Enjoyed the heat game with the family. Great to catch up with the Chalmers especially Rio
Ronnie Chalmers, the father of Miami Heat guard Mario Chalmers, is being sued by his former business partner for allegedly stealing property from and illegally competing against their jointly operated sports agency.
The lawsuit, filed Monday in Miami-Dade County Circuit Court, seeks nearly $65,000 in damages, plus unspecified punitive damages to be determined at trial.
The elder Chalmers is being sued by David Sugarman, who jointly operated the SugarTime sports agency with Chalmers from December 2012 until April 2013. Sugarman alleges in the lawsuit that Chalmers did not pay his half of agency expenses during that time and was caught on video surveillance stealing documents and files containing propriety information from the agency's Miami offices the night before he resigned from the firm.
The elder Chalmers is a former director of basketball operations at the University of Kansas, where his son played. When he joined SugarTime, the elder Chalmers had expressed a desire to deliver his son as a client to the agency, though the Heat guard continues to be represented by Sam Goldfeder of Excel Sports Management.
Mario Chalmers is not a party to the lawsuit. Ronnie Chalmers could not immediately be reached for comment.
Sugarman also alleges the elder Chalmers breached his fiduciary duties to the agency by, among other things, taking meetings with potential clients without the agency's knowledge. In one such meeting, Ronnie Chalmers met with a potential client's college coach at the Final Four in Atlanta this year and damaged the agency's chances of landing the prospect as a client because he forgot the player's name, the lawsuit alleges.
Chalmers also is accused of delaying the signing of another potential client because he “had an intention to sign the potential client to a competing sports representation agency,” the lawsuit says.
Since emailing Sugarman on April 18 that he was resigning from the agency, Ronnie Chalmers has violated a non-compete clause in his contract by continuing to recruit potential clients, including 2013 draft prospects C.J. Leslie, Ben McLemore, Travis Releford, Elijah Johnson and Brandon Davies, according to the lawsuit.
The night before resigning, Ronnie Chalmers and an unknown accomplice were captured on video surveillance removing items from the agency's offices in Miami Beach, the lawsuit says. Chalmers returned “numerous items” upon request by the agency's attorneys at Wolfe Law Miami, P.A., the lawsuit says, but “continues to possess valuable, confidential and proprietary information that belongs to the Agency.”
Sugarman also is suing Ronnie Chalmers for defamation, accusing his former partner of making false and defamatory statements to third parties about Sugarman in violation of his contract. The lawsuit asks the court to issue an injunction preventing Ronnie Chalmers from working for any sports agency and representing or recruiting clients for one year from the date he relinquished his stock interest in the SugarTime agency.
1. The two biggest free agents on the market, Andrew Wiggins and Tarik Black, are off the market and at the same school, Kansas. Reassess just where you think the Jayhawks belong in the Top 25 after this haul. Surely not 16th?
DeCourcy: I find it interesting that oddsmakers have moved Kansas to what the English call “second favorite” as the result of Wiggins choosing KU. As much as I admire Wiggins, and I wrote recently that he will be one of the greatest pure athletes in NBA history, it seems a lot to ask for any player to elevate a team that does not have a returning starter to being expected to reach the Final Four.
I’d put KU on the fringe of the top five, given Bill Self’s accomplishments as coach and the talent – however inexperienced it might be – collected on the Jayhawks roster. I’d give KU a great chance to reach the Final Four and an outside shot at a national title. That’s always going to be in reach with a future pro star such as Wiggins in the rotation.
The greatest concerns with the Jayhawks are that they won’t have a true defensive stopper at the back and, more important, that point guard Naadir Tharpe might not have championship stuff. But Wiggins can block shots and Wiggins can make plays, so maybe neither ends up mattering.
2. Speaking of Black, the graduate transfer rule has essentially created free agency for some quality players looking for new homes. Black is the most recent and prominent example. Should players like him even get that chance, when the spirit of the rule calls for any move to be for academic reasons?
DeCourcy: I’ve had this argument with coaches I respect, but there are so few rules in the NCAA handbook that are written to benefit the athletes that I just can’t see a problem with this one giving young men freedom of choice if they meet the standard of earning a degree.
If I’m a basketball player who earns a degree with eligibility still to spend, I’ve got a lot of great options. I can leave to turn professional if I’m gifted enough. If I’m happy with how my career has progressed, I can stay at my current school and either seriously pursue a second major or graduate degree, or I can essentially loaf through the year academically and just play ball. The academic requirements for a graduate can be really slender.
Or, if my career has not progressed well -- and it certainly did not for Black – then I can see if there’s another place where I might be coached differently, where I might be used differently, where the needs of the program might suit what I can provide. If I find the right place, I can transfer and play immediately.
Nearly all of the arguments against the grad transfer rule are made by coaches. Most of those complaints involve bad behavior by coaches – such as tampering -- that results. Is the problem the rule, then, or that coaches behave badly when given the chance?
