More Details, More Problems
West Coast Sports Newsletter Round Four
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Pete D. Camarillo aka Mr. Scouring Sports Internet at 3AM
More Deets, More Issues
More details continued surfacing about league returns in the coming weeks, especially in the NBA. New info means new issues and splits too.
NBA Players get until June 24th to decide if they’ll participate in the season restart on July 30th. Those who skip won’t get punished.
Some players questioned returning to play due to the current national dialogue about systematic racism. The Association addressed this.
L.A. native Kyle Korver along with Lakers veterans Dwight Howard and Avery Bradley spoke in favor of ditching the detraction of a title chase in favor of real change.
Meanwhile, Austin Rivers and Magic Johnson all said they could use the platform of playing to fight social justice.
NBAPA Executive Director admitted their is no way to fully protect players. However, players can wear a mask that detects COVID-19 risk. There’s also a hotline to call.
All the efforts to make players comfortable were released to players in a manual. Dame Lillard said the risk is worth it.
Amenities include players -only lounge, VIP concierge, daily entertainment and attendance at other games. More details on accommodations.
NBA players would lose $1.2 billion in salary skipping this season, on top of the $300 million they already lost.
WESTSIDE CONNECTIONS: The Lakers and Clippers already faced adversity before the COVID stoppage which could help them in Orlando. Added, reports say the Lakers aren’t divided on playing despite Howard and Bradley statements.
Not to mention, Clippers guard Pat Beverly says he’s in if King James is hooping. Many other players expected to support return with LeBron.
Here’s What We Learned About Sports Returns
The first league back will be the NWSL as they plan to resume action on June 27.
Players will be in a league-quarantined NWSL Village for the 25-game tournament in Utah.
Nine teams will participate in the Challenge Cup with players’ salaries and benefits guaranteed through the end of the season. However, players are not required to play.
Eight top qualifiers advance to the knockout round after playing four preliminary matches. It will be available on CBS Sports OTT app and Twitch.
The league was left out a SportsCenter Special featuring prominent players and commissioners discussing sports return until fans spoke up on social media.
Officially announced their July return for a 22-game season, cut down from 34 games, followed by regular postseason action.
They reached an agreement with the IMG Academy in Florida despite thoughts they would go to Vegas for their bubble.
100 percent of salaries are guaranteed too.
Commissioner Rob Manfred said he’s not confident a season happens and reports say there are eight MLB owners open to skipping the season.
Angels star Mike Trout and others said they’re ready to play anytime, any place.
Dodgers pitcher Ross Stripling went off.
Both teams have a lot at stake due to offseason moves.
Despite issues with restart, the MLB reportedly agreed to a new billion-dollar TV rights deal.
Plus, Dr. Fauci does not recommend Baseball’s conclusion in October.
Positive COVID-19 tests popped up with some prominent NFL players in Texas.
Nonetheless, the League is staying the course on their season and social justice at the moment.
Twenty-six teams were broken up into six groups for the MLS is Back Tournament beginning July 8.
All 22 teams will play three games in the group stage so teams can get up to speed.
The top two teams in each group advance to the knockout stage while the four best third-place teams advance to the round of 16, beginning July 25.
August 11th is the scheduled finale.
Group matches will count for points toward regular season standings.
The Winners earn the league’s spot in the CONCACAF Champions League in 2021 as well as cuts of a bonus prize pool
MLS clubs are also looking into additional revenue by adding shorts and sleeves ad inventory.
The estimated cost of the COVID-19 shutdown is about a billion for the MLS.
The NHL isn’t questioning the integrity of their postseason despite limited details about dates and hub city.
Facilities continue opening and Training Camp is expected July 10.
More on the NHL and MLS return throughout the newsletter.
Brewing Soccer Rivalry in L.A.
The MLS is Back Tournamentdrew groups for the upcoming tournament last week. Los Angeles soccer fans will be in for a treat as the Galaxy and LAFCboth drew Group F. The PortlandTimbers are also in the group along with the Houston Dynamos.
Since the LAFC joined the MLS in 2018, these teams have played five times. The Galaxy won two and the rest were draws. Yet, LAFC eliminated the Galaxy when it mattered in last year’s postseason. Group paring means the L.A. teams could play each other later in the tournament if both teams advance out of the group.
FOR THE RECORD: Group B features the San Jose Earthquakes and the Seattle Sounders. Still, the New York teams did not get grouped together.
Determining the Golden Goalie
The Golden Knights goalie spot is up for grabs when play resumes. Vegas will decide between Marc-Andre Fleury or Robin Lehner as starting goalie for the upcoming NHL postseason during the four-game, 24 squads mini-tournament for seeding.
Fleury is a legend in Vegas for his role with the 2017 Championship but he is 35. Lehner is a 25-year-old trade acquisition on an expiring contract. Vegas should give Fleury the veteran every chance but both may get a start in the round-robin phase of the postseason due to their gamble on Lehner at the deadline.
Presuming play happens, the Knights are among odds makers favorites to win the Stanley Cup this year. Vegas is also still in play to host the NHL tournament. Of course, no one is getting a home court sans-fans attending games.
REPRESENT: The Golden Knights are the last representative of the time zone left with the Sharks, Ducks and Kings all sitting at home for the playoffs. They also re-upped tough guy Ryan Reaves as well as signed a two-way deal with goalie Oscar Dansk.
