Trail Blazers’ Video Board Operator Tries to Troll Cavs Fan, Makes Slight Error

When the Cleveland Cavaliers were in town on Tuesday, the Portland Trail Blazers’ video board operator had a little fun with a Cavs fan in the stands.

Although everyone understands the point of the joke, there was a glaring mistake.

LeBron James took his talents to South Beach in 2010. He played for the Miami Heat for four seasons before returning to Cleveland this past summer. Had the video board said “2014″ instead of “2013,” it would’ve been the perfect zinger.

Cavaliers fans should probably expect this type of treatment at every opponent’s arena this season.

[Dave McMenamin]

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NBA Board of Governors votes against NBA draft lottery reform

TweetPer a report from Yahoo Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski, a plan to reform the NBA’s current draft lottery system has been rejected:
The NBA Draft lottery reform has been voted down at Board of Governors meeting, league sources tell Yahoo Sports. System stays. — Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) October 22, 2014
Thirteen teams voted against the reform, league sources tell Yahoo Sports. — Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) October 22, 2014
Reforming the system would have given the league’s four-worst teams an equal 12% chance at winning the lottery, 5th worst would have an 11.5% chance, 6th a 10% chance, and down. The proposed change would have potentially created a scenario where tanking grants a team no greater chance at winning the lottery than three other teams, thus in theory creating a more competitive league. 23 out of 30 votes were needed to pass the reform proposal. The current system awards the team with the league’s worst record a 25% chance of winning the top overall pick, which can pr

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Milwaukee Bucks: The future is now with Parker and Antetokounmpo on board

Milwaukee Bucks fans should not just be excited that Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jabari Parker are on the team now, but that they could stay on the team for a long time.
Milwaukee is not the most desirable city to play basketball, but Antetokounmpo and Parker have both expressed their feelings in sticking with the Bucks.
I’ll never leave the team and the city of Milwaukee till we build the team to a championship level team..
— GiannisAntetokounmpo (@G_ante34) July 17, 2014

In the world of sports today, it is common to see players of all caliber switching teams over the course of their careers. Antetokounmpo said that he will commit himself to improving the Bucks, which could certainly be a long and stressful process. This kind of commitment is not seen often in today’s sports, so having one of the Bucks’ young potential stars say this is a great thing for Bucks fans.
The Cleveland Cavaliers and the Milwaukee Bucks had the 1st and 2nd picks respectively of the 2014 NBA draft. With the injury to Joel E

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NCAA Board approves Division I autonomy proposal

Division I’s five power conferences are granted unprecedented legislative flexibility.



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NCAA board hands 5 biggest conferences more power (Yahoo Sports)

NCAA President Mark Emmert gestures while speaking at NCAA headquarters in Indianapolis, Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014. The NCAA Board of Directors overwhelmingly approved a package of historic reforms Thursday that will give the nation's five biggest conferences the ability to unilaterally change some of the basic rules governing college sports. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

The NCAA Board of Directors overwhelmingly approved a package of historic reforms Thursday that will give the nation’s five biggest conferences the ability to unilaterally change some of the basic rules governing college sports. ”I am immensely proud of the work done by the membership,” NCAA President Mark Emmert said. The five other Football Bowl Subdivision leagues would account for 18.5 percent while the second-tier Football Championship Subdivision and non-football playing schools would split up another 37.5 percent of the vote. Commissioners and school leaders from the power conferences have until Oct. 1 to create a wish list of issues they want to handle on their own.

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Milwaukee Bucks’ 2014 NBA Free-Agency Big Board: Ranking Top Targets

With the 2014 NBA free-agency period underway, the Milwaukee Bucks will seek to add more pieces to their core of young talent. And while they’re not in a position to lure the marquee names to town, some players a tier or two down could help fill out the roster.

The most notable gap for the Bucks is at shooting guard, where O.J. Mayo is the only player who naturally fits at that position.

Outside of that, the team could use depth point guard and power forward, especially if Ersan Ilyasova is traded this summer.

Earlier this week, Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports tweeted that the team would be “conservative” in its approach to free agency.

That’s not a surprise.

Still, it’s important to take a look at some possibilities.

The rankings were determined mainly by positional needs and limited to players whom the Bucks realistically might have a shot at signing—both from a salary and notoriety.

