Roger Mason Jr.

And-Ones: BIG3, Cook, Larrier, NBA 2K

The BIG3 has fired commissioner Roger Mason Jr. in the wake of an alleged corruption scandal and replaced him with rapper Ice Cube, according to Ben Rohrbach of Yahoo Sports. Mason reportedly secured the investment for the 3-on-3 league from two Qatari businessmen, who were later investigated for refusing to pay millions of dollars to the league. Mason allegedly refused to cooperate with the investigation, according to a TMZ Sports report. In a statement posted by Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today, Mason Jr. refuted the notion he was removed because of corruption, calling the BIG3 work environment “hostile and racist.”

In other basketball news around the country:

  • The BIG3’s second season will begin in Houston on June 22, according to a league press release. Games will also take place in Chicago, Oakland, Detroit, Miami, Toronto, Dallas and Boston during the regular season. Atlanta will host most of the playoff games with the championship scheduled for New York’s Barclays Center on August 24th.
  • Iowa’s Tyler Cook will enter the draft, but won’t hire an agent, Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports tweets. The 6’9” Cook averaged 15.3 PPG and 6.8 RPG for the Hawkeyes as a sophomore this season.
  • Connecticut swingman Terry Larrier has opted to enter the draft, he announced in a press release. The 6’8” Larrier averaged 13.9 PPG and 4.8 RPG for the Huskies in his junior season. Connecticut parted ways with head coach Kevin Ollie over the weekend.
  • The NBA 2K league will hold its inaugural draft lottery on Tuesday, according to a league press release. The E-Sports league will host its first draft, a six-round event, on April 4th.

Kenny Anderson, Jamario Moon Among Additions To BIG3

Five players have been announced as additions to the BIG3 league, President & Commissioner Roger Mason Jr. announced in a press release. Former Slam Dunk Contest participant Jamario Moon will join the league, as will Kenny Anderson, Etan Thomas, Ruben Patterson, and Smush Parker.

“There has been an outpouring of interest from our professional basketball community. We are so excited to bring quality players to the draft. We are building something special with this league. A league for the players, by the players,” Mason Jr. said.

BIG3’s talent pool has come together nicely since its January 11 inception, as NBA legends Allen Iverson, Jermaine O’Neal, Jason Williams, and more are set to resume their careers in a 3-on-3 format. While the league has scooped up players with recent NBA experience, Hall-of-Famers George Gervin and Clyde Drexler will serve crucial roles as coaches and ambassadors of the league.

New Pro League For Retired Players To Debut In 2017

Longtime NBA guard Roger Mason is leaving his position as the deputy executive director of the National Basketball Players Association to help launch a new professional basketball league for retired players, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical. According to Wojnarowski, Mason will serve as president and commissioner of the new league.

As Wojnarowski details, Mason will partner with rapper and actor Ice Cube – and multiple investors – to launch the league in June 2017. The plan is for eight teams – made up of five players apiece – to tour together from city to city for 10 weeks in the summer, playing three-on-three, half-court games. The league, which will be known as TheBig3, is being founded by Ice Cube, who spoke to Wojnarowski about the project.

“I thought of this concept as a fan who got sick of seeing his heroes retire and not play anymore,” Ice Cube said. “A lot of these guys can still play once they retire – just not the back-to-backs or four games in five nights.

“Not only do we get a chance to see these guys keep playing, but we give guys who retired who still got some game – who don’t want to pick up a [microphone] on TV and who don’t want to go overseas to play … some of these guys still want a stage to play on.”

Per Wojnarowski, former NBA players who have committed to play on teams in the league include Kenyon Martin, Stephen Jackson, Jermaine O’Neal, Rashard Lewis, and Jason Williams. Additionally, Gary Payton has agreed to coach one of the teams.

As for Mason, he played a significant role in the NBPA’s transition over the last several years, and will leave the union as it prepares to officially ratify a new Collective Bargaining Agreement with the NBA. According to Wojnarowski, the NBPA’s focus on taking care of retired and elderly former players in the new CBA was in large part due to Mason.