The Jayhawks will be young but talented. Bill Self will have five new starters next season after Ben McLemore declared for the NBA Draft, but the Jayhawks have put together a terrific recruiting class that should be Kansas’ foundation for the next few seasons. Andrew Wiggins was the consensus top player in the Class of 2013 and should immediately give this team an alpha dog at small forward. Freshman wing Wayne Selden is an impact scorer at 6-foot-5, while fellow first-year players Joel Embiid (6-foot-11), Brannen Greene (6-foot-6) and Conner Frankamp should all be able to make contributions at their respective positions. Embiid has big-time upside while Frankamp should be able to immediately extend defenses with his shot-making ability. Naadir Tharpe returns to run the show at point guard while Perry Ellis and Jamari Traylor figure to be two key pieces on the interior. Andrew White should be a ready for a bigger role as a sophomore, and red shirt freshman Landen Lucas could also be in play for a regular spot in the rotation thanks to his size (6-foot-10).
CBS Rothstein's Top 25
The twins and Anthony Davis?
It’s been decades since a true shooting guard went No. 1 overall. (Depending on how you categorize Allen Iverson, you probably have to go back to David Thompson in 1975.) And McLemore would be the first Jayhawk to go first overall since Danny Manning in 1988. But does McLemore have a chance?
The NBA Draft lottery took place on Tuesday night, and the Cleveland Cavaliers walked away with the top pick for the second time in three years. Last season, the Cavs used the No. 4 overall pick on former Syracuse shooting guard Dion Waiters (he averaged 14.7 points in 61 games), while point guard Kyrie Irving continues to emerge as one of the league’s best young players.
So perhaps the Cavaliers will find McLemore appealing, but they certainly don’t have a gaping hole at the guard spot.
After Tuesday’s lottery, draft expert Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress.com projected McLemore to go No. 2 to the Orlando Magic, while ESPN’s Chad Ford pegged McLemore to go No. 4 to the Charlotte Bobcats. Both Givony and Ford projected former Kentucky center Nerlens Noel to go No. 1 overall.
(Meanwhile, Givony projects former KU center Jeff Withey to go No. 22 overall to the Brooklyn Nets, and former MU guard Phil Pressey to go to Atlanta with the 50th pick.)
If McLemore doesn’t go to Cleveland, here are four other places he could land.
There’s a strong possibility Kansas University’s Ben McLemore will be coached by a Jayhawk in the NBA next season.
DraftExpress.com’s latest 2013 Mock Draft has Jacque Vaughn’s Orlando Magic selecting the 6-foot-5 McLemore with the No. 2 overall pick in June 27 draft, following Cleveland’s projected selection of Kentucky’s Nerlens Noel at No. 1.
“I just think McLemore has real superstar quality,” Sports Illustrated’s Chris Mannix told the Orlando Sentinel. “I think he’s a more athletic version of Ray Allen. He certainly finishes better than Ray. After a couple of years, he could really blossom into one of those franchise 2-guards.”
Mannix believes McLemore is just too talented to pass up, even though Orlando needs a point guard and Michigan’s Trey Burke is available.
“The Magic have needs everywhere. They have a lot of good, young talent, no question about it, but there’s not anybody on that roster where you say, ‘We’re not going to take this specific position.’ I think you have to take the best player on the board,” Mannix told the Sentinel.
Draft Express/Yahoo mock draft
Great to see Cole and Xav this past weekend. Congrats to @colea45 for graduating
Big 12/College News
Some of America’s best young basketball talents will play college basketball next season at Kentucky. You’ve probably heard about this by now. Today, you might have learned none of these young men will play for America this summer in the FIBA U19 World Championships.
According to UK coach John Calipari, that is not by his design.
"Most of it is, they didn’t want to play. I’m not forcing kids to do anything,” Calipari told Sporting News. “I think the reason they all turned it down is, they want to get started.”
With Yanni Hufnagel going to Vanderbilt, longtime assistant Brad Frederick is leaving the Commodores. Interested to see where he winds up.
Will Yeguete has battled injuries throughout most of his career at Florida, and he will have to recover from another surgery heading into his senior season.
Yeguete had arthroscopic surgery on his knee in early February, but returned to play in the team's final six regular-season games and the NCAA tournament. During his sophomore season, he missed the final nine games due to a broken foot.
A four-month recovery period would put Yeguete on track to return at the end of September, coinciding with the start of the team's preseason practices. The 6-foot-7 forward from France averaged 5.5 points and 5.8 rebounds last season.
Florida is expected to be a top-10 team this upcoming season. The Gators return starters Scottie Wilbekin and Patric Young, and bring in talented transfers Damontre Harris (South Carolina) and Dorian Finney-Smith (Virginia Tech), along with five-star recruits Kasey Hill and Chris Walker. Role players Casey Prather and Michael Frazier are also back. Eli Carter announced he was transferring to Florida last month, and there's a chance he gets a waiver to play immediately.
