sign him long term. It's clear that it's going to take a vision for a future contender to convince Williams he wants to be a part of it. Simply playing in Brooklyn in a nice, new arena isn't good enough. Players want to win. And getting Howard is an excellent way to win.

However, Howard seems to be very determined to remain with the Magic. But that's only if they do the same thing the Nets are and convince him that they have a plan to win. Howard wants to be a champion. And if that can happen in Orlando, that's what he prefers. But if he decides that isn't in the cards with the existing roster Otis Smith assembles, teaming up with Williams might sound like a fantastic plan.

It's no shock though that the Nets are going to be hot in pursuit of Howard. They better be. He's the cream of the 2012 crop and will instantly make whatever team he picks a title contender. He's a total game-changer. And not only do the Nets want him, they also want to show Deron Williams they're serious about getting him help. It's hard for me to picture a scenario of Howard choosing to leaving the Magic in which he doesn't go to the Lakers, but the Nets aren't a bad option.

You hear that Deron?
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com