An official news conference to announce TheBig3 is expected in January, says Wojnarowski.

And-Ones: Hornets, Celtics, D-League

The contracts of Alonzo Gee (Nuggets) and James Ennis (Heat) both became fully guaranteed today, and a partial guarantee of $250K has kicked in for Dewayne Dedmon (Magic), since both Dedmon and Ennis were on their teams’ respective rosters come opening night, and Gee was still on his team’s roster past October 29th, as is shown on our schedule of contract guarantee dates.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • The Celtics look to improve upon their 25-win season of a year ago, and began their quest at home tonight with a 121-105 victory over the Nets. In his season preview, A. Sherrod Blakely of believes Boston’s outlook has improved, and Rajon Rondo will have a strong season as he looks to silence his doubters and maximize his value heading into next summer.
  • In a separate article, Blakely looks at the top five players who changed teams and donned new uniforms this summer. Blakely also examined the five best rookies making their debuts this season, including Elfrid Payton, Jabari Parker, and Marcus Smart.
  • Hornets owner Michael Jordan believes that the addition of Lance Stephenson gives his team a legitimate shot to contend in the Eastern Conference, the Associated Press reports. Jordan especially likes Stephenson’s “fight,” saying, “One of the reasons why I admire his game is he takes on challenges. For us to get any place in the East, we need someone to challenge LeBron. He challenged LeBron.”
  • Former Sixers coach Larry Brown slammed the organization’s rebuilding through “tanking” plan, John N. Mitchell of The Philadelphia Inquirer writes. “I hate what’s going on in Philly,” Brown said. “They don’t have a basketball person in the organization. It makes me sick to my stomach.”
  • Malcolm Turner of Wasserman Media Group has been hired as the president of the NBA D-League, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reports (Twitter link).
  • Roger Mason has been hired as the NBPA’s director of player relations, Howard Beck of Bleacher Report tweets. It is unclear if accepting this position would prevent Mason from continuing his playing career. The 34-year-old Mason made 25 appearances for the Heat last season, averaging 3.0 PPG in 10.4 minutes-per-game.

Eastern Notes: Boycott, LeBron, Draft

The Heat‘s James Jones, who is also the secretary treasurer of the NBAPA, shot down the notion of a LeBron James led boycott next season if Donald Sterling was still the owner of the Clippers, writes Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News. Jones said, “There is no boycott. There isn’t a lot of talk about a boycott. The union wanted to see the league step up and did what they did what we felt was appropriate – which was to remove Donald Sterling. They did that. It’s a process and we know it’s going to take time. But there is total trust between the union and the league and commissioner and the owners, knowing that eventually it will all play out the way we agreed – which is Donald Sterling no longer being the owner of an NBA team. We’re all on the same page. The Donald Sterling situation is a league situation. It’s not basketball.”

More from the east:

  • Roger Mason clarified his previous statement that James would lead a players boycott next season. Mason tweeted, “LBJ never said anything about boycotting. He’s a friend and I would never want to imply something he didn’t say.”
  • The Celtics are set to interview Marcus Smart and Dante Exum at the Chicago Combine this week, reports A. Sherrod Blakely of (twitter link). Blakely also tweets that Boston is “really big” on Exum.
  • Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer looks at the Sixers approach to this year’s Draft Combine, as well as speculates on who the team might select with their multitude of draft picks.
  • With the Nets being eliminated from the playoffs this evening, the focus turns to whether or not Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett will return to the team, writes Sean Deveney of The Sporting News.

And-Ones: Cavs, Nets, T’Wolves

There are plenty of head coaching options for the Cavaliers to consider, as the league’s current list of free agent coaches includes Mike D’Antoni, Lionel Hollins, Mark Jackson, and George Karl. Sam Amico of FOX Sports Ohio briefly profiles each of the above-mentioned candidates according to their chances of landing in Cleveland next season. Additionally, Amico mentions Alvin Gentry, Jerry Sichting, Mark Price, Alex Jensen, and Steve Kerr as other names to keep in mind.

