Basketball Notes: Silver Says LeBron, Others Have Asked For Longer All-Star Break
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver in an interview with ESPN Radio said that Heat F LeBron James "is among the players who have personally asked him to make the league's annual All-Star break longer." Silver said that James is "lobbying for an extended break to allow the game's stars to enjoy some semblance of respite from the grind of the regular season." Silver: "A guy like LeBron, All-Star Weekend is not a break for him in any way. He's going around the clock with a combination of things the league is asking him to do, personal commitments, and I think it makes sense if we can work in the schedule a few days so the All-Stars can get a break as well" (ESPN.com, 2/18). CBS Sports Network's Doug Gottlieb said, “They deserve a longer break because they’re performers, they’re entertainers. They have to have more energy. Look at all the injuries and look at guys who are just sitting out games because they are tired” ("Lead Off," CBS Sports Network, 2/18). However, ESPN's Tony Kornheiser said, "Some of these commitments include throwing parties and having photo shoots and making commercials" ("PTI," ESPN, 2/18).
ALL-STAR'S FADING LIGHT: In New Orleans, Ron Higgins wrote under the header, "The NBA's 'Lost Weekend' Doesn't Mean The League Has Lost Its Way." Higgins: "I stand by what I said about ticket prices that bordered on extortion, the underwhelming All-Star Saturday contests and the sham of the All-Star game itself. ... I don't like All-Star Weekend." But Higgins added, "I do love the NBA, both the regular season and the playoffs, and will defend it to the hilt, which is something that I've done quite often" (NOLA.com, 2/18).
GROWING INTO HER ROLE: In Chicago, Brian Sandalow wrote WNBA Sky F Elena Delle Donne has "emerged as the face of the Sky and maybe of the WNBA." That "celebrity status is something Delle Donne is growing comfortable with." She said, "We need attention on our sport, and I take a lot of pride in being a really good role model, too." Delle Donne this winter has "become the Sky’s focal point." While most of her teammates "are playing overseas, Delle Donne turned down lucrative offers and stayed in the area to help promote the Sky brand." Sky President & CEO Adam Fox said that the team is "ahead of last year's season-ticket pace" and that renewals are around 97% (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 2/15).