Posts tagged with "Houston Rockets"

Sportsbooks favor LeBron and the Lakers to go back-to-back

The Los Angeles Lakers ended their decade-long wait for a 17th NBA Championship in October and with LeBron James and Anthony Davis set for another year in LA, they are favorites with the bookmakers to win another title in 2021.

Frank Vogel’s team is priced at +350 to surpass the record of 17 chips which they share with the Boston Celtics. The Celtics fell to the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals this year, but could certainly go one better next time around.

Boston is +1400 with Bet365 to win their 18th championship which, considering there are some +800 numbers out there, might be considered very generous odds.

But as far as the biggest challenger to the Lakers is concerned, they can look a bit closer to home at the Los Angeles Clippers. It remains to be seen what happens to their roster with Ty Lue taking over the reins as coach, but Kawhi Leonard and Paul George are expected to stay put.

The Clippers, who at various points during last season were favorites for the title, are +550 to make up for what was ultimately a disappointing 2019-20 campaign.

Fans of the Milwaukee Bucks were also underwhelmed with how things panned out despite another MVP season for Giannis Antetokounmpo. A 4-1 series defeat by Miami in the Conference Semifinals was not in the script, and with one year left on the Greek Freak’s contract, the Bucks are a best price of +650 to triumph 50 years on from their one and only championship win.

Injuries to Steph Curry and Klay Thompson, coupled with the departure of Kevin Durant, meant that the Golden State Warriors took a year off from title contention but they are +800 to come back firing next season with what would be their fourth chip under coach Steve Kerr.

Golden State has the second overall pick in the upcoming NBA Draft, and whether they grab a highly-rated rookie or trade it away in a win-now move, they are a force to be reckoned with in 2020-21.

Another team many anticipate great things from is the Brooklyn Nets, who the sportsbooks seem to be having a tough time pricing up. Some betting sites have them at +600, but others have gone as big as +1200 which is surely too big for a roster that boasts two former NBA All-Star Game MVPs in the shape of Durant and Kyrie Irving.

The Nets were swept by the Toronto Raptors in the first round of the playoffs last time out, but the plan was always for 2020-21 to be the year in which they make a proper run at it.

Not many predicted that Miami would make it all the way to the finals and come close to denying their former star, James, but a heroic team effort led by Jimmy Butler saw them completely surpass expectations. Repeating that is a tall order, but +1600 is a more than fair price.

At +2000 is the Toronto Raptors, while the Denver Nuggets can be snapped up at +2500 and the Dallas Mavericks are +2800 if you shop around. Each of those teams has plenty of potential and star power – it’s just a case of putting it all together.

It’s surprising to see the Houston Rockets as big as +3000, and likewise the Philadelphia 76ers at +4000, but in such a competitive league, they are perhaps a bit off the pace.

The campaign will begin in late December at the earliest, and the regular season may be shortened so that the normal October-June timeframe can be in-play for 2021-22.

Rita Azar illustrates NBA basketball story for 360 MAGAZINE.

NBA Protests

by Justin Lyons

The clock struck 4:05 p.m. on Aug 26 in Orlando, and neither the Magic nor the Bucks were on the court for the tip-off of the fifth game of their playoff series.

Playing their home games just 40 miles from Kenosha, Wisconsin, it’s safe to say that the shooting of Jacob Blake by Kenosha police literally hit close to home for the Bucks players.

The Orlando Magic originally took the court for their game, but they decided to leave when it appeared the Bucks weren’t coming. That court was now empty aside from the NBA logos, the regulation markings and “Black Lives Matter” in bold text across the side closest to the scorer’s table.

Then, the tweet from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski came at 4:13 p.m. Orlando time saying that the Bucks officially decided to boycott the fifth game of the series.

News broke later that the Rockets, Thunder, Trail Blazers and Lakers all decided to boycott their games, as well, in a show of unity.

It was the spark that started the fire, as basketball wouldn’t be played again until Aug. 29.

Bucks guard George Hill was one of the most outspoken players on the team regarding the shooting of Jacob Blake, making it very clear that he couldn’t continue to play basketball to distract from the reality of what’s happening in the United States.

The Brewers, the Milwaukee baseball team that plays its home games just a short drive from where the Bucks play, also decided to cancel their Aug. 26 game against the Reds.

Brewers star Christian Yelich said it was a unanimous decision from the team to not play.

