For all the money and fame it brings, the career of a professional sportsperson is a relatively short one, often coming to an abrupt end in their mid to late 30s. At this point, most are left searching for a new outlet for their competitive natures, as well as a way to invest their considerable fortunes.
Buying a sports team is one of the most popular options available and stars who have done this in the past include Michael Jordan who famously owns the Charlotte Hornets and Magic Johnson who is a leading shareholder in the LA Dodgers.
Now the player whose ownership future is being widely speculated over is LeBron James. At 33 he probably has a few more playing years ahead of him but his thoughts must surely be starting to turn to his eventual retirement.
One thing is for certain and that’s that his estimated $233 million fortune plus lifetime sponsorship deals with the likes of Nike, Sprite and Kia rumoured to be worth over $1 billion mean that his pockets will be more than deep enough to buy a substantial share of almost any team he chooses.
It’s also something he’s already done in the English Premier League with a $6.5 million investment and 2% stake in the Liverpool FC soccer team. With the club riding high in the league he’s already seen its value rise to around $32 million.
But basketball’s his first love so it would seem more than likely that he’ll set his sights on an NBA team when the time comes, but which one?
The logical answer would be the Lakers but, unfortunately, this wouldn’t be allowed under the terms of the cap arrangements with the team and would be in conflict with the NBA’s collective bargaining agreement. So he’ll have to set his sights elsewhere.
There’s a strong tradition of players buying into the teams that they used to play for so how about the one that James has represented the most in his career, Cleveland Cavaliers.
With stints from 2003 till 2010 and 2014 to 2018 he’s spent no less than 14 years playing with them and his heart definitely lies in his home state, Ohio.
But one thing to consider is that when he left the Cavaliers for the Lakers earlier this year one of the reasons cited was his poor relationship with the current owner, Dan Gilbert. Whether he’ll want to business with Gilbert remains to be seen.
Then there’s the possibility of the other team he’s represented, Miami Heat. This would very much be an outside option compared with the Cavaliers but in basketball, as in life, nothing’s absolutely out of the question.
But with a possible three or four more seasons left with the Lakers it’s not a decision that James is going to have to make in the immediate future. And when he does it’s more than likely that his first overtures will be made to the Cavaliers.
As to how they’ll respond to this, we’ll just have to wait and see.
Basketball Betting Sites: NBA odds ahead of the league’s return
With the NBA set to return at the end of July, fans have a feast of action to look forward to throughout the summer, and bettors are heading over to the best online sports books where odds can be found for outright markets as well as upcoming games.
The Los Angeles Clippers and Los Angeles Lakers, both of whom have been among the favorites for the NBA Championship all season, will face off on day one of the restart, just as they did on the season’s opening night in October.
It was the Clippers that emerged victorious nine months ago, and they backed that up with another triumph over their city rivals on Christmas Day. But the Lakers, who earned a 112-103 win over the Clippers shortly before the lock down, have a comfortable lead at the top of the Western Conference and are priced as short as +200 with some betting sites to secure their first ring since 2010.
The Clippers may have five less wins than the Lakers as things stand, but they are likely to turn it up a notch in the postseason and, as such, +300 is certainly fair.
Sandwiched in between the two LA franchises in the betting odds is the Milwaukee Bucks, whose star man, Giannis Antetokounmpo, is a lock to make it back-to-back MVP Awards, but the ‘Greek Freak’ is looking to improve on last year’s Eastern Conference finals defeat and lead the Bucks to the NBA finals.
Of course, betting odds vary across all of the best sportsbooks for NBA betting, but there is some +250 up for grabs on a Milwaukee team that has the best record, and arguably the best team, in the entire league.
Beyond the three franchises that head up the betting, there are half a dozen teams that could be considered dark horses, including the reigning champions, the Toronto Raptors. Even without two-time NBA Finals MVP, Kawhi Leonard, who joined the Clippers last summer, the league’s only Canadian outfit are in second place in the East and on course for another playoff run.
The Raptors are generally priced around the +2000 mark, which is about the same as what you’ll get for the Boston Celtics depending on who you bet with.
