Point guard Rokas Jokubaitis has declared for this year’s draft, Lithuanian journalist Donatas Urbonas tweets. Jokubaitis is currently ranked No. 42 on ESPN’s Best Available list. Playing for Žalgiris Kaunas of the Lithuanian Basketball League and the EuroLeague, the 20-year-old averaged 7.0 PPG and 2.5 APG in 20.9 MPG in 31 games this season.
We have more from the basketball world:
- Nebraska’s Dalano Banton has declared for the draft, according to his Twitter feed. The sophomore swingman averaged 9.6 PPG, 5.9 RPG and 3.9 APG last season. Banton played a season at Western Kentucky.
- LeBron James‘ agent, Rich Paul, explained in a feature written by the New Yorker’s Isaac Chotiner why his top client didn’t skip this year’s All-Star Game after expressing dismay about playing the game during the pandemic. “You have to value what drives our business,” Paul said. “All-Star weekend is a very important part of our business. To not have the All-Star Game, or not have all-stars playing in the All-Star Game, I think that would be a form of doing bad business. You don’t have to like it, and you don’t have to always feel up to doing something.”
- In the same piece, a current NBA general manager said James’ decision to leave Cleveland for Miami, which ushered in an era of player empowerment, was the “worst thing” to happen to not only the NBA but sports in general. “Player empowerment is a catchall for the fact that the league has done a terrible job of empowering teams,” he said. “The players have all of the leverage in every situation. I think it’s the worst thing that ever happened to professional sports on all levels.”
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11 thoughts on “And-Ones: Jokubaitis, Banton, LeBron, R. Paul”
rich paul is so corny. wannabe businessman who would be nothing without lebron
Wannabe businessmen don’t make $300m a year and have the 4th largest NBA agency.
That ‘current GM’ sounds ridiculous. Yes it sucked to see him leave to Miami, but LeBron choosing to sign somewhere else as an unrestricted free agent after Cleveland had him for almost a decade is his choice!
Player empowerment is a bad thing? Teams aren’t getting empowered? ….What? These players are humans trying to win or make money, and that GM is complaining about how teams (that makes hundreds of millions win or lose) aren’t being treated fairly? It’s like a corporation saying it’s bad for people to change jobs because it empowers the people to be happy or make more money at a better company.
Yes players have different ambitions now and are a lot less willing to stick around to a single franchise, which sucks to see as a fan or team of course. But Lebron signing with Miami did not cause Kawhi, George, Harden, AD, or anyone else to demand a trade. None of them or anyone else are saying, “I don’t like it here, hmm I bet I can leave because Lebron signed with Miami that one time”.
Some might disagree, but that’s just my personal take.
Interesting about Cavs fans on HR (including some from years ago, if you’re not them, I think not)… are some of the firmest believers in free agency, despite LJ leaving us twice, making us top victims internationally of “player empowerment”.
Grammar alert oh well
@lovesexland… I totally agree with you!
BTW I never take seriously or as a truth anythin’ that starts by an anonymous or unnamed GM or FO member… If someone has somethin’ that is true to say, they say it with their name, if you need to hide who you are is ’cause you are lyin’, as simple as!
Just some thoughts on the New Yorker Article:
1. The writer clearly doesn’t know enough about the sport. I mention this because he said Philadelphia was one of the destination cities for star players to go to as if the market had anything to do with it. Going back to Iverson they got an over the hill Chris Webber in a trade and he clearly didn’t want to be there, they got Elton Brand by being better than the Don Sterling Clippers (which isn’t hard), drafted Embiid and Simmons, and only then players like Harris and Butler came… again in trades. By the way Butler then ditched Philly for Miami which disproves the point even more. Markets like Philly are only attractive with stars already present.
2. There was a lot of fan blaming and shaming in the article. In the part about team empowerment Bomani Jones was quoted as saying “The N.B.A. has a problem, which is it’s got some bad real estate. They put a lot of teams in places that young Black men don’t necessarily want to live.” So what should the league do? Close up in Utah, OKC, Portland, Milwaukee, Minnesota, Charlotte, New Orleans, Orlando, San Antonio, Indiana, Detroit, Toronto, Sacramento, and so on just because “young black men don’t want to play there?” Then comes Rich Paul who says you are a casual fan if you expect a star player to have any loyalty to the team and says criticism of The Decision was racist because “if JJ Reddick did it no one would care” as if JJ is even close to as good or important as Lebron.
In the short term you can make it so only big markets can compete and that players can do whatever they want while attacking the fans paying for everything. Long term though they will have fan bases in small markets check out (you think man Pelicans fans would stay around if Zion made a trade request next) and the league will be a regional league.
I have to wonder if the race pandering isn’t itself creating more racist people nowadays
Seems the new generation is colorblind (for the most part ) and that’s awesome; but its us older generations that just don’t get it quite yet. We seem to have to look at every situation with our race glasses on
Mysterious General Manager is being a little overdramatic and is probably just salty his team is losing to the Nets… but he is also 100% correct. Sports are better when teams have some leverage. All the players picking their favorite markets every year and all the superteam stuff makes for boring playoffs.
The NBA is an association of businesses, and its priority should be to look out for them. It’s the NBAPA that has, at its priority, looking out for the players.
But for those NBA teams (and others) that don’t like the current team-player dynamic, understand that the foundation of the current player empowerment is the CBA and specifically the provisions thereof put in place at the insistence of the small market owners. NBA players have it great because their union fights for them, and then the owners fight amongst each other for their benefit. They’d do even better if their union was half as good as the small market owners in coming up with ways to hurt all the owners (although, ironically, the small market owners more).
Lol not 1 American would tune in for jj reddicks decision, sayin “racist” today is just a super easy way out for people to not take blame because we are all pathetic losers crying