For now, let's focus on the fact that after Alford flubbed his opening news conference, Guerrero assured reporters he had asked his new coach about something the coach later said never came up. Whoops.
As unfortunate as that anecdote is, it was just one slightly embarrassing detail in an otherwise not-unflattering story more about Alford's overall life in basketball than his hiring at UCLA. It gained steam among understandably grumpy UCLA fans in no time, but would have likely gone away shortly after that. Guerrero was caught out. It happens. It's over. You take your lumps and live to fight another day.
Here's how a backlash really starts to take form: That's not what Guerrero did. Instead, he issued a statement. No, seriously! He issued a statement! That really happened! Let us bask in its glory:
"It is unfortunate that Chris Foster's Los Angeles Times article on UCLA men's basketball Coach Steve Alford focuses only on issues and opinions from long ago and ignores what he has accomplished since arriving at UCLA. In addition to assembling a phenomenal coaching staff, every student-athlete chose to remain a Bruin and play for Steve. I should also note that despite an exclusive interview with Chancellor Gene Block on the subject of Coach Alford, Foster failed to mention any part of the interview, including the chancellor's repeated and unequivocal support for Coach Alford and his firm belief that Steve is committed to being a Bruin and embracing the values of Coach John Wooden. Finally, contrary to the impression left by the story, Steve has been warmly welcomed by the Bruin family and the Los Angeles community. We are all excited to have Steve as our coach and are looking forward to the new season. Go Bruins!"
Yep, that's right: Not only does Guerrero apparently not understand that reporters are under no obligation to include specific portions of their reporting in any given story, he also wants everyone to recognize what Alford -- who hasn't coached a single game at UCLA -- has already accomplished at UCLA.
Self-inflicted backlash: complete.
Perhaps the silliest part of all of this is that UCLA expected Alford to be greeted with open arms. Forget the Pierce story. Alford had just lost to Harvard. He's been to one Sweet 16 in his career; the Bruins had just fired a coach who went to three consecutive Final Fours. Worst of all, his name wasn't Shaka Smart or Brad Stevens. Where does this whole open-arms idea even come from? DeCourcy nails it:
OK, so maybe Guerrero was expecting “open arms.” Maybe that’s what he has deluded himself into perceiving. But it’s not what has occurred at UCLA since Alford became the fallback choice to run the Bruins program. And the only thing that will change the mood will be an NCAA championship the Bruins seem a long way from achieving.
That's exactly right. Unless Alford builds a consistent national title contender in Westwood, Bruins fans' sky-blue-adorned arms will remain leerily folded across their sky-blue-adorned chests. In a weird way, this should be freeing. What matters for Alford and Guerrero now is whether UCLA wins or loses, and how. It's really just that simple. Little else matters.
In the meantime, maybe write fewer angry, backlash-inducing news releases? I'm just spitballing here.
The bribery and game-fixing case involving former San Diego Toreros star Brandon Johnson has been sewed up. Johnson was sentenced to six months in jail on March 1, a sentence he'll begin on May 31. But the FBI this week released details on its investigation and what Johnson earned while intentionally altering the outcome of final scores in certain games.
The investigation -- endearingly titled "Operation Hook Shot" -- took three years, and on the sports end, centered around Johnson and former USD coach Thaddeus Brown, who was involved in illegal gambling circles and convinced Johnson to fix. Johnson left San Diego in 2010 as the school's all-time leading scorer and assist man.
Eight people were involved in the scheme, all of whom were sentenced to jail time, the final and most recent being a bookie who was sentenced in April to two years in federal prison. The FBI's details of the case and its process of investigation, shedding more light to Johnson's role and what the game-fixing meant for him, prior to being caught, are below. The details are pretty interesting.
Brown had placed bets with the illegal gambling business operated by Garmo and two partners-in-crime. Though no longer with the team, he still had contacts among the USD players. During the 2009-2010 season, he recruited Johnson—USD's starting point guard—to influence the outcome of basketball games in exchange for money. Brown was paid handsomely for his role in the conspiracy—up to $10,000 per game.
During that season, it's believed that at least four games were “fixed” with Johnson's assistance. Perhaps the senior point guard would miss a free throw now and then or draw a technical foul. Or he would just pass up a shot—at one point Johnson was heard on electronic surveillance talking about how he wouldn't shoot at the end of a particular game because it would have cost him $1,000.
The co-conspirators routinely got together to discuss the predictions of oddsmakers and to pick which games to fix. They would then make their bets—often on the other team (USD was usually favored to win)—which would enhance their winnings even more. And with Johnson manipulating the games, they usually won their bets, netting them more than $120,000.
2013-14 Early-season events schedule
Tyus Jones, the No. 2 overall recruit for 2014 and an excellent point guard, was selected by Paul Biancardi, Adam Finkelstein and John Stovall.
"Point guards make the world go 'round, and Jones is the best in high school right now," wrote Stovall. "Not only can he make plays for himself, he also elevates