Showing posts with label NBA. Show all posts
Showing posts with label NBA. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Nash hopeful Nets' Simmons regains 'joy of playing the game'

 The three-time All-Star hasn't scored more than seven points in any of Brooklyn's first four games as the Nets have staggered to a 1-3 start. 

Brooklyn Nets coach Steve Nash says he wants to see Ben Simmons regain "that joy of playing the game" as the three-time All-Star tries to bounce back after missing all of last season.

Nash hopeful Nets' Simmons regains 'joy of playing the game'

Simmons hasn't scored more than seven points in any of Brooklyn's first four games as the Nets have staggered to a 1-3 start. He had four points, nine assists and five rebounds in 28 minutes on Wednesday night as the Nets fell 110-99 to the Milwaukee Bucks.

The Nets are counting on Simmons to make a successful return from back surgery as they attempt to contend in the Eastern Conference. They acquired Simmons at the trade deadline last season in a move that sent 10-time All-Star James Harden to the Philadelphia 76ers.

"Ben and I work every day at this, trying to give him the confidence to go out there and be aggressive and try to get back to at least the feeling of joy on the court," Nash said before Wednesday's game.

Simmons, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2016 draft, said he's feeling better with every game. That's not apparent from his statistics thus far.

He's averaging 5.3 points, 7.5 assists and 5.8 rebounds. He fouled out of two of Brooklyn's first three games. The Nets host the Dallas Mavericks on Thursday in the first of four straight home games

"I definitely feel each game I'm progressing a little bit in terms of my physicality and aggression," Simmons said after the Bucks game.

Nash said he just wants to see Simmons playing hard, fast and aggressively. The coach said he isn't worried if Simmons makes mistakes early on in his comeback, as long as he's showing that energy.

Before this season, Simmons hadn't played a game since the 76ers' Eastern Conference semifinals loss to the Atlanta Hawks in June 2021. He didn't play last season due to mental health concerns before his trade to Brooklyn, as well as his back issue.

He underwent back surgery in May.

Simmons' teammates are encouraging him as he works his way back from the long absence.

"He has the skills to be a great professional," Nets guard Kyrie Irving said. "He's done it in the past, and he hasn't played in two years. You guys keep coming in here and asking me like, 'What about Ben? What about Ben? He hasn't played in two years. Give him a... chance."

The Nets are prepared to offer him that chance.

"We're just here to give him positive affirmation while he's out there and just let him hoop," Irving said. "While he's hooping and getting back into it, we're going to have to really jell as a team in order to learn how to win as a group."

Russian court rejects Brittney Griner's appeal against 9-year sentence

 The court in the Moscow region ruled to uphold the sentence handed down to WNBA All-Star Brittney Griner in early August.

A Russian court on Tuesday rejected an appeal by U.S. basketball star Brittney Griner of her nine-year prison sentence for drug possession, a step that could move her closer to a possible high-stakes prisoner swap between Moscow and Washington.

Russian court rejects Brittney Griner's appeal against 9-year sentence

The eight-time all-star center with the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury and a two-time Olympic gold medalist was convicted Aug. 4 after police said they found vape canisters containing cannabis oil in her luggage at Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport.

Griner, 32, was not at the Moscow Regional Court hearing but appeared via video link from a penal colony outside the capital where she is held.

At her trial, Griner admitted to having the canisters in her luggage but testified she packed them inadvertently in her haste to make her flight and had no criminal intent. Her defense team presented written statements saying she had been prescribed cannabis to treat chronic pain.

The nine-year sentence was close to the maximum of 10 years, and Griner's lawyers argued after the conviction that the punishment was excessive. They said in similar cases defendants have received an average sentence of about five years, with about a third of them granted parole.

On Tuesday, WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert issued the following statement: "Today's decision while unfortunate, was not unexpected and Brittney Griner remains wrongly detained. We greatly appreciate the ongoing efforts of the Administration and U.S. Department of State in leading the negotiations. It is time to bring this case to an end and bring BG home."

While upholding the sentence, the court said Griner's prison time will be recalculated to reflect what she has already served in pre-trial detention. One day in pre-trial detention will be counted as 1 1/2 days in prison, so she still will have to serve about eight years in prison.