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Atlanta Hawks 2014 NBA Free-Agency Big Board: Ranking Top Targets Post-Draft

The Atlanta Hawks are in a good position to be a major player in the 2014 free-agency period, but there might not be a rush to overpay for talent.

As we saw last season, the Hawks are pretty good at finding values during this time of year. General manager Danny Ferry pulled off one of the biggest steals of recent memory by signing Paul Millsap to a two-year deal worth $19 million last year, and there’s a chance he finds a way to get a great value again.

The Hawks have already been fairly busy this offseason, trading Lou Williams and Lucas Nogueira for John Salmons, who only has $1 million guaranteed on this year’s deal. That moved helped clear up some cap space, and the Hawks filled a need on the wing with some of the savings.

Here’s Sam Amick of USA Today with Atlanta’s first signing:

Thabo Sefolosha, a 5½-year starting shooting guard for the Oklahoma City Thunder, will sign a three-year contract worth $12 million with the Atlanta Hawks, a person with knowledge of the agreement told USA TODAY Sports.

The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the contract, which cannot be signed until July 10 because of the NBA‘s free agency moratorium.

While the signing of Sefolosha might take Atlanta out of the race for some of the bigger max guys like LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony, there are still some nice talents out there for them to target.

Here’s the free-agency big board for the Atlanta Hawks for the 2014 offseason.

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Wizards 2014 NBA Free-Agency Big Board: Ranking Top Targets Post-Draft

Heading into next season, the Eastern Conference is wide open. Barring some solid signings in the coming week, the Miami Heat will take a step back with Dwyane Wade aging, it’s unlikely that the Indiana Pacers will take a step forward with the questions surrounding Lance Stephenson’s return and Chicago‘s success relies a lot on Derrick Rose‘s health with its current roster. 

That leaves the door open for the Washington Wizards to be contenders for years to come. With John Wall and Bradley Beal growing together, and the recent re-signing of Marin Gortat, the Wizards have a core in place to be a solid team for the next few years. 

That makes this free agency so much more important for the Wizards. With Gortat locked down, the Wizards still have some maneuverability. The exact terms of Gortat’s deals still haven’t been released, but if he was to get exactly $12 million this year, it leaves the Wizards about $10 million still (excluding the mid-level exemption, and assuming that they don’t re-sign any of their current free agents) to sign other players. 

With the cap set to increase this season, the Wizards aren’t in great shape, but they at least have the opportunity to make some improvements. After looking at their success last year but seeing how much the bench struggled (Washington’s bench finished second to last in points and assists per game, via, the Wizards should be looking to bring back some players from last year, but also add new assets on the bench.

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Philadelphia 76ers 2014 NBA Free-Agency Big Board: Top Targets Post-Draft

Sam Hinkie is a patient man.

On June 26, the Philadelphia 76ers general manager turned the third- and tenth-overall selections in the NBA Draft into Joel Embiid and—after a bit of transactional jujitsu—Dario Saric.

The two young men have very different skill sets, but one very consequential thing in common: It’s almost certain that neither will play in the NBA in 2014-15.

Embiid is likely to miss the season with a fractured navicular bone in his right foot while Saric is contractually obligated to play his pro ball in Croatia for at least the next two years. For the 2014-15 Sixers, help is not on the way.

This considered, it seems unlikely Philadelphia will make much noise on the market this summer.

What’s the point?

For a team so wholly committed to building through the draft—through the lottery—there isn’t much utility in adding immediately helpful players in free agency. Not yet, anyway.

For, say, the Chicago Bulls, improving by six or seven wins could mean the difference between an Eastern Conference title and another lost season. For the Sixers, it just means a lower draft pick.

So the tank is on for Philadelphia. Again.

That said, the Sixers will have to do something in free agency. There are games to be played—and lost—and a group of young men will have to be in uniform to do the playing and the losing.

Here are a few of the young men the Sixers may consider.

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Howard Beck’s Los Angeles Lakers Free Agency Big Board

The Los Angeles Lakers will look to speed up their rebuilding process by making a splash in free agency this year, hoping to make the most of Kobe Bryant‘s final seasons. Who will the Lakers look to target?

Howard Beck joins Adam Lefkoe to break down who could be lured to the Staples Center in the video above.

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