NBA Wants to Get More Fans from Foreign Countries

worldwide basketball gamesBrad Stevens, the coach of the Boston Celtics, is going to be on the sideline in six countries, illustrating the fact that the National Football Association (NBA) is making moves to expand its global reach.

Stevens will be taking his team to Spain and Italy in October for season matchups, after which the Celtics will go to Mexico to play a regular season match against Sacramento.

Adam Silver, the commissioner of the NBA said: “We’re very focused on the health of 30 franchises, and continuing to build our fan base outside of the United States.”

The NBA has been considering various ways to promote basketball in regions other than North America. This year, NBA teams will be not only visiting six countries, but also receiving teams from Israel, Turkey, and Brazil.

The Los Angeles Clippers, the Boston Celtics, the Orlando Magic, and the Charlotte Hornets will be going to foreign countries during the exhibition season.

Stevens said: “I believe that you can have good moments together. I think the more dinners you eat together, the more flights you take together, the more time you spend together, the more places you travel to are all positives.”

The league will accommodate the teams that plan to travel a lot during the exhibition season by permitting them to launch their training camps earlier.

However, Scott Skiles, the coach for the Orlando Magic who will play against the Flamengo of Brazil on October 17 in Rio de Janeiro, said that he is not very sure about the benefits of these travels.

Is Sports Betting Legal in the US?

legal sportsbooks

Sports betting is Legal in Nevada and with Fantasy Sports.

As the Seattle Seahawks were putting the finishing touches on a 43-8 destruction of the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XVIII more than $100 million of losing tickets were being torn up in Las Vegas. The handle in the Silver State on the Super Bowl alone was $119.4 million, more than had ever been bet on the big game – any game – before. The books took a record profit of $19.6 million to the bank.

Nevada is the only state in America where sportsbooks operate legally. In 1992 the Professional Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) was enacted by Congress that banned betting on sporting events in the United States. Only four states – Nevada, Oregon, Delaware and Montana – were exempt since they offered a form of sports betting at the time. While both Oregon and Montana each boast land-based casinos neither has opened a sportsbook and in Delaware sports betting is available only on football and only on so-called parlay cards which require multi-team plays. The maximum bet is $100 per card.

In 2015 the American Gaming Association (AGA) released its first ever official estimate on Super Bowl wagering. They are expecting $3.8 billion to be bet illegally on the game – some 35 times more unlawful bets than lawful ones. Nearly $4 billion is wagered on sports in Nevada’s 187 sportsbooks each year so that would translate to a total illegal market for sports betting America to around $150 billion a year. How large an illegal market is that? Americans spend 50 percent more on sports gambling than they spend on beer each year.

legal super bowl betting

. The illegal betting market is 38 time larger than legal betting. source: American Gaming Association

Americans can legally bet on horse and dogs and in some states even on people at jai alai frontons. During college basketball tournament time NCAA betting pools are passed around American offices more enthusiastically than Secret Santa gifts. Clear-eyed NBA commissioner Adam Silver has come out on the record as supporting legalized betting on professional basketball to end the hypocrisy. The rational of American sports leagues against making gambling on games legal everywhere has been to preserve the integrity of the game but Silver can see the increasing fervor for sports betting. He reasons that his sport is better off in a world with regulated sports betting than the shady one where billions of unseen dollars are changing hands.

It is not like America’s sports leagues are not already complicit with gambling. The Fantasy Sports Trade Association (FSTA) claims more than 56 million Americans are playing fantasy sports, including nearly 37 million fantasy football players alone. These folks are playing for money and the leagues themselves sponsor forms of fantasy play. In major league baseball, for instance, MLB runs a Beat The Streak contest where players select one player each day and if that player gets a hit the “streak” for prizes stays alive to pick a new player the next day.

One of the fastest growing segments of the fantasy world is daily fantasy games where players compete not for an entire season but form teams on a daily basis in a competition for money. These games are advertised openly and freely and any American can play. The estimate of the fantasy sports market alone is $5 billion annually.

America is, as Commissioner Silver attests, moving inexorably towards legalized single game betting. Until that day arrives, however, United States residents can indulge their passion for sports betting at online sportsbooks. But only a few welcome American customers. The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 did not outlaw betting online but it did make it illegal for banks to handle online casino transactions. That has proven enough of a deterrent to keep all but a few sportsbooks accepting US bets – such as TopBet, Bovada, Five Dimes, BetOnline and a few others.

So it is possible to place a sporting bet in the USA and it is legal. It is just not convenient for many players. The illegal sports betting market still dwarfs the legal one and is growing fatter every year. Change is on the way.

Palestine’s First Professional Basketball Player Wants to Join the NBA

Sani Sakakini, the first professional basketball player from Palestine, wants to become an NBA player. His aim is to become the first Palestinian basketball player to play in the NBA.

Sani Sakakini wants to be in the NBA

Sani Sakakini wants to be in the NBA – real bad.

