Live from the Claremont Haunts, we bring you news on the NBA sleeved jersey front. If enough players say they don’t like them, NBA commissioner Adam Silver said he would can them.
According to Bleacher Report’s Howard Beck, Silver will meet with LeBron James, one of the loudest critics of the jerseys, and if enough of his mates pipe up in support of the old school look, the league could decide to curtail the use of the sleeves, leave it up to individual teams or simply kill the program for good. Silver:
“Ultimately, if the players don't like them, we'll move on to something else. I don't regret doing it for this season. But it's intended to be something fun for the fans and the players. And if it becomes a serious issue, as to whether players should be wearing sleeves, we'll likely move onto other things.”
Silver said he will decide the jerseys' fate on a more subjective basis — how many players raise their voice, and how strenuously they object. The feedback so far, he said, has been mixed, but then again, there is not a metric yet to determine how many regular players equal one LeBron. Best guesses so far are between 97 and 105.
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Speaking of sleeves, the NFL is about to put a strain on theirs . . . or at least two of them, anyway. The MMQB tells us that Shawn Hochuli, son of Ed “Biceps of Stone” Hochuli, will make his NFL officiating debut this fall if he passes the physical and the vetting process. In other words, he needs to be of character and do 500 curls with each arm every day.
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Among the things Guns Junior will be minding is the league’s new no-dunking rule. The guiding proposition is that the ball cannot be used as a prop.
Mark Cuban is right. The league has gotten too hoggy. And too piggy. And just plain jackass-ish, too.
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In San Francisco and Oakland, owners and coaches fight over contract extensions. In Cincinnati, they do that too, only for players.
Bengals owner Mike Brown and coach Marvin Lewis are at odds over an extension for quarterback Andy Dalton.
“We are hopeful we can get a deal done that works and Andy can put it behind him,” Lewis said, via Paul Dehner Jr. of the Cincinnati Enquirer. “He can get back focusing on football. He doesn’t have to go into the season and worry about this contract thing, every week someone is going to ask him a question, . . . all those things that come into play later on. Let’s get it behind us.”
On the other hand, there’s Brown, who told Dehner:
“More often than not you don’t win overpaying a guy. With quarterbacks there is another dilemma. With a fixed cap there is a certain amount of money and no more. You allocate that on a quarterback you have less to hand out to everybody else. It can cause attrition.”
And newspaper stories. And firings.
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Now back to Cuban, who gets reactions like the ones NFL people gave him after he worried about pigs and hogs and abattoirs.
“He's a very intelligent man,” New England owner Bob Kraft said. “I can only speak what I know and I've been privileged to be chair of the broadcast committee. We have pretty lucrative contracts going for almost the next decade. Our ratings have gone up dramatically . . . 34 of the top 35 prime-time programs in 2013 were NFL games. So if we have a problem I hope it continues for the way it was this past year.”
Roger Goodell said something too, but nobody truly cares what it was.
Cuban later clarified and expanded his remarks on Facebook to say the NFL's current TV package "perfect" and added that it's "a great idea" to expand the Thursday night broadcasts, but reiterated the notion that continued expansion would kill the goose.
Then he ruined everything by questioning whether fantasy football has staying power as an entertainment option.
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The St. Louis Blues will likely finish with the best record in the NHL this regular season and win the Presidents’ Trophy, to which team leader David Backes said, “
David Backes on the Blues potentially winning the Presidents' Trophy: “It's not our end goal. Sorry to the presidents.”
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And finally, the Los Angeles Dodgers have broken the New York Yankees’ 16-year stranglehold on the most-money-burned-in-pursuit-of-a-World-Series title by coming into the new season with a payroll of $235,295,219, or 2.82 Oakland Athletics. The Giants are seventh at $154,185,878, not including the money they will save when the Dodgers sign Pablo Sandoval.