Griner's lawyers Maria Blagovolina and Alexander Boykov said in an email that they were "very disappointed" with the decision because they still believe "the punishment is excessive and contradicts to the existing court practice."

"Britthey's biggest fear is that she is not exchanged and will have to serve the whole sentence in Russia," they said. "She had hopes for today, as each month, each day away from her family and friends matters to her."

They said they had to discuss with Griner what legal steps they should take next.

Griner's arrest in February came at a time of heightened tensions between Moscow and Washington, just days before Russia sent troops into Ukraine. At the time, Griner was returning to play for a Russian team during the WNBA's offseason.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken called the decision "another failure of justice, compounding the injustice of her detention," adding that "securing her release is our priority."

Before her conviction, the U.S. State Department declared Griner to be "wrongfully detained" — a charge that Russia has sharply rejected.

The White House said it has not yet received a productive response from Russia to the offer.

Russian diplomats have refused to comment on the U.S. proposal and urged Washington to discuss the matter in confidential talks, avoiding public statements. But some Russian officials have said a deal is more likely once appeals have been exhausted.

In September, Biden met with Cherelle Griner, the player's wife, as well as her agent, Lindsay Colas. Biden also sat down separately with Elizabeth Whelan, Paul Whelan's sister.

The White House said after the meetings that the president stressed to the families his "continued commitment to working through all available avenues to bring Brittney and Paul home safely."

The U.S. and Russia carried out a prisoner swap in April. Moscow released U.S. Marines veteran Trevor Reed in exchange for the U.S. releasing a Russian pilot, Konstantin Yaroshenko, who was convicted in a drug trafficking conspiracy.

Moscow also has pushed for the release of other Russians in U.S. custody.

One of them is Alexander Vinnik, who was accused of laundering billions of dollars through an illicit cryptocurrency exchange. Vinnik was arrested in Greece in 2017 and extradited to the U.S. in August.

Vinnik's French lawyer, Frederic Belot, told Russian newspaper Izvestia last month that his client hoped to be part of a possible swap.

The newspaper speculated that another possible candidate was Roman Seleznev, the son of a Russian lawmaker. He was sentenced in 2017 to 27 years in prison on charges from a hacking and credit card fraud scheme.

Pelicans edge Mavericks without Ingram, Jones, Williamson

 New Orleans entered the game missing 2 of their top 3 scorers in Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson, as well as Herb Jones, their top defensive player.

Trey Murphy III scored 22 points and the short-handed New Orleans Pelicans overcame Luka Doncic's latest prolific performance to beat the Dallas Mavericks 113-111 on Tuesday night.

Pelicans edge Mavericks without Ingram, Jones, Williamson

The Pelicans entered the game missing two of their top three scorers in Brandon Ingram (concussion protocol) and Zion Williamson (hip bruise), as well as a third starter, Herb Jones (hyperextended knee), who is their top defensive player.

Available Pelicans responded with an all-hands-on-deck effort in which eight players reached double figures in scoring.

That included rookie and first-round pick Dyson Daniels, who scored his first career points on a jump hook in the second quarter and finished with 11 points in 22 minutes on 4-of-5 shooting.

Murphy hit all eight shots he took, including four 3s. He also mixed in some baskets on the drive, including a soaring dunk in the third quarter and a tip-in with six minutes to go.

Doncic scored 37 to go with 11 rebounds and seven assists, but his 3-point attempt at the final horn bounce off the front rim.

Ingram entered the NBA's concussion protocol after a collision during Sunday night's loss to Utah. He will have to clear a series of steps to ensure he is symptom-free before resuming basketball activities.

Williamson bruised the back of his hip later in that same game when he was knocked off balance in mid air by Jordan Clarkson's clean block of a transition dunk attempt. Williamson crashed to the court on his lower back.

Jones also was hurt against Utah, hyperextending his right knee as he took an awkward step in traffic near the basket.

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

NBA launches reimagined app

 NBA launches reimagined app, a destination for NBA fans of every team

New app will provide content from every game with personalized experiences, social-style vertical video, behind-the-scenes access to players and teams and more.

