July 11, 2013

By James Clingman

NNPA Columnist

 

Let me make a “pitch” (pun intended) for Black sports agents.  Watching the NBA playoffs and finals was more than an exercise in pulling for my favorite teams; it was also a very frustrating experience for me because I tend to look at most things from an economic perspective.

While Black athletes dominate football and basketball, and have a major presence in baseball, relatively few of them hire Black attorneys, accountants, and agents, thereby, putting as much as 5 percent of their contract amount into someone else’s economy.

For years now, we have seen this intriguing phenomenon.  In 1995, Black Enterprise magazine ran an article titled “MVPs,” that shed light on this subject R. David Ware, noted for negotiating the largest non-quarterback (Barry Sanders) contract in the NFL, voiced his frustration about the situation this way: “It is so disheartening that so few African Americans are given the opportunity to represent African American players… they wear Kente cloth and talk about pride in their heritage, but when it comes to business affairs, they don’t use African American lawyers, agents, or accountants.”

You would think African American college graduates would know better. But, in my opinion, they lack a consciousness that would have them act otherwise, and many have virtually no knowledge, or interest for that matter, in Black business history and the role they play in this nation’s economic system.  They are noted more for their shoe, soft drink, and fast food commercials, rather than their commitments to conscious capitalism.  They have become fashion icons instead of paragons of Black empowerment.  My suggestion to one of my students who played basketball at the University of Cincinnati was to develop a relationship with a fellow student who was majoring in finance, law, or business, and hire that person as an agent when he turned professional.

Let me pause here and say, I am not using a broad brush to paint all Black athletes (and entertainers).  I know many of them are doing very positive things when it comes to supporting African American business persons and causes.  In addition, far be it from me to dictate to anyone how to spend their money.  So, please, as you read this, just take it as a recommendation for economic empowerment for Black people.

There are too many Black athletes who refuse to hire other African Americans. Considering how much money these guys earn, if they used Black professionals, it would have a huge effect on the African American economy.  Imagine how many Black real estate agents could earn commissions on the mansions purchased and sold by Black athletes.  It makes no sense for us to keep crying over what we do not have, while we are steadily giving what we do have away to others.

As our young boys and girls are practicing their sport of choice, they should also spend some time learning how to practice collective economics.  It is one thing to have millions of dollars, but knowing what to do and not to do with that money is far more important.  Just ask Allen Iverson, Kenny Anderson, and Antoine Walker.  Twenty year-olds need good advice on how to spend and invest millions of dollars.  And they must be exposed to the fact that Black professionals can provide that advice.  The Jerry Maguire’s of the business must get up every morning and thank their lucky stars for Black athletes.

I read a magazine article about one of our mega-millionaire ball players buying 22 pairs of shoes from a famous store that many Black athletes patronize.  Of course, the store is not Black-owned, but what else is new?  Anyway, the shoes cost $16,000.  Throw in about 10 suits for a couple of grand each, and multiply that by 30 other Black professional athletes who frequent the store, and you’re talking about a serious positive cash flow.  You know how we like to look good.  Unfortunately, other groups know it much better than we do – and they sure do take advantage of it.   They make it; we buy it – no matter how it looks.

I know there are competent White agents out there, but as Ware said in the article, “It’s no longer a question of ability, but one of opportunity.”  Some White agents were crying foul when more African Americans got into the game.  In a television special, a White agent accused Black agents of “playing the race card” to get Black athletes to sign with them.  He suggested Black athletes should select their agents and others who work for them solely on the basis of talent.  Ironically, he was asking for a “level playing field.”

If Asian athletes comprised 70 percent of NBA players, we would see nearly 70 percent Asian agents.  A similar scenario would prevail if there were a majority of Jewish or Hispanic players.  Why are we accused of playing the race card when we suggest African American athletes hire Black agents?  (I wonder how many White athletes are represented by Black agents.)  If we play it right, one day not only will we win the game, we win the championship.

Jim Clingman, founder of the Greater Cincinnati African American Chamber of Commerce, is the nation’s most prolific writer on economic empowerment for Black people. He is an adjunct professor at the University of Cincinnati and can be reached through his Web site, blackonomics.com.

Read more: http://www.nnpa. org/news/sports/black-sports-agents-strike-out-with-black-athletes-by-james-clingman/#ixzz2YhRco1Rn

Parent Category: News
Category: Sports

July 04, 2013

Associated Press

 

Seth Jones, the son of former NBA player Popeye Jones, became the highest selected African American in NHL draft history when the Nashville Predators have drafted the young standout with local connections.

The Nashville Predators took Jones fourth in the first round of the NHL Draft. He is the son of Ronald "Popeye" Jones, who was a basketball standout for Murray State University in Kentucky and went on to play in the NBA.

Seth is considered a top defenseman. At 6-foot-4 and 205 pounds, Seth scored 14 goals and had 42 assists in 61 games for the Portland Winterhawks this past season. Popeye Jones was playing then for the NBA’s Denver Nuggets, who shared their arena with the city’s NHL team, the Avalanche, when his son developed interest in the sport.

