NBA Business Blog by SBS

SBS's blog on news opinions and developments in the NBA, with a focus on business.

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Saturday, June 19, 2010

Manute Bol dies at 47: Bol's sprit of giving not well known

Manute Bol
Former Golden State Warriors player Manute Bol (who also played with the Philadelphia 76ers, Seattle Supersonics, and Washington Bullets) sadly passed away Saturday at the young age of 47 and do to complications from "Stevens - Johnson syndrome," which Bol reportedly contracted while in Sudan.

Bol is being celebrated as one of the NBA's best defensive players in history, but Bol's also praised for his work in the sprit of giving. The Kansas City Star reported in May - as Bol was in the hospital for the condition that would ultimately take his life - that Manute Bol's charitable work for Sudan was not well-recognized by the public.

Bol's focus was helping those less fortunate in his home country of Sudan. One of the organizations Bol supported is called "Alliance For The Lost Boys of Sudan."

Alliance For The Lost Boys is an organization that supplies medical and dental coverage as well as educational funding and school supplies for the boys of Sudan. Specifically, the estimated 27,000 Sudanese boys who were displaced from their families during the Second Sudanese Civil War. A war where Bol himself lost several hundred family members. A war that saw 2 million killed; 3,800 boys were orphaned in America, mostly in the State of Arizona, Chicago and the State of Florida.

(That Arizona has Sundanese orphans makes one wonder if they too are being harmed by that states' Hitler-like illegal immigration law and the intense racism expressed by some there.)

This comment summed up Bol's thoughts: "There’s no way I can put the money in my pocket while my people are getting beat up. Whatever I can do to help my people I will do. I feel whatever I make here I make for my people."

The Kansas City Star 's Sam Mellinger wrote that Bol "has given so much and received little in comparison." And in a set of paragraphs that makes any one want to cry, Mellinger wrote:

He was once lured back to his home country with the promise of a cabinet post, only to find out he would be required to convert to Islam. When he refused, he was stranded for nearly five years. His trust and good intentions have been abused so many times.

Even while playing, he went into war zones to help the Lost Boys and other refugees. Sometimes, those visits were interrupted by bombings from warlords who viewed Bol as a threat.

His family was wiped out by Darfurians, but when that country became victims, Bol was one of the first Sudanese to speak out in support. A Christian, he told his people that extremists were the enemy, not Muslims.

he uncomfortable part of this is that we’ll appreciate Bol, 47, more when he’s gone, whenever that comes.

You know, there are times when I have said "I wish someone would have told me about that; I'd have done what I could to help." Manute Bol's story is one of those times I wish someone had contacted me. A person's story is a collection of small contributions; that's one I would have certainly made.

Manute Bol's in a better place. And, while it's after his passing, we should stop to celebrate Manute Bol's time on Earth.

God bless Manute Bol.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Kobe Bryant and LA Lakers Are Western Division Champions

The L.A. Lakers just won the NBA's Western Division beating the Denver Nuggets 112 to 92. The Lakers return to the finals for the 30th time (!). The top scorer was Kobe Bryant with 35 points, followed by Paul Gasol with 20. Now, we wait for the winner of the Orlando Magic / Cleveland Cavaliers series.

Will LeBron meet Kobe?

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


More at New York Post: “Knick center Eddy Curry was slapped with a shocking sexual-harassment suit yesterday by his former driver, who claims the 6-foot-11 hoopster tried to solicit gay sex from him.

Stunning court papers charge that Curry, a married father of several kids, repeatedly approached chauffeur David Kuchinsky "in the nude," saying, "Look at me, Dave, look" and, "Come and touch it, Dave."

Knicks End Road Trip With Hornets Win


Curry, 26, also made Kuchinsky perform "humiliating tasks outside the scope of his employment, such as cleaning up and removing dirty towels [into which Curry had ejaculated] so that his wife would not see them," the Manhattan federal court suit says.”

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Report: D’Antoni takes Knicks’ job

Bringing in a coach for six million per season will not solve the extensive problems facing the Knicks. Unfortunately, D'Antoni's high octane coaching style does not fit in well with the current Knicks roster or their long standing philosophy of how to play.

NEW YORK (TICKER) —Mike D’Antoni will become the next head coach of the New York Knicks, Sports Illustrated reported on its web site Saturday.

According to SI, the former Phoenix Suns coach accepted New York’s offer of a four-year contract worth $24 million. The Knicks have yet to comment on the report.

D’Antoni, who had two years remaining on his contract with the Suns that would have paid him nearly $9 million, reportedly also was mulling an offer from the Chicago Bulls.

D’Antoni appeared to have no future with the Suns when the team granted him permission earlier in the week to speak with other clubs about their head-coaching vacancies.

The Arizona Republic reported that the relationship between D’Antoni and Suns general manager Steve Kerr has been strained since the two had an argument in November.

D’Antoni, who turned 57 on Thursday, interviewed with the Knicks and Bulls. His personality alone would seem to be a breath of fresh air in New York after the disastrous reign of Isiah Thomas.

D’Antoni is known for his laid-back approach and stresses up-tempo basketball. Under his watch, the Suns were one of the NBA’s highest-scoring and most entertaining teams, although they were unable to advance beyond the Western Conference finals.

This year, the Suns were eliminated by the San Antonio Spurs in five games, their first opening-round exit from the playoffs since 2003.

