Hubbard: Thunder still making some noise

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220px-OKC_ThunderIn Oklahoma City, the source of civic pride is never in doubt.

Trying to walk or drive through the streets without seeing a Thunder sign or flag or banner is like trying to stand in Times Square without seeing a tourist. In fact, if you didn’t know any better, you would swear the name of the place is “Thunder” city rather than “Oklahoma City.”

On Thursday night, NBA royalty even appeared at courtside to take in a Thunder game. Beyoncè visited the Thunder’s home arena and brought husband Jay-Z with her.

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Evening News: Kidd buys portion of Jay-Z’s share with Nets; Mullin joins Kings front office

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In today’s breaking news, Nets head coach Jason Kidd buys his ticket onto his organization’s ownership team.

Kidd buys portion of Nets’s Darren Rovell reports that Jason Kidd will buy a portion of Jay-Z’s ownership share with the Brooklyn Nets. Jay-Z

Though unusual, the NBA does not have a rule forbidding coaches from owning stakes in teams. Kidd, who hung up his sneakers at the beginning of the summer after 19 years of playing, is reportedly buying 1/6th of one percent ownership of the team for $500,000 dollars, per NetsDaily.

Per league rules, Jay-Z had to sell his stakes with the team after he decided to become a sports agent in April. The NBA forbids players or agents from doubling as owners and the rapper was ready to advance his career.

Jay-Z’s Roc Nation represents athletes such as Kevin Durant, Robinson Cano, and Geno Smith.

Kidd is not the first employee of a team to buy a stake in the organization’s ownership. Earlier in the summer, in fact, Timberwolves president of basketball operations Flip Saunders bought a minority share with Minnesota.

Mullin joins Kings‘ front office

According to ESPN’s Marc Stein, Chris Mullin will be joining the Sacramento Kings’ new-look front office. Chris Mullin

Kings’ owner Vivek Ranadive has close ties to Mullin from their days together in the Warriors organization. Both Ranadive and Kings GM Pete D’Alessandro have been recruiting the two-time gold medalist to work in a senior advisory role.

D’Alessandro’s first break into NBA management came when he was hired to assist Mullin, who, at the time, was Golden State’s president of basketball operations.

Ranadive was reportedly sold on the idea of hiring D’Alessandro earlier this summer after Mullin gave the GM an impressive recommendation.

“[Mullin] told me Pete’s the smartest guy out there,” Ranadive admitted.

SH Blog: Nuggets offered first-round pick for Rivers, DeAndre Jordan will be happy to play anywhere

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BOS_Rivers_DocSince when do we hear about teams offering up draft picks to acquire a head coach?

Strangely, that’s what has been happening with Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers, who has been all over the rumor mill as of late due to his tenuous situation with the team. At first, he was rumored to be a part of the deal that would send Kevin Garnett to the Los Angeles Clippers for DeAndre Jordan and other moving parts.  Then the proposed offer broke down when the Clippers played hard ball. A day later, Chris Paul intervened in hopes of strengthening the team he probably wants to stay with beyond this season. Unfortunately for him, what the two teams have done is not within the league’s rules. Ken Berger of CBSSports has details on the matter:

“Remember that one about Doc Rivers getting traded to the Clippers in a deal involving Kevin Garnett? Never mind.

The Celtics and Clippers were informed days ago that such an arrangement is not permitted under league trade rules, even if the deals were separated into two distinct transactions, a league source told on Thursday.

In a radio tour in the hours before Game 7 of the NBA Finals on Thursday, commissioner David Stern appeared on several programs and put this saga out of its misery. His strongest comments came on ESPN Radio in New York, where Stern said, “The teams are aware that the collective bargaining agreement doesn’t authorize trades involving coaches’ contracts.” The only incentives other than player contracts that are permitted in NBA trades, Stern said, are draft picks and cash. ”The teams know that,” Stern said. “It has been confirmed to them. … It can’t be gotten around by breaking it up into two transactions.”

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Tweet of the Day: Bernie Lee

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The sports industry can be very lucrative. Many people make a very good living working in professional sports, not the least of which are the agents that represent the athletes that fans often idolize.

Agents, generally, have one primary goal in representing different athletes. As Jerry Maguire once screamed on behalf of his client Rod Tidwell, “Show me the money!”

That considered, it’s no wonder why Jay-Z will most likely choose to give up his less than one-percent ownership of the Brooklyn Nets. Minority ownership just isn’t profitable enough … but sports are still where the money is at.

Earlier this year, Jay-Z announced his intention to become a sports agent and established Roc Nation Sports in conjunction with Creative Artists Agency (CAA). Roc Nation aims to be a full-service sports management company.

The caveat, however, is that founding partner Jay-Z, is not certified as a sports agent — yet.

NBPA certified sports agent Bernie Lee was making light of Jay-Z — whose real name is Shawn Carter — and his public persona. While he is still working to obtain various certifications, his company already has a slew of athletes that it represents.

NFL agents were unhappy with him after New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz announce in April that he would be switching to CAA for management services after being recruited by his friend, Carter.

This circumstance may be a bit unfair, as Carter can easily recruit talent using his popular image as a platinum hip hop artist.

He currently is awaiting a decision from the MLBPA regarding his application for certification. He will most likely attempt to obtain NFLPA certification through an exception in their bylaws requiring applicants to have a post-graduate degree.

The exception allows for a minimum of seven years of sufficient negotiating experience to be accepted — upon review — in lieu of a post-graduate degree.

Whether or not he is approved for certification, Lee’s jape was at least clever.


Shawn Carter, otherwise known as Jay-Z, has now been approved to represent NBA athletes. It is not yet known how soon he’ll be able to take on clients, as he has yet to sell his stake in the Brooklyn Nets.

As reported earlier in June by Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma Thunder intends to sign with Carter and Roc Nation Sports, signaling what would be a huge boon for the newly founded agency.


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Klay ThompsonLets talk about the Golden State Warriors.

How many people, before the season began, thought that this team could make the playoffs without a healthy Andrew Bogut anchoring its defense? If the number reads more than zero, then we have some liars in our hands because lets face it: no one thought that the Warriors would be good enough in the Western Conference if they couldn’t play defense. Without Bogut’s availability, there was no reason to assume that they would suddenly be able to get stops with a core of Stephen Curry, David Lee, Klay Thompson and a couple of rookies in the starting lineup.

Yet, that’s what happened in the first half of the season. They defended and rebounded the way winning teams would. Maybe it was fluke, because as the season went on, it all reverted back to past years, as they allowed anyone and everyone to shoot freely and attack the rim at will. They limped into the All-Star break with a five-game losing streak, and lost 10-of-13 games to fall back in the standings. It was hard-pressed to find a team that played worse defense in the second half of the season than the Warriors.

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