Parent Category: News
Category: Sports

July 04, 2013

By KENNETH MILLER

Assistant Managing Editor

 

As the frenzied free agent signing period continued though the week, the Clippers in quest of their first NBA championships made a major trade on the heels of obtaining coach Doc Rivers from Boston and resigning star point guard Chris Paul.

According to multiple reports, the Clippers traded highly sought-after Eric Bledsoe and veteran forward Caron Butler to Phoenix in exchange for shooting guard J. J. Redick and sharpshooting forward Jared Dudley.

The three team deal also involved the Milwaukee Bucks which relinquished Redick in the package. The Bucks will get two second round draft picks, one each from the Clippers and Suns.

Redick also receives a four-year $27 million contract from the Clips in a sign and trade from the Bucks.

The Suns are moving swiftly in reshaping their roster, acquiring a center in Alex Len, the fifth overall pick in the NBA draft, and a talented, young point guard in Bledsoe.

Phoenix can't negotiate a contract extension with Bledsoe until after the deal is finalized on July 10.

New Clippers executive VP and coach Doc Rivers had dinner with Redick early last week and further solidified Redick's belief that joining the Clippers and competing for a championship was his desire, sources said.

The Bucks traded for Redick at the February deadline and ultimately decided against re-signing him for the nearly $8 million per season the Clippers did.

The Bucks get a trade exception back in the deal, but it has to be renounced because they're under the salary cap.

Parent Category: News
Category: Sports

July 04, 2013

ASSOCIATED PRESS

 

The All-Star point guard agreed to a new deal on the first day free agency opened, agent Leon Rose confirmed.

Paul posted a message on his Twitter account Monday morning, saying “I’M IN!!!” (hash) CLIPPERNATION

Paul led the Clippers to their first Pacific Division title last season and his decision to stay is the second big victory for the longtime losers in this offseason, following the signing of Doc Rivers as their new coach.

Paul can earn about $108 million over five years with the Clippers. The deal can't be signed until July 10, after next season's salary cap is set.

The two-time Olympic gold medalist has helped turn around the Clippers franchise in two seasons since coming in a trade from the New Orleans Hornets. They made the playoffs in both seasons, advancing to the second round in 2012, and went 56-26 this season, the best record in their history.

Paul averaged 16.9 points, 9.7 assists and an NBA-best 2.4 steals per game. He was the Western Conference player of the month in December, when the Clippers went 16-0.

Paul spent his first six seasons with the Hornets before he was dealt to the Clippers, shortly after the NBA, then serving as owners of the Hornets, stopped a trade that would have sent him instead to the Lakers.

That decision has paid off big for the Clippers, long the second-class citizens in Los Angeles but the team that played a much more exciting style and had much better results than the Lakers last season.

They fired Vinny Del Negro even after their 2012-13 success but landed one of the NBA’s marquee coaches in Rivers, who led the Boston Celtics to the 2008 NBA championship.

Now they are holding onto perhaps the league’s best point guard.

Paul missed 12 games with a bruised right kneecap and played a career-low 33.4 minutes per game, and still was second in the league in assists and first in assist-to-turnover ratio. He was MVP of the All-Star game and finished fourth in voting for the regular-season award.

The Wake Forest product is also one of the league’s most popular players, serving as an executive on the NBA players’ association.

Parent Category: News
Category: Sports

June 27, 2013

Sentinel News Service

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Basketball players of all ages and skill levels are invited to register for the fifth annual Nike Basketball 3ON3  Tournament Presented by NBC4 Southern California, set to return to L.A. LIVE and the streets of downtown Los Angeles on Friday, August 9-Sunday, August 11, 2013.

For the 2nd consecutive year, the Josh Hutcherson Celebrity Basketball Game benefitting Straight But Not Narrow (SBNN) will kick off the Nike Basketball 3ON3 Tournament presented by NBC4 weekend. On Friday, August 9th, Hutcherson will be joined by many of his celebrity friends for a fun and exciting exhibition game in front of hundreds of fans.   Individual tickets and VIP packages are available for purchase now, including meet & greet opportunities with the Hunger Games actor. Tickets are available for purchase on Wednesday, June 19th at 10AM PT at nike3on3.com. All net proceeds to benefit SBNN. Straight But Not Narrow is an ally organization that prepares and trains young adults on how to become allies of their LGBTQ peers.

Registration forms for players of all skill levels and ages can be found at nike3on3.com. More than 1,500 teams registered for California’s largest 3 on 3 basketball tournament in 2012.  Fans are encouraged to sign up beginning today as brackets will fill up quickly.

To celebrate the fifth anniversary of the Nike Basketball 3ON3 Tournament, L.A. LIVE has teamed up with NBC4. As part of the partnership, NBC4 anchors and reporters will participate in interactive ‘Fan Fest,’ including the popular Nike Slam Dunk Contest, the NBC4 Skills Challenge and the Josh Hutcherson Celebrity Basketball Game benefitting ‘Straight But Not Narrow.’  The tournament will also feature approximately 100 outdoor basketball courts and over twenty interactive vendors and basketball-themed activities to entertain the thousands of athletes, guests and families participating and attending.

