Daily Archives: July 6, 2009
Are not who you might expect. No LeBron or Dwight. No Melo or Kobe. We rank the brains–the right-brain superstars–behind the teams, venues, and deals that are, yes, changing the game.
1. Tim Leiweke, CEO of AEG Worldwide
His company owns and operates professional teams and facilities around the globe, and his latest high-profile projects should transform the industry. AEG is building arenas across China to help the NBA expand into the world’s most populous country. And L.A. Live, a 27-acre campus that hosts Laker games in the Staples Center, the ESPYs in the Nokia Theater, and ESPN broadcasts in its new studio, embodies Leiweke’s vision of merging sports and entertainment.
One positive ramification of Jason Kidd ditching Dallas after 1-1/2 years in Maverick blue would have been that Mark Cuban and team management could finally have admitted that the Kidd-Devin Harris trade was an absolute mistake. But no, we’re due three more years of Cuban barking in a hurricane, as Kidd has re-signed with Dallas through 2011-12. The Dallas Morning News reports the deal will pay Kidd $25 million over that span.
The Knicks had allegedly been offering $18 million over three years (the mid-level exception), which means the Mavericks paid an extra $2.3 million per season than anyone else realistically could for the 36-year-old guard. And, if you’re keeping track, Harris, the now 26-year-old point guard Kidd replaced, the kid who is by most objective standards a superior player to Kidd, will be paid over the next three years a total of … $25.3 million. Well done, Mavericks.
Josh Hamilton will return for the Angels series and Chris Davis was sent to Triple-A Oklahoma City to make room for Hamilton on the roster.
This gives Davis a chance to revamp his swing in the minors and regain some confidence. I think it’s the right move. The club didn’t have much choice at this point. The defense Davis played at first was excellent and it kept them more patient than normal, but you can’t have your first baseman hitting .200. So Davis and Justin Smoak will split time at OKC (I would think one will DH when the other is at first) and Hank Blalock becomes the primary first baseman.