Daily Gossip, Thursday 2/10/14

Even best players are not perfect. We’ve seen LeBron James airball a lay-up and miss an open dunk all in one game [against Charlotte], and now the NBA media day has another gem for us. Kevin Durant is the unlucky culprit. 

KD CAN’T PALM AN NBA BALL 

He’s nearly 7-feet tall, has the wingspan as long as a football goal and just so happens to be the reigning NBA MVP, but Oklahoma City Thunder’s own Kevin Durant can not palm an NBA ball. 

Stunned photographers at the Thunder’s media day had to clean their ears out, but when Durant refused to palm two NBA balls as part of his photo shoot, with the explanation, the tog’s heard right. 

Durant can palm basketballs intended for high school and the NCAA, which are reasonably softer. There was a picture [above] of Durant palming two Nike basketballs in high school, but the MVP said that they were not pumped.

This also means that Durant is not able to palm the FIBA Molten basketballs either. 

Via The Oklahoman: 

During his [Media Day] photo sessions, Kevin Durant upon request informed multiple photographers that he cannot palm a basketball. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. Each time he was asked to grip the ball with one hand and pose for a picture, Durant quickly, and almost sheepishly, declined with that succinct explanation.  

“No, I can’t,” Durant, with a slight chuckle, again admitted. “I can’t. It’s nothing I can control. You know?” […] He chuckled again. […] “I don’t know what else to say,” he added. 

“There was no air in the balls,” Durant said when asked about the Montrose Christian photo. […] “To be honest, I don’t know why this is a story,” Durant said. “But, yeah, I can’t palm a ball.” 

LANDESBERG MISPLACES PASSPORT, EN ROUTE TO U.S. 

Fresh off their recent trip to Brazil, Euroleague champions Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv arrived in Cleveland ahead of their scrimmages with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Sylven Landesberg is still stuck in Brazil though after forgetting his passport.

Via Israeli journalist David Pick: 

“Maccabi forward Sylven Landesberg is stuck outside the U.S. after misplacing his passport. Expected in Cleveland [tomorrow].” 

Landesberg will no doubt be the subject of some jokes when he arrives in Ohio.

PROKHOROV TO SELL HIS SHARES OF THE NETS? 

Brooklyn Nets owner Mikail Prokorov is in talks with Guggenheim Sports and Entertainment Assets, owners of the Los Angeles Dodgers to possibly sell a stake in the New York side.

Via Nets Daily:

The ownership of the Brooklyn Nets is in “ongoing discussions” with Guggenheim Sports and Entertainment Assets, owners of the Los Angeles Dodgers, on a “combination of assets.” Mikhail Prokhorov would remain in control of the Nets and Bruce Ratner would remain in control of Barclays Center, say sources close to the discussions.

In the discussions, the team is being valued at $1.7 billion and the arena at $1.1 billion, said multiple sources. There is no agreement yet, nor a deadline for a conclusion of the discussions. The next step would be an agreement in principle followed by a closing. The combined assets of a new entity could be as high as $8 billion.

The discussions are continuing, said one source.  Another source says that Guggenheim’s president, Todd Boehly, met in Moscow earlier this week with Prokhorov, Ratner, and CEO Brett Yormark.

The first source emphasized that Prokhorov would continue to control the team as “governor and controlling owner” of the team “for the foreseeable future.” Prokhorov currently owns 80 percent of the team and 45 percent of the arena, with Ratner’s Nets Sports & Entertainment owning the remaining share of the team and the majority share in the arena. Presumably, in a combined entity, both Prokhorov and Ratner’s shares would be reduced, but still be controlling.