NBA, Deng Foundation partner for UK dev’t

Luol Deng

Luol Deng

The National Basketball Association (NBA) and the Luol Deng Foundation, a non-profit organisation that uses basketball as a tool to give hope to those in Africa, the US and the UK, will again collaborate to support the DENG Camp TOP 50 led by two-time NBA All-Star Luol Deng (Miami Heat; Great Britain; born in South Sudan).

The DENG Camp TOP 50, a four-day residential basketball camp for boys ages 18 and under from across the UK, tips off today and runs through August 22 at the Crystal Palace National Sports Centre in London. The NBA will provide sports apparel and prizes for the participants, who have been selected by a panel of national and club team coaches.

The camp will focus on basketball development and teaching the values of the game, including teamwork, discipline, dedication, fitness and healthy living.

“We have always looked at doing a camp for the most talented kids in the UK, and now seems a better time than ever to do it,” said Deng. “The selected players will take part in a three-day camp to give them an idea of what the next level is like. I’m excited about the camp, and I truly believe this will have a huge impact on these players and UK basketball.”

“The NBA is thrilled to partner with the Luol Deng Foundation once again, and we are inspired by Luol’s relentless commitment to grassroots basketball development here in the UK,” said Neal Meyer, NBA Senior Director of Basketball Operations, Europe, Middle East and Africa. “Luol is an inspiration to young basketball players across Great Britain and for the second straight year the NBA will support his Foundation’s efforts to attract more youth to the sport while also teaching the values of the game.”

Deng was born in South Sudan and became a British citizen in 2006, having moved to London with his family in 1994. The 6’9’’ forward was drafted seventh overall in the 2004 NBA Draft by the Chicago Bulls. In 2006-07 he was the only Bulls player to start all 82 regular-season games. He joined the Cleveland Cavaliers in January 2014, during which time he was voted the 2013-14 winner of the J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award, presented annually to the player, coach or trainer who shows outstanding service and dedication to the community. He is currently a forward with the Miami Heat. Earlier this month in Johannesburg, South Africa, he captained Team Africa in the first NBA Africa Game, where he won co-MVP honours.


August 20, 2015 By : Category : English featured NBA 0 Comment

Shaq picks Michael Jordan over LeBron James – but ‘Dr J was best’

Shaq picks Michael Jordan over LeBron James - but 'Dr J was best'

LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers

Shaquille O’Neal weighed into basketball’s great debate on Tuesday when he backed a young Michael Jordan to beat LeBron James one-on-one — but added that both were outshone by the legendary Dr. J.

O’Neal, visiting Hong Kong to promote an energy drink, faced both Jordan and James in their prime and when asked who would win a hypothetical match-up, he didn’t hesitate.

“Mike,” said O’Neal, winner of four NBA titles with the Los Angeles Lakers (2000-2002) and the Miami Heat (2006). “I think you have to go with a young Jordan every time.”

O’Neal was addressing an issue which has captured the imagination during the NBA off-season after both James and Jordan insisted they would win if they clashed at the height of their powers.

In comments splashed by media, Jordan said he would come out on top “No question”, while James retorted to the NBC’s Today show: “I’m gonna take myself versus anybody”.

But Shaq, 43, said he’d side with Chicago Bulls star Jordan over Cleveland’s James.

“It would be an interesting game,” said O’Neal. “Young LeBron was more like (Lakers Hall of Famer) Magic Johnson. He was sort of like Magic with Jordan’s abilities. He liked to pass, and he liked to get it up.

“But Mike was Mike. He was just special, like no one else. He always did things no one else could do, and things you couldn’t compare to anyone else. So he was special, and he’d win.”

The 30-year-old James’ star continues to rise through two NBA titles with the Miami Heat (2011-12, 2012-13), four NBA MVPs, and a return to his hometown of Cleveland on a mission to lead the Cavaliers to their first title.

There has also been much debate over whether he, or the now-retired Jordan — with six NBA titles and five NBA MVPs to his name — could be labelled the greatest of all time.

But O’Neal threw another player into the mix when he said 1970s and 1980s superstar Julius Erving AKA Dr J was the best he had ever seen.

“I’ve seen young Mike and young LeBron and I must say Dr. J is still my favourite player,” said O’Neal. “A lot of people today don’t even mention his name but to me I still think he was the best. But these are questions that we’ll never know the answer to.

“It’s a bit like if I met Bruce Lee in an alleyway. Who would win? You’ll never know. Some people say well Bruce would kick Shaq’s ass. Some people say well Shaq is two times bigger than Bruce Lee. It’s a good question, a good conversation. But we’ll never know.”

