Archive for the ‘basketball’ Category


The Justice Department unsealed indictments Tuesday morning charging basketball coaches at four Division I schools with accepting bribes to steer athletes toward the professional services of several business managers, financial advisers, and representatives of a major international sportswear company.The assistant coaches named in the indictments are Lamont Evans of Oklahoma State, Chuck Person of Auburn, Emanuel Richardson of Arizona and Tony Bland of Southern California. The coaches are charged with accepting bribes in exchange for steering athletes toward using the services of business executives including Jim Gatto, a marketing director at Adidas and Munish Sood, chief executive of financial advisory company Princeton Capital.

A news conference is scheduled for noon in New York City.

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​The complaint alleges that Jim Gatto, the head of sports marketing at Adidas, paid recruits to sign with Adidas-sponsored schools and then sign with Adidas once they turned professional. He was assisted in this scheme by Merl Code, another Adidas employee, according to the complaint. The payments were brokered by three men: Christian Dawkins, a business manager; Munish Sood, a financial adviser; and Jonathan Brand Augustine, who runs an Adidas-sponsored AAU basketball team. The payments were made with the promise that the players sign agreements with Dawkins and Sood once they turned professional.

The men agreed to pay $100,000 to the family of one recruit and $150,000 to the family of another recruit, the complaint alleges. The schools were not named, though one was described as “a public research university located in Kentucky” with approximately 22,640 students. The other school was described as “a private research university located in Florida” with approximately 16,000 students.

The alleged conspirators are accused in the indictment of paying one recruit, described as an all-American, $100,000 to attend the university in Kentucky, with the payments designed to be concealed from both the school and the NCAA. The scheme was set in motion in May, after the player announced that he was looking at other schools. In June, after the alleged bribery scheme kicked in, the player announced his intention to attend the school in Kentucky, a decision that was regarded as a surprise. The payments were made at the request of “at least one coach” on that school’s staff, according to the charging documents. Via tapped cellphone conversations heard by the FBI, the defendants also are accused of money laundering in an attempt to cover up the source of the payments.

The charging documents also allege that the defendants and an unnamed assistant coach from the Kentucky school devised a plan to pay another recruit, this one from the high school class of 2019, at a meeting in a Las Vegas hotel room that was surreptitiously videotaped by the FBI. The assistant coach from the Kentucky school was recorded as saying the scheme would have to be “low key” because the program already was on NCAA probation. The coach also was recorded giving Augustine, the AAU official, an envelope containing $12,700 in cash, which Dawkins said “will take care of July, of August.” The scheme was patterned after the one used for the other recruit, according to the charging document.

In July, the alleged conspirators set forth a plan to pay $150,000 to a recruit from the class of 2018 to attend the Florida school, according to phone conversations overheard on further FBI wiretaps.

Person, the associate head coach at Auburn, is accused of accepting $91,500 from an unnamed financial adviser who was cooperating as an informant with the FBI. He was allegedly given the payments in exchange for his help in steering Auburn’s basketball players toward services provided by the FBI’s informant and a man named Rashan Michel, a former NCAA and NBA referee who owns an Atlanta clothing store that specializes in bespoke suits and counts numerous NBA and NFL athletes as clients. (Michel also was named as a defendant.)

The three men together met with a player on Auburn’s basketball team at a Manhattan hotel room on Dec. 12 — the same day the Tigers played a game at Madison Square Garden against Boston College — with the purpose of steering the player toward the informant and Michel once he turned professional, according to charging documents.

Person also attempted to convince the player’s mother to work with the financial adviser who was secretly cooperating with the FBI, stating that the adviser “would bring you guys some money” during the player’s time at Auburn and telling her, falsely, that the adviser handled both his money and that of Charles Barkley, who attended Auburn in the 1980s before a successful pro career.

The FBI also alleges that Person attempted to steer another Auburn player and his family toward another financial adviser located in Alabama, with the hope that the player would be jointly represented by that person and the FBI’s informant (thus ensuring that Person would be paid twice). The unnamed adviser declined to make payments to the player’s family, so Person attempted to work out an arrangement between the family and the FBI’s informant.

According to the charging documents, Person became involved in the scheme because he “needed money

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Dwyane Wade is “leaning heavily toward” signing with the Cavaliers once he clears waivers, Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com reports.


According to Vardon, a person in LeBron James’s circle with knowledge of Wade’s thinking said the 12-time All-Star “has no intention of going anywhere else.” ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports Wade could finalize his decision to sign with Cleveland as soon as Wednesday. 

On Sunday, Wade reached a buyout agreement with the Bulls after spending one season in Chicago. Wojnarowski reported Sunday that the Cavaliers, Spurs, Heat and Thunder were all potential destinations for Wade.

If Cleveland is where Wade decides to go, Vardon is reporting that the Cavaliers would likely try to trade one of the 15 players they currently have under contract to avoid additionally luxury tax penalties that would come with placing a player on waivers to make room for Wade. Vardon adds that the Cavaliers would also likely try to sign Wade to the veteran minimum of $2.3 million instead of the mid-level exception of $2.55 million because that would allow the Cavaliers to save millions in luxury tax payments as well. According to Wojnarowski, Wade took around $16 million of the $23.8 million he was owed by Chicago in 2017-18 in the buyout agreement.

Wade, 35, will clear waivers on Wednesday. Last season he averaged 18.3 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.8 assists in his 14th year in the league.

Carmelo Anthony’s Knicks’ career officially ended Monday.The Knicks and Thunder completed the deal that sent Anthony to Oklahoma City for Enes Kanter, Doug McDermott and a 2018 second-round pick.

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The two sides agreed on the trade Saturday.

