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Will Sacramento Kings Become Latest Pro Team to Skip Town?

You hear that sound of tires peeling out? Just call it the Kings’ screech. This confusing picture involving two cities and an NBA team is not likely to win any awards anytime soon. Sacramento is currently embroiled in a media feeding-frenzy the likes of which have not been seen since that schmo John Sutter started panning for gold (or at least since Gray Davis was given his second technical from the California electorate). The question is, will the team that allegedly plays basketball in Sacramento become yet another entity to make the pilgrimage out of the Capitol City or will they stick around like the folks during the Gold Rush who tried to make their living in the riverbeds during the mid-19th century (just throwing it out there that John Salmons did not swim upstream while playing for the Kings)?

The City of Anaheim is home to the happiest place on Earth (no, not the Department of Motor Vehicles). It is one of the nation’s fastest growing cities, but it does not have Sacramento’s list of nicknames, which includes “City of Trees” (please see Quincy Douby). However, the city has had a less-than-stellar reputation with respect to sports teams. A World Football League team, the Southern California Sun, came and went (perhaps the orange and magenta hues turned people off?). So did the Arena Football League. Lacrosse went bust (the team had no shot, but was owned by Jayson Williams, so go figure). Teams have been abandoning the city for years, too.

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Kobe Bryant Defends Miami Heat Crying

Lakers guard Kobe Bryant joined Max and Marcellus on 710 ESPN Radio in Los Angeles Monday and spent most of the interview fielding questions from the hosts about the Miami Heat. The Heat have been the hottest subject in the NBA since the summertime when they quickly became the most hated team in the league. Their recent lack of success — particularly late in games — has been highly enjoyable for the critics, but it’s also left the Heat searching for answers.

After losing to the Bulls Sunday, coach Erik Spoelstra said his team was so distraught the players were crying in the locker room. Naturally that story became a headline everywhere in the sports world, but Kobe Bryant had nothing negative to say about it.

“Everyone responds to adversity differently,” Kobe said. “Doesn’t make it right, doesn’t make it wrong. Everybody has their own way of dealing with things but it’s how you come of that that’s the true mark of a team.”

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Blake Griffin Is Severely Underpaid by Nike in His Shoe Deal

When Blake Griffin was drafted number one overall in the 2009 NBA Draft by the Los Angeles Clippers, he signed a reported 2-year shoe endorsement deal with Nike for $400,000/year.

To the average person, that’s nearly 10 years worth of salary or one year’s worth of free Nike products. To us fans, that seems like an incredible deal, one that we would sign in a heartbeat. But in the world of NBA mega-endorsements and multi-million dollar deals, Blake Griffin is severely underpaid. With his hype and fame skyrocketing higher and higher with each and every dunk, Blake’s value-to-cost ratio is growing.

Looking at the last few draft classes, here are a few examples of shoe endorsement deals for top flight rookies:

Player, Company, Draft year, Position, Contract

Kevin Durant/Nike – 2007, #2 pick, 7-years, $60 million
O.J. Mayo/Nike - 2008, #3 pick, $400,000 per year
Derrick Rose/Adidas – 2008, #1 pick,  $1 million per year
Michael Beasley/Adidas – 2008, #2 pick, $650,000 per year
Blake Griffin/Nike – 2009, #1 pick, $400,000 per year
Brandon Jennings/UnderArmor – 2009, #10 pick, 2-years $2 million
John Wall/Reebok – 2009, #1 pick, 5-years, $25 million

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Lakers’ Win Over Spurs Highlights San Antonio’s Weakness Inside

The San Antonio Spurs have the best record in the NBA at 51-12 and a stellar .810 winning percentage. They have a five and a half game lead over the Mavericks for the best record in the West, and they have five more wins than the Eastern Conference leading Celtics. Despite their great regular season record, few people think they’ll win the NBA title. Even checking the NBA odds indicates that the Lakers, Celtics, and cry-baby Miami Heat have better odds to win it all. The reality is Sunday’s blowout loss to the Lakers highlighted San Antonio’s biggest weakness and the reason why few people are confident they can win it all.

Two days after embarrassing the Heat, the Spurs were thrashed by the Lakers 99-83. The Lakers got up by 21 after the first quarter, and they were up by 28 at the half. They were dominating inside both offensively and defensively. Andrew Bynum grabbed 17 rebounds in only 22 minutes and had three blocks, exploiting San Antonio’s lack of size.

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Golden State Warriors Hosting First Ever Bollywood Night with Got Curry Shirts

The Golden State Warriors may be a sub-.500 team, but that hasn’t changed how engaged their fans are. Warriors fans are amongst the most hardcore in the NBA and they routinely pack the house to watch a non-playoff contending team. They’re 13th in the league in attendance, and the team has come up with an extremely creative idea to promote its March 16th game. As I learned from Golden State of Mind writer Poor Man’s Commish, the team is promoting its first ever “Bollywood Night.”

The promotion includes a free Got Curry? shirt for the first 19,000 fans in attendance, $10 off all tickets, and a variety of Indian-themed entertainment.

The pregame performance will be by Aerodance, the national anthem will be performed by Anoop Desai, and the halftime performance by Bhangra Empire. Indian food will be available at concession stands, and Bollywood dances will be performed by the dance team. No doubt this is one of the most interesting themed nights for a team I’ve seen. The question is whether or not it will work and whether the fans will enjoy. That will be curious to see.

Ron Artest Runs a Fan Over, Spills Beer Everywhere (Video)

Have you ever sat in the front row at a sporting event with a beer in hand? If you can answer yes to that question, I’d be willing to bet the thought of wearing your beer by the end of the game has crossed your mind at some point. The fear became a reality for a fan named Bob from San Antonio on Sunday, only his incident was a little worse. When a player came crashing into Bob, he ended up with a cup of coffee all over his white shirt. Check out the video of Ron Artest running over a fan, courtesy of Black Sports Online via SI Hot Clicks:

With how much people are paying for courtside seats these days, you might think the ticket comes with a personal butler.  Unfortunately for Bob, that isn’t the case.  Needless to say he’ll be on his toes for a full 48 minutes if he ever has floor seats to a basketball game again.

Chris Paul Collision Video Looked Worse than it Was

The New Orleans Hornets were wearing their Mardi Gras jerseys on Sunday against the Cavaliers but it wasn’t a party for star point guard Chris Paul. Midway through the third quarter CP3 was penetrating when he lost a handle on the ball and collided with Ramon Sessions trying to get it back. It was a nasty collision that looked awful, and it resulted in Paul getting carted off. Here’s the Chris Paul collision video:

Though Paul was carted off the court, he gave the thumbs up sign almost to indicate too big of a production was being made of his collision. Tests came back negative and Paul even flew out with his team to Chicago though he’ll miss the next game. He was diagnosed with a concussion and those can be tricky. It’s been enough to keep Sidney Crosby out for two months in Pittsburgh and enough to keep Justin Morneau out half a year for the Twins. Let’s hope Paul makes a quicker comeback than some other athletes do from concussions.

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