“I think the Bucks spearheaded it for us,” Yelich said. “They started the discussion. It gave us a conversation to have. It was eye-opening for us, and we felt like it was the right thing to do.”

The NHL also joined in the protests, postponing games Aug. 27 and Aug. 28.

Later on the night of Aug. 26, Shams Charania reported via Twitter that the Lakers and Clippers, both of which are still contenders for the title, voted to boycott the rest of the season. LeBron James reportedly led the movement to cancel the season, which is no surprise given his history of fighting for social justice.

Giannis Antetokounmpo said the Bucks were able to get in contact with Blake’s father very quickly. Blake’s father was moved to tears by the gesture.

According to an article from ESPN, Antetokounmpo said, “Obviously, it’s gonna be games that you come in and score 30, 35, 50 or whatever the case might be, but that you’re going to remember. The way we felt, we’re going to remember the way we felt for the rest of our lives.”

The Bucks were eliminated from the playoffs Tuesday, which begs the question of how they will respond. Hill expressed disappointment that he had to be in the Orlando bubble instead of fighting for justice, so it should be interesting to see where the Bucks go from here.

Eyes are also shifting to the NFL, which starts Thursday. The entire nation will have its eyes on protests and social justice initiatives from a league that has been just as outspoken as the NBA.

NBA and China

The American public strongly supports the Houston Rockets general manager’s tweet regarding Hong Kong and China’s rights conflict. (Daryl Morey, the GM, tweeted support for the Hong Kong protesters seeking freedom from Chinese oversight.  The Chinese reacted with disdain and business with the NBA was threatened).Only 9 percent of the public thought the Rockets GM, Daryl Morey, should be fired, with 77 percent saying the Rockets should keep him and defend his freedom of speech.  14 percent said they did not know or had no opinion.

In addition, 54 percent of the nation feels Daryl Morey should be applauded for taking a stand supporting the Hong Kong protesters, with only 19 percent saying he should not have sent the tweet because it risked valuable relationships over a foreign domestic issue.  27 percent did not know or had no opinion.
These are the findings of a Seton Hall Sports Poll, conducted this week among 703 adult Americans across the country on both landlines and cellphones.  The Poll has a margin of error of +/-3.8 percent.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver first apologized for the tweet but later backtracked and showed support for freedom of speech.  46 percent of the public felt he handled it well, and 36 percent say he did not, with 18 percent saying they did not know or had no opinion.

52% Say Lebron James’ Comments were out of self-interest

LeBron James tweeted condemnation of Morey, claiming “he wasn’t educated on the situation” and endangered people “not only financially but physically.”  Only 28 percent thought his reaction was sincere, with 52 percent saying he acted out of financial self-interest.

69% expressed concern that China has so much influence over an American professional League, with only 23 percent saying they are not concerned.

Morey’s Tweet vs. Kaepernick’s Kneeling

Comparing Morey’s tweet to Colin Kaepernick’s kneeling during the national anthem, 47 percent said both actions should be defended as free speech, with 16 percent saying that it only applied to Morey and 5 percent saying it only applied to Kaepernick.

There are big differences between Democrats and Republicans on this comparison.  59 percent of Democrats and only 29 percent of Republicans say that they should both be defended as free speech, while 7 percent of Democrats and 21 percent of Republicans say that it only applies to Morey.

“The fundamental right of free speech seems to have carried the day in favor of Daryl Morey’s tweet,” noted Rick Gentile, director of the Seton Hall Sports Poll, which is sponsored by the Sharkey Institute within the Stillman School of Business. “It is much clearer when applied to a foreign power than to a domestic one.”

For more information, visit here.  (Questions and results breakdown below, an online version of this release may be found here.

 

adidas Originals

ADIDAS ORIGINALS CELEBRATES BASKETBALL HERITAGE AND NEW YORK CITY WITH RIVALRY

adidas Originals reinvigorates an iconic silhouette that pays homage to an era of basketball legends

• Rivalry comes back in its iconic colors, influenced by the passion of New York basketball fans

• The style is honored with a pop-up exhibition curated by Eric Emanuel, featuring works by New York City creatives Brock Fetch, Tyrrell Winston, and New York Sunshine. In attendance at the exhibition launch were a roster of New York athletes: Kristaps Porzingis (New York Knicks), Allonzo Trier (New York Knicks), Allen Crabb (Brooklyn Nets), Charone Peake (New York Jets) and Cody Latimer (New York Giants)

Following a long-standing lineage of basketball silhouettes over the past several decades, adidas Originals continues to honor the sport’s heritage with the special re-issue of Rivalry in New York City last night. Revitalizing a peak era of New York basketball, which spearheaded a communal spirit of fierce pride, the cult classic is for lovers of basketball style on and off the courts. Returning in all its glory, adidas Originals teamed up with notable sportswear designer Eric Emanuel to debut the latest Rivalry model, inspired by New York’s undying passion and love for sports.