August 18, 2015 By : Category : English featured NBA Tags:
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All-Star trio rescues Hawks, Curry lifts Warriors

All-Star trio rescues Hawks, Curry lifts Warriors

Jeff Teague

Atlanta Hawks key players stepped up when the team needed them most to tie their Eastern Conference Semifinal series at 2-2 on Tuesday morning, beating the Washington Wizards 106-101.

Hawks All-Star trio of Jeff Teague (26 points), Millsap (19 points, six assists and five rebounds), and Al Horford (18 points and 10 rebounds) came up big, making significant impact to give Atlanta hope for the remainder of the series.

Paul Pierce, who was Hawks villain in Game 3 after hitting a game-winner with a second left, missed a three-pointer with 9.5 seconds remaining as the Wizards tried to tie the contest at 104-104, instead Paul Millsap hit two free-throws to close the game out.

The Hawks stepped on floor on a desperation mood, leading by as many as 14 points, moved the ball incredibly well with 30 assists, prompting coach Mike Budenholzer to was his players “to find a way to do that for more of the 48 minutes.”

“To me, personally, I think this is the best we’ve played all series. Thirty assists, the way we played defense, the way we stepped up, the way we helped each other, the way we moved the basketball, the way we set screens,” Millsap said afterwards.

Bradley Beal finished with a career playoff-high 34 points for the Wizards, who saw All-Star guard John Wall siting out for a third straight game due to a broken left hand.

The Wizards visit Atlanta on Thursday mooring for Game 5 of the best-of-seven series.

In Memphis, MVP Stephen Curry has played the best game of his Western Conference Semifinals campaign, powering the Golden State Warriors when they needed him most to tie the series at 2-2.

Curry finished with a game-high 33 points as the Warriors sealed a comprehensive 101-84 victory at Memphis.

Marc Gasol did everything the Grizzlies needed him to do by scoring a team-high 19 points, grabbing 10 rebounds and dishing out six assists, but the game belonged to a desperate Golden State Warriors who led most of the contest, trailing only by two.


Warriors host Memphis in Game 5 on Thursday morning.

May 13, 2015 By : Category : English featured NBA 0 Comment

Cavaliers down Bucks, clinch division title


Cleveland superstar LeBron James drained a three-pointer with 14.9 seconds left to help the Cavaliers beat Milwaukee 104-99 on Wednesday and clinch the NBA Central Division title.

Even before completing their fourth straight victory, the Cavaliers were assured of the division title thanks to Chicago’s loss to Orlando.

They also secured the second seed behind Atlanta in the Eastern Conference playoffs.

James finished with 21 points, nine rebounds and eight assists, while Kyrie Irving led the Cavaliers with 27 points.

Kevin Love added 16 points and 11 rebounds for the Cavs, who earned their first Central Division title since 2009-2010 — before James departed his home state team for four seasons in Miami.


“It means a lot,” said James, who returned to Cleveland this season as a free agent.

“Just from the simple fact that I understand how hard it is to win in professional sports and to be able to clinch a division and put a banner in our building it means something to me and it should mean something to all of us.

“We understand we have bigger goals than this, but along with bigger goals you have accomplishments you can’t take for granted.”

Although the Hawks are already assured of the top seed in the East, they’re making a strong run into the playoffs.

Al Horford scored 24 points, including a dunk with 19 seconds left that lifted Atlanta to a 114-111 victory at the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday.

The defeat saw the Nets fall into a tie with Boston for seventh place in the Eastern Conference, with the Celtics owning the tiebreaker.

If the Nets can hang on for the eighth and final playoff spot in the East they would face the Hawks in the first round.

The Celtics inched closer to a playoff berth with a 113-103 victory over Detroit, but Miami and Indiana are just one game back in the race for the final post-season spot.

In the Western Conference, reigning NBA champions San Antonio continued their bid to grab the Southwest Division with a 110-98 victory over division leaders Houston.

Tony Parker led the Spurs with 27 points. Kawhi Leonard chipped in 20 points and Boris Diaw added 15 points and nine rebounds off the bench for San Antonio, who have won nine straight and pulled within one half-game of the Rockets and Memphis Grizzlies for the division lead.

Memphis parlayed an impressive shooting performance into a 110-74 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans.

The Grizzlies shot 51.1 percent from the floor overall. Six Memphis players scored in double figures, with Zach Randolph, Marc Gasol and Jeff Green scoring 15 apiece.

