Archive for the ‘NBA’ Category

Steve Ballmer Wins Court Battle to Take Over LA Clippers

Steve Ballmer awarded ownership of L.A. Clippers new owner

Steve Ballmer set to take over as L.A. Clippers new owner

Judge Michael Levanas has found in favour of Shelley Sterling and Steve Ballmer. His judgement gives the green-light to the sale of the Los Angeles Clippers and ends months of legal wrangling. The sale constitutes the most expensive take-over in NBA history, the team being bought for a cool US $2 billion.

Previous owner, Donald Sterling, bought the club in 1981 for a mere $12.5 million. However, Sterling was forced reconsider his ownership earlier this year when the NBA imposed a life ban on the owner. The ban came in consequence to a video showing Sterling reprimanding his girlfriend for having her picture taken with small group of Negro people. The racial slur went viral and forced the NBA to act.

Once banned sterling put the team up for sale.

But the 80 year-old billionaire withdrew his support when Ballmer emerged as a clear favourite for the take-over. His reasons for doing so are somewhat obscure.

Sterling’s wife, Shelly, moved to have her husband declared mentally incapable allowing her custodianship of the team. The court found in favour of Shelley Sterling, declared Donald mentally incapable, and awarded her trusteeship of the Clippers.

Shelley then moved to sell the club to Ballmer.

Donald then applied to the courts to prevent her.

As stated above, Judge Michael Levanas found in favour of Shelley/Ballmer after a three-week trial.

New owner Steve Ballmer is overjoyed. He is a staunch, passionate fan of the game and the team. He told reporters he is living his dream by now being the owner of the LA Clippers. Ballmer has signalled his intention to support the coach, players, and staff any way he can, to help the Clippers to soon win the Championship.

Ron Artest Changes Name to The Pandas Friend

Ron Artest, Aka The Pandas Friend. Photo: bleacherreport.com

Ron Artest, Aka The Pandas Friend. Photo: bleacherreport.com

Former NBA maverick Ron Artest stunned the world in 2011 when he legally changed his name to ‘Metta World Peace’. The name apparently, hasn’t satisfied his identity issues with him deciding to change it again; this time to ‘The Pandas Friend’.

At the time of his first name change Artest told bemused reporters ‘Metta’ comes from the  Buddhist language, meaning friendship, love and kindness.

In 2014 Artest joined the Chinese basketball league, becoming a member of the Sichuan Blue Whales. The move has prompted this latest name change.

The move from a name with Tibetan undertones to one with a distinctive Chinese flavor is clearly winning him friends.

Earlier this week Artest Tweeted, “New Chinese name coming soon. You guys are going to love it!”

And the China Daily did; reporting on the demise of Metta World Peace and the rise of The Pandas Friend.

Many have taken to social media to mock The Pandas Friend for his latest ‘stunt’. The man himself takes it in stride.

Other notable, strange or outright bizarre name changes include:

Maria Sharapova attempting to change her name to Maria Sugarpova for the 2013 US Open. Unfortunately doing so would have caused travel document headaches preventing her entering the US.

Outspoken NFL wide receiver Chad Johnson assumed the name to Chad Ochocinco once he started earning the big money at the Cincinntati Bengals.

Geelong footballer star Gary Hocking incurred the ire of the AFL when, for round 12 in 1999, he changed his name to ‘Whiskas. The cat food maker paid the Geelong Cats football club $80,000 (and the Captain, Hocking, $20,000) for the stunt.

Snooker player Jimmy White became ‘Jimmy Brown’ when it was announced HP Sauce was the major sponsor of the series.

Dante Exum Likely to be Picked in Top Three of NBA Draft

Melbourne born Dante Exum is expected to be picked in the top three when the NBA draft opens this morning at 10am AEST in Brooklyn, New York.

First pick goes to the Cleveland Cavaliers who are likely to select Exum. If they do it will make Exum only the third Australian to be selected number one overall. A feat only achieved by Andrew Bogut and Kyrie Irving.

Should the Cav’s pass Exum for another player, the Milwaukee Bucks have second pick. The Bucks have a history with Exum, having invited him to training camps to test the fit of the point guard and how he might slot into their established team. The Bucks desperately need to supplement their stock of forwards. NBA experts believe they are likely to go for either Andrew Wiggins of Jabari Parker, both forwards, both U.S. college stars.

Dante Exum, moments away from NBA draft pick. Photo: www.sportal.com.au

Dante Exum, moments away from NBA draft pick. Photo: www.sportal.com.au

Should this occur, and Exum be passed over by the first two clubs, Brett Brown, the coach of the Philadelphia 76’ers and former Tiger and Sydney Kings coach, will snap him up. Brown is himself a former Australian Olympic Basketballer and has a lot in common with the Australian Institute of Sport graduate.

Exum has prepared meticulously for his entrance into the NBA . After coming through the ranks of Australian players he moved to the U.S. to work with specialist trainers. Superstar Kobe Bryant has helped the 198 cm Australian prodigy style his game for the pre-draft workouts. Different from normal season games, these workouts are played so as to catch the eye of selectors.

Exum says he is nervous, but thrilled to be so close to making his dream come true.

He (and the rest of the basketball world) has only a few more nail-biting hours to wait.