How severely should the NBA have sanctioned Karl-Anthony Towns and Joel Embiid?

By October 31, 2019
Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At SportsMax.tv he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

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  • Ex-Warriors star Bogut open to NBA return after Kings exit Ex-Warriors star Bogut open to NBA return after Kings exit

    Former Golden State Warriors star Andrew Bogut said he is open to returning to the NBA as "I've got a little bit of fuel left in the tank" ahead of the Olympic Games.

    Bogut is a free agent after opting to quit NBL franchise the Sydney Kings last month amid the coronavirus pandemic.

    The 35-year-old Australian – who won an NBA title with the Warriors in 2015 – had been planning to retire following the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, which have been pushed back due to COVID-19.

    Bogut returned to the Warriors to play the remainder of the 2018-19 season while contracted to the Kings and the NBA's former number one pick is pondering another stint in the United States.

    "I had NBA offers right before the COVID-19 pandemic, where I was potentially going to go back after the NBL season. I was talking to a few teams that wanted me to come over," Bogut, who was selected by the Milwaukee Bucks with the top pick in the 2005 NBA Draft, told SBS Sport.

    "Yes [I would consider another NBA stint], especially halfway through the season when the buyout and trade season comes up.

    "It saves me having to spend the whole season over there and I can kind of join someone late, like I did with the Warriors last time.

    "[I] can try to make a play-off run and then let that phase into the Olympics. I still think I've got a little bit of fuel left in the tank."

    Former Bucks, Dallas Mavericks, Cleveland Cavaliers and Los Angeles Lakers centre Bogut returned to Australia with the Kings in 2018.

    Bogut was named the NBL's MVP in his first season, while he helped the Kings reach the Grand Final this year, though the Perth Wildcats were crowned champions after the series was cut short due to coronavirus.

    "There are just too many unknowns right now. Not just in the basketball community but around the world," Bogut said as he discussed his Kings departure.

    "I wasn't going to commit to something half-assed and not know what's in the other end. I thought it was best to hit pause for now and reassess around about the new year, rather than me sitting here with one foot in, one foot out and the club not knowing where I'm at, so they can't act accordingly with recruiting, signing and the salary cap.

    "I didn't want to have that pressure of every week having to call and say 'I don't know yet'. I think in fairness to the club, it's the best thing for the Kings to be able to make decisions they need to make without worrying about me at the other end."

  • Wes Unseld: Hall of Fame center dies aged 74 Wes Unseld: Hall of Fame center dies aged 74

    Hall of Fame center Wes Unseld, who spent his entire NBA career with the Bullets franchise, has died at the age of 74. 

    The Washington Wizards released a statement from Unseld's family on Tuesday that said he passed away following lengthy health battles, most recently with pneumonia. 

    "He was the rock of our family – an extremely devoted patriarch who revelled in being with his wife, children, friends and team-mates," the statement said. 

    "He was our hero and loved playing and working around the game of basketball for the cities of Baltimore and Washington D.C., cities he proudly wore on his chest for so many years."

    Unseld played collegiately at Louisville before the Baltimore Bullets selected him with the second overall pick in the 1968 NBA Draft. 

    He was named the NBA Rookie of the Year and NBA MVP for the 1968-69 season, joining Wilt Chamberlain (1959-60) as the only players to accomplish the feat. 

    Unseld earned five All-Star selections in his first seven seasons in the league before being named NBA Finals MVP after leading Washington to their only championship in 1977-78. 

    He ended his playing career following the 1980-81 season and moved into the front office in Washington before eventually taking over as head coach during the 1987-88 season. 

    Unseld went just 202-345 with one playoff appearance as Washington's coach before resigning after the 1993-94 season. He was named general manager of the Bullets in 1996 and stayed in that position through the 2002-03 season. 

    Unseld is the franchise leader in games played (984) and rebounds (13,769), and ranks second in assists (3,822) and fifth in points (10,624). His tally of rebounds is the 12th most in NBA history. 

    He was selected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1988 and the National College Basketball Hall of Fame in 2006. 

    "We all admired Wes as the pillar of this franchise for so long, but it was his work off the court that will truly leave an impactful legacy and live on through the many people he touched and influenced throughout his life of basketball and beyond," Wizards owner Ted Leonsis said. 

  • Cricket's financial model is broken, but there is no easy fix Cricket's financial model is broken, but there is no easy fix

    The West Indies will most likely leave for the United Kingdom (UK) in about a week from today to play England in the first bio-secure Test series in history in July.

    The teams will play and whether they win the series or not, England will come away with virtually all the revenues generated from the series. For the West Indies, the story will be significantly different.

