The National Basketball Association (NBA) unveiled the commemorative NBA 75th Anniversary Season logo, which will appear throughout the 2021-22 season on courts and official NBA merchandise, inside arenas and in original broadcast, digital and social media content.
The new logo is a fresh take on the league’s iconic Logoman identity, based in the classic 75th Anniversary symbol – the diamond.
NBA Finals 2021 presented by YouTube TV continues on July 8 at 9:00 p.m. ET on ABC. Additional details regarding the NBA’s 75th Anniversary Season will be shared on an ongoing basis in the coming months.
The quest to maximize whatever elite years remain in LeBron James took another turn, and perhaps the sharpest one yet, with the Los Angeles Lakers getting Russell Westbrook in a major Draft-day trade.
This was a deal that required the Lakers to cross their fingers while shaking hands with the Washington Wizards. That’s because, as combustible as Westbrook is — he’s rewritten all the triple-double records in the book — his skill-set fits only in certain systems and situations. Placing Westbrook next to LeBron and also Anthony Davis will require adjustments and sacrifices with everyone involved in this Big Three experiment, but especially with Westbrook.
First, the deal itself: Westbrook, the 2024 second-round pick and 2028 second-round pick go to the Lakers and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Montrezl Harrell, Kyle Kuzma and the 22nd pick go to Washington, as first reported by The Athletics’ Shams Charania.
Westbrook is easily the heavyweight in the deal, as a former MVP and nine-time All-Star who’s coming off his third career season averaging a triple-double – 22.2 points, 11.5 rebounds and 11.7 assists in his only season with the Wizards.
Westbrook now goes to his fourth team in four years, and just as curious, he’s aligned with yet another superstar in an effort to develop championship chemistry. There was no payoff in Oklahoma City with Kevin Durant and then Paul George, or the Rockets with James Harden, and certainly not the rebuilding Wizards who had little to offer as help besides Bradley Beal.
With the exception of reaching the NBA Finals with Durant — and that happened almost 10 years ago — Westbrook has advanced as far as the conference finals just twice despite those starry tandems.
Westbrook proved last season at age 32 that he’s still a highly productive point guard who plays at a rapid pace. That aids him at reaching the rim for layups, pushing the ball upcourt on the fast break, and out-rebounding taller players even in traffic. It also results in turnovers, too, as a result of his high-risk, high-usage style.
He’ll be teammates with LeBron, a player he respects, and a player who’d be willing to adjust for someone of Westbrook’s caliber. One area where LeBron can and probably must sacrifice is ball-handling. While LeBron assumed that role since arriving in LA three years ago to great success, Westbrook is most effective with the ball. Without it, Westbrook must play off the ball, where his shooting issues become more glaring.
Also, Westbrook has never had a big man with Davis’ talent. Therefore, the change of scenery plus an uptick in the caliber of running partners should trigger something positive within Westbrook, or at least the Lakers hope.
Whether it results in another championship is anyone’s guess, though. LeBron and Davis are coming off a frustrating season because of injuries largely to blame for their first-round playoff exit. Now they’ll get a celebrated third partner who will allow them to recharge and reboot.
The reason for adding Westbrook is clear: The Lakers are doing whatever they can, within the constraints of the salary cap, to give LeBron as many swings at the championship plate as possible. With LeBron entering a 19th season, he’s running out of time to get a fifth ring. And Westbrook is running out of teams.
The board is targeting a Dec. 22 start to what would be a season of 70 to 72 games, with the NBA Finals ending in June again as has been in the case for many years, according to a person with knowledge of the situation. The person, who spoke to The Associated Press Friday on condition of anonymity because no plan has been finalized, said the possibility of fans being at games would hinge on how a particular market is faring against the coronavirus at that time.
There are other options, such as waiting until later in the season to begin play with the hope that more arenas would be able to have fans. But starting in December instead of mid-January or later could generate a difference of roughly $500 million in revenue, the person said.
