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Fergie Suffers Backlash for ‘Sexy’ National Anthem Performance

Bob Donnan-USA Today Sports,Fergie’s bluesy rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” at Sunday night’s NBA All-Star Game has triggered a stir on social media, but for all the wrong reasons. The singer’s unconventional delivery of the patriotic song—which some have compared to a burlesque routine or Marilyn Monroe’s “Happy Birthday, Mr. President”—triggered laughter and confusion at the sold-out Staples Center. Golden State All-Star Draymond Green was caught on camera open-mouthed and dumbfounded as Fergie sang, capturing the confusion among the crowd […]

Connie Hawkins, Electrifying N.B.A. Forward Banned in His Prime, Dies at 75

NYT

Here is the original: Connie Hawkins, Electrifying N.B.A. Forward Banned in His Prime, Dies at 75

Stephen Curry, on a ‘Surreal Day,’ Confronts a Presidential Snub

As a player and as a coach, Kerr has visited the White House on several occasions. And despite his well-publicized criticism of the current administration, Kerr said in June that he was open to the idea of the Warriors’ visiting the White House as something of a unifying gesture.“I think we would, in normal times, easily be able to set aside political views, and go visit and have a great time,” Kerr said Saturday. “But these are not ordinary times. Probably the most divisive times in my life, I guess, since Vietnam, when I was just a kid.”He added, “The president made it really, really difficult for us to honor that institution.”On Friday, at the team’s annual media day ahead of the start of training camp, Curry said that the Warriors had not decided as a team whether they would visit the White House and that they planned to talk about it at a meeting. But Curry said that if it were up to him, he would not go. That seemed to be the consensus among the players.Newsletter Sign UpContinue reading the main storyThank you for subscribing.An error has occurred. […]

Stephen Curry Is Set to Sign Record N.B.A. Deal With Warriors

NYT

See the original post: Stephen Curry Is Set to Sign Record N.B.A. Deal With Warriors

The NBA Has Reached a Tentative Bargaining Deal With Players

MIAMI (AP) — The NBA and its players have agreed in principle on a new collective bargaining agreement, one that still needs to be ratified by players and owners in the coming weeks. The league announced the tentative agreement Wednesday night, one day before the sides faced a deadline for opting out of the current deal. That deadline for opting out has now been extended to Jan. 13, with the NBA saying that’s “in order to give both sides enough time to review the terms of the agreement and vote to ratify.” With both sides signing off, getting players and owners to pass the deal would likely be no more than a formality. A person briefed on the terms said the deal extends for seven seasons, with an opt-out possible after six. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because neither side was releasing exact details. If the deal is ratified, the start of the season would be moved up a week, preseason games would be capped at six and there’s a hope that one of the most dreaded elements of the schedule — the four-game-in-five-day stretches — would be eliminated. Other details of the new proposed CBA include increases in values of rookie-scale contracts, minimum salaries and exceptions. The rookie deals will be proportionate to the salary cap, either rising or falling as that does. Two-way contracts will be in play for the first time in the NBA, which would figure to enhance player development. And contracts would be able to be extended for five, or in some cases, six years. Neither NBA Commissioner Adam Silver nor NBPA executive director Michele Roberts spoke publicly after the tentative deal was announced. Some players reacted quickly on social media, including Golden State’s Draymond Green — who said “one day we will get it right…. maybe.” Phoenix’s Jared Dudley said he wasn’t sure what Green meant. “I really don’t know anything about the deal,” Dudley tweeted . News broke of the tentative agreement just as Wednesday’s games were starting. In San Antonio, before the Spurs played Boston, Celtics coach Brad Stevens reacted cautiously. “I don’t have any reaction until I know things are completed,” Stevens said. “Once that is a thing and we’re made of it aware of it, I’ll talk about it. I think the NBA is in a great place. I think we’re all hopeful that something like that would happen.” Talks have gone on for weeks, and unlike those surrounding the most recent deal between the league and its players, these were mostly amicable. Most of the major issues — such as keeping the split of basketball-related income the same as it is in the existing deal — were agreed upon weeks ago. Still, some issues needed to get ironed-out, including ones related to licensing and marketing. The sides considered extending the opt-out deadline even before coming to the tentative agreement, and now only the voting remains before labor peace is ensured for up to seven more years. NBA officials and players expressed optimism throughout the process, pointing to the league’s skyrocketing revenue and salaries — thanks to a massive new television deal — and rising TV ratings. From the outset, these talks seemed much different than the unfriendly discourse that went on five years ago, when the league and its players were so far apart that the 2011-12 season wound up getting shortened from 82 games per team to 66. The players were locked out for 161 games, resulting in a shortened season and plenty of frustration. “I think they will get to a decision that’s good for everybody,” Miami guard Goran Dragic said in recent weeks. Another issue previously known to be addressed in this proposed CBA was a deal where the league would help fund programs to help retired players with education and medical expenses. ___ AP Basketball Writer Jon Krawczynski in Minneapolis and Associated Press Writer Raul Dominguez in San Antonio contributed to this report. […]

Entire Indiana Fever Team Kneels During Anthem Before Playoff Game

NYT

Read the original: Entire Indiana Fever Team Kneels During Anthem Before Playoff Game

For U.S. Basketball Players, the Olympics Are a Cruise, Ship, That Is

NYT

More here: For U.S. Basketball Players, the Olympics Are a Cruise, Ship, That Is