ESPN.com's McMenamin & Shelburne noted Lakers Exec VP/Player Personnel Jim Buss and Time Warner Cable reps are part of the team's delegation seeking to re-sign C Dwight Howard. A source said that the NBA "does not have a problem" with TWC SportsNet "being part of the pitch for Howard." If TWC "was to offer further compensation, that would be a violation of league rules." However, simply being "present for the sitdown is in no way a breach of league etiquette." The source said, "They could simply be presenting ideas about how they plan to cover Howard and the Lakers in the future. That is allowed" (ESPN.com, 7/1).
YOU CAN CALL ME AL: ESPN Cleveland's Tony Grossi reported "major changes to the Browns uniform won’t happen until the 2015 season after two years of market research and design study" by the NFL and Nike, but a "minor change is coming this year." The AL patch "will no longer be worn on the Browns uniform jersey." The patch "was added after" late Owner Al Lerner died in October '02. Browns Owner Jimmy Haslam in March "initiated the process with the NFL marketing department to have everything about the Browns uniform reviewed." Haslam said that he "hopes to introduce the Browns' new uniform look prior to the 2015 draft." He "just doesn't know how extensive it will be" (ESPNCLEVELAND.com, 7/1).
DEEP-SIXERS: In Philadelphia, Marcus Hayes writes with the 76ers "enduring the Season of [C Andrew] Bynum, it seemed so callous of the franchise to ignore its fan base after gutting itself." This is Majority Owner Josh Harris' "show." He "runs businesses" and "runs them efficiently." Hayes: "He makes money. Not friends." The "abdication by head coach and chief machiavel Doug Collins, the firing of general manager Tony DiLeo and the brief, hollow introduction of young GM Sam Hinkie all proceeded with curt, corporate efficiency." It is "as if everyone involved signed nondisclosure agreements stipulating that any questions regarding the team would be unanswered, ignored or evaded" (PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS, 7/2).
PAST DUE: In N.Y., Larry Brooks reported it "took several weeks for a number" of Devils players "to receive their final payroll checks of the season." The NHLPA, rather than "file default claims that could have resulted in the unidentified players becoming free agents, worked with the NHL to give all parties time to deal with the issue" (N.Y. POST, 6/30).