D’Antoni posted a 253-136 record in his four-plus seasons as coach of the Suns.

In New York, he would have the tall task of trying to rebuild the league’s most dysfunctional franchise while changing its culture of losing.

One of the first moves made by new Knicks president Donnie Walsh was to fire Thomas, who posted a 56-108 record in his two seasons as coach.

New York has endured seven straight losing seasons, including a 23-59 mark this year that matched the worst record in the franchise’s history.

Thomas also alienated the team’s fan base for his decisions as general manager. He loaded up on expensive contracts - creating major salary cap problems - while failing to build a competitive team.

Thomas also found controversy off the court, causing further embarrassment for the franchise.
In November, Madison Square Garden reached an out-of-court settlement for $11.5 million with former executive Anucha Browne Sanders, who had filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against Thomas, Knicks owner James Dolan and the Garden.

In addition, Thomas spent most of the season feuding with guard Stephon Marbury and benched center Eddie Curry.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Thomas says he’s not talking with Indiana about coaching Hoosiers

It's time to permanently leave Isiah. All of New York will be elated that you did.

By GEORGE HENRY, Associated Press Writer

ATLANTA (AP)—Embattled New York Knicks coach Isiah Thomas said he is not a candidate for the Indiana University job.

Thomas, whose Knicks have lost seven of eight and 14 of 16, has a 53-102 record in two seasons with the team. Though he helped Indiana win the 1981 NCAA championship, Thomas has never coached in college.

He indicated the Hoosiers haven’t consulted him about becoming their head coach.

“No, I have a job,” Thomas said before the Knicks played the Atlanta Hawks on Sunday.

Thomas, also the Knicks’ team president, said he hopes interim coach Dan Dakich is named full-time at Indiana.

In February, Dakich replaced Kelvin Sampson, who resigned following the release of an NCAA report that said he committed five “major” violations involving recruiting. Prior to the start of the NCAA tournament, the school appointed a 10-member committee to search for a replacement for Sampson.

After Dakich—an assistant under Sampson and a former Indiana player and assistant under Bob Knight—took over, the Hoosiers (25-8) lost four of their final seven games, including a shocking last-second defeat against Minnesota in the Big Ten tournament quarterfinals and an 86-72 loss to Arkansas in the first round of the NCAA tournament.

“He’s done an excellent job,” Thomas said. “He understands the program. He’s been intimately involved on the coaching side and also on the playing side.”

“Of all the former players, he’d definitely have the support of mine and others. I hope he’s someone they do name as the coach of Indiana.”

Thomas acknowledged that he might have interest in coaching one day in college.

“You never say never in terms of where you’ll end up and who you’ll be with,” he said. “So you just try to take the day as it comes.”

Right now, Thomas is trying to save his position with New York, which has reportedly talked with former Indiana Pacers president Donnie Walsh about taking charge of the organization.

Walsh hired Thomas as coach of the Pacers in 2000. In three years with Indiana, Thomas led the Pacers to a 131-115 record and three playoff appearances.

When Walsh brought in Larry Bird to run the Pacers in 2003, Thomas was fired.

With the NBA’s fifth-worst record at 20-53, Thomas seemed to dislike a question about some of his players calling for a new coaching change.

“That player should put his name on it, if there is such a player,” Thomas said. “But I think you have the opportunity and the access to all our players and you can ask them. I think it’s safe to say that in any locker room, football, basketball or hockey, I don’t think there’s a coach coaching today that has 15 happy players. You have some that’s unhappy and you have some that’s happy. That’s coaching.”

Monday, March 03, 2008

Voters to decide on $121 million proposal aimed at luring NBA to Oklahoma City

It'll be intriguing tomorrow to witness if Oklahoma City receives the go ahead vote to entice a prospective team to their budding city. Currently, Seattle seems like the ideal team to land in the OKC.

By JEFF LATZKE, AP Sports Writer

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP)— Oklahoma City voters will decide Tuesday on a $121 million plan aimed at luring an NBA team.

Oklahoma City mayor Mick Cornett’s proposal would spend $97 million to upgrade the Ford Center and another $24.6 million to build an NBA practice facility in hopes of completing the city’s courtship of the Seattle SuperSonics.

While Cornett has been promoting the improvements to the Ford Center as mandatory to show Oklahoma City’s long-term commitment to the NBA, David Glover has been spearheading opposition to the plan that would extend a one-cent sales tax increase for another 15 months.

Cornett considers the improvements to the Ford Center necessary even if the SuperSonics, owned by Oklahoma City businessman Clay Bennett, don’t end up relocating. Without them, Cornett says Oklahoma City will fall behind competitors for concerts, the Big 12 tournament and other events.

Bennett declined interview requests from The Associated Press and through a spokesman refused to say what would happen if the vote fails. The SuperSonics are in the middle of a court battle to break their lease in Seattle, and the NBA Board of Governors will vote in April on Bennett’s request to relocate to Oklahoma City.

While reserving comment on the specific proposal in Oklahoma City, NBA spokesman Tim Frank said “the NBA will always support teams’ and cities’ efforts to enhance the experience for our fans.”

The cost of adding restaurants, clubs, suites and other amenities to the Ford Center—which hosted the New Orleans Hornets for two years following Hurricane Katrina—falls about in the middle of the cost fronted by new NBA cities when the past two franchises relocated.