According to a report in the Guardian, Sakakini played three full seasons in China, and this helped him raise the funds he required to travel to the United States. The Guardian says that his motives are far from selfish. Hailing from Ramallah’s West Bank City, he could have become the citizen of some other country in exchange for a fruitful basketball career. However, he decided to stay in Palestine, in his four-storied family home. He has retained his Palestinian citizenship just to encourage fellow citizens that it is possible for them to pursue their dreams from the land of their birth.

He has played a very active role in building Palestinian basketball teams by urging for change and innovation and recruiting new players. As a result, Palestine’s basketball team has improved a great deal during the last three years. Previously, teams from Middle Eastern countries could easily defeat the Palestinian team, but now it is no longer easy for them to do so. In fact, Palestine’s team has qualified for the Asian Championship, which is scheduled to be played the following month, for the first time in their history.

Jerry Steele, who coaches Palestine’s basketball coach, said: “He hasn’t run off and left his people. He’s been trying to help the people of Palestine and teach them the game. He’s trying to change a culture.”

How Terry’s Successful NBA Career Began

Jason Eugene Terry, widely known as JET, is a favorite among fans, not just for his fun-loving personality and charming smile, but also his three-point shooting. Arizona admired him for his unselfishness, especially when he assumed the role of sixth man during the initial three years of his NBA career, which helped him play a major role in the NCAA 1997 title.

Celtics JET

Jason Eugene Terry (The JET) was with the Boston Celtics 2012-2013.

JET left the Wildcats 16 years back, but is still an NBA player. He began at point guard for an NBA team that reached the finals of the Western Conference.

As native of Seattle in 1994, Terry began playing for the Wildcats. A basketball magazine called “Future Stars” placed him in the 11th rank in the list of US point guard prospects. When the Wildcats won the NCAA tournament title in 1997, Terry contributed some good defense and large shots although he averaged just 7.7 points/game.

As a senior Wildcats player, however, he had to face the tough task of leading a team of inexperienced freshmen such as Michael Wright, Ruben Douglas, and others, but he said that he “just welcomed the pressure.”

Terry finally emerged from the background to achieve 5.5 assists, 2.8 steals, and 21.9 points per game. He won the Pac-10 player of the year and National Player of the Year awards, besides breaking the single season and career steals records, which he continues to hold to date.

Having enjoyed a successful career, Terry says he will play a few more seasons before becoming a professional or collegiate coach.

Chicago Bears Drop Ray McDonald for Involvement in Domestic Violence Case

Ray McDonald

What a dumbass.

The police have arrested Ray McDonald, the defensive end of the Chicago Bears, for assaulting a woman holding a baby in Northern California. It is not yet known if the woman or her baby sustained any injuries. The Chicago Bears and Tom Condon, McDonald’s agent, refused to comment initially.

Later, the Chicago Bears released the player for alleged involvement in a domestic violence case. They released a brief press note, in which they stated that they were severing ties with the player for allegedly assaulting a woman and causing danger to the life of a baby.

Ryan Pace, the general manager of the Bears, said: “We believe in second chances, but when we signed Ray we were very clear what our expectations were if he was to remain a Bear. He was not able to meet the standard and the decision was made to release him.”

It may be recalled that the 49ers released the 30-year-old player in December when he became the prime accused in a sexual assault case. In August 2014, McDonald was arrested for domestic violence, but continued playing with the 49ers. In 2010, he was arrested for alleged drunk driving and also for sexual assault and domestic violence.

The Bears had taken a risk while signing a contract with McDonald, who was widely considered to be among the top 3-4 defensive ends in football although he did not have any Pro Bowls. During the last four seasons, he achieved 14 1/2 sacks and 112 tackles. His contract with the Bears was worth $1.5 million.

Pepsi Becomes NBA’s Exclusive Sponsor

Looks like we will see a lot of Pepsi ads during next years Memphis Grizzlies games. Pepsi announced that it has a marketing agreement with the National Basketball Association (NBA), according to the terms of which it would replace Coke as the NBA’s exclusive sponsor for food and beverage. Coke had been the NBA’s sponsor for the past 28 years.

The partnership, which will last for several years, will give Pepsi the right to promote brands such as Doritos, Brisk, Aquafina, Mountain Dew, and Ruffles at NBA events and games. Pepsi’s relationship with the league is not new as it had owned Gatorade, the longest-standing partner of the NBA.

Pepsi joins the NBAPepsi has signed sponsorship deals with all the major sports leagues across the US, including the Major League Baseball (MLB), the National Football League (NFL), and the National Hockey League (NFL). Its latest deal puts it head and shoulders above Coke, it major rival.

Indra Nooyi, the CEO for Pepsi, says that the deal is “a slam dunk for the league and for our company.”

Pepsi also announced Mountain Dew as the leading brand in the marketing deal, across Canada and the US. Pepsi also plans to partner with Tingyi, a Chinese company that produces a beverage called Master Kong, a leading brand for the league in China.

Coke has announced its intention not to renew its marketing contract with the NBA for the next season. Instead, it plans to promote its products through ongoing deals with NBA players such as LeBron James.

Coke also said that it will be the Major League Soccer’s (MLS) exclusive sponsor in the US.

Federal Judge Approves NFL Concussion Settlement

A federal court recently approved the settlement of a case filed by over 5,000 former NFL players, who accused the league of not making them aware of concussion dangers.