The Pelicans lost for the second time in three games and dropped into a tie for eighth in the Western Conference with idle Oklahoma City.


April 11, 2015 By : Category : English featured NBA 0 Comment

Gasol shines for Grizzlies, Celtics sink Heat

Grizzlies 101, Bulls 91

Marc Gasol

Marc Gasol

 Marc Gasol led all scorers with 23 points to spearhead the Memphis Grizzlies’ 101-91 victory over the Chicago Bulls.

Gasol’s older brother, Pau, scored 13 points and grabbed 11 rebounds for Chicago (39-26) for his NBA-leading 43rd double-double. It tied his career high set in 2010-11 with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Jeff Green added 19 points, Zach Randolph scored 16 points and Tony Allen finished with 11 points for Memphis (45-18), who have not lost in Chicago since January 1, 2012.

Hawks 130, Kings 105

The Atlanta Hawks blasted Sacramento 130-105, handing the Kings their fourth straight loss.

Atlanta (50-13) hit 12 three-pointers and had 25 assists on 30 field goals in the first half.

All five Atlanta starters scored in double figures, led by DeMarre Carroll and Kyle Korver, who each finished with 20. Jeff Teague added 18 points and 13 assists.

Rudy Gay had 23 points to lead the Kings (21-41).

Wizards 95, Hornets 69

MarcinGortat scored 20 points on nine-of-11 shooting, and the Washington Wizards rolled to a 95-69 victory over the Charlotte Hornets.

The Wizards (36-28) were dominant early and led by as many as 19 points in the first half, then pushed the margin to 26 at the end.

Wizards guard John Wall, who hit his first five shots in the first quarter, finished with 15 points and nine assists.

Celtics 100, Heat 90

Isaiah Thomas scored 25 points, and the Boston Celtics, taking advantage of the ejection of Miami centre Hassan Whiteside, defeated the Heat 100-90.

Whiteside, who finished with seven points and nine rebounds, was tossed with 2:45 left in the third quarter after he elbowed Boston’s Kelly Olynyk.

Boston (26-36) won for the third time in four games. The Celtics trail the Charlotte Hornets and Indiana Pacers by two games in the battle for the final two playoff spots in the Eastern Conference.

The Heat (28-35), who trail the Hornets and Pacers by a half-game, were led by Dwayne Wade’s game-high 34 points.

Nuggets 106, Knicks 78

Kenneth Faried scored 19 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, Wilson Chandler added 17 points and the Denver Nuggets routed the New York Knicks 106-78.

Ty Lawson scored 14 points for Denver (23-41).

Andrea Bargnani added 12 points and seven rebounds for New York (12-50).

Warriors 98, Suns 80

Stephen Curry scored 36 points and Klay Thompson added 25 as the Golden State Warriors became the second team in the NBA to 50 victories with a win over the Phoenix Suns.

Draymond Green had 11 points and 10 rebounds to help the Warriors (50-12) reach 50 victories about four hours after Atlanta (50-13) got there by routing Philadelphia.

Eric Bledsoe led the Suns with 19 points, guard Brandon Knight had 13 but suffered an ankle sprain in the first half and did not return.

Pelicans 114, Bucks 103

Anthony Davis set a new career high with 43 points as the New Orleans Pelicans held off the Milwaukee Bucks for a victory.

Davis was dominant in all phases of his game. He hit 17 of 23 shots and nine of 11 free throw attempts while grabbing eight rebounds with six assists and a pair of blocked shots.

With the win, New Orleans pulled within a half-game of Oklahoma City for the eighth and final playoff spot in the West.

Forward GiannisAntetokounmpo with a career-high 29 points for the Bucks (33-30).

Clippers 89, Timberwolves 76

J.J. Redick scored a game-high 26 points, and the Los Angeles Clippers rolled to a victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Redick hit 10 of 19 shots from the floor as the Clippers (41-23) ended a two-game losing streak. Centre DeAndre Jordan finished with 20 points and 17 rebounds.

The win kept the Clippers (41-23) a half-game ahead of the Dallas Mavericks for fifth place in the Western Conference standings.

Rookie forward Adreian Payne led Minnesota (14-48) with 16 points and 15 rebounds.


March 11, 2015 By : Category : English featured NBA 0 Comment

What next for All-Star African quartet?

Gorgui Dieng

Gorgui Dieng

What do GorguiDieng, Victor Oladipo, Giannis Atentokounmpo and Dennis Schroder have in common? One way or the other, they lifted the Africa flag high at the 2015 All-Star weekend.

