NBA

NBA

The NBA released its opening-week, Christmas Day and Martin Luther King Jr. Day schedule, and we talked about what we liked and didn’t like about a few of the matchups.

The NBA released its opening-week, Christmas Day and Martin Luther King Jr. Day schedule on Wednesday, and while some of the games were headline-worthy, others didn’t live up to the hype. You can find all the games that have been made public here.

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NBA

The goal was to deter teams from racking up massive payrolls, and that’s exactly what’s happened.

The 2011 NBA collective bargaining agreement was a mammoth achievement for the 30 franchise owners and the league itself. Players gave up $300 million in annual salary by allowing the revenue split to drop from 57 percent to 50 percent, and while franchise owners didn’t get everything they wanted, that was the single biggest inflection point.

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NBA

They may be rivals on the court, but the two most popular players in the NBA are nothing but supportive of each other off it.

LeBron James is not only one of the greatest basketball players in NBA history, but he’s an outstanding human being off the court. That shouldn’t be up for debate after last week, when the Los Angeles Lakers superstar opened up the I PROMISE School in his hometown of Akron, Ohio.

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NBA

Houston came so close to winning the West last year, and now it seems they’ve gotten worse.

Free agency has been a bummer for the Houston Rockets so far. The winningest team in the league a year ago watched a starter in Trevor Ariza walk away for a one-year, money-driven deal to a rebuilding Suns team. Then his backup, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, fled too. While the Golden State Warriors are even stronger after signing DeMarcus Cousins, their biggest threat has been diminished. It’s painful to watch.

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NBA

We have that and more in Tuesday’s NBA newsletter.

LeBron James will not “shut up and dribble.” Thank goodness.

LeBron, his foundation, and Akron Public Schools opened up a joint venture in James’ hometown on Monday. Dubbed the I Promise School, it’s a special public school that offers at-risk kids additional support on top of an enhanced education. It’s designed to provide “wraparound support” for kids who, for whatever reason, need it. James Dator has a full explainer here.

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NBA

Player empowerment is at an all-time high, but there are other structural incentives causing all this star movement.

After Kawhi Leonard was traded for DeMar DeRozan last week, a stunning fact made the rounds. Fully half of the players in the 2017 NBA All-Star game had switched teams in just 18 months. These are the best players in the league, and half of them had changed teams via trade or free agency over the course of two trade deadlines and two offseasons.

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