The PopGates Monday Bulletin: 5/1

Everything you might have missed last week from the Basketball Universe:

Bye-Bye D-League

The D-League season ended this week with the Raptors 905 defeating the Rio Grande Valley Vipers in a best of three series for the league championship. The win is significant for a few reasons:

  • Jerry Stackhouse guided the Raptors 905 to a championship in his first season as a head coach – and looks like he is on the fast track to an NBA job.
  • The championship concludes the D-League’s 16 year run, as next season the league is rebranding as the G-League or Gatorade League.

The stage parent curse

Nike, Adidas and Under Armour all passed on an endorsement deal with soon-to-be lottery pick Lonzo Ball. The deals reportedly fell through because of the conditions imposed by Lavar Ball, Lonzo’s bloviating dad.

In Lavar’s words “We aren’t looking for an endorsement deal, we are looking co-branding, a true partner.”

It was reported that Lavar is insisting any deal be contingent upon a branding deal for his apparel line (more like dish rags with shiny shit on them) “Big Baller.”

Kristaps the dream maker

In a rare instance of an NBA team treating a country’s national team with the slightest bit of respect, the Knicks have signed off on Kristaps Porzingis playing for Latvia at EuroBasket this summer. The only caveat is Knicks trainer Joshua Longstaff is going to accompany Porzingod to Latvia.

This cannot be overstated: Latvia is now looking like a Eurobasket heavy weight – now if only they can find habitual bad haircut Andris Biedrins.

76ers enter the Milos Fray

The Nets have made no secret of their desire to acquire swarthy point-god Milos Teodosic. The Mavericks have also demonstrated interest. And now, The Inquirer Daily News in Philadelphia is reporting Sixers GM Bryan Colangelo was at a Euroleague playoff game to watch Teodosic this week.

If Milos wants to play in the NBA this year he will – the bigger question is will he be willing to play if the money, playing time and situation aren’t perfect?

Yao-fluence

The Chinese National Team announced former players Du Feng and Li Nan are taking over coaching duties as co-head coaches. It is being reported that Yao Ming orchestrated the move. Both Feng and Nan formerly played alongside Yao on the National Team. Nan was a deadly perimeter player back in the day and Feng was a centerpiece as a forward from 2001-2010.

The question remains: how is the arrival of New Zealand and Australia going to impact China’s place as the dominant force in the FIBA AsiaCup?

Quote of the Week –

What you think” I’m on the team. What you want me to say – no it’s over? That’s what you want to hear? Yes! C’mon man! You’ve been doing this long enough. Seriously, right? No I don’t want to. Everybody in here laughing for a reason. Come on man.“
– Chris Paul after being asked if he is confident in his team winning an elimination game.