Brooklyn Nets to pay record luxury tax bill

July 9, 2014 – 6:13 pm by Ryan Phillips
    Mikhail Prokhorov

The Brooklyn Nets and owner Mikhail Prokhorov have never been shy about spending money, but this is a little crazy. On Wednesday the NBA released its audit of teams ahead of the start of the new fiscal year (which starts at midnight) and the Nets will pay a ridiculous, record luxury bill.

According to Brian Windhorst, the Nets owe $90.57 million in luxury taxes for the 2013-14 season. How bad is that number? Only three teams had paid more than $90 million in total tax since its inception in 2001. In all, the team paid more than $197 million in salary and luxury taxes this past season.

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Putting Germany’s historic beatdown of Brazil in context

July 9, 2014 – 2:18 am by Hickey

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Few ass-kickings in sports history can measure up to Germany’s 7-1 annihilation of host Brazil in the World Cup semifinals. It was Brazil’s first loss on home soil in a non-friendly match since 1975, and tied a 1920 loss to Uruguay for the largest margin of defeat in the nation’s history.

But even a soccer power like Germany rarely beats the scrubs of the world by such a large margin. A look at German history shows that several nations that don’t have nearly the pedigree of Brazil have not been taken to the woodshed this severely by the Krauts.

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Would it be better for the Yankees if CC Sabathia retired?

July 8, 2014 – 2:28 am by Ryan Phillips
    CC Sabathia

Just a few years ago New York Yankees lefty CC Sabathia was one of the most feared pitchers in baseball. Now, at 33 years old, there is a chance his career will never get back on track. But would it actually be better for the Yankees if Sabathia wound up retiring? Some experts seem to think so.

At the height of his prowess, Carsten Charles (no, CC does not stand for “chewy center,” stop it) Sabathia was as dominant as any pitcher in the major leagues. He’s a six-time All-Star, has led the American League in wins twice (2009, 2010), helped the Yankees win the World Series in 2009, was the ALCS MVP that year, and won the 2007 AL Cy Young Award. On top of all that, he was (and still is) one of the most respected players in the game. But now he’s facing microfracture surgery on his right knee, and coming back from that is far from a sure thing.

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Jeff Samardzija ruled ineligible for All-Star Game

July 6, 2014 – 10:55 pm by Hickey

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Hey now, Jeff Samardzija’s an All-Star. But he can’t get his game on and go play. And yes, I really am using this scenario as an excuse to open a blog post with Smash Mouth lyrics, because I’m dropping the gauntlet on the rest of the blogosphere’s lack of awesome writing skills. C’mon, internet. I dare you to try and up the ante with some Sugar Ray or something.

Anyway, Samardzija was named to the National League All-Star team on Sunday, just two days after being sent by the Cubs in a deal with Oakland that Chicago is hoping will someday be classified as a blockbuster. And therein lies the rub.

Even though he has already made his first appearance with the Athletics, according to the rule book Samardzija is ineligible to play for the American League squad because he was selected for his work playing for a National League squad. He’ll still get All-Star status and the corresponding contract bonus, but can’t actually suit up. For now.

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Los Angeles Lakers offer Carmelo Anthony huge deal

July 3, 2014 – 7:59 pm by Ryan Phillips
    Carmelo Anthony

The Los Angeles Lakers met with New York Knicks free agent forward Carmelo Anthony for nearly three hours on Thursday and apparently offered him a max contract during that meeting. Reports now claim that the Lakers offered the 30-year-old a four-year, $95 million deal.

While details are still emerging about what the team’s plans are to build around Anthony and star guard Kobe Bryant, it’s clear the Lakers are serious about trying to land the Syracuse product. Bryant is scheduled to meet with Anthony Thursday night and the two have long been close friends. Whether Kobe can sway Melo to come to Los Angeles is completely unknown at this point.

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Agent for Wade and Bosh refutes Heat contract reports

July 1, 2014 – 8:02 pm by Ryan Phillips
    Chris Bosh Dwyane Wade

On Tuesday a report surfaced that Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh had agreed to contracts with the Miami Heat for reduced amounts of money in order to give the team room to improve under the salary cap. The report made a lot of sense and was largely expected. But later in the day Henry Thomas, the agent for both Wade and Bosh, refuted that story.

The original report claimed that Wade had accepted a four-year deal in which he would earn $12 million in the first year, while Bosh had inked a five-year deal beginning with an $11 million salary in 2014-15. Thomas has now publicly claimed that report was false.

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Marian Gaborik, Los Angeles Kings agree to seven-year deal

June 25, 2014 – 2:01 pm by Ryan Phillips
    Marian Gaborik

Marian Gaborik was an integral part of the Los Angeles Kings’ run to a Stanley Cup title this season. While he didn’t arrive in LA until the trade deadline, Gaborik settled right in and went on to lead the NHL in postseason goals with 14. The 32-year-old forward was set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer, but on Wednesday the team announced it had re-signed him to a big new deal.

Gaborik will be staying in Los Angeles thanks to a new seven-year, $34.3 million contract that will carry and average annual value of $4.9 million. That’s a huge savings against the cap for the Kings, since some teams were reportedly willing to give Gaborik as much as $7 million per year. The extra cap space will help Los Angeles as it attempts to re-sign defenseman Willie Mitchell.

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Report: Cavs leaning towards Jabari Parker with first pick

June 24, 2014 – 9:57 pm by Ryan Phillips
    Jabari Parker

Ever since presumptive No. 1 overall pick Joel Embiid went down with a foot injury, speculation has run wild as to what the Cleveland Cavaliers would do with the top pick in the 2014 NBA Draft. Most reports have said the team had narrowed its focus to Kansas guard Andrew Wiggins or Duke forward Jabari Parker. Well, we may now have our answer as to who Cleveland is leaning towards.

On Tuesday a report surfaced that claimed the Cavs are currently set to take Parker with the top pick despite his unimpressive workout with them on Friday. They apparently view Parker as less of a risk than Wiggins, and feel he can contribute right away. They think Wiggins has the higher upside of the two (a pretty universally held belief) but with him the risk is pretty significant.

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