Sale of Clippers could lead to NBA expansion

Sale of Clippers could lead to NBA expansion
June 3, 2014, 6:45 pm
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I mean, has anyone noticed that baseball’s demographic is older than any other major team sport’s? Are they trying to get a larger piece of the elusive mortuary dollar?
Ray Ratto

Nick Saban’s new contract as emperor of college football ($6.9M for each of the next eight years, or until he returns to his home planet) is considered a massive reward for his massive deeds, but Cecil Hurt of the Tuscaloosa News pointed out that there is rich, and then there is wealthy, typing, “At $6.9 million per year, Nick Saban would have to work 289 years to buy the Los Angeles Clippers.”

On the other hand, he'll be able to ask Steve Ballmer, “How did you get so much money with hair like that?”

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“Buy me some peanuts and heart . . . attacks, there’s a chance I might never come back.” And why, you ask? The Potomac Nationals of the Eastern League are the latest baseball venue to try and treat your aorta the way Mountain treated Oberyn with its value pricing scheme for . . . oh, God . . . bacon. It’s one strip of bacon for a buck, three strips for two bucks and 10 strips in a souvenir cup for $5.

I mean, has anyone noticed that baseball’s demographic is older than any other major team sport’s? Are they trying to get a larger piece of the elusive mortuary dollar?

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It’s almost too bad that Mike Pettine’s first NFL coaching job is in Cleveland, where the ownership likes to fire coaches just for snicks and giggles. He was asked about the NFL’s response to help players in trouble (while not speaking specifically about, wide receiver Josh Gordon’s latest brush with the justice system, driving too fast while a passenger in his car was carrying Mendocino garnish) and Pettine hid exactly zero percent of his disgust.

“Sometimes guys get the message and it's too late,” Pettine said. “In all my time in the league, there's always going to be a handful of guys that just don't get it, but I think the league's done more than enough to get the word out.”

Well, that’s debatable, but he and Gordon will surely be spending a lot of time chatting this summer, I’ll be a’wagerin’.

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This is not Gregg Popovich talking, this is not Gregg Popovich talking, this is not Gregg Popovich talking . . . but it could be. Duško Vujošević, the head coach of Serbian basketball power Partizan Belgrade, grabbed one of his players, Bogdan Bogdanovic, by the throat and pushed him off the court after the player got called for a foul and a technical. This is not positive coaching in the American style, but his explanation was very Balkan indeed, describing it as “a pedagogical measure, deriving from the old Prussian school of education.”

Now Pop’s not a choker, but we’ll be sorely vexed if he doesn’t drop a “pedagogical” on Doris Burke during his in-game interview during Game 1 of the Finals. As a great man once said, Doris, “Ice up, son.”

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Tired of getting your brains kicked in betting the under in the Stanley Cup playoffs? Of course you are –- you’re 26-47-15, and if you bet $100 without odds, you’re down $2,100. So why not try these, from those charming wallet-stealers at Bovada:

Will there be a suspension in the Finals? Yes, plus-$300 (3/1); No, minus-$400 (1/4).

Will the New York Post or the New York Daily News write the headline “The Kings Of New York?” Yes, 3/1, No, 1/5.

Me, I’m guessing if the Kings win, both papers will use the headline the old San Francisco Examiner splashed after 9/11: “BASTARDS!”

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David Beckham, apparently already bored just by trying to build a soccer team and stadium from scratch in Miami, said in a BBC documentary, “There’s never been a player/owner, but maybe . . .”

His tongue may be in his cheek, but there is also this: At 39, he’s a little young for MLS.

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Former Steelers kicker Jeff Reed wants to make a comeback, and he figures why not start at the top? “I looked into the CFL and the Arena League,” Reed told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, “but it’s just a lot of work for little pay, and it sounds kind of shallow, but when you’ve played for the most elite level of football and you think you can still do it, why wouldn’t you?”

I know why. If the NFL has its way and changes the rules for placekickers, he’ll less to do as an active player than he does now in retirement.

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Business Times thinks the NBA takes note of the Clippers' sale and sees expansion in its immediate future. “While potential expansion owners are unlikely to pay $2 billion for a team not located in Los Angeles, it is not unreasonable to think the current NBA owners see that price and now think they can charge $1.0-1.5 billion for an expansion franchise. If the NBA sells two expansion franchises, bringing the total number of teams to 32 (same as the NFL), that would be $70-100 million for each of the league's 30 NBA owners. That's a big payday in a league where the average team had an operating income of $23.7 million in 2013.”

Well, Seattle would be one, but the other . . . well, why not Oakland? Good record of support, about to lose a team, and great political support for . . . oh, never mind.

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U.S. World Cup manager Jurgen Klinsmann, the man who destroyed Landon Donovan (oh what the hell, let’s have some fun, kids), thinks part of the team’s development is learning to feel the Jovian pressure of fan disappointment. “Pressure is definitely a good thing. It keeps you on your toes,” he said. “In Germany, you understood that you were here to get a job done. Because if you didn’t, you would hear about it all over the place the next day.”

Perfect. I think the boys will love that.

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And finally, the other side of the coin. Phil Jagielka, who is part of England’s central defense at the World Cup with Gary Cahill, once said, “I’m not on Twitter myself. If I’ve had a good game I don’t need telling I’ve had a good one, and likewise if I’ve had a bad game, I know myself or I speak to my parents and family to get a more accurate view.”

Well, no more, as he tweeted himself Tuesday: “Thought I'd finally join Twitter seeing as I have lots of time on my hands this month.”

There’s absolutely zero chance this will end well for him.

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