The NBA today announced the launch of the reimagined global NBA App, the all-in-one destination for NBA fans of every team. With entirely new personalization features, the NBA App will provide wall-to-wall content from every NBA game and feature social-style vertical video, unprecedented behind-the-scenes access to players and teams, new and existing shows and series, and access to the NBA vault for free. The NBA App – a product of NBA Digital, the league's joint venture with Turner Sports – is free to download.

NBA launches reimagined app
 NBA launches reimagined app

Additionally, the NBA has launched NBA ID, the league's new global membership program offering fans benefits and rewards from the league, teams and its partners. NBA ID, which is free to join, will link a fan's experiences across existing products like NBA League Pass and NBA Pick'Em. Throughout the season, NBA ID members will get access to new original content and fan favorites from the NBA vault. Additionally, there will be enhanced members-only experiences from NBA partners, ticket promotions, prizes through predictive and sweepstakes-style NBA Pick'Em fantasy games, voting campaigns and other rewards.

The NBA App is powered by the NBA's new integrated digital platform, which was built in partnership with Microsoft, the NBA's official cloud and AI partner. The NBA App now includes a sleek new design and a first-of-its-kind “For You” experience, with content recommendations based on fan preferences and personalization powered by Microsoft Azure and Azure AI. Within the app's “For You” page, fans can tap into a social-like vertical video experience – with vertical scrolling – that features real-time highlights of all NBA games in progress.

The league's direct-to-consumer subscription offerings – NBA League Pass and NBA TV – will be integrated into the NBA App, giving fans the ability to watch live games and highlights and check scores, statistics and standings, all in one place. For NBA League Pass subscribers, the live streams will feature higher video quality, lower streaming latency and a seamless user experience for consuming live NBA content.

NBA League Pass returns this season with a new bundle and at its lowest pricing ever. For a limited time, the standard package is now available for $14.99 per month ($99.99 for full season) and the premium package for $19.99 per month ($129.99 for full season). Subscribers will automatically receive the NBA TV direct-to-consumer offering as part of the new bundle.

"Launching our new NBA App and digital platform is a major milestone as we continue to build and strengthen our direct-to-consumer offerings," said Chris Benyarko, NBA Executive Vice President, Direct-to-Consumer. “We are thrilled to deliver a reimagined product that will enhance and personalize the way NBA fans engage with the league on a daily basis.”

Content highlights on the NBA App include:

Live Programming and Social-Style Content

  • Gameday Experience – Fans will be immersed in game-day content all day long and, for the first time, get live access to streams of all pregame and postgame NBA press conferences and media days from every major event. In addition, NBA ID members will have access to teams' pregame shows for NBA League Pass games. 
  • Lifestyle – Social-style content series looking at the lifestyle, culture, fashion, music and more around the game and off the court, including NBA Kicks, NBA Fits, Jersey Drop, Ride Along, Celebrity Row and NBA Ink, among others. 
  • “CrunchTime” – A free weekly whiparound show taking fans live to crucial moments of each game and providing real-time updates and analysis, produced by NBA TV and hosted by Jared Greenberg. 
  • “NBABet stream” – A weekly stream produced by NBA TV with betting expert Tim Doyle and a selection of top contributors to provide the latest betting information during live game coverage. 
  • Live NBA League Pass Programming – In addition to 24/7 NBA TV programming and out-of-market live games, NBA League Pass subscribers will have access to expanded options for personalized viewing experiences through a wide variety of alternate streams, including additional camera angles , betting-focused streams, influencer-led and analytics-driven options, and in-language feeds with commentary in three languages ​​(Spanish, Portuguese and Korean). “NBA HooperVision” returns for its second season with former NBA players and hosts Nate Robinson and Quentin Richardson.

External Content Contributors

  •  All-Access Directly from Teams – Behind-the-scenes storytelling from teams' social and digital channels. 
  • Partner Content – ​​Content produced by popular basketball and sports-highlight creators, including Turner Sports, featuring content from the hosts of “Inside the NBA”, Grant Hill and Greg Anthony, as well as FanDuel, DraftKings, Action Network, Bleacher Report and more . 
  • Influencers – Influencer-created content from popular creators including Thinking Basketball's Ben Taylor, Jesser, Kris London, Lethal Shooter, Devin Williams, Tristan Jass, and more focused on fashion, lifestyle and NBA culture both on and off the court.