Revenue projections for the league this season were missed by about $1.5 billion, the person said. The losses were the result of a combination of factors — the shutdown caused by the pandemic, the cancelation of 171 regular-season games, completing the season in a bubble at Walt Disney World without fans, the nearly $200 million price tag for operating that bubble and a yearlong rift with the Chinese government that saw NBA games not shown on state television there.
Alexia Grant, aka Chef Lex, was one of 10 chefs invited to cook for players inside the NBA bubble. From her kitchen at Disney World, she launched the pop-up restaurant Comfort Kitchen, specializing in Caribbean and Southern comfort food. Since, she’s cooked for players from every team in the bubble, including the Miami Heat, the LA Lakers, and the Denver Nuggets. But cooking under strict quarantine isn’t easy. She can’t leave the bubble to do her own shopping and has to rely on runners to deliver her food to the players in the inner bubble.
The University of California system can no longer use ACT and SAT tests as a determinant for admissions, a superior court judge has ruled, handing a victory to students with disabilities.
The “test optional” policy at most UC campuses affords privileged, non-disabled students a “second look” in admissions, said Brad Seligman, the Alameda County Superior Court Judge who issued the preliminary injunction in the case of Kawika Smith v. Regents of the University of California on Tuesday.
At the same time, he said, a “second look” would be denied to less privileged students and students with disabilities who are unable to access the tests. Therefore, the conclusion is to do away with the tests all together.
The news comes months after the university system waived the standardized testing requirements until 2024, after its Board of Regents voted unanimously. A news release from May stated that if a new test hadn’t emerged by 2025, the system would eliminate the standardized testing requirement for California students.
Kobe Bryant taught us to be better-a better scorer, better GOAT, better father. His philosophy of #MambaMentality changed the game and continues to inspire athletes like Serena Williams, Anthony Davis, Sydney Leroux, Diana Taurasi and Sky Brown today.
The Orange County Board of Supervisors passed a resolution to make Aug. 24 “Kobe Bryant Day,” according to TMZ Sports.
The date honors the two jerseys worn by Bryant during his 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers, No. 8 and No. 24. The Hall of Famer was killed in January in a helicopter crash alongside his daughter Gianna and seven other people.
Los Angeles City Council had previously celebrated a Kobe Bryant Day on Aug. 24 in 2016 following his retirement from the NBA.
Because of the league’s rigorous approach to reducing the novel coronavirus risk to players, there were no fans, no cheerleaders and no mascots at the first scrimmage before the NBA resumes regular season play on July 30. A cameraman was positioned on the sideline, two ballboys in masks and gloves sat on the baseline, and two scouts and roughly a dozen media members watched from about 15 feet back from the court.
Fourteen people, including the public address announcer, official scorer, shot clock operator and team public relations officials, sat at a courtside table, which was surrounded by tall Plexiglas walls, like a hockey penalty box, to limit contact with players and coaches. All told, there appeared to be fewer than 200 people visible from the court, including the players and coaches, who sat on physically distanced chairs and hydrated with personal bottles rather than large buckets. Some members of the coaching staff and inactive players wore masks on the bench as they took their seats for the first time since the NBA season was indefinitely suspended March 11.
NEWBURY PARK, CA – MARCH 28: Retired NBA Player Kobe Bryant talks with girls at the Her Time To Play basketball clinic hosted by JR.NBA and WNBA with on March 28, 2019 at Mamba Sports Academy in Newbury Park, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Will Navarro/NBAE via Getty Images)
The Mamba Sports Academy was launched in 2018 as a joint athletic training business venture with Bryant and Sports Academy CEO Chad Faulkner. The name will change back to The Sports Academy on Tuesday, with a new website and logo rebranding, Faulkner told The Undefeated.
The name “Mamba” was a part of Bryant’s nickname, “The Black Mamba,” which he gave to himself.
“Our beliefs and thoughts are Kobe is one of one. ‘Mamba’ is one of one,” Faulkner told The Undefeated. “And with that as we carry on as The Sports Academy, it’s more appropriate to put Kobe in another Hall of Fame, if you will, and to really respect a legacy that is really unrivaled, frankly, and let that live on its own. We will continue to do the work we do.