Basketball Wiretap

Tilman Fertitta-Owned Casino Allowed To Take NBA Bets

Sep 15, 2019 12:32 PM

The governor of New Jersey signed a bill allowing Atlantic City's Golden Nugget casino to take bets on NBA games not involving the Houston Rockets.

The Golden Nugget is owned by Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta.

Sports betting in New Jersey was legalized last year.

More than $3.7 billion of sports bets have been made in New Jersey since. 


Tags: Houston Rockets, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

Kobe Bryant: World Basketball Has Already Caught Up To The U.S.

Sep 15, 2019 1:01 AM

Kobe Bryant addressed Team USA's struggles in the FIBA World Cup, saying that the rest of the world has been as good as the U.S. for some time.

Team USA finished seventh, their worst showing in a major tournament since NBA players were allowed to participate in 1992.

"It's not a matter of the rest of the world catching up to the U.S., it's that the rest of the world has been caught up for quite some time. And it's to the point now where us in the U.S. are going to win some, we're going lose some. And that's just how it goes," said Bryant.

Bryant added that Team USA already had several close calls even at full strength.

"You have to remember, on the Redeem Team we needed a hell of a fourth quarter to beat Spain. That was a hell of a team we had. We still needed a real late push to beat Spain in that gold-medal match. So I say that to say, put the best players that you think are going to make the best U.S. team out on the floor, we are still going to have challenges," added Bryant.

Brian Windhorst/ESPN

Tags: NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

Michael Jordan To Sell Part of Hornets To Investors, Retains Majority Control

Sep 14, 2019 7:49 PM

Michael Jordan is set to sell a "large piece" of the Charlotte Hornets to two New York-based investors, according to Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer. 

Jordan, who currently owns 97% of the team, will retain majority ownership.

Bonnell adds that the league is expected to quickly approve of Gabe Plotkin and Daniel Sundheim as minority owners.

Forbes estimated that the Hornets were worth $1.3 billion.

Sources close to Jordan add that he plans to own the Hornets "for a long time." 

Rick Bonnell/The Charlotte Observer

Tags: Charlotte Hornets, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

NBA Agents Will Not Register For NCAA's Proposed Agent Certification Process

Sep 14, 2019 3:40 PM

NBA agents have signed onto a letter that informs the NCAA that they will not register for a proposed agent certification process, league sources told Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

The letter states that "there's no rational connection between certification process" and NCAA's ability protect players.

Agents are willing to take a bi-annual online course on protecting players' amateur eligibility.

The discussion centers around players "testing the waters" and receiving feedback for the NBA Draft.  

Adrian Wojnarowski/ESPN

Tags: NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

NBA Sends Out League-Wide Memo In Effort To Curb Tampering

Sep 14, 2019 11:57 AM

The NBA has sent out a memo to all NBA teams in an effort to curb tampering, league sources told Shams Charania of The Athletic.

The memo proposes increased fines for teams and players caught tampering. The new rules would fine teams $10 million for tampering with a player, an increase from the current $5 million fine.

Teams can also be fined up to $6 million for unauthorized agreements, with players receiving a $250,000 fine.

The potential new rule would also force NBA owners and a member of a team's basketball operations to certify that they did not break any tampering rules when signing a player to a contract.

The NBA Board of Governors will vote to pass the new rules on September 20th.

Shams Charania/The Athletic

Tags: NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

Pelicans Hire Jeff Bzdelik, Promote Chris Finch To Coach Offense

Sep 13, 2019 11:30 PM

The New Orleans Pelicans made several promotions to their coaching staff under Alvin Gentry.

The team hired Jeff Bzdelik to coach their defense, while promoting Chris Finch as associate coach of offense.

The Pelicans also promoted Joe Boylan and Michael Ruffin to assistant coach/player development positions, and also hired Jamelle McMillan as an assistant coach,


Tags: New Orleans Pelicans, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

Tilman Fertitta On Rockets' Title Chances: 'This Is Their Window'

Sep 13, 2019 2:42 AM

Tilman Fertitta addressed the Houston Rockets' all-in approach to their offseason moves, saying that the team is built to contend for a championship in the next 3-4 years. 

"I think we put ourselves in the position that if we don't win it in the next three or four years, we probably aren't going to win one in the next 10 years...This is the time. I just re-signed Eric Gordon who is 30 and I've got Russell [Westbrook] and James [Harden] and Eric and Clint Capela for the next four years. P.J. [Tucker] is 34 and our two stars are 30. So this is their window," Fertitta told Chris Haynes of Yahoo! Sports.