At a shorter price than the Raptors and Celtics are the Houston Rockets, who despite having the same record to date as the new-look Oklahoma City Thunder, are fourth-favorites for the championship at +1200. James Harden, Russell Westbrook and co would need to usurp the LA teams to get out of the West, and that’s before they run into the Bucks or whoever else emerges from the East, so +1200 is perhaps a touch short.
It all gets underway again on Thursday, July 30 with the Utah Jazz and New Orleans Pelicans facing off in Orlando. The Pels, who are sitting outside the playoffs as it stands, are two-point favorites against the spread versus the current fourth seed.
The main event on the first night back is the Lakers vs Clippers, with LeBron James’ team marginally favoured, rather like they are in the outright championship market.
A six-game slate including the Bucks vs Celtics and Rockets vs Mavericks follows on Friday, July 31, before another intriguing set of games goes ahead on Saturday, August 1, with the Lakers vs Raptors in the late slot.
Given that there is no recent form to base odds off of, and performances may not be at such a high level in the early stages given the inevitable rustiness of the players, the betting odds may vary across the board and bettors could be able to find value in certain markets. To compare the top bookmakers for your basketball wagers, visit My Betting Sites.
The Heat Are Not Championship Contenders?
- The Miami Heat have successfully bounced back this season after missing the playoffs and losing Dwyane Wade to retirement last season. The Heat are currently the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference and have clinched a playoff spot. However, bettors should not treat the Heat as credible title contenders.
- The Heat’s offseason acquisition of five-time all-star Jimmy Butler has paid off. Butler leads the Heat in points and assists per game. But a team with Butler as its best player is not a team that can win a championship. Butler has been solid, but not spectacular, in the playoffs since he left the Chicago Bulls.
- The Heat’s impressive 41-24 record can be attributed to their incredible performance at home. Miami has the third best home record in the entire league. However, Miami has struggled significantly on the road. They’ve lost 19 of their 33 road games this season. None of the remaining regular season games will take place at American Airlines Arena in Miami.
- The Heat missed a golden opportunity to substantially improve their roster at the trade deadline. Instead of landing a potential game-changing player like Danilo Gallinari, the Heat could only add Jae Crowder and Andre Igoudala. Neither Crowder and Igoudala are difference makers at this stage of their careers.
- Bettors should fade the Heat for the remainder of the season and the playoffs. They are a team ripe for a first round defeat. The people who make NBA expert picks aren’t backing the Heat and neither should you
A Star But Not A Superstar
Jimmy Butler has met the high expectations that were placed on him when the Heat completed a sign-and-trade deal for him this offseason. Butler leads the team in scoring, assists, win shares, and even has the ability to move an NBA point spread on his own. He boasts the highest value over a replacement player on the team. The Heat’s improvement this season can largely be attributed to Butler’s presence.
However, a team with Butler as its best player is not a championship contender. Butler is an all-star because he’s good at everything. But he’s not a superstar because he’s not excellent at anything. Butler only has four 30-point games this season. Butler is also having one of the worst three-point shooting seasons of his career. Butler has averaged just 18.3 points, 6 rebounds, and 4.8 assists per game in his last two postseasons. Those are not the numbers of a superstar who can carry a team to a championship.
No More Home Cooking
Besides the Philadelphia 76ers, no team relied more on its home court advantage to win games than the Heat. The Heat are 27-5 at home this season but just 14-19 on the road. That made the Miami Heat an absolute force for bettors who love to lay down cash on NBA money line home favorites. The Heat’s offense fell off a cliff whenever they had to go on the road. The Heat have an offensive rating of 116.6 at home but a rating of 107.9 on the road. Unfortunately for Miami’s championship hopes, none of the remaining regular season games will be in Miami.
Failure At The Trade Deadline
News reports at the trade deadline suggested that the Heat sought to land Danilo Gallinari. Unfortunately, the Heat had to settle for Jae Crowder and Andre Igoudala as their deadline acquisitions. Crowder and Igoudala are nothing more than serviceable role players. Neither Crowder nor Igoudala adds the offensive juice that the Heat needed to become a true championship contender.
