What kind of a broadcaster would Stan Van Gundy have been?

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By now you have probably heard that Stan Van Gundy will NOT be joining ESPN as a studio analyst, and Stan is NOT happy about the lack of an explanation.

Now, the news is out about who will fill the chair that would have been Stan’s.

From Jason McIntyre of The Big Lead.com: “Jalen Rose, whose star continues to rise at ESPN, has just been selected as the 4th member of ESPN’s “NBA Countdown,” sources tell me. The deal, which came together over the weekend, will pair Rose with Bill Simmons, Magic Johnson and Michael Wilbon, as ESPN makes a run at TNT’s “Inside the NBA.” The two shows don’t go head-to-head, but “Inside the NBA” is far more popular among fans.

Whatever the reason for the lack of an agreement between ESPN and Stan, it is a pity for basketball fans than the elder Van Gundy brother will not be providing his insight.

What kind of a broadcaster would Stan have been?

Before his deal broke off, Van Gundy answered that question for me in an interview recorded for the soon-to-debut SheridanHoopsRadio:

SVG: “First of all, I haven’t finalized anything yet, but we’re moving in that direction. I don’t know. It’s a whole new dynamic for me, so I don’t think there’s any way to know if I’ll be any good or anything else at that. Until you do it, you just don’t have any idea. I’m looking forward to trying something new. I’m looking forward to trying to get better. I’ll always certainly try to be honest, but whether I’ll be any good, I don’t have any idea.”
“I wasn’t maybe David Stern’s favorite coach in the league. David likes to control everybody and I would say some things he didn’t like. I’m not looking to be outrageous or say things. I get asked questions, and unfortunately, sometimes, I’ll just say the first thing that pops into my head without really editing myself, and that’s gotten me into trouble at times.”

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Stern abandoning idea of European Division


The NBA will not be expanding to Europe anytime soon … if ever.

After years and years of promoting and researching the idea, commissioner David Stern has come to the conclusion that it would be unrealistic to expand with a European Division that would have placed teams in London, Spain, Italy, Germany and France.

The reasons:

_ Not enough NBA-style arenas.

_ Too much financial uncertainty related to the Euro.

_ Not enough fan support … especially among customers willing to pay the prices that Americans pay to attend games.

“It’s safe to say that there aren’t enough buildings, there aren’t adequate TV arrangements, we don’t have owners, and I’m not sure we could charge the prices that would be necessary. I don’t think our fans are that avid yet,” Stern told reporters in Milan, Italy, according to a report by Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe.

“I don’t think having a single team in Europe is practical,” Stern said before watching the Celtics take on Emporio Armani Milano. “I never have. What I’ve said is if we’re going to have an NBA presence here in terms of the league, it should be five teams.”

European fans are accustomed to paying top dollar Euro for soccer matches, but basketball prices are at a much lower level. According to colleague and friend Antonis Kalkavouras of MEGA-TV in Athens, the prices of  tickets in Olympiacos Arena (home of the defending Euroleague champions) range from 10 Euros (about $13) to 110 Euros ($142) for courtside seats. About 60 percent of the tickets cost 20 Euros, and 20 percent of the tickets cost just 10 Euros.

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Tweet of the Night: Enes Kanter

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The young Turk is quickly becoming a favorite of ours in this here piece of real estate, partly because his questionable use of tact. For instance, when Kanter wanted company/companionship for dinner, he told his followers where he was eating and asked for a random female to join him — but blondes only. (He later requested brunettes only — for a post-meal massage.)

When he took part in the Jazz dance-off at an open practice, he tweeted the video of his, ahem, disco skills.

Last night, after putting up 16 points and 16 rebounds in a victory over the Lakers, Kanter was ready to rock-and-roll. He sent this tweet announcing his coming out party, however, it sounded vaguely like a warning to the women of L.A. — take cover.

We eagerly await Mr. Kanter’s next tweet, hopefully with a picture of his latest, ahem, trophy.

But as we can tell from one of his earlier tweets, Enes can handle more than one woman at once:

Tweet of the Night: Dwyane Wade

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There is news out there from my buddy and old cohort Marc Stein that Dwyane Wade’s deal with Li-Ning will pay him $10 million annually for 10 years, plus significant equity in the company.  That is some serious cheddar.

In case you missed it, we filed a story two days ago about Wade’s deal, noting that Li-Ning does not sell its products in U.S. retail stores … at least not yet.

Wade is currently in China now, where many of his teammates are doing sneaker deals with Peak.

He gets Tweet of the Night for sending out this badass photo:

D-Wade’s new Li Ning shoes to be available at a store near Yu


Dwyane Wade will wear these new Li-Ning sneakers Thursday night in Beijing.

No, not at a store near You.

Near Yu, which is a county in Shanxi Province in China. Not the easiest place to get to, either, unless you are traveling from Pingding.

But that is only going to be a temporary problem, as Li-Ning announced Wednesday that it expects to have Dwayne Wade’s new signature line of sneakers available in U.S. retail outlets in the first quarter of 2013, with a retail price in the neighborhood of $120-$130.

If you can’t wait that long, they are available online from li-ning.com.

The kicks pictures to your left are the new Li-Nings that Dwyane Wade will wear in China this week as the Miami Heat play the Los Angeles Clippers in a pair of exhibition games.

Wade becomes the highest-profile American athlete to sign with the Chinese manufacturer, leaving the Nike umbrella where he represented Converse and then Jordan Brand.

How disadvantageous is it for the shoes to be available online only in the first few weeks after they go on sale?

The “home” version of Dwyane Wade’s new Li-Ning sneakers.

“We are moving into a direction where e-commerce is certainly a strong and viable platform to sell products, especially with an athlete like Dwyane who is so engaged digitally and socially with his own network and the ability to mobilize his followers, I’m certain we can drive then to a place,” said Li Ning executive Brian Cupps as Li Ning officially unveiled its newest product.

“But at the same time, having been a guy who grew up loving sneakers and buying sneakers, there’s very much an element that a lot of kids and a lot of consumers still want and need — and that is touching the products. The typical ritual of going in and trying on the shoes and taking them home that day — that instant gratification. And that’s not lost on me and that’s not lost on us as a brand, or on Dwyane. So we need to balance a new platform in e-commerce with the tried-and-true platform, which is retail, where people walk out of the store wearing the shoes and become evangelicals for the product.”

The announcement in Beijing was about more than sneakers.

The sides are actually collaborating on a footwear and apparel brand called WADE, which will serve as the centerpiece of the corporation’s growing international basketball strategy, and be shaped by an unprecedented level of creative and strategic direction from the two-time NBA Champion. Elements will include a signature line of adult apparel and footwear.

The partnership will seek to connect Wade’s renowned methods of style, training, and personal growth with Li-Ning’s values of dream, inspiration and enterprise.  It will draw upon the similar business and athletic philosophies upheld by Wade and Mr. Li Ning, a three-time Olympic Gold Medalist in Gymnastics in 1984, and the final torchbearer who lit the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games cauldron in one of the most memorable moments ever during an Olympic Opening Ceremony.

“I am so proud to welcome Dwyane Wade to the Li-Ning family,” said Li Ning, the company founder. “Dwyane is a superstar for his athletic achievements, and also for the way he carries himself on and off the NBA court.  I have come to understand what motivates him, what he cares about, and the personal and professional path he wants to take in the coming years.  There are remarkable similarities between Dwyane and myself in this regard, and I could not be more excited about developing a brand with him that speaks to those shared views. At the same time, the WADE brand will deliver the high quality and performance characteristics consumers have come to expect of our company.”


For more on the launch, including video, click over to Li-Ning’s Web site.