Fertitta added that he doesn't see a problem of meshing Harden and Westbrook's ball-dominant game next season.

"These are two guys that grew up in L.A. together and have known each other most of their lives. And they can talk to each other. You can say things to each other and the other would not get offended because you're lifelong buddies. And so I think the chemistry's going to be great this year," Fertitta added.

Fertitta also said that he sees Mike D'Antoni, who's headed into the final year of his contract with the Rockets, "coaching here for a long time."

Chris Haynes/Yahoo! Sports

Tags: Houston Rockets, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

LeBron James' 'Taco Tuesday' Trademark Denied

Sep 12, 2019 2:48 AM

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office denied Lebron James' attempt to trademark the "Taco Tuesday" term. 

"The applied-for mark is a commonplace term, message, or expression widely used by a variety of sources that merely conveys an ordinary, familiar, well-recognized concept or sentiment message," explained the USPTO.

James, who uses the term on social media, applied for the trademark through his LBJ Trademarks company.

James wanted to monetize his social media videos featuring the "Taco Tuesday" term.

A spokesman for James' company said that ruling was their intended outcome as it prevents James - or any business - from getting sued for continuing to use the term. 


Tags: LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

Rod Thorn To Join Wizards As Advisor

Sep 11, 2019 2:46 AM

Rod Thorn will join the Washington Wizards in an advisory role, league sources told Marc Stein of The New York Times.

Thorn had been working as a special consultant to the Bucks since 2015. 

Thorn was named the NBA Executive of the Year in 2002 after the Nets made the NBA Finals for the first time in franchise history. 

Marc Stein/The New York Times

Tags: Washington Wizards, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

Steve Ballmer Invests $100 Million Into Inglewood As Part Of Plan For New Arena

Sep 11, 2019 2:29 AM

Steve Ballmer made a $100 million investment in Inglewood as an early step in the development of a new arena for the Los Angeles Clippers.

The investment was negotiated alongside Inglewood city officials as part of an agreement that includes a new home for the Clippers.

$80 million of the investment will go towards affordable housing and assistance for first-time home buyers.

Ballmer's arena proposal includes a "billion-dollar-plus" of privately funded development located on over 26 acres in Inglewood. 

Ohm Youngmisuk/ESPN

Tags: Los Angeles Clippers, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

Anthony Davis Aims To Shoot 'High 30s' Percentage From 3 Next Season

Los Angeles Lakers

Dwyane Wade Plans To Work Out With LeBron James, Staying In Shape 'Just In Case'

Arash Markazi/Los Angeles Times

The Athletic Is 'The Most Likely Suitor' For Zach Lowe

Ryan Glasspiegel/The Big Lead

Adrian Wojnarowski To Have Bigger Presence In NBA Studio Coverage For ESPN

Ryan Glasspiegel/The Big Lead

Ten Members, Two Teams Inducted Into Basketball Hall Of Fame For 2019

Jimmy Golen/Associated Press

City Of Milwaukee Offers $400,000 Settlement To Sterling Brown


Jared Cunningham To Workout For Rockets

Marc J. Spears/ESPN

LeBron James Files Trademark For 'Taco Tuesday' Term


Warriors, Rockets Are Most Popular Teams In China According To Study

Kurt Helin/Pro Basketball Talk

Clippers Unveil Throwback Buffalo Braves Jersey For 2019-20 Season

Los Angeles Clippers

RJ Barrett: Winning Rookie Of The Year Is 'Definitely Important'

Stefan Bondy/New York Daily News

Hasheem Thabeet Taking Part In 'Informal Scrimmages' With Knicks

Ian Begley/

Spencer Hawes To Have Workout For Sixers On Thursday

Adrian Wojnarowski/ESPN

A.J. English To Attend Sixers Free Agent Mini-Camp

Nicola Lupo/Sportando

Blazers To Wear Throwback Uniforms From 1976-77 Season


James Harden 'Not Sure' If He'll Unleash One-Legged, Step-Back 3 This Season

Tim MacMahon/ESPN

Dan Gilbert Recovering From Stroke In Detroit


Shai Gilgeous-Alexander: I Am Not Russell Westbrook


James Harden: Media Narrative Impacted MVP Chances

Stephen A. Smith May Join NBA Studio Coverage For ESPN Next Season
Stephen A. Smith may appear during Wednesday night doubleheaders.

Bobby Burack and Ryan Glasspiegel/The Big Lead