Senegalese Dieng, the only African-born of the four athletes, showed again that his potential should not be judged by the Minnesota Timberwolves’ poor season.

In the BBVA Compass Rising Star Challenge, the Timberwolves centre came off the bench with convincing numbers, including 14 points, four rebounds and a block shot to help the World Select team edge out the USA 121-112.

The former Basketball Without Borders camper out of SEED Project, in Dakar, wasn’t weighed down by the fact that he was the first African-born player to take part in the first showcase event involving rookies and sophomores, but he also had fun throughout.

He run up and down the floor for 19.13 minutes, made a couple of flashy dunks, and left fans and observers thinking that he could make a significant impact for Minnesota in the remaining two months of the regular-season.

The Wolves (11-42) currently rank bottom of the Western Conference with the fewest winning percentage, but the 21st overall pick of the 2013 NBA draft is doing really well as his double-double performances continue to prove.


He had two games with 20 points and 20 rebounds, nine double-doubles and 10 games with 10 or more rebounds.

Before the All-Star break, Dieng appeared in 53 games (starting 38), averaging 9.5 points, 8.4 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.7 blocks per game.

Fans and observers are not alone watching Dieng’s evolvement though.

This is what five-time NBA champion Tim Duncan had to say about Dieng’s game during the All-Star weekend in New York:

“He’s been great. He’s really steady, very deliberate. He’s improved his midrange jump shot. He’s solid defensively. He doesn’t try to get outside of himself. I really like what I’ve seen from him.”

Victor Oladipo

In his second NBA season, the Orlando Magic guard has become a household name for a reason.

The American-born player, who introduced himself to as Nigerian – he is the son of Nigerian immigrants – sparked the USA team in the Rising Star Challenge versus the World Select team with 22 points and four assists, but they fell short.

In that game, Oladipo came up with what have become been his trademark plays throughout the season. He dunked, provided assists and entertained fans at Barclays Bank Arena in Brooklyn.

Meanwhile, Oladipo’s highly anticipated moment happened in Saturday’s Slam Dunk contest.

The 22-year-old, known for his athleticism and ferocity in attacking the rim, opened his participation with an impressive 360 dunk, which looked more like a 540 to getting the highest score of 50.

However, contest favourite Minnesota’s Zach LaVine was in the building to confirm his credentials and win this year’s edition of the Slam Dunk Contest.

Even though the Magic (17-39) have little chances of clinching one of the eight playoff places on offer in the Eastern Conference, the coming season seems bright for a man who improved his scoring averages from 13.8 to 16.6 points per game in jut one season.

Dennis Schröder

Ever wondered why Atlanta Hawks head coach Mike Budenholzer continues to trust second-year back-up guard Dennis Schröder?

The answer to that question is, watch Schröder. Compare his playing style from his rookie season, in which he was sent to the D-League, to now and you certainly will find Budenholzer’s belief in Schröder.

The Hawks, who had four players in the All-Star Game, and are currently the No 1 team in the Eastern Conference have real championship credentials and can’t be disregarded for the remaining of the regular-season.

And Schröder… Well, he has plenty reasons to cheer. He saw his playing time increase five more minutes in one season, and doubled his assists from 1.9 to 3.5 per contest.

In Friday’s Rising Star Challenge, Schröder scored 13 points, had three steals and contributed a game-high nine assists.

Here is his assessment of the game: “Everybody said we had to win because we are the world. That’s why we wanted to win the game.”

The Germany-native also replaced John Wall in the skills challenge.

Giannis Atentokounmpo

Only Oladipo, spent more playing time than Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Atentokounmpo in the Rising Star Challenge, and he came up with 12 points, 10 rebounds and five assists for the World team.

The Greek-born player with Nigerian parents tried to put his dunking abilities in focus, but he was eliminated in the first-round of the Slam Dunk Contest.

For now, Atentokounmpo has a tougher challenge of helping the Bucks (30-23) continue among the East playoff contenders.


February 20, 2015 By : Category : English featured NBA 0 Comment

LeBron dominant as Cavs beat Heat

LeBron James

LeBron James

LeBron James delivered a dominant performance against his former team on Wednesday leading Cleveland to a 113-93 NBA victory over Miami.

James finished with 18 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists as the Cavs cruised to their 14th win in 15 games despite playing without Kevin Love for most of the second half.

Love departed after he was poked in the right eye by Heat guard Mario Chalmers early in the third quarter.

