|Brad Stevens pays visit to former Butler player battling cancer||02.12.14 at 1:56 pm ET|
Andrew Smith, who was on the teams that made back-to-back appearances in the NCAA championship game and graduated last year, was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma while playing professionally in Lithuania, according to the Indianapolis Star. He returned to his Indiana home to begin treatment.
‘ Samantha Smith (@Samantha44Smith) February 11, 2014
|Celtics No. 4 in Forbes ranking of most valuable NBA franchises||01.22.14 at 1:59 pm ET|
According to Forbes’ numbers, the C’s had $169 million in revenue over the past year, with $47 million in operating profit.
The Knicks, worth $1.4 billion, are ranked No. 1 for the second straight year. They earned a league-record profit of $96 million, a 27 percent jump from last year, as the three-year, $1 billion renovation of Madison Square Garden starts to pay off.
The Lakers rank second at $1.35 billion, earning $66 million last year, a 35 percent increase. The Bulls, who have led the league in attendance for four straight seasons, are third at $1 billion, up 25 percent.
The Nets, who moved from New Jersey to Brooklyn, jumped from 14th two years ago ($357 million) to fifth ($780 million).
The rest of the top 10 consists of the Rockets ($775 million), Heat ($770 million), Mavericks ($765 million), Warriors ($750 million) and Spurs ($660 million).
The average franchise value is $634 million, up a whopping 25 percent from last year after profits averaged $23.7 million.
As for individual players, Forbes figures that Kobe Bryant earned $64.5 million in salary and endorsements to lead the way. LeBron James is next at $61 million, followed by Derrick Rose ($38.6 million, Kevin Durant ($31.8 million) and Dwyane Wade ($30.7 million). Rounding out the top 10 are Carmelo Anthony ($30.4 million), Amar’e Stoudemire ($28.2 million), Dwight Howard ($26.5 million), Dirk Nowitzki ($23.2 million) and Chris Paul ($22.7 million).
|Celtics add D-League guard Vander Blue||01.22.14 at 8:00 am ET|
Blue received congratulations on his Twitter account and wrote: “God is amazing! I’m speechless right now … all it took was patience.”
The 6-foot-5 shooting guard has been playing for the Delaware 87ers, a D-League affiliate of the 76ers. In four games, he’s averaging 19.0 points, 4.8 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 30.5 minutes.
Blue, a former Marquette star who went undrafted last June, was a late cut of the 76ers in training camp. He then signed to play in Israel but returned after just seven games there with Maccabi Rishon Le Zion.
While Rajon Rondo returned to the Celtics last week, he is on a minutes restriction. Avery Bradley left Tuesday’s loss to the Heat with a sprained right ankle. The only other true guard on the active roster is Phil Pressey.
Chris Johnson, a swingman signed to a 10-day contract on Friday, was pressed into duty Tuesday and played well in 24 minutes.
|Danny Ainge confirms Rajon Rondo’s return set for Friday||01.16.14 at 11:21 am ET|
“Unless there are any setbacks [Thursday], we’re anticipating him playing [Friday],” Ainge said in an interview with Boston radio station WBZ-FM, noting that the guard will be restricted to five minutes per quarter.
Rondo was placed on the active roster and in uniform for Wednesday’s win over the Raptors, but he did not enter the game.
Rondo has been out since tearing his ACL last January and having surgery.
|Report: Celtics close to dealing Jordan Crawford||01.15.14 at 11:07 am ET|
Jordan Crawford, who has had somewhat of a career resurgence with the Celtics this season after being moved to point guard, might soon have to make a fresh start. According to a tweet from veteran NBA reporter Peter Vescey, the Celtics are close to moving Crawford, with the Nets, Clippers, Sun, Rockets and Warriors showing interest. (The league told the Celtics they can’t deal directly with the Clippers for one year following the Doc Rivers deal, but there is speculation that they might be able to work around it, perhaps with the inclusion of a third team.)
With Rajon Rondo expected back for Friday’s game against the Lakers, Crawford became obvious trade bait.
Crawford, 25, is averaging 13.7 points and 5.7 assists per game.
Benched by the Wizards midway through the 2012-13 season and then acquired by the Celtics, Crawford got an opportunity to start under new coach Brad Stevens this season, following the offseason roster overhaul and with the absence of Rondo.
Crawford turned some heads with his early season play, and he peaked in early December, when he averaged 23.3 points and 6.7 assists in a 3-0 week that earned him Eastern Conference Player of the Week honors. However, his shooting percentages have substantially declined and his turnovers have increased since that time.
|Knicks reportedly holding out hope to acquire Rajon Rondo||12.26.13 at 9:25 am ET|
Reports emerged earlier this season that the Knicks were interested in injured Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo, with Knicks star Carmelo Anthony allegedly trying to talk Rondo into making the move to New York when his contract with the C’s expires after next season.
Now, an ESPN report indicates the desperate Knicks are hoping to acquire Rondo even earlier. The team is said to be hoping Rondo will follow the path Anthony took out of Denver in 2011, when he forced a trade to the Knicks by refusing to sign an extension.
Of course, the Knicks still would need to have something reasonable to present to Boston. A rumor in November had New York considering offering a subpar package of Iman Shumpert, Raymond Felton and Amar’e Stoudemire. At that time, Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge insisted: “I haven’t talked to any teams about Rajon Rondo.”
Rondo recently started practicing with the Celtics as he continues to recover from a torn ACL suffered in January, but he said last week that he might not return in January, as had been speculated.
|Celtics owners invest in electric-car racing circuit||12.19.13 at 12:18 pm ET|
Celtics managing partner Wyc Grousbeck‘s Causeway Media Partners — a company formed by a group of parties with ownership stakes in the team — is investing $21 million in Formula E, a new electric-car racing circuit that is set to debut in September.
The Formula E series is scheduled to start with a race in Beijing and continue with 10 races around the world in a Fomula One-style championship.
“We aim to help make Formula E a worldwide sensation,” Grousbeck told The Associated Press. “With our upcoming races in the centers of Los Angeles and Miami, we will help showcase the power and promise of sustainable vehicle technology.”
Causeway Media Partners was formed in May to invest in sports media and entertainments properties. Formula E is its first venture.
“We know the power of competition and entertainment, and will bring our knowledge to the development of the market for electric vehicles,” Grousbeck said. “Causeway’s mission is to find investment opportunities that benefit from our deep network of NBA and NFL team owners, media executives and professional investors. Formula E is a perfect match.”
Grousbeck will serve on the board of Formula E Holdings, and he said he expects that the series will help bring technological advancements that will translate to consumer electric vehicles.
“The ultimate goal is to become a preferred channel for promoting and increasing electric vehicle sales to consumers,” Causeway Media Partners said in a release. “If this goal is achieved, the holding company that owns the sport should become highly profitable.”
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