Orlando Can’t Win Them All
Speaking of Sin City, Vegas will host the NFL Pro Bowl in January. Allegiant Stadium will host the NFL’s All-Star game instead of Orlando where the game was played the last four years.
Ironically, Orlando is the planned home for the NBA and MLS return in a few weeks. Naturally, the home of Disney World sparks the interest from leagues since it hosts all sorts of tournaments all-year.
Meanwhile, Vegas gets the NFL Draft in 2022 and it could bid on the Super Bowl in 2025. Sports Betting long made Las Vegas off limits for professional sports but increasing legalization has teams like the Broncos looking at betting for extra revenue.
Not to mention, Vegas will catch other league’s interest thanks to the NHL’s Golden Knights and WNBA’s Aces successes combined with the hype from the NFL and the Raiders.
BUSINESS IS BOOMING: Vegas is gaining steam as a sports market especially if they end up as the hub city for the NHL’s tournament. Who knows though until we move out of the pandemic?
Pandemic Problems for Seattle’s NHL Expansion
No major rain delays expected for Seattle’s NHL team but the arena did fall a few months behind on their construction schedule due to COVID-19. This estimated $900 million construction project near the site of the former KeyArena, where the SuperSonics played, will also be home for the Storm.
The Storm might get delayed in their debut in the new arena but the new NHL team still expects to begin play with the 2021-22 season. Delays stem more from the supply chain because they did not stop building for the pandemic.
This expansion team also plans to host the expansion and NHL Draft in the summer of 2021 despite shutdown delays or the uncertainty facing the entire league.
PERSPECTIVE: Still, the NHL expansion team is patient with unveiling name.
Shanahan Grabs Another Bag
San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan is now among the top-five paid coaches in the elite company of Pete Carroll, Jon Gruden, John Harbaugh, Andy Reid and Sean Payton.
Shanahan blew up the young head coach market again with another six-year deal. He’s on his second one as the 9ers gain stability at coach they haven’t had in decades.
The leader of last year’s NFC Champs became the first 9ers coach to sign an extension since Stave Mariucci 20 years ago. Before Shanahan, San Francisco featured six different head coaches highlighted by Jim Harbaugh, Mike Nolan and Chip Kelly.
San Francisco signed Shanahan in 2017 to a six year deal that received scrutiny due to his inexperience as a head coach. General manager John Lynch also got hired with similar questions. The pair got off to a rough start missing on their first two draft picks in defensive lineman Solomon Thomas and linebacker Reuben Foster.
FLOWERS EARNED: Despite all that, Shanahan and Lynch built a perennial contender in a few years. Eyes turn towards Lynch getting an extension next.
MLB Draft Tracker
Check out B/R’s farm system rankings and grades after the MLB Draft. Here are team trackers:
FUN FACT: 25 players from Cali were drafted.
More West Coast Reads
LeBron and others weigh in on The Kid for a new documentary.
Check out this new voting rights group led by LeBron and other athletes.
Sounders lose reserve midfielder and player rep to retirement for MBA.
SoFI Stadium death from fall caused by safety lapses, per Victim’s attorney.
KAP WATCH: League officials Troy Vincent and Roger Goodell advocate, Chargers reportedly considering him.
Serena Williams is favorite to win US Open in August despite not winning since 2014.
Read how a Mariners minor leaguer customized kicks for over 100 players
Sacramento Kings test their own method of detecting the virus.
Marketing, Comms and Journalism and More Sports Jobs on the West Coast
Account Executive, Simplicity Sports
Editorial Assistant, full-time reporter and freelance reporter, Santa Monica Daily Press
Copy Editor, Ringer
Senior Director of Social Media and Content, Activision
Campaign Manager, Tune In
SEO Editorial Content Writer, Road Runner Sports
Senior Producer, Activision
Production Artist, BSN Sports
Creative Director, Overwatch
Sports Sponsorship Sales Specialist, Primetime Sports
Chief Marketing Officer, Women Sports’ Startup
VP of Operations, Warriors
Sports Editor, SF Gate
Quality Editor, B/R
Managing Editor, Fox Sports
Category Manager, Curated
Sales Manager, AEG
Ticketing Director, Elevate
News Producer, Redding
Partner Marketing Content Manager, Ubisoft
Freelance Sports and Outdoor Writer, Digital Trends
Assistant Buying Manager, Adidas
Volunteer AD, CareerVillage
Diversity & Inclusion Specialist, William Hill
Director of Government Relations, William Hill
Sports Portrait Photographer, Bell Photographers
Volunteer NBA and NFL writer, Macro Sports
One More West Coast Vibe
This week’s vibe comes from a subscriber and friend, Cez in Los Angeles.
Long Beach Artists Joey Fatts and Vince Staples linked for Havin’ My Way. It’s the fast, knocking beat matched with the smooth flow you expect from these artists that makes this feel authentically Cali.
Overall, the message is solid too. It’s about perfecting your craft and timing in spite of gangs, deaths and other adversity.
Not to mention, the video features iconic L.A. scenic backgrounds.
Thanks for getting this far. Please send me any and all music recommendations from the West Coast for the Vibe section. The special interest is given to Pacific Northwest and Vegas artists, Spanish or Rock groups since I’ve mainly stuck to Cali hip hop. Have a great week.
As always, subscribing is the best way to show us love in our journey to creating an exclusive West Coast Sports Media brand. If you’re already onboard please take our quick survey with mostly multiple-choice questions about the quality of this newsletter.
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