Bettors should look to fade the Heat for the rest of the regular season and to bet on a first round defeat. While all-star Bam Adebayo has had a breakout season and Duncan Robinson has emerged as one of the best three-point shooters in the league, the Heat lack the talent to make a deep playoff run, let alone win a playoff series. The uncertainty over where the NBA playoffs will take place is another bearish sign for a team that has already reached the limits of its capabilities.
The Return of NBA after the Coronavirus Pandemic and What you Should Expect
The NBA 2019/20 season remains suspended due to the covid-19 pandemic, but plans for season restart are underway. The main question remains to be how the rest of the regular NBA season will be like. Since suspension back on March 11, many concerns have been raised with the safety of the players being a priority.
The NBA’s board of governors recently approved a well-revised format for the restart of the season. Twenty-two teams are set to take part, and a tentative start date of July 30 was also agreed upon. The board has approved the restart of the NBA season and is the first step toward resumption of action. However, there’s still a lot that needs to be done. NBA has been working closely with the National Basketball Players Association to develop a comprehensive plan for the restart. Gamblers from all over will be excited to hear that the NBA will be back soon. However, have you found the right bookmaker to place your bets when the season restarts? Have you thought of the bonuses that you can take advantage of? Well, a reputable site such as captaingambling.com got all your betting needs covered. You will be a better place to choose the right online gambling site that gives you the best offers.
While we anticipate the NBA’s return, the following are some things you should know before the restart;
Restart and end dates
The NBA season is expected to resume July 30, and the finals should be no later than mid-October. However, the dates set are only tentative and depend entirely on how things pan out in the next couple of days.
Teams expected to return.
A total of 22 teams are expected to return playing when restart is agreed upon. They include those from the eastern and western conference.
The Eastern Conference comprises of Milwaukee Bucks, Toronto Raptors, Boston Celtics, Miami Heat, Indiana Pacers, Philadelphia 76ers, Brooklyn Nets, Orlando Magic, and Washington Wizards.
The western conference comprises of LA Lakers, LA Clippers, Denver Nuggets, Utah Jazz, Oklahoma City Thunder, Houston Rockets, Dallas Mavericks, Memphis Grizzlies, Portland Trail Blazers, New Orleans Pelicans, San Antonio Spurs, Sacramento Kings, and Phoenix Suns.
The selection of the teams is based entirely on the competitive format that the BOG approved.
Venue for playing the games
The games and practices will be near Orlando since the project restart includes the Walt Disney World resort usage. The players are expected to be housed within a single site location for the rest of the season to minimize the possibility of contracting the virus.
Total of games that each team is expected to play before the begin of playoffs
The number of games is not quite certain as it will mostly vary with a specific team, although a total of 72 or 73 games should be played after the eight seeding games are included.
What will happen if a player doesn’t want to participate?
The coronavirus pandemic has presented a global Challenge, and the NBA understands that. The players’ safety is crucial, and that’s why there’s a clear guideline in case someone chooses not to take part in season restart. There are several situations where a player might be exempted from resuming training and playing. If a team identifies one of their players to be at a higher risk for severe illness as a result of the disease, he doesn’t have to be part of restart and won’t lose their salary. On the other hand, if a player has their health intact and still opts not to take part in the restart, he will lose a part of his earning depending on the number of games missed. Some players remain hesitant about the decision to restart the season with concerns over their safety. It will be interesting to see who goes back and who doesn’t.
Expected start date of 2020/2021 season
Many measures have been put in place, with most sources pointing towards a start date of December 1, 2020. That’s when the next season is expected to start. However, all dates are tentative and will not necessarily hold unless everything works out as expected. The Dec 1st restart is assuming that the 2019/20 season restarts on July 31 as scheduled. If not, the dates will have to be revised upon further discussions.
If the plans for season restart work out, there will be an influx of games, and players will need all the fitness to get through a tough patch. You should expect lots of games to be played within a short period. It presents an excellent opportunity for basketball lovers and gamblers to follow all the action closely once again.