The shoe was celebrated through a pop-up gallery exhibition curated by Emanuel, showcasing the indisputable influence of basketball style into the realms of fashion, art, photography and more. The blank space was transformed into an interactive gallery covered in gritty, city-inspired installations that bought the shoe to life through the works of photographer Brock Fetch, mixed media artist, Tyrrell Winston and creative collective, NY Sunshine.

In true Big Apple style, Rivalry wheat paste posters drenched the exhibition entrance, surrounded by a canopy of scaffolding and sneakers hung from wires. Guests then walked through an exclusive showcase of collaborator works that included photography, installations, and a product showcase. On view was the latest iteration of the Rivalry Hi-Top, accompanied by both an archival silhouette from 1986 and a preview of what’s to come from the three stripes brand and Emanuel later in the year.

Staying true and honoring its predecessors, the latest Rivalry iteration will feature premium leathers that nod to the famous “Team Series” from the late 80s. The model stands out in a bold blue and orange colorway with adidas branding emblazoned on the tongue.

Today, adidas Originals will open the gallery up to the men’s and women’s basketball team from local New York school, High School of Fashion Industries, as well as the general public from 12:00 pm through until 5:00 pm. The surrounding streets of the exhibit will also play host to adidas street scalpers handing out admission tickets to the pop-up where guests have the chance to grab a limited edition Rivalry-inspired t-shirt designed by Eric Emanuel.

The Rivalry High OG will be available at select adidas retailers on Friday, February 8th and will retail for $110 USD.

The Rivalry Gallery is located at 158 Mercer Street, New York Street, NY.

Chris Tucker to Host EBONY Power 100 Gala

EBONY Magazine announces the host for its annual EBONY Power 100 Gala and this year’s special award recipients.

Acclaimed actor and comedian Chris Tucker will steer the star-studded event.

Distinguished industry leaders to be recognized with the EBONY Icon Award and Inaugural Chairman’s Award

Following the recent unveiling of its prestigious annual EBONY Power 100 List in celebration those whose work and heroism continue to inspire and influence society, EBONY magazine has announced the host for this year’s highly anticipated EBONY Power 100 Gala, presented by Nationwide, taking place in Los Angeles at the Beverly Hilton on Nov. 30.

EBONY is also pleased to announce the recipients of this year’s coveted special awards which will be presented during Hollywood’s star-studded spectacle.

Helming the celebration of the 2018 EBONY Power 100 list honoring crusaders, innovators, disruptors, business titans, entrepreneurs and MVPs who are making a difference in the community at the EBONY Power 100 Gala is international award-winning actor Chris Tucker. Once a frequent stand-up performer on Def Comedy Jam in the 1990s, Tucker is best known today for playing Det. James Carter in the Rush Hour film series. Chris is currently returning to the stage on his stand-up comedy tour that has received rave reviews all over the world, while spending much of his spare time traveling and working with his foundation.

EBONY Media Operations CEO Michael Gibson will present the inaugural Chairman’s Award to former BET Chairman and CEO Debra Lee. The trailblazing business dynamo joined BET as executive vice president and general counsel in 1986, was promoted to president and COO of the network that reaches approximately 78 million homes in March 1996 and to chairman and CEO in 2005. She guided much of the 38-year-old network’s growth beyond music and into entertainment, news and public affairs programming, including original movies, late-night talk shows and concert specials, with successes such as bringing to cable The Game in 2014 and the miniseries. The New Edition Story in 2017, the launch of BET.com and the acquisition of the television rights to Black Girls Rock!

