When Adam Silver became NBA Commissioner in 2014, NBA fans largely rejoiced more for the departure of David Stern than for Silver himself. Stern had built the NBA up to new heights from when he took over in 1984, but he had attracted tons of controversy over the years and fans wanted a change. Silver was that change, and fans viewed him as the person who could lead the NBA away from Stern and towards a better NBA.
But you either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villain, and Silver may be morphing into the next NBA villain. Silver has had great moments such as kicking racist slumlord Donald Sterling out of the league, and the recent NBA Finals hit ratings records not seen since the legendary 1998 NBA Finals. But Silver has attracted controversy with some of his recent decisions, and the honeymoon between fans and Commissioner may soon be over.
Money, money, money
Did you remember the NBA still has not officially announced the regular season league MVP? No one cares about the regular season in Seattle with the playoffs over, especially as everyone knows that Russell Westbrook is the winner. But this useless awards show is not set to happen until June 26, two weeks after the end of the postseason.
In past years, MVP winners often received their trophies and hoisted in front of a cheering playoff cloud, most famously when Allen Iverson did it before scoring 52 points in a 2001 playoff game. So why has the NBA removed this magical moment in favor of this ridiculous show? Because an awards show means more advertising revenue, just like putting advertisements on jerseys which will begin being displayed next season.
It is not like the NBA is in bad shape and needs the money, and these efforts to grab even more money are disgraceful to the league and its fans. While the NBA is fundamentally about profit, it is frustrating to see just how low the NBA will go to grab more of that sweet ad revenue at the expense of actual fans.
The Continual Officiating Problem
Lots of people watched the NBA Finals and the games were played at an offensive level perhaps never matched in NBA history. But the most memorable game was Game 4, the one game the Cleveland Cavaliers won. Not because of the Cleveland victory or because of how Kyrie Irving went nuts scoring 40 points, but because of terrible officiating which saw the game go completely out of control.
NBA fans blamed Stern for years as they claimed he rigged series like the 2002 Western Conference Finals or the 2005 first-round series between Dallas and Houston. While the 2017 Finals were clearly not rigged, moments like Game 4 show that the NBA has failed to improve officiating even after years of complaints and calls for fairness.
Adam Silver has done plenty of good things, but he has also made some bad decisions in the name of profit and not in promoting the integrity of the league. For now, most fans still view Silver favorably. But bad decisions are remembered more than good ones. If Silver continues his money-grubbing ways, it could very well be that in 20 years, fans will cheer the new NBA commissioner and hope that he can take the NBA away from the Silver era.
Sports Reporter Suing Kings’ Luke Walton for Sexual Assault Allegations
Sacramento Kings new head coach Luke Walton is already in the news, but for all the wrong reasons, and he has hired attorney Mark Baute to defend him against the allegations of sexual battery made by sports reporter Kelly Tennant, who is suing Walton.
According to TMZ Sports, Walton and his legal team are blasting the accuser, and Baute issued the following statement;
“Luke Walton retained me to defend him against these baseless allegations,” Baute said.
“The accuser is an opportunist, not a victim, & her claim is not credible. We intend to prove this in a courtroom.”
According to the suit, Tennant, who worked as a reporter for Spectrum SportsNet and SportsNet LA, claims that while Walton was an assistant coach for the Golden State Warriors, he asked her to come and meet him at the Casa Del Mar Hotel in Santa Monica, California, to drop off a book she had published.
Tennant says that she asked Walton to write the forward in her book due to a business relationship that the two had had for several years.
Upon arriving at Walton’s hote, he conviced her to come up to his room so that the two could “catch up” and upon arriving in his room Walton pinned her to the bed and placed his hips and legs over her body, forcing kisses on her neck, face, and chest.
Tennant claims that she screamed for him to stop and attempted to break free, but Walton held her down, groped her breasts and groin, and rubbed his erection on her leg.
Tennant claims she was “in shock and fear. She was afraid she was about to be raped,” the suit states.
Additionally, Tennant claims that when Walton finally stopped and released her he escorted her out of the hotel room as if nothing ever happened and she claims that “He smiled, laughed again and made the disturbing statement, ‘Good to see you,'”
The disturbing behavior allegedly continued while Walton was the head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers back in May 2017, and Tennant claims that Walton once greeted her by uttering “vulgar, guttural sounds at her” and said, “mmmm … you’re killing me in that dress.”
The Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Lakers, and the Sacramento Kings all stated that they had no knowledge of the alleged incident during Walton’s tenure.
NBA 2K League Announces Livestreaming Partnership with Twitch
Last week, the NBA 2K League officially announced a partnership with Twitch that makes the popular streaming platform the exclusive broadcaster for all league games.
Twitch now will be listed as the official livestreaming partner of the NBA 2K League, as well as one of the league’s founding partners, via the new deal.
Earlier in April, the NBA 2K League broadcasted it’s inaugural draft live on Twitch streams, an indicator that the two sides were working towards a more permanent working relationship.
The multi-year partnership deal includes all 199 potential games in the NBA 2K League season and the format includes weekly head to head matches, 3 regular season tournaments, a playoff bracket, and the finals.
Additionally, Twitch will assist in developing interactive custom overlays for use in the NBA 2K League broadcast, including other fan engagement initiatives and projects.
“This is a groundbreaking partnership for the NBA 2K League” NBA 2K League managing director Brendan Donohue said.
“Twitch shares our innovative spirit and commitment to putting the gaming community first, and is the ideal home to provide our passionate 2K, NBA, and esports fans around the world with the opportunity to catch all the excitement of our inaugural season.”
Twith has been in the business of partnerships such as these, as they reportedly paid $90 million for the exclusive broadcast rights to the Overwatch League back in January of this year.
It also continues their separation from competitors such as Mixer streams, YouTube gaming, Facebook gaming, Caffeine Streams, and DLive streams, which is being aggressive to become more competitive in the streaming industry.
Eagles’ Jalen Mills Arrested
Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Jalen Mills was arrested in Washington D.C following an altercation with Washington Wizards player Devin Robinson, according to the Associated Press’ Howard Fendrich (via the Washington Post).
Both men were charged with disorderly affray, which is described as fighting in a public place.
According to the Washington Post’s Candace Buckner, a verbal altercation broke out between the two that escalated into a physical fight that took place on the sidewalk.
Robinson was transported to a hospital following the fight with Mills and upon his release he was taken to to department’s 2nd District station where Mills was detained.
Mills and Robinson were “involved in a verbal altercation which escalated into a physical altercation on the sidewalk adjacent to the Opera Night Club” in the early hours of Saturday morning, according to the police report.
Both teams have since responded, with the Wizards essentially parting ways with Robinson due to the incident.
“We are aware of the incident this morning involving Devin and are disappointed in his actions. We will not extend him a qualifying offer for the 2019-20 season,” the Wizards said in a statement.
The Eagles issued a statement saying that they are “aware of the situation” and “continuing to gather more information.”
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