By Derek Helling
Indiana Pacers forward Paul George's signature Nike shoe, the PG,1 is set to be released for sale to the public in March. While the initial price point is currently the lowest among similar products, we've seen this scenario play out before.
Brendan Dunne of Solecollector.com did an interview with George about the shoe, and listed an initial suggested retail price of $110. In the interview, George had the following to say about the shoe's price:
“I really wanted to target kids that look up to me but can’t afford the $200 pair, $150, $180 pair of shoes to play basketball in."
Seven years ago, we saw this same situation begin in very similar fashion with Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant.
Durant's first signature shoe, the KD1, debuted in 2009 with a suggested retail price of $88. Figuring for inflation and the ever-rising costs of production, that's pretty similar to a $110 MSRP in March of 2017. Now eight years and shoe incarnations later, the KD9's MSRP is 170 percent of the MSRP of the KD1 at $150.
Part of the price hike in the Durant line has to do with Durant's sustained success on the court and brand power. While George has yet to play in the NBA Finals and hasn't been won an MVP award yet, although he has been named the Comeback Player of the Year by his peers.
George's best off-the-court accomplishment has been landing the honor of being the cover athlete for NBA 2K17, so far the best sign of his brand rising. All that has just gotten him to the point where Nike has produced a signature shoe for him, however.
If he can nab some more accolades in the coming seasons, it could similarly affect the cost and robustness of the PG shoe line. In eight years, we could see the PG9 released with a MSRP around $180.
For NBA fans looking for a less-expensive signature shoe in 2025, it's a safe bet that Nike will have some younger player debuting his first signature shoe at a low price point that year as well. Who that will be remains to be seen, along with how far and to what heights the PG shoe line will rise in that time.
By Derek Helling
A tweet by the Turner-owned sports web property Bleacher Report was the subject of ire by Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban recently. The deletion of the tweet and apology to Cuban that followed was a journalism ethical travesty, but it is Turner president David Levy who should shoulder most of the blame for the problem, not Cuban.
On Thursday, February 24, Bleacher Report posted a tweet containing a video of Dallas star Dirk Nowitzki throwing up an airball during a game with the caption "Dirk Forever." Cuban immediately took umbrage, sending an email to Levy asking the tweet to be deleted. Levy acquiesced, and shortly thereafter the tweet was deleted and an apology tweet was issued in its place.
For those who are unfamiliar with journalism ethics, it's a huge issue for the subjects being covered to be able to dictate to the press how they are covered. While something as trivial as a video of one shot in a tweet seems harmless, the concern is the proverbial slippery slope. That's a line that should never, ever, be crossed regardless of the importance of the exact subject matter.
Several questions arise in response to actions like this. How many other times has Bleacher Report received a complaint from someone in the major college/professional sports industry about coverage and altered the coverage to accommodate the complaint? What's to stop this from happening again in the future? Those are questions that should never be asked about any media outlet.
As someone heavily involved in professional sports, Cuban should know that his demands were outrageous. Bleacher Report represented the event truthfully, and has every right to comment on the subject as it sees fit. This was not libelous coverage. For anyone who is being covered by the media for any reason: outside of libel or slander, if you don't like the coverage, it's up to you to change the story from your end, not demand the media distort the story to create a rosier picture.
Why Levy, Not Cuban, Should Shoulder Most of the Blame
While Cuban should understand why his actions were a problem, Cuban isn't the big issue here. As the team owner, he has a strong emotional connection to his franchise, as is right for someone in that position. Nowitzki is arguably the greatest player in team history, probably making Cuban's emotional attachment to his reputation even stronger. This is about more than just emotion for Cuban, however.
Cuban was also building and protecting the Mavericks brand in this move. He has built the business into one of the most successful in the National Basketball Association, as evidenced by the fact that Dallas has the second-best attendance in the NBA this season despite not having the best on-court product.
It's not Cuban's job to regulate Bleacher Report or any other of the media outlets that cover his team. Cuban has no authority to impose his wishes upon them, other than threatening to revoke the press credentials of the outlets which are the subject of his displeasure, which he has actually done on a temporary basis before.
Levy is the one whose responsibility the content of Bleacher Report lies with, and who has the authority to impose his wishes upon Bleacher Report employees. If something unethical happens at Bleacher Report, it's on Levy. When Levy made the decision to tell his subordinates to not only remove the tweet but apologize as well, he not only compromised his own integrity, but the integrity of Bleacher Report/Turner Sports as publications along with the professional integrity of all of Turner Sports'/Bleacher Report's employees.
Levy owes his employees, and everyone who consumes Bleacher Report content, an immediate apology. The company also needs to publicly take steps to ensure that this doesn't happen again. In a time where being a media outlet is as treacherous as ever, it's vitally important that such organizations be as transparent and rigorous about journalism ethics as possible.
NBA All-Star Game Fading Fast
We talked last week about how Anthony Davis' ASG scoring record should have an asterisk next to it. Now it's time to show you why. Everyone knows the ASG is a joke, but fewer no how little of a laughing matter it used to be.
Checkout this footage of this year's All-Star "Game." So weak and uncompetitive it's beyond embarrassing even for an exhibition.
Now Watch some highlights from this 1987 all-star game. Notice how there are actually defenders around more times than not? It's almost like they cared! Yes it was still an exhibition but these guys wanted to win!
What can be done to get back to competitive games like this during All-Star weekend? Anything?
Since his hiring by the Lakers last week as the team's president of basketball operations, there has been a lot of talk about the ability of the Laker legend, and former minority owner to lead the front office.
Johnson who since his playing career has amassed an impressive business empire and has been a visible NBA broadcaster, will now for the first time be responsible for day-to-day basketball decisions with little no no prior experience or grooming for the job.
Many experts have been skeptical of his ability to handle his new job given the minimal success met by other first time/no experience presidents like Phil Jackson and Vlade Divac in recent years. The question is are these people right will Magic fail in his new job?
We believe we have a good feel for the answer to that question.
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