Posts Tagged ‘Scot Howard-Cooper’

Irving commits to staying with Cavaliers


VIDEO: GameTime discusses Kyrie Irving’s contract extension with the Cavs

The partial season with Andrew Bynum was a comedy routine. Re-firing coach Mike Brown for old time’s sake was a move that crystalized the image of a franchise tripping over itself. And Luol Deng went from a major trade acquisition to a possible free-agent loss.

But the Cavaliers have apparently avoided the biggest disaster of all: They are keeping Kyrie Irving.

When Irving announced on Twitter just after free agency opened at 12:01 a.m. ET Tuesday that he had reached an agreement on a five-year max extension at an estimated $90 million, Cleveland had its future again.

In that moment, after a meeting with team officials and coaches in Irving’s home state of New Jersey, the Cavaliers all but officially locked up a point guard who could reach All-Star levels into the next decade, moved the perception of a badly listing organization farther into the background, and had the first major strike in the league.

These are the Cavs learning what a winning streak feels like again. Jump from the eighth-best odds in the lottery to No. 1, head into the search for Brown’s replacement with the intent of landing an up-and-comer who could grow with team and land the respected David Blatt, bask in the excitement of selecting the electric Andrew Wiggins with the top draft pick last Thursday, and now this.

While nothing can become official until the league-wide moratorium on signing contracts ends July 10, Irving and owner Dan Gilbert both announced the agreement following the meeting in New Jersey.

“I’m here for the long haul Cleveland!!! and I’m ecstatic!!” Irving declared on Twitter. “Super excited and blessed to be here and apart of something special.#ClevelandKID”

“Looking forward to the next 6 years of @KyrieIrving in CLE,” Gilbert tweeted. “Just shook hands &intend to sign on the 10th.Cant be more excited about @cavs…”

While the uncertainty of how — or if — Dion Waiters fits next to Irving in the back court still needs to be addressed, ending speculation about Irving’s future is a huge victory for the Cavaliers. So much as tabling extension talks would have been perceived as Cleveland on the brink of losing its latest NBA star, not long after LeBron James bolted, and created waves of distractions in 2014-15. But that ended Tuesday in New Jersey, with the kind of speed that became a statement all its own.

NBA May Alter Start Times To Help Foreign Viewers See More Games

BEIJING – Commissioner David Stern raised the possibility the league will adjust the time some games start in an attempt to appease fans outside North America who now must either stay up late or wake up early to watch games on television.

It’s unclear at this point whether the adjustment will be for regular-season games, preseason games or both.

Speaking before the Warriors beat the Lakers 100-95 before 17,114 at MasterCard Center in the first of two preseason meetings between the teams in China, Stern said former Rockets star Yao Ming brought the idea up in hopes of making future games more accessible to international audiences. Stern gave no indication a decision was near, but was also clear that the league will have to consider what could be a radical suggestion, depending on the new times, at some point.

“I think that the NBA is going to have to wrestle over the next decade as more and more of our viewing audiences are outside the United States is what’s the best time for games to be played so that those fans can enjoy them live as opposed to having to get up in China to watch an NBA game at 7 o’clock in the morning,” Stern said. “I think that’s a fun problem that we’re going to be addressing because so much viewing is happening outside the United States now.”

Any dramatic move would obviously be met with resistance from fans in the United States and Canada, not to mention some of the teams themselves, if times of tipoff are moved much earlier than the current 7 or 7:30 p.m ET. One option that will undoubtedly be discussed is altering only weekend games, when schedules for spectators are more flexible and it is not unusual for early-evening or day starts.

Stern’s comments came as the NBA underlined the desire to continue to strengthen its relationship with China by announcing a partnership with Yao to develop and operate an after-school program called the NBA Yao School. The project is scheduled to launch in February in Beijing, with the hope that similar facilities will open in other parts of the country, including his native Shanghai.

The league has made increasing its presence in the world’s most-populous country a priority in recent years and returning to China for future exhibition games seems an automatic. There are, however, no plans to play regular-season contests anywhere in Asia, incoming commissioner Adam Silver said.

“As you know, we’ve played regular-season games in Asia in the past,” Silver said. “But one of the benefits of playing preseason games here in China is that there’s more time in the schedule for the players to be part of the community, to do charitable events, to conduct clinics and to get to see the country and to get to be more knowledgeable about the culture here. Our regular season is so tight in terms of the number of games, that while we could do it logistically it would mean a team coming in and playing and turning around and leaving right after the game. As Yao well knows, it’s a very tight schedule. So while it’s something we’re going to continue to look at, we think there’s much more benefit that comes from our partnership with the CBA (Chinese Basketball Assn.), with Yao Ming and with the Chinese people by playing preseason games here.”

The league has not staged a regular-season game in Asia since the Kings and SuperSonics opened 2003-04 in Saitama, Japan. Several countries in the region have hosted exhibitions and China has had games in four cities: Beijing, Shanghai, Macao and Guangzhou.

The 2013-14 edition opened with David Lee scoring 31 points in 12-of-16 shooting, Stephen Curry adding 24 points and Andrew Bogut 14 rebounds along with nine points to lead the Warriors to their second win in four preseason games. Nick Young had a game-high 18 points for the Lakers, who dropped to 2-3, while Chris Kaman contributed 14 points and 10 rebounds. Steve Nash started and played 18 minutes in his first game action since spraining his left ankle Friday against the Kings, making three of four attempts with eight points and four assists.

The teams play Friday in Shanghai — 7:30 p.m. ET local time, 4:30 a.m. in California – before returning to the United States for the final stretch of the preseason.