    Come July 1, the West Indies players and all Cricket West Indies (CWI) staff, will be taking a temporary 50 per cent salary cut.

    However, they are not alone. In April, England’s male and female players took a 20 per cent pay cut as the pandemic began to take hold in the UK forcing the postponement of the West Indies’ visit, which was initially scheduled for June.

    The thing is, on this tour other than match fees, CWI does not really earn anything. Under this dispensation, wherein the regional players are going to be guinea pigs for the way cricket could be played for the immediate future, they and CWI should be receiving extra compensation.

    In fact, pandemic or not, visiting teams need to get something from away series. Without an opponent, the home team has no content for their broadcast partners.

    In boxing, for example, should promoters be able to put together a fight between Mike Tyson and me, we would all agree that Tyson would command the bulk of the revenue. After all, he is who they would come to see. However, a reasonable argument could be made that I should be paid fairly for having the daylights knocked out of me.

    It definitely takes two to tango.

    A couple of years ago, under the Dave Cameron presidency, CWI proposed changes to the current model of wealth distribution in world cricket but those were rejected as being unworkable.

    Correctly citing that competitive balance is critical to the appeal of the sport, Cameron argued that: “Broadcasters and viewers are not willing to see international cricket because they are getting to see their stars anyway in the IPL or CPL. As a result, international rights have been devalued, except in the big market, which is India, England and Australia. So, 20 per cent of each series should go to the visiting teams.”

    The problem with this proposal is that given what the big teams would have to pay over at the end of a tour, there would not be equitable reciprocation when their teams visit the smaller-market teams rendering it impractical.

    Mumbai Mirror writer Vijay Tagore explains it like this. In a column published on May 11, he said Star pays India about U$10 million for every international match. If the West Indies plays six matches on tour, then they would earn US$12million for the tour. When India tours the West Indies, India would earn much less from their 20 per cent take.

    Under the current status quo, the International Cricket Council (ICC) generates income from the tournaments it organizes, like the Cricket World Cup. Most of that money goes out to its members.

    So, for example, sponsorship and television rights of the World Cup brought in over US$1.6 billion between 2007 and 2015. Sponsorship and membership subscriptions also generate a few extra million.

    However, the ICC gets no income from Test matches, One Day International and Twenty20 Internationals. In this scenario, the host country gets the money earned from its broadcast partners and sponsorship as well as gate receipts.

    A breakdown of the money distributed from the ICC shows that for the period 2016 to 2023, based on forecasted revenues and costs, the BCCI will receive US$293 million across the eight-year cycle, ECB (England) US$143 million, Zimbabwe Cricket US$94 million and the remaining seven Full Members, including the West Indies, US$132 million each.

    Associate members will receive US$280m.

    For the CWI that equates to US$16.5 a year. In addition, CWI will generate money from broadcasts of home series. However, not every home series makes ‘good money’. Based on my conversations with CWI CEO Johnny Grave, CWI only makes money when England and India tour the West Indies.

    What that means is that when teams like Bangladesh, Pakistan and Zimbabwe visit, CWI loses money.

    According to an ICC Paper submitted by CWI in October 2018: The revenue is inextricably linked to the nature of the tours hosted in a member country. It is also linked to the existence of a host broadcaster to exploit media revenues.

    “Media values for members vary: the West Indies does not have a host broadcaster, mainly because of the size of its market.”

    According to the paper, in 2008 the West Indies revenue was US$19.6m. In 2009, revenue jumped to US$48 and then in 2010, it fell to US$24.2 million. Media rights in 2017 amounted to US$22million but fell precipitously to US$987,000 by the end of the financial year for 2018.

    Meanwhile, player salaries remain constant, money goes into grassroots programmes, player development, tournament match fees and salaries, coaches and coaching development, as well as support for the territorial boards. In bad years, these costs easily exceed any revenue generated.

    The current model is simply unsustainable but solutions are hard to come by. In the Caribbean, sponsorship is hard to come by. Stadia remain empty because the West Indies does not win consistently enough to bring the crowds back, and for the most part, the ‘stars’ don’t play in regional competitions meaning fans stay away.

    Meanwhile, the peaks and troughs in earnings against the costs associated with what is required to maintain a competitive international cricket programme, demonstrates in part why there needs to be a better way; why there needs to be a more equitable way to distribute money generated from bilateral series.

    For the smaller market teams, it amounts to a hand-to-mouth existence that keeps them poor and uncompetitive. And frankly, that’s simply not cricket.

     

     

     

     

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