Love was hit in the face as he was going up for a rebound and immediately fell to the court, holding his eye.

After several minutes he rose and headed to the locker room.

The Cavs said he had a corneal abrasion, although he was to travel with the team to Chicago for Thursday’s game against the Bulls – the last game before the NBA breaks for this weekend’s All-Star game festivities.

In Love’s absence, Timofey Mozgov stepped up, scoring 14 of his season-high 20 points in the second half.

Tristan Thompson added 17 points and nine rebounds, Kyrie Irving had 15 points and six assists and Iman Shumpert scored 13.

Chalmers scored 18 to lead the Heat, who have lost five of seven with Dwyane Wade sidelined by a hamstring strain and head into the All-Star break with a 22-30 record.

Heat coach Erik Spoelstra refused to use Miami’s numerous injuries as an excuse for their position on the edge of playoff contention, in eighth place in the Eastern Conference.

“This is a men’s only league,” Spoelstra said. “Don’t feel sorry for yourself, don’t make excuses, forge ahead. We’re in the playoffs right now. The best time of year will be when we come back and have that race to the finish.”

With the victory, the Cavaliers avenged a Christmas Day defeat in Miami, James’ first regular-season game against the Heat team he led to two NBA titles and four straight appearances in the finals.


February 13, 2015 By : Category : English featured NBA 0 Comment

Basketball in NYC for young SA baller

Luca Lunneman

Luca Lunneman

Luca Lunneman is no stranger to the basketball court. In fact the 17-year-old Pointguard from Michel Mount Waldorf School in Bryanston has been playing the sport since he was in grade three and today, he leaves for New York to represent South Africa in the Basketball Without Borders (BWB) Global Camp taking place at Baruch College.

BWB is the NBA and FIBA’s global basketball development program that uses the sport to create positive social change in the areas of education, health and wellness. Thirty nine Basketball Without Borders camps have been hosted in 22 cities in 19 countries on five continents since 2003.

The BWB Africa camp has been hosted in Johannesburg every year since 2003, with the exception of 2010 when it took place in Senegal.

As part of the camp, more than 50 players, ages 17 and under, from 20 countries travel from all corners of the continent for the four day event. Additionally, 25 elite female South African players ages 18 and under attend the BWB Girls Camp.

Lunneman got his love for basketball from his mother Dubravka, who is a basketball player herself and is the basketball head coach at her son’s school.

“I have always loved the game. My mother started teaching Basketball from a young age and later I started watching Youtube videos of the game and what was good was that our school also offered the sport as an extracurricular activity and I took it up,” he said. “I initially played positions like Power Forward until I was exposed to players from other African countries and realised that I was not that tall and changed to playing Pointguard.”

Lunneman was first selected to participate in BWB in 2013 when he was only 15 years old. He says that he was not sure what to expect from the camp that year but put up his best performance and ended up being selected to play in the camp’s All-Star game in which the top 20 BWB campers participate on the final day.

Last year, he was once again selected to take part in BWB Africa, which was hosted at the American International School in Johannesburg and emerged as the camp’s MVP.

“Last year I felt that I was much more ready for the camp as I knew exactly what to expect and once again I gave it my all. Winning the MVP award was incredible, but I felt that this time I played much better with more focus and as a pointguard, I took better control of the game,” explained Lunneman.

He further said that Patrick Mutombo (Assistant coach of the Denver Nuggets), his head coach at the camp pushed him to do his best, trusted and motivated him to perform at his peak.

“At first I was little intimidated by the fact that I was being coached by such a ‘big’ person like him, but he is an amazing person that brought out the best in me,” Lunneman said.

Looking ahead to the BWB Global Camp in New York this week, he said that it feels amazing to be part of the young campers that will be taking part in this first ever global edition of Basketball Without Borders.

“I have always wanted to go to New York and watch basketball so this is a dream come true for me. I never expected that something like this would ever happen to me but now that it has, I am extremely excited. I know that it is going to be a different level game play, but I have been putting in a lot of work and training every day,” explained Lunneman.

He also says that he has been getting a lot of support from his parents as well as his school and hopes to make them all proud at this week’s global development camp.

February 12, 2015 By : Category : English featured NBA 0 Comment

Popovich captures 1,000th win as Spurs edge Pacers

San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich (right) gives instructions to Patty Mills #8 during the game in which he earned his 1,000th career for his NBA career against the Indiana Pacers

San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich (right) gives instructions to Patty Mills #8 during the game in which he earned his 1,000th career for his NBA career against the Indiana Pacers

San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich claimed his 1,000th career NBA victory Monday when Marco Belinelli made the winning shot with 2.1 seconds remaining to beat Indiana 95-93.

