Is Boykins poised to become the next Cavalier?

Earl Boykins will become a free agent Bucks General Manager Larry Harris confirmed.  “He has given no indication he intends to fulfill the option year.”  Boykins has until Saturday to notify the team if he plans to return. 

The 5-5 Boykins will forgo the 3 million dollar player option on his contract.  Boykins, a Cleveland native who played part of two seasons with the Cavaliers still talks fondly of his hometown and holds a summer basketball camp here.  Boykins scored in double digits in 24 of his 35 games in Milwaukee, averaging 14 points and 4.5 assists.

Lebron Will Play For Team USA

Lebron James ended uncertainty about his status with the U.S. national team on Tuesday night by saying he will play in next month’s FIBA America’s Tournament, where the Americans will try to qualify for the 2008 Olympics.

“I’m going to play,” James told The Associated Press. “I’ve had enough time off, and knowing my body more than anybody, I’m ready to play. I don’t know how much I’m going to play or how extensively, but I’ll be ready.”

James was uncertain about playing for Team USA this summer. His girlfriend Savannah just had their second son and with the Cavaliers making it to the NBA Finals, James may have wanted some extra time off after playing more than 100 games since last October.

“It was a long and tough year,” James said. “But for me, if I make a commitment, I want to keep it. I’m a loyal guy. I committed to three years and I’m going to hold up my end of the bargain.”

The U.S. team will have a three-day minicamp from July 20-22 in Las Vegas. Three weeks later, the Americans will resume practice in preparation for the 10-team tournament that begins on Aug. 22.

Two teams from that tournament will qualify for the Beijing Games.

So far, USA Basketball has commitments from Kobe Bryant, Jason Kidd, Carlos Boozer, Chauncey Billups, Deron Williams, Mike Miller, Tayshaun Prince, Tyson Chandler, Amare Stoudemire, Michael Redd, Greg Oden and Kevin Durant.

Miami’s Dwyane Wade will not play in the summer tournaments following shoulder surgery, but the Heat star told Krzyzewski on Monday that he will report to the mini-camp and wants to help out during practices in August.

“Dwyane called me and said, ‘Coach I’m one of the captains, and it means a lot,'” Krzyzewski said. “That’s a heck of a thing.”

Source: Associated Press

James Is Nominated For Three ESPY Awards

ESPY Awards Airs July 15th 9PM/EST on ABCLeBron James is nominated in three categories in this year’s ESPY awards.

James will co-host the July 15th event with ABC late-night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel at 9PM EST.

Fans will vote for the winners in 38 categories, and the awards show will air from Hollywood’s Kodak Theatre.

James is nominated for Best Male Athlete.

He’s pitted against tennis’ Roger Federer, the NFL’s Peyton Manning and LaDainian Tomlinson and golf’s Tiger Woods.

James is also nominated for best NBA player, and best championship performance for his 48 points in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Detroit Pistons, and HUMMER like nothing else award.

Source: ESPYS 2007

Can Billups become a Cavalier?

Detroit Pistons point guard Chauncey Billups has opted out of the final year of his six-year contract, making him an unrestricted free agent heading into the summer signing season.

“He informed the team this morning that he was opting out of his final year with the Pistons and that makes him a free agent — which we expected,” team spokesman Matt Dobek said Monday. The 30-year-old Billups, who played with the Celtics, Denver, Orlando and Minnesota in his first four seasons, was named the NBA finals MVP in 2004 when Detroit won the championship and was an All-Star in each of the next two seasons.

He averaged 17 points and 7.2 assists in 70 games last season, and has averaged 14.5 points and 5.3 assists over his nine-year career. His six-year deal with Detroit was worth $35 million


Are Paperless Tickets Here to Stay?

Most airlines have done away with paper tickets, and now a Cleveland company called Flash Seats is pushing the same concept for ballgames and concerts, to give fans more flexibility and teams greater control over the tickets they sell.

The patented Flash Seats system, used this past season by the Cleveland Cavaliers, lets fans buy electronic tickets. They enter an arena or concert venue by swiping a credit card or driver’s license that identifies them as the holder of a seat. The system then issues a paper guide to help them find the seats.

“This technology allows teams to take back control of their tickets,” said Samuel Gerace , chief executive of Flash Tickets.

Control is a big issue. Gerace said teams lose control of more than half of their paper tickets soon after the initial sale. He said 15 percent of an event’s tickets are typically resold by the original buyer, and 40 percent are transferred to someone else.

In Cleveland, participation in Flash Seats is voluntary. About 17 percent of season ticket holders used the system this past season, a percentage that Gerace said increased to 50 percent during the club’s strong playoff run into the NBA Finals. Gerace said he expects participation to rise to about 70 percent next season and eventually become mandatory.

“Eventually the ticket system will become paperless, but we’re still in a voluntary mode right now,” said Tad Harper , a spokesman for the Cavaliers.

Source: Boston.Com

Cavaliers Season Adventure

Bob Finnan of the News Herald did a three part behind-the-scenes look at the 2006-07 season.

Highlights from Part I:

After the game, some goofball radio guy asked James, “Do you take little LeBron to Chuck E. Cheese?” James answered him, too. Then, said dope follows up with another question, “Do you get more women as LeBron the basketball player or the businessman?” That’s when Cavs media director Tad Carper sprung into action. “All right, out!” Carper yelled. “Out!”
Cavs guard Eric Snow, sitting nearby in the locker room, chuckled all through the exchange. Two weeks before, the radio guy asked then-Indiana Pacers forward Stephen Jackson about his “weapon of choice.”

Highlights from Part II:

The Cavs played in Boston on Jan. 3, and Ilgauskas was signing autographs before the game at the TD Banknorth Garden. One fan said, “Thanks for signing our autographs. You’re nicer than most of those foreigners.”

Highlights from Part III:

We’ve seen enough of Wesley who drove hard to the basket in the Dallas game and, somehow, ventured too far under the basket. His layup attempt was blocked by the rubber foaming on the bottom of the basket support.
One jokester said they should have stopped the game, dragged out a podium and microphone, and allowed him to announce his retirement on the spot.

Source: Wacky wine and gold adventure, Part I, Wacky wine and gold adventure, Part II, Wacky wine and gold adventure, Part III

NBA Considers Reseeding After Each Playoff Round

nba-unbalanced-power.gifStu Jackson, the league’s executive vice president of basketball operations, says the league this summer plans to look into the possibility of reseeding teams after each playoff round. But they are unlikely will make any changes to the draft lottery system.

Next week, the two best players available, Greg Oden and Kevin Durant, are likely to wind up on teams from the already dominant Western Conference as a result of a complicated lottery system that determines the draft order. The results: the Eastern Conference will become even more irrelevant.

This year, the Western Conference had every member of the All-NBA first team and, arguably, the league’s five best teams. As a result, most fans tuned out of the NBA finals.

So what the NBA will do about this: “The balance within the league tends to be somewhat cyclical,” Stu Jackson said.

The Cavaliers have no draft pick this year.

Source: The Wall Street Journal (subscription required)