Complete team registration starts at $140 for youth and high school teams and $200 for elite teams. Adult entry fees start at $160. Entry fees for adult and high school teams will increase to $160 and $180 respectively after July 26. All ages and skill levels are invited to play. Each team must have a minimum of three players and a maximum of four players to participate. 

Registration for Special Olympic and Wheelchair divisions are free of charge.  All players that register for the Nike Basketball 3ON3 Tournament presented by NBC4 receive a participant t-shirt, ticket to a 2013 LA Sparks game (women’s & girl’s teams only), a free one-month pass to LA Fitness and a guaranteed minimum of three games in the tournament. The next 50 teams to register by June 21 will receive a free ticket to an upcoming Los Angeles Clippers game during the 2013-2014 season and 12 one-year memberships will be awarded to the Elite Tournament bracket winners.   Teams will compete for cash prizes, Nike shopping sprees and merchandise, hotel stays at the JW Marriott at L.A. LIVE, tickets to events at STAPLES Center, Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE and StubHub Center, L.A. LIVE restaurant gift cards, Regal Cinemas L.A. LIVE Stadium 14 movie tickets, passes to The GRAMMY Museum, tickets to upcoming concerts at L.A. LIVE and much more.

The Nike 3ON3 Basketball Tournament presented by NBC4 has grown from 500 teams in its inaugural year to more than 1,500 teams, 4,500 players and 25,000 spectators, making it one of the premier 3 on 3 street basketball tournaments in the United States.  The 2012 tournament drew the most teams in the event’s history, nearly tripling in size from its first year. The Tournament has become a Southern California tradition that attracts the best teams from California and across the country. Around L.A. LIVE, STAPLES Center and along Chick Hearn Court, the Nike Basketball 3ON3 Tournament presented by NBC4 will host approximately 100 outdoor basketball courts and an interactive Fan Fest to accommodate the thousands of athletes, guests and families participating and attending this year’s event. 

“We have seen tremendous growth not only in teams, but also in the fans that have experienced the Nike Basketball 3ON3 Tournament presented by NBC4 over the last four years. Our 5th year will continue in that spirit and we look forward to welcoming back teams that have played in prior years, as well as new ones,” said Lee Zeidman, Senior Vice President & General Manager, L.A. LIVE & STAPLES Center.  “The greatest part about the event is that anyone can play no matter what your skill level may be.  It is a fantastic way to spend a summer weekend outside with your friends and family.”

“For decades, NBC4 has been a leader in providing up-to-the minute sports news, so to partner with the Nike Basketball 3ON3 Tournament a natural fit,” said Terri Hernandez Rosales, vice president of community affairs and communications, for NBC4. “The event is another way   sports enthusiast and underprivileged youth stay connected in the community.  

Opportunities and custom brackets for corporate wellness partners are available at a discounted rate and through the corporate donation program; several opportunities for organizations to support the local community by purchasing sponsored brackets will allow underprivileged Los Angeles youth teams to participate in the Nike Basketball 3ON3 Tournament presented by NBC4. The official host hotel for the tournament is the Radisson Los Angeles Midtown at USC, located less than two miles from L.A. LIVE.  Special room rates of $119 single or double occupancy with a special discount parking pass of $10 per day are available to all tournament attendees and participants.

Players of all ages, gender and skill levels are invited to participate in the Nike Basketball 3ON3 Tournament presented by NBC4.  Individual brackets will be divided into appropriate divisions based on a combination of skill, age, gender and height to achieve “level” competition.  Teams may consist of a maximum of four (4) players with a minimum of three (3) players required.

The tournament features five main divisions of play: Adult Elite, Adult, High School, Youth, Special Olympics and Wheelchair. The player’s next grade for the high school division must be 9th-12th) and player’s next grade for the youth division must be 3rd-8th.  Adult, high school and youth divisions feature two competition levels: recreational and competitive. The Nike Elite Division will consist of three categories of players: Women, Men's 6 Foot and under and Men’s Over 6 Foot. Brackets will be formed based upon these criteria and those delineated above.  Participants can register their teams online at nike3on3.com.

The Nike Basketball 3ON3 presented by NBC4 Fan Fest is free and open to the public.  The three-day experience will feature a variety of events at the Nike Center Court, including the highly anticipated Nike Slam Dunk Contest, over twenty interactive vendors and basketball-themed activities. Complete information about registration, eligibility, rules and bracketing can be found at the official Nike Basketball 3ON3 Tournament presented by NBC4 website, Nike3on3.com. For additional information and up to the minute details, follow the official Twitter account at twitter.com/nikebball3on3 and the official Facebook page at facebook.com/nikebasketball3on3.

Parent Category: News
Category: Sports

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