Posts Tagged ‘KIA MVP’

Silver beyond angry Sterling drama is overshadowing playoffs

By Sekou Smith, NBA.com


VIDEO: NBA Commissioner Adam Silver addresses the media before the NBA Draft lottery

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — You don’t have to guess what sort of impact the ongoing Donald Sterling affair is having on NBA Commissioner Adam Silver.

It’s written all over his face.

And when asked about it during a media gathering before Tuesday night’s NBA Draft lottery, the commissioner didn’t hide his disdain for the current phase of the process, the league-initiated charges to terminate Sterling’s ownership of the Los Angeles Clippers and the impact the issue has had on the perception and operation of the league at such an important time of the season.

Moments after Silver’s opening statement, when he praised the game at all levels as part of what he called a national and global “basketball renaissance,” the topic turned immediately to Sterling.

When asked what it meant to have the Sterling dominate the conversation each and every time he’s asked a question, the commissioner did not hold back.

“It’s a great question, and hard for me to put in words sometimes,” he said, “especially coming off some of the best playoffs, certainly in my memory. It makes me think of Kevin Durant‘s MVP speech … at one point Kevin Durant says, really addressing his mother, and I’m paraphrasing, he said, ‘Mom, we weren’t supposed to be here. The deck was stacked against us.’ I get choked up a little bit thinking about it. But I think Kevin Durant as our most valuable player embodies what our league is all about. And Mr. Sterling doesn’t.

“What made this moment bigger than basketball for everyone in the league is that it did come from within. Under David Stern and the commissioners that came before him, barriers were broken. And to the people that say it’s a slippery slope or what happens to the next owner or player that does something wrong? People always say that about race issues. It’s no secret we have a league where a majority of our players are African-American and the majority of our owners are not. This is as an egalitarian an institution as there is anywhere, at least that I know of , hiring players, coaches, front office personnel and within the owners ranks.”

Silver summed up his feelings by referencing his feeling the moment he heard the taped audio of Sterling making racist and bigoted comments that created a firestorm.

“It’s beyond anger,” Sterling said. “A certain sadness, a malaise. It’s something deeper than anger. I felt it when I first met with the Clippers. … We”re not a post-racial society. But at least within the boundaries of my authority, I feel a responsibility to protect the people in this league.”

The time frame for the process to strip Sterling of his ownership of the Clippers will move forward according to the dates outlined in the charges initiated by the league Monday:

The NBA initiated a charge Monday seeking to terminate the ownership of Donald Sterling in the Los Angeles Clippers. If the NBA Board of Governors sustains the charge by a 3/4 vote, all ownership interests in the Clippers will be terminated and the team will be sold to new owners.

The NBA Constitution provides Mr. Sterling with the opportunity to respond to the charge by May 27, as well as the right to appear and make a presentation at a special meeting of the Board of Governors. This hearing, which is planned for June 3, will be presided over by NBA Board of Governors Chairman Glen Taylor, the controlling Governor of the Minnesota Timberwolves.

The charge asserts that Mr. Sterling engaged in conduct that has damaged and continues to damage the NBA and its teams. Among other things, Mr. Sterling disparaged African-Americans and “minorities”; directed a female acquaintance not to associate publicly with African-Americans or to bring African-Americans to Clippers games; and criticized African-Americans for not supporting their communities.

Mr. Sterling’s actions and positions significantly undermine the NBA’s efforts to promote diversity and inclusion; damage the NBA’s relationship with its fans; harm NBA owners, players and Clippers team personnel; and impair the NBA’s relationship with marketing and merchandising partners, as well as with government and community leaders. Mr. Sterling engaged in other misconduct as well, including issuing a false and misleading press statement about this matter.

All of these acts provide grounds for termination under several provisions of the NBA Constitution and related agreements.

All that said, Silver did indicate that “Mr. Sterling still owns the Clippers” and that the commissioner would be open to a “man-to-man” discussion about how to handle the process going forward in way that would allow Sterling to sell.

But he was resolute in his stance that the league is doing what needs to be done by removing Sterling.

“My confidence level is high,” he said. “We’re doing the right thing and I know the owners are behind me. The timing is laid out in the NBA Constitution. We’re following it to the letter, in terms of numbers of days Mr. Sterling has to respond and the date the hearing [will be] held. It’s an unprecedented proceeding. Will there be bumps in the road? Yes. But I know we’re pursuing the right course.”

James Tops Field For KIA MVP Award, Sights Set On More Hardware





HANG TIME PLAYOFF HEADQUARTERS – Miami Heat forward LeBron James joined an elite group today as he wins his third KIA Most Valuable Player Award, becoming just the eighth player in league history to win that many or more.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Michael Jordan, Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson and Moses Malone, all Hall of Famers, are the seven players to accomplish the feat before James.

Abdul-Jabbar owns six MVP trophies, Jordan and Russell five each and Chamberlain four. They are the only players with more trophies than James.

This is the third MVP trophy in the last four seasons for James, who won it as a Cleveland Cavalier in 2009 and 2010.
James beat out Thunder swingman Kevin Durant and Clippers guard Chris Paul to claim the top spot, snagging 85 of a possible 121 fist place votes and 1,074 points. Durant garnered 24 first place votes, he was the only other player to hit double digits, while Paul earned six.

For the third consecutive season, the NBA and Kia Motors America gave fans the opportunity to submit their votes by ranking their top five choices through a dedicated Web page on NBA.com. The fan vote counted as one vote and was compiled with the 120 media votes to determine the winner.

Lakers guard Kobe Bryant (two first-place votes) and Spurs point guard Tony Parker (4) rounded out the top five in the voting.

Of course, another Maurice Podoloff trophy is just one piece of hardware James is hunting this season.

He ended his acceptance speech this afternoon in Miami with these words, “I want that championship. That’s all that matters to me.”

The Heat remain on that path, facing the Indiana Pacers in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference semifinal showdown Sunday afternoon in Miami. And they’ll need another (playoff) MVP-caliber effort from James to grab that Larry O’Brien trophy.

James played at a otherwordly level during the regular season, averaging 27.1 points, 7.9 rebounds and 6.2 assists — making him only the fourth player with those totals in at least two different seasons, joining Oscar Robertson (five times), John Havlicek (twice) and Bird (twice). He shot a ridiculous 53 percent from the floor and also averaged 1.9 steals.

James ranks, in this estimation, as the league’s most accomplished player on both ends of the floor. Heat coach Erik Spoelstra calls him “1-through-5,” for his ability to guard all five positions on the defensive end.

James said this latest honor only adds fuel to the fire that was already raging in him.

“It didn’t take another MVP trophy for me to want an NBA championship,” he said. “I’d give all three (MVPs) back if I could win a championship.”