“This is a deal we feel works for both this franchise and Carmelo,” Knicks president Steve Mills said in a statement. “We thank him for his seven seasons in a Knicks uniform and all that he accomplished off the court for the City of New York by using his platform to address social issues. We will continue to focus on this team looking forward towards the immediate and long-term future. As we have said recently, this is a new beginning for the New York Knicks.”

Anthony posted a letter to fans on his website, thisismelo.com, on Monday morning.

“I came to NYC to B (Be) Born again,” he wrote in the letter entitled “Dear New York.” “The sense of something extraordinary happening left me with a lot of sleepless nights dreaming of possibilities. The one thing I kept telling myself was ‘Make my mark in NYC and I’d be a made man’.”

Anthony waived his no-trade clause and his 15 percent trade kicker in order for the trade to go through. He joins league MVP Russell Westbrook and Paul George, who Oklahoma City acquired over the summer, to make a formidable trio in the loaded Western Conference.

The Thunder hope to challenge the champion Warriors, while the Knicks are set to begin their rebuild and youth movement with this trade.

Knicks officials have been saying they’re building around Kristaps Porzingis, Willy Hernangomez, Tim Hardaway Jr. – who they signed to a four-year, $71 million contract this summer – first-round pick Frank Ntilikina and Ron Baker. They’re all 25 or younger.

Anthony and the Knicks felt an urgency to end their relationship by Monday so they could begin the new season without drama and distraction. The Knicks host Media Day on Monday with training camp opening Tuesday.

Ironically, the Knicks open the regular season at Oklahoma City on Oct. 19. Anthony, a 10-time All-Star, will make his Madison Square Garden return Dec. 16.

The 33-year-old Anthony initially had listed Houston as his preferred destination so he could play with good friend Chris Paul. But when the Knicks couldn’t reach an accord with Houston, they asked Anthony to expand his list. He did recently to include Oklahoma City and Cleveland.

Talks with the Rockets stalled because the Knicks wouldn’t take back Ryan Anderson and the three years and $60 million he had to remain on his contract. They also couldn’t find a third team willing to absorb his contract.

The Knicks’ return for their best player wasn’t great. But they added a big man who can score and a potentially high second-round pick since it belongs to Chicago. The Knicks also didn’t take back much salary that would handcuff them going forward.

Kanter has averaged 11.3 points and 6.7 rebounds in six NBA seasons with the Jazz and Thunder. He has two years and $36.6 million remaining on his contract. The second year is a $18.6 million player option.

McDermott, who is in the final year of his rookie deal, has averaged 8.0 points in three seasons for the Bulls and Thunder while shooting 39.4 percent from three-point range.

“We acquired two 25-year-old players in this deal that we can develop while sticking with our overall strategy of emphasizing youth and athleticism,” Knicks general manager Scott Perry said in a statement. “With this trade, we have added scoring and aggressiveness to our frontcourt and bolstered the team’s perimeter shooting. We are glad to have finalized a trade that made sense for all of us.”

Anthony, the Knicks’ biggest star since Patrick Ewing, played 412 games over parts of seven seasons with the Knicks. Anthony averaged 24.7 points and established a franchise and Madison Square Garden scoring record when he poured in 62 points Jan. 23, 2014 against Charlotte.

But despite Anthony’s superiors offensive talents, his time as a Knick was mostly filled with disappointment, frustration, and unfulfilled expectations.

The Knicks reached the playoffs in his first three seasons, but they won only one series. They failed to make the postseason the last four years.

Anthony was acquired by the Knicks in February 2011 in a massive three-team trade that also included Minnesota and featured 13 players, four draft picks and cash.

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The Chicago Bulls have agreed to a two-year, $26 million contract with restricted free agent forward Nikola Mirotic, sources told ESPN.The second year of the deal is a team option, which means Mirotic will have the ability to veto any trades this upcoming season. The total guarantee is $12.5 million, but Mirotic also has incentives that can make the total value $27 million, sources said.

The agreement ends a summer-long stalemate between the sides just a day before the start of training camp. The Bulls were incentivized to make a deal as they are currently below the minimum salary floor.

Mirotic, a power forward with range beyond the 3-point line, averaged 10.6 points and 5.5 rebounds with the Bulls last season.

DOUG COLLINS, WHO was the Chicago Bulls’ coach before they started winning titles, is returning to the team as a senior adviser.Collins coached the team from 1986 to 1989, taking the Bulls to the Eastern Conference finals in his final season. It was a shock that he was fired and replaced by Phil Jackson. 

Jackson went on to become a legend, winning six titles with Chicago and five more with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Collins, 66, also coached the Detroit Pistons, Washington Wizards and Philadelphia 76ers, and most recently served as a television analyst for ESPN.


“Doug will be great in this capacity for our organization. The position of ‘senior adviser’ has proven to work well around the NBA in recent years, and I am confident the same will hold true with the Bulls,” team chairman Jerry Reinsdorf said in a news release. “The fact that our relationship goes back more than 30 years certainly helps, but he is especially qualified to assist our leadership in rebuilding the Bulls.”

One of Collins’ bosses will be vice president of basketball operations John Paxson, who was a guard on the Bulls teams that Collins coached. General manager Gar Forman and head coach Fred Hoiberg are also part of the Chicago brain trust.

“I am looking forward to getting started and helping everyone,” Collins said in the news release. “To be able to stay involved in the NBA and work with John, Gar, Fred and their respective staffs, while not having to leave my family and continuing to live in one of the greatest cities in the world — the fit couldn’t be any better for me at this point in my life.”

Collins’ son, Chris, coaches at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. 

As a player, Doug Collins was the first overall pick in the 1973 NBA draft out of Illinois State. He played high school basketball in downstate Benton, Illinois. Collins was a four-time NBA All-Star who averaged 17.9 points per game for the 76ers in eight seasons before injuries cut short his career.

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