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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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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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Basketball legend Michael Jordan voiced his support for LeBron James on Saturday after President Donald Trump posted a critical tweet regarding the Los Angeles Lakers superstar.

According to Geoff Bennett of NBC News, Jordan released a statement through a spokesperson that read, "I support LJ. He's doing an amazing job for his community."

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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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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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