This year’s prestigious EBONY Icon Award will be presented to Motown Records. There simply isn’t a name in music more synonymous with era-defining hits, star-making, and innovation than Motown. Started in Detroit with a dream and an $800 loan, Berry Gordy’s Hitsville USA became a cultural behemoth that swiftly hooked pop culture with a brand new beat. The unmistakable, irrepressible sound of young America didn’t just dominate the charts–it crossed the racial divide during the social upheaval of the 1960’s. The hits and cultural influence doesn’t stop as Motown and its family of imprints explore new genres in partnerships with labels including Quality Control Music, which set the stage for signings of Migos and Lil Yachty. In recognition of the brand’s iconic relevance and impact, EBONY is pleased to honor Motowns decades of success. The award will be accepted by Motown President, and EVP of Capitol Music Group. Ethiopia Habtemariam, who is also honored in the Women Up category for her outstanding leadership in the music industry.

Habtemariam, whose former title, President of Urban Music & Co-Head of Creative for Universal Music Publishing, is responsible for revitalizing the storied label that boasts hit makers NE-YO and Erykah Badu. Habtemariam has ushered in a new generation of artists with acts like JAMESDAVIS, Lil Baby, City Girls, and BJ The Chicago Kid. Last summer, Billboard magazine recognized her as Universal Music Group’s Most Powerful African-American Woman.

“We are delighted to announce our celebrated host and award recipients for this year’s EBONY Power 100 Gala,” says Gibson. “Since unveiling our 2018 EBONY Power 100 List last month, the anticipation and buzz throughout the country has been very exciting to see. This year’s gala will surely prove to be the most memorable to date, and I would like to personally congratulate all our honorees.”

The 2018 EBONY Power 100 List recognizes the most influential and inspiring from the business, philanthropic, entertainment, and social activism communities in the following eight categories: Community Crusaders, Disruptors, Entertainment & Arts, Entrepreneurs, Innovators, MVPs, Power Players and the coveted Women Up.

Former President and First Lady Barack and Michelle Obama lead the Entertainment & Arts category, with a focus on Mrs. Obama’s book tour for her new memoir, Becoming. Barry Jenkins, director of the Academy Award-wining Moonlight and the upcoming If Beale Street Could Talk, is also being honored in the category for his achievements in the film industry, as Tony Award-winning actor Billy Porter is for his role in the television series Pose. Other notables being honored in the Entertainment & Arts category include the cast of Black Pantherand rappers Cardi B, Drake and Travis Scott. Athletes being honored in the MVPs category include Houston Rockets guard James Harden, Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry and professional WWE wrestler and superstar Thaddeus Bullard, aka Titus O’Neil.

The 2018 EBONY Power 100 List includes politicians and lawmakers who made the news over the past year, such as Stacey Abrams, the first Black Georgia Democratic gubernatorial nominee (recognized in the Disruptors category); Andrew Gillum, the mayor of Tallahassee, Florida, and the first Black candidate for governor of the Sunshine State (another Disruptors honoree); Keisha Lance Bottoms, the second Black female mayor of Atlanta (recognized in the Women Up category); and London Breed, the first Black female LGBT mayor of San Francisco (also honored in the Women Up category).

Other honorees run the gamut of industry, community activism and more. Civil rights activist Tarana Burke the Bronx, New York native who achieved global acclaim after starting the MeToo movement will be recognized in the Community Crusaders category. Group President and Chief Operating Officer Rosalind Brewer will be honored in the Women Up category as the first African-American woman to the hold that position as at Starbucks. March of Dimes President Stacey D. Stewart will be recognized in the Disruptors category as the first African-American female president to lead the charitable organization. Junior Flip Kids, honored in the Entrepreneurs category, is a company made up of six schoolchildren aged 7 to 13 years old who met with Oprah Winfrey before starting their business to transform distressed properties into renovated single-family homes in Washington D.C., and Maryland. Cheryl “Action” Jackson will be recognized in the Community Crusaders category as the founder of Minnie’s Pantry, an organization that has provided over 8 million meals to families in need.

Honorees are celebrated each year at the EBONY Power 100 Gala, presented by Nationwide. The event will take place this year in Los Angeles at the Beverly Hilton on November. During the gala, the prestigious EBONY Power 100 special award recipients will be recognized for their contributions to business and industry. The 2018 EBONY Power 100 Gala is hosted by EBONY Foundation and benefits Sickle Cell Disease Association of America. Learn more about sickle cell disease and to donate by texting “EBONY” to 91011 and using #SCDHOPEWINS. Follow #EBONYPower100 on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

The complete EBONY Power 100 List for this year can be viewed here!