According to the settlement, the league has to pay $5 million to former players who suffer from serious neurological issues. In addition, the league has to invest $10 million to enhance awareness of concussion. All former NFL players will be medically monitored to find out if they qualify to receive a payment.

nfl concussionsIn August 2013, Judge Anita B. Brody asked both parties to revise their settlement with the intention of removing the cap imposed on damages that can be paid for neurological conditions and on the amount that needs to be spent for medical monitoring. The NFL urged that all its former players, and not just the 5,000 who had sued it, should be covered to prevent future lawsuits. But 200 players decided not to receive any settlement because they wanted to continue their legal battle against the league.

Payments can be made only after exhausting all the appeals, and if there are no more appeals, former players can start filing claims at the earliest. As Kevin Turner, a former running back who is suffering from Lou Gehrig’s disorder, says, time of great importance and many retired players just do not have a lot of time left. He said: “I hope this settlement is implemented without delay so that we can finally start helping those in need.”

The settlement, however, still has a number of critics.

Former NFL Player Will Allen Runs a Ponzi Scheme?

A former NFL player has been charged for organizing a Ponzi scheme worth $31 million. He stands accused of cheating over 40 people who invested funds into this scheme from 2012 to early 2015.

According to a report by Aruna Viswanatha in The Wall Street Journal, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has charged Will Allen, ex NFL cornerback, of running a multi-million dollar Ponzi scheme. The New York Giants had picked the 36-year-old former NFL player in the 2001 NFL draft from Syracuse.

Will Allen as a Miami DolphinAllen is now accused of collaborating with Susan Daub to create a number of companies that supplied loans to professional athletes. The duo offered an interest of up to 18% on funds invested by investors to provide loans to athletes. SEC Head Paul Levenson says: “As in any Ponzi scheme, the appearance of a successful investment was only an illusion sustained by lies.”

According to a report in The Associated Press, Allen gave away loans worth $18 million and used $7 million on himself.

Viswanatha reports that Capital Financial Partners, one of the companies launched by Daub and Allen, loaned $3.4 million to an athlete. However, they informed investors that they had loaned him $5.65 million.

The complaint against the duo accuses them of using “money from some investors to pay other investors, while … funneling millions of dollars of investor money to themselves – the hallmarks of a Ponzi scheme.”

Allen’s NFL career lasted 11 years, during which he played with the Miami Dolphins, the New York Giants, and the New England Patriots.

NBA Player Anthony Mason Passes Away

NBA player Anthony Mason died at the age of 48. His death has been confirmed by Jonathan Supranowitz, the spokesman for the New York Knicks although the New York Daily News reported it on Saturday. Early in February, Mason had a heart attack.

His family has issued a press statement thanking everybody “for their heartfelt thoughts and strong prayers.” The statement says: “Anthony felt each and every one. He fought like a warrior to the very end. Please keep your prayers and thoughts with us through this very hard time—it is a great loss for us. We ask for our privacy during this time.”

Along with Charles Oakley, Mason was a tough player. He was not only the winner of the Sixth Man Award, but also the member of an All-Star team. Mason has averaged 8.3 rebounds and 10.9 points in the course of his career. He played with New York between the years 1991 and 1996 and with the Hornets till 2000.

Adam Silver, the commissioner of the NBA, says that he “exemplified perseverance for all players fighting for their chance in the NBA,” whose players and fans “admired his tenacity on defense and playmaking on offense.”

He was overseas for a short time before playing around 21 games for the Nets of New Jersey and the Nuggets of Denver before joining Riley’s team in 1991. He proved to be a formidable force, helping them reach the NBA finals of 1994 and playing against tough teams of the Eastern Conference, such as the Bulls.

Blood Clots in Lung Force Bosh to Stop Playing

Chris Bosh, the all-star forward, will not be able to play this season. The Miami Heat has announced that one of Bosh’s lungs has blood clots in it. If not detected in time, he would have died as he had been complaining of pain for many days.

Dwayne Wade, the guard of the Miami Heat, said: “He was able to get in front of it early. That’s the good thing that helps all of us sleep at night.” Currently Bosh is in hospital, taking treatment from the team’s doctors. According to the Heat, “his prognosis is good.”

Erik Spoelstra, the head coach of the Miami Heat, said that Bosh is now recovering fast. He visited Bosh in hospital with Wade recently.

Chris Bosh NBA

The absence of Bosh is the worst thing that could have happened to the Heat, which is currently hanging on to the seventh rank in the Eastern Conference playoffs. Spoelstra says that it is too early to talk about when Bosh can play again. He says that “the most important thing is he’ll be healthy again.”

Bosh, along with LeBron James, joined the Miami Heat in 2010. He averaged 7 rebounds and 21.1 points for the team this season. Bosh, James, and Wade played together for four seasons, the most glorious for the Heat. Last summer, James quit the Heat to join Cleveland.

This year has been very tough for the Heat, fraught with illness and injuries. Spoelstra said: “What you’re seeing now is a group that’s becoming more resilient every single day because of all these adversities.”