LeBron James Sends Akron Neighbors Cupcakes for Dealing with Media Attention

July 22nd, 2014 by Joseph Zucker No comments »
The presence of news vans, reporters and rabid fans is bound to throw even the most tight-knit community into disarray. With that in mind, LeBron James decided to send a personal apology in the form of cupcakes to his neighbors in Akron following the media uproar that his return to the Cleveland Cavaliers has caused, per Ben Chew of That NBA Lottery Pick. You can see the cupcake packages below, courtesy of David Galehouse and Mason Berle on Twitter: Let that be a lesson to any professional athletes from here on out. A few cupcakes can go a long way toward keeping the neighborhood happy.Read more NBA news on BleacherReport.com

Carmelo Anthony to Launch Venture Capital Firm M7 Tech Partners

July 22nd, 2014 by Matt Fitzgerald No comments »
Presumably using the means acquired from his massive contract extension in the NBA offseason, New York Knicks All-Star Carmelo Anthony is launching a venture capital firm. TechCrunch's Jonathan Shieber reported the news Tuesday, including a statement from Anthony regarding the firm named M7 Tech Partners: For as long as I can remember, I’ve been interested in technology. We are actively looking for ventures with strong leaders creating breakthrough products that resonate with consumers. I particularly have my eye on companies that are involved with wearable technology and connected devices. These will be huge areas for the future. This is an exotic, new adventure for Anthony and something he feels comfortable enough to back with his increased finances from a fresh five-year, $124 million contract, via Spotrac.com. Hullabalu, a children's media company, was the first investment Anthony and M7 Tech Partners co-founder Stuart Goldfarb made, according to the TechCrunch report. There is no question that Anthony is ...

The Best Fit for Each of the Top Remaining 2014 NHL Free Agents

July 22nd, 2014 by Carol Schram No comments »
Three weeks after the NHL's 2014 free-agency window opened, the flow of signings has slowed to a trickle. After handing out long-term deals with big dollar values to the most coveted prospects, teams are now bargain shopping with shorter terms and smaller cap hits. Last weekend, the New York Rangers scored good value when they signed dependable winger Lee Stempniak to a one-year, $900,000 deal. The Toronto Maple Leafs followed up on Tuesday with the announcement that they'd signed left winger David Booth to a one-year deal, reportedly worth $1.1 million, per NHL.com. At this point, there are plenty of aging veterans on the market who wouldn't mind one last kick at the can. Even if teams limit their searches to players who are 35 and under, useful players are still available, likely at reasonable prices. Prudent NHL teams have a chance to plug holes in their roster through free agency with limited risk. ...

Power Ranking Los Angeles Kings’ Top 6 Forwards for 2014-15 Season

July 22nd, 2014 by Eric McKelvie No comments »
The Los Angeles Kings will enter the 2014-15 NHL season as defending Stanley Cup champions, and there is no shortage of depth, skill and heart up front. This will give Darryl Sutter the luxury to mix-and-match players—specifically on the second and third lines. The duo of Marian Gaborik and Anze Kopitar is a lock on the top line, and Dustin Brown will likely take a spot on the wing with them. The Kings are loaded with players who offer a great mix of size and skill and have the best group of centers in the game. L.A. had four forwards top the 20-point mark in the 2013-14 playoffs and another five forwards who registered at least 10 points. With both regular-season and playoff performance given consideration, this is a look at how the Kings' top forwards rank heading into 2013-14.Begin Slideshow

Ranking the 5 Greatest Sharpshooters in Philadelphia Flyers History

July 22nd, 2014 by Dan Fremuth No comments »
The Philadelphia Flyers have had some incredible goal scorers in their 47-year history. Snipers who could bury pucks from just about anywhere. Playmakers who could turn nothing into something. And power forwards who could routinely finish in and around the front of the net. But rather than simply outline the five greatest goal scorers in team history, this breakdown will dig a bit deeper. In determining the five greatest sharpshooters in Flyers history, it's important to analyze not just how many goals players have scored through the years in Philadelphia, but the number of games it took to compile those totals. What's more, added value will be given to those players who produced impressive 40-, 50- or even 60-goal campaigns. With that, here's a look at the five greatest sharpshooters in Flyers history.  Begin Slideshow

How Will Detroit Pistons Solve Their Obvious Josh Smith Conundrum?