Here are some more miscellaneous news and notes to pass along tonight:

  • Despite talk that Kevin Garnett could potentially retire after this season, with Paul Pierce slated to hit unrestricted free agency, all signs point toward both returning to the Nets next year, writes Tim Bontemps of the New York Post.
  • Timberwolves brass will be heading to Chicago tomorrow in preparation for the NBA’s pre-draft combine and are expected to request interviews with many players, including Michigan State’s Gary Harris, Michigan’s Nik Stauskas, Kentucky’s James Young, Creighton’s Doug McDermott, and Duke’s Rodney Hood, reports Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune.
  • In the same piece, Zgoda writes that the Wolves are looking to acquire their own D-League affiliate.
  • Don’t be surprised if LeBron James chooses to distance himself from Roger Mason Jr.‘s recent comments about boycotting the 2014/15 season if Donald Sterling still owns the Clippers, writes Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today.
  • Assuming he re-signs with the Thunder in 2016, Kevin Durant could earn somewhere around $143.75MM over five years, as Berry Tramel and Jon Hamm of NewsOK explain.
  • During an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper, Magic Johnson revealed that he declined an offer from Pistons owner Tom Gores to be part of his ownership group in Detroit (H/T to The Detroit News). Magic had been responding to the claim from Donald Sterling that the former Lakers star had been conspiring to purchase the Clippers.

And-Ones: LeBron, Hollins, T’Wolves, Klimenko

During an interview on Jim Rome on Showtime, NBPA vice president Roger Mason said that the players would boycott next season if Donald Sterling is still in place, adding that he had spoken about it with Heat superstar LeBron James:

“If it’s not handled (by) the start of next season, I don’t see how we’re playing basketball…Leaders of the teams, they’re all saying the same thing, ‘If this man is still in place, we (are not) playing’…LeBron and I talked about it…He (isn’t) playing if Sterling is still an owner.” (interview transcribed by James Herbert of CBS Sports).

Here are some more noteworthy links to pass along this evening:

  • With Stan Van Gundy and Steve Kerr looking like distinct possibilities for the Warriors’ head coaching position, the team should shift their focus toward Lionel Hollins, says Marcus Thompson of the Bay Area News Group. As we noted a few days ago, Hollins is scheduled to interview with Golden State on Thursday.
  • The Warriors are reportedly seeking an offensive-minded coach, and although Hollins’ defense-first mentality wouldn’t make him the most ideal fit for the job, Thompson hears that Hollins would look to bring on a respected offensive mind as one of his assistants, and would likely consider former Kings coach Paul Westphal for that particular position.
  • The Timberwolves haven’t had any contact with Kerr and don’t seem to be considering him for their head coaching opening, tweets Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN.
  • Agent Bill McCandless says that draft prospect Artem Klimenko has reached a buyout agreement with Avtodor of the Russian Super League. The 7’1 center is scheduled to travel to the U.S. next week to work out for six to eight teams before the start of Eurocamp in Treviso, Italy (Twitter links via Jorge Sierra of HoopsHype).
  • 2013 summer league standout Jack Cooley will participate in mini-camp workouts with the Spurs, Nets, Cavaliers, and Jazz, says RealGM’s Shams Charania (Twitter link).
  • Elston Turner has received an invite to work out for the Warriors in June and will participate in the upcoming NBA Summer League, writes Emiliano Carchia of Sportando (H/T to Il Messagero).
  • Suns guard Archie Goodwin was arrested on misdemeanor charges of disorderly conduct and resisting arrest in his hometown of Little Rock, according to a report from the Associated Press. Goodwin recently completed his rookie season in Phoenix and will be due in court on June 3.

Central Rumors: Turner, Bulls, Pacers, Cavs

NBA executives are praising the Pacers for their acquisition of Evan Turner because it improves their team, reduces payroll, and gives them leverage with Lance Stephenson when he’s a free agent next summer, tweets Brian Windhorst of  This may prove to be just a short-term rental for the Pacers as they swapped one pending free agent for another, but it’s definitely an upgrade for their club in the here and now.  Here’s more out of the Central..