The defending NBA champion Spurs rallied from 14 points down entering the fourth quarter to collect the milestone triumph for Popovich, the longest-tenured coach in North American professional sports.

“I’ve been here a long time and I’ve had good players. That’s the formula,” Popovich said after the game.

“Time, that’s the most important element. And we’ve been able to get the players. It’s a tribute to them more than it is the coaches.”

A night after missing the chance to bring Popovich the historic win at Toronto, the Spurs made it happen at the finish by outscoring the Indiana Pacers 30-14 in the final 12 minutes.


Kawhi Leonard drove inside and flipped the ball to Italian reserve forward Belinelli, who evaded a leaping defender with a shot fake, stepped inside the 3-point arc on the left side and sank the go-ahead hoop.

Indiana’s George Hill, a former Spur traded to the Pacers in exchange for Leonard, missed a 3-pointer at the final buzzer and “Pop” had his 1,000th victory.

“It was a great game,” Popovich said. “It was a playoff sort of game. Anybody could have won. We were fortunate we made a shot.”

Popovich, who has coached the Spurs to five NBA championships in 19 seasons with the club, became the ninth coach to win 1,000 NBA games and joined former Utah Jazz coach Jerry Sloan as the only men with that many wins for only a single franchise.


Popovich needed 1,462 games to reach the milestone, the third-fewest of those to win 1,000, trailing only Phil Jackson (1,423) and Pat Riley (1,434).

Popovich’s total is the most of any active coach and his win percentage is the second-best of any 1,000-win coach.

Popovich said he felt no different than after any of his first 999 victories and added with his trademark deadpan demeanor, “I don’t do too much celebrating.”

French guard Tony Parker scored a game-high 19 points to lead the Spurs, who also had 15 points, eight rebounds and five blocked shots from Tim Duncan, 12 points from Belinelli, 10 from Leonard and 12 rebounds by Danny Green.

Rodney Stuckey led the Pacers with 18 points while David West grabbed 18 rebounds for Indiana.

February 11, 2015 By : Category : English featured NBA 0 Comment

Owners of Hawks approve plan to sell team

Owners of Hawks approve plan to sell teamOwners of Hawks approve plan to sell team

Thabo Sefolosha

The owners of the Atlanta Hawks said on Thursday they have unanimously approved a plan to sell the franchise, a move triggered last year by a racism controversy.

Bruce Levenson vowed to sell his majority interest in the club last September after his email became public in which he made racist remarks that included “the black crowd scared away the whites” at Phillips Arena.

The Hawks announcement comes less than a year after the National Basketball League forced owner Donald Sterling to sell the Los Angeles Clippers because of racial comments he made.

Several groups are interested in buying the Hawks and Goldman Sachs and Inner Circle Sportswill advice the team owners on the sale of the franchise and other assets.

“The Atlanta Hawks today announced that its owners have unanimously approved a plan to sell the franchise and the Philips Arena operating rights,” the team said in a statement. “The sale will commence immediately.”

Among the interested groups, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, are former NBA star Grant Hill, former Toronto Raptors President Bryan Colangelo and billionaire businessman Sheldon Adelson.

NBA spokesman Mike Bass said the team will remain in Atlanta, regardless of buys the team.

“The Atlanta Hawks are not moving to another market,” Bass told Reuters.

An investigation that uncovered Levinson’s email began after Hawks general manager Danny Ferry made racist remarks about African-born British NBA forward Luol Deng.

During a conference call discussing the team’s free agent options, Ferry said Deng “has a little African in him” and “he’s like a guy who would have a nice store out front and sell you counterfeit stuff out of the back.”

In the wake of the controversy, Levinson said he would sell the team.


Former Microsoft official Steve Ballmer bought the Clippers last year for $2 billion after Sterling was forced to sell the team for making racist comments.

The Hawks’ price tag is expected to be appreciably lower despite a nine-year, $24 billion broadcast and digital rights package that the NBA struck last year with ESPN and TNT.

Anne Torres, a spokesperson for Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, called Thursday’s announcement to sell the team “an important milestone.”

“The mayor is confident that a well-qualified group will purchase the team and bring an end to this unfortunate chapter for the Hawks organisation,” she said.

January 9, 2015 By : Category : English featured NBA 0 Comment