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.
Which NBA teams have the most to prove in 2019/20?
Fans of basketball in the US will be eagerly awaiting the start of the 2019/20 season. Due to begin on 22nd October 2019, the initial game will see defending champions the Toronto Raptors face the New Orleans Pelicans. As well as keeping up with the new campaign when underway, many fans will also look into betting on the results of games to make some money. If you are unsure how to do so look online for handy guides. There are some great ones out there, with information about betting on NBA games to how to bet on NFL playoffs online.
Although all supporters will be feeling excited about the new season, some will feel their team has a bit more to prove than others. This may be because of living up to last year’s showing, improving on a poor 2018/19 or simply meeting the expectations of fans which have been raised by player signings. But which NBA sides have the most to prove in 2019/20?
The LA Lakers is one of the most well-known NBA teams and they will be looking for an improvement on their results this time around for sure. Last campaign, the LeBron James signing didn’t go to plan and this was a major disappointment for fans after the injury he picked up. Injuries to other key players really hampered their progress and they did not exactly set the league ablaze. This has seen Frank Vogel come in as head coach to try and make an impact for the 2019/20 season. Fans of the Lakers do have reason to be optimistic moving forward though. The trade for Anthony Davis looks a great move and if he can stay healthy to hook up with James, then it will help a lot.
One team who must have a better 2019/20 season are the Phoenix Suns. Finishing bottom of the Pacific Division and also the Western Conference, they managed a meager 19 wins all year. A big problem for them was the amount of three point shots they hit, and this will be something fans will expect them to be better at this time around. One bright spot for fans is that off-season player moves look to leave them with a much better roster make-up. If the new players can gel and help get the best from Devin Booker, then it could be a much better year for the side. One thing is for sure – it can’t really get much worse and fans will certainly expect to see some improvement in Phoenix.
The Clippers did not too that badly last year with a run to the playoff first round, which saw them lose to eventual finalists the Golden State Warriors. For their fans though, this was not enough, and many will want to see them at least make the finals this time. The team also have a lot to prove in terms of whether the players they have signed in the off-season will work out. When you sign the current Finals MVP and another who was 3rd in the MVP voting, then you know all eyes will be on how you do. With Kawhi Leonard and Paul George in town, fans will be looking for a spot in the finals at the least, but most probably be expecting to win it. Their old rivals the Lakers could be the most challenging obstacle but any playoff series between these two in 2019/20 would be immense.
New York Knicks
One team that had a terrible 2018/19 campaign and needs to pull its socks up are the New York Knicks. Finishing bottom of the Atlantic Division with only 17 wins and also bottom of the Eastern Conference, it was a really poor showing for them. This means that they need to step up in 2019/20 to put this behind them and give their fans something to cheer. While many think that a playoff run might be beyond them, the players added in off-season do point to a better campaign being on the cards in the coming weeks. With more experience added to the developing crop of youngsters they already had, the team chemistry and skillset might now be more suited to actually winning games.
NBA 2019/20 should be a great season
As the above indicates, there are a few teams who will be especially keen to show some improvement in this coming year. Whether they do it or not remains to be seen but it will make for an exciting bunch of games to follow as usual! With big-name players looking to settle in at new teams and teams that did poorly last year looking to get better, NBA fans should see some superb action unfold.
How can you profit from hockey games?
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How to make the right bets on hockey?
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Where to find free or paid forecasts for hockey?
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What is the advantage of paid forecasts for hockey?
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TEAM USA Drops To France
Yesterday, top favorite for winning the World Cup, Serbia, went out in the quarter-finals, while today the US team also got eliminated by France. Although the biggest NBA stars didn’t participate for the USA, they were still considered as the second favorite for retaining the title won in 2014. This is not the surprise after Turkey missed the chance to beat the Americans only due to their own mistakes and fear of a win, but such an experienced team as France knows how to grab this opportunity.
After the first quarter, teams went to the short break evens, while in the second, France started taking the main word in this match. Evan Fournier and Rudy Gobert were a dominant duo and after several very attractive actions, France managed to score 27 points into the second quarter. They had a six-point lead after the first 20 minutes of the game. France was almost in the constant lead of the match, while the US side had a maximum advantage of three points in the first quarter.
French side continued in the same fashion in the third quarter as well and their advantage rose to 10 points. However, after several mistakes in their offensive actions, they spilled everything and let go the Americans get a three-point lead. When the current world champions went seven points ahead, 72:65, even French fans doubted that their team will get back into the game and book their place in the semi-finals. In that period, France had a very bad control of a defensive rebound and they conceded a lot of second-chance points.
But something went wrong for the US team as they managed to score only three points in the last three minutes of the game, as reported by BettingTips4You stats. Their free-throws percentage went down rapidly as Donovan Mitchell and Kemba Walker missed some shots. On the other side, although they were not at the first-half level, Furnier bagged very important shots, while Gobert booked a couple of offensive rebounds which were eventually converted into points. The United States didn’t have the solution for French defense, they even missed some open shots and sitters, while French team was flying on the wings of their excellent effort. Nando De Colo’s cool head and steady arm were keeping the advantage for the French team intact as he scored five puts of six free throws. Eventually, France won by a ten-point margin, they totally deserved the victory and the chance to challenge the top spot.
The US team needed more scorers in this game as only Donovan Mitchell met the expectations with 29 points scored, although his field goals percentage went just above 50%. Kemba Walker was stopped at 10 points with a very bad evening as he scored twice from nine attempts, excluding the free-throws. They were outplayed in the paint as French side booked 16 rebounds more than their opponents. Gobert showed the class with 21 points scored and 16 rebounds, although he spent only six minutes on the bench. Both sides were a bit under 50% field goals percentage but eventually missed free throws cost the US team a win.
To summarize, France is going to take on the winner of the last quarter-finals between Australia and the Czech Republic, while the USA will play classification matches. Ironically, their first opponent is going to be Serbia, but everybody expected to see these two sides in the finals and not in the battle for the 5th spot. The match is going to be played tomorrow and there’s a very little time for preparation, so it wouldn’t be surprising if Serbia pulls an upset as they had a day more to recover. The side which is more mentally strong should win tomorrows match.