  • Despite some rumors to the contrary, the Bulls showed no desire to move Mike Dunleavy because he’s an affordable rotation player who fits next season, writes K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune.  For his part, Tom Thibodeau is satisfied with what was a quiet deadline for the Bulls.
  • The Cavs have a vacant roster spot and will fill it through free agency or a D-League signing, but GM David Griffin says that he’ll take his time to identify the club’s biggest need, tweets Sam Amico of FOX Sports Ohio.
  • With the Turner deal, the Pacers have sent a strong message to the Heat that they are ready to take it all this season, writes Sean Deveney of the Sporting News.  Turner will allow the Pacers to play small at times, matching up with teams that use quick lineups.  More importantly, he brings serious ball-handling skills to the table, which should help round out the Indiana offense nicely.
  • While the addition of Turner could be a boost on paper, Lang Greene of Basketball Insiders fears that the Pacers could be making a mistake by messing with their chemistry.
  • With the smart (but painful) trade, the Pacers put themselves in great position for the remainder of the year, writes Ken Berger of
  • If Roger Mason Jr, clears waivers, he could be a candidate for the Bulls when Jarvis Varnado‘s 10-day pact expires, tweets K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune.
  • In today’s presser, a reporter asked Griffin if he considers Cavs star Kyrie Irving an untouchable.  He explained that his philosophy is that no one is untouchable, tweets the Plain Dealer.  Meanwhile, Griffin says that he wasn’t close to a deal for Luol Deng, tweets Sam Amico of FOX Sports Ohio, but he added that if he didn’t listen, he wouldn’t be doing his job.
  • Amico gives Griffin a thumbs up for his first trade deadline as Cavs GM.

Kings Waive Roger Mason Jr.

The Kings announced that they have waived Roger Mason Jr.  Sacramento acquired the veteran from the Heat earlier today and the move was expected.

Mason is earning the minimum salary this year after making the Heat out of training camp. He’s receiving close to $1.4MM, but his cap hit is only $884,293.  The latter number will remain on Sacramento’s books, since his salary is guaranteed for the season.

The 10th-year veteran is averaging just 3.0 points in 10.4 minutes per game. but he’s made a pair of starts this season in place of an injured Dwyane Wade. Mason has also been a major force within the National Basketball Players Association during his time in the league, but that hasn’t kept him from securing NBA work despite having been only a fringe rotation player for most of the past four seasons.

Heat Trade Roger Mason Jr. To Kings

1:37pm: Miami sent the Kings enough cash to cover Mason’s salary, according to Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel.

12:38pm: The Heat have officially announced the deal. Their press release doesn’t mention any cash as part of the transaction, but it notes the second-round pick coming their way is for 2015.

10:22am: The Kings will acquire Roger Mason Jr. and subsequently waive him, reports Ken Berger of (Twitter link). Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel suggests the Heat will send cash to Sacramento in addition to the veteran shooting guard (on Twitter), and Marc Stein of tweets confirmation of that detail. The Heat will drop to 14 players with the deal, allowing them to bring someone else aboard via signing or another trade. Sacramento will take Mason into its last remaining roster spot after acquiring Jason Terry and Reggie Evans for Marcus Thornton on Wednesday, then open that spot again after letting him go.

The Heat will receive a highly protected second-round pick that Sacramento is unlikely to ever have to actually convey, Stein tweets. Mason tells TNT’s David Aldridge he’s unsure where he’ll sign after Sacramento lets him go (Twitter link).

Mason is earning the minimum salary this year after making the Heat out of training camp. He’s receiving close to $1.4MM, but his cap hit is only $884,293. The latter number will remain on Sacramento’s books, since his salary is guaranteed for the season.

The 10th-year veteran is averaging just 3.0 points in 10.4 minutes per game. but he’s made a pair of starts this season in place of an injured Dwyane Wade. Mason has also been a major force within the National Basketball Players Association during his time in the league, but that hasn’t kept him from securing NBA work despite having been only a fringe rotation player for most of the past four seasons.