July 22nd, 2014 by Adam Fromal No comments »
The Detroit Pistons may well go into the 2014-15 season with the same three-man frontcourt core that they employed throughout the previous go-round, even if it didn't exactly experience much success.  Andre Drummond is still the future of the franchise. He's not going anywhere.  But the fates of Greg Monroe and Josh Smith are still up in the air, with varying degrees of up-ness. The former is a restricted free agent who has yet to sign an offer sheet and could still end up playing for the qualifying offer before becoming an unrestricted player next summer, and the latter has now been assured by Stan van Gundy that he's "likely" to remain with the team. Per Yahoo Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski:  Detroit Pistons president and coach Stan Van Gundy reached out to forward Josh Smith to tell him that reports of the franchise engaging in substantive trade talks with Sacramento centered on Smith have been inaccurate and ...

How Long Will It Take for the NBA Power Balance to Shift?

July 22nd, 2014 by Jim Cavan No comments »
Seldom has the balance of power between the NBA’s Eastern and Western Conferences been more pronounced—in top-to-bottom talent, team strength or next-generation upside—than it is now. Unless you've been living under a rock, you know which holds the hemispheric hegemony. So how long will it take, exactly, before the pendulum swings the other way? Not as long as you might think. First, some perspective: Of the nine teams to finish the 2013-14 regular season with 50 or more wins, seven of them came from the West. More jarring still, the Dallas Mavericks—who barely sneaked into the playoffs despite winning 49 games—would've finished third in the East, behind only the Miami Heat and Indiana Pacers. Making the disparity even more pronounced is the fact that, in the NBA, only 30 of a given team’s games are played outside its conference. Knowing this, it’s conceivable the Mavericks could’ve outright won the East, had the league been aligned differently. Just how ...

Donald Sterling Files Lawsuit Against Wife Shelly and NBA Citing Corporate Fraud

July 22nd, 2014 by Joseph Zucker No comments »
Another wrinkle has been added to the ongoing Donald Sterling saga, with the Los Angeles Clippers owner filing a lawsuit against his wife, Shelly, and the NBA, alleging the two of committing corporate fraud, per ESPN.com's Ramona Shelburne: Maxwell Blecher believes that any sort of ruling on this most recent suit might not come for years, via ESPN.com's Arash Markazi: This is different from the lawsuit he previously filed against the league and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver: With the many twists and turns of this story, it's becoming increasingly difficult to remain up to speed with each new development. The proposed sale of the Clippers from Shelly Sterling to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer for $2 billion feels like ages ago. Sterling and Blecher have always insisted that this would become extremely messy for both his wife and the league, and so it has. The sale of the team is tied up in the ...

How Pau Gasol and Derrick Rose Will Make Each Other Better

July 22nd, 2014 by John Wilmes No comments »
The Chicago Bulls’ 2014-15 season relies on one factor above all: the health of Derrick Rose. He’s played just 10 games over the past two years, and no one truly knows if he can put in significant time on mended knees going forward. But provided that Rose can last a full season at a level nearing his 2010-11 MVP swagger, this Bulls squad looks to be the most fearsome one for which he's played. Not least of all because of the addition of Pau Gasol. Gasol left the Los Angeles Lakers because "instinct told me to pick Chicago,” in his words. A likely part of Gasol’s impulse was the promise of playing with Rose: a lane-penetrator more dynamic than any with which he's shared the floor. Rose’s proclivity for sucking defenses into sudden rim-bound vortices should match well with Gasol’s more stationary comfort in the paint. Gasol is 34, but he's still enough ...

Grading Every NBA Team’s 2014 Free Agency Performance

July 22nd, 2014 by Alec Nathan No comments »
It took a while for the NBA's highly anticipated free-agency period to kick into high gear, but once it did, pens were put to paper at a rapid pace.  Now, with the majority of the league's most noteworthy free agents off the market, it's time to evaluate how all 30 franchises fared in their quest to add new talent.  In the following slideshow, we'll be grading each team's free-agency performance to date based on the players they added, the ones they lost and the terms of the deals that were signed.  Additionally, it's crucial to note that we're evaluating moves made only after July 1, meaning draft picks and trades made earlier in the offseason were not taken into consideration when doling out final marks.  As always, the grading scale functions on a classic A-F spectrum, with a C representing an "average" performance. There are a few "incomplete" grades interspersed, as well, where appropriate. ...