The FIBA World Cup is back today with two quarterfinal matchups.
Turkey vs. Lithuania
10:00 am CDT
U.S. vs. Slovenia
2:00 pm CDT
The U.S. faces a Slovenian team that features a back court tandem of the Dragic brothers, Goran and Zoran. Goran is of course well known to NBA fans, and is one of the funner watches in the league. His brother plays shooting guard and together they can be very tough. I really thought this game could cause a bit of a problem for the U.S., but they struggled in their later group games and somewhat against a mediocre Dominican Republic team in the first knock out round as well. They just aren't getting a ton from anyone other than the Dragics, which is going to make it tough against the U.S.
Elsewhere, I'm still trying to sort through what actually happened/is happening in Atlanta with the Hawks. It now appears to me that Danny Ferry went pretty full-on racist, and I can't see him keeping that job. Nobody here covered themselves in glory (sidebar: sports can be pretty gross). What interests me is what was going on within the culture of that front office that made Ferry's remarks acceptable, and led to the now infamous (though somewhat hard to parse) email from the owner.
It will be interesting to see what happens with the Hawks in the wake of the decision to sell by the controlling, but not majority, partner. My guess is that serious buyers will want at least a majority stake in the team if they are going to buy, and the value of the Hawks will be an interesting story. It is a franchise that has always struggled to draw fans and generate interest, even when they have had good teams.
The NBA is in the late stages of negotiating television rights deals with ESPN and TNT, which would kick in for the 2016-2017 season. It appears that the yearly take for the NBA will more than double, from just under $1B a year to over $2B a year, which will have major salary cap ramifications.
The cap has been stagnant for five years, floating just under $60M since 2007, thanks to the utter rout that was the last CBA negotiation. This year it's finally going up again, to $63M, and it is projected to rise again next year, likely to somewhere in the vicinity of $67M. With the new rights deal, the cap would see an increase of roughly $15-16M for the 2016-17 year, which would put it somewhere north of $80M.
I'll have more in the coming days analyzing what that means for the Wolves specifically, but it's a big change for the league as a whole. And given such a deal, as well as franchise sale prices recently, the next CBA negotiation is going to be very interesting. It will be tough for the owners to claim poverty in the circumstances, but I'm sure they will find a way.
One more note: the Women's U.S. National team has begun training for the World Cup, which takes place in late September and Early October in Turkey. They will have more than 20 players in camp once the WNBA Finals ends, and four Lynx are included: Seimone Augustus, Maya Moore, Lindsay Whalen, and Monica Wright. My guess is that Moore and Whalen wind up on the team. Augustus has been a big part of previous U.S. teams, but I suspect she gets squeezed out this time. We'll see.
Today in history:
1000: Battle of Svolder in the Baltic Sea. King Olaf goes down.
1493: Battle of Krbava Field; Croats are defeated by invading Ottomans
1543: An infant Mary Stuart is crowned "Queen of Scots"
1776: Congress officially renames country "United States of America"
1850: Territories of New Mexico and Utah created
1867: Luxembourg gains independence
1886: Berne convention finalized; copyright goes global
1899: Alfred Dreyfus sentenced in France
1908: Orville Wright makes first hour long airplane flight. Forgets the peanuts.
1926: NBC is formed
1939: German army reaches Warsaw
1955: Elvis Presley's first appearance on Ed Sullivan Show
1963: Alabama George Wallace served federal injunction to stop state police from barring black students at formerly all white schools.
1967: Uganda declares independence from Great Britain
1971: John Lennon releases "Imagine" album
Today's musical birthday is Otis Redding, born in 1941 (d. 1967):
Tuesday. Do this.