Exclusive Original Programming

  • “Gold Blooded” – A new seven-episode docuseries telling the story of the Golden State Warriors’ journey to the 2022 NBA championship. Narrated by Andre Iguodala, the series features never-before-seen footage and new interviews with team executives and players, including Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green. The first episode is available on the NBA App today.
  • “Pass the Rock” – Fans will get an exclusive look at the league's next generation of stars and their lives on and off the court throughout the 2022-23 season. The multi-part series is slated to begin in late November. 
  • “Inside the App” – An exclusive weekly segment from TNT's “Inside the NBA” team that will spotlight the hottest storylines and most topical events from around the league.
  •  “NBA Real Training Camp” with the Philadelphia Sixers (Sept. 29) and Dallas Mavericks (Sept. 30) – A special all-access show produced by NBA TV during the opening week of preseason providing exclusive look-ins at the teams' practices and interviews with players, coaches and front office personnel.

NBA Vault

  • Archived Games – Fans will have access to archival footage from the NBA vault, including 500 of the best classic games in NBA history. Every NBA Finals game since 2000 will also be available, with more Finals and popular games being released throughout the season. 
  • Archived Series – Documentaries and all-access series from NBA Entertainment's archives will be available on-demand, including “Dream Team”, “The Doctor”, “Wilt 100”, “The Association”, “Unscripted”, “Inside Stuff” and more.


  • NBA's International Games – The NBA App will be the go-to destination for fans to engage with and watch The NBA Japan Games 2022 Presented by Rakuten & Nissan (Golden State Warriors vs. Washington Wizards on Friday, Sept. 30 at 6 a.m. ET and Sunday, Oct. 2 at 1 a.m. ET) and The NBA Abu Dhabi Games 2022 (Milwaukee Bucks vs. Atlanta Hawks on Thursday, Oct. 6 at noon ET and Saturday, Oct. 8 at noon ET).
  • “Hoop Cities” – An eight-part, in-language documentation produced by the NBA's Europe and Middle East team that explores the local culture, history and basketball communities surrounding the game throughout the following European cities: Belgrade (Serbia), Bologna (Italy) ), Cologne & Leverkusen (Germany), Istanbul (Turkey), Kaunas (Lithuania), Paris (France), Seville (Spain) and Thessaloniki (Greece).

Additional content series and other enhanced features on the NBA App will be announced throughout the season.

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

NBA Coaches Don't Have to Wear Suits and Loafers Anymore

 The NBA will continue to allow coaching staff to wear sportswear like last season. It seems that the coach's dress rules made by David Stern have been lost. And, it won't come back again. Instead, the NBA gives coaches the opportunity to earn extra money from sponsors, through the clothes they wear.

In the 2022-2023 NBA season, there will be many coaches wearing quarter zipper sportswear, polo shirts, or turtle necks. While at the bottom, the trainers can wear sneakers that they like. The news about the implementation of branded casualwear that aligns with the team was conveyed by Marc Stein, an NBA reporter. Next season, the coaches can be more relaxed in leading their teams. So did the team staff on the bench. 

NBA Coaches Don't Have to Wear Suits and Loafers Anymore
It seems that the era of expensive clothes and shoes that David Stern made will be abolished. In 2010, the league made a rule requiring coaches and their staff to wear collared shirts with suits. But NBA Commissioner Adam Silver is not like his predecessor. Silver cares about the coach who is already having a headache thinking about 82 games. They will no longer be burdened with the rules of clothing.

It is also beneficial for the team, the coaches, and the sponsors. Because Nike, as the official sponsor of the NBA, can get a new place to put up its logo. The coaches also get as much match camera spotlight as the players. Meanwhile, coach clothing, which usually consists of polo shirts and jackets, is even more in demand by the market. The report on the sales of coach clothing merchandise in the NBA Store was also good last season.

These casual wear for coaches begin at the end of the 2019-2020 NBA season. At that time, several teams entered the "NBA Bubble" in Orlando, Florida. However, all coaches agreed to keep the outfit as they returned to their respective arenas in the next two seasons. Although the dress code is getting more relaxed, most coaches stick to simple sneakers. The hope is that next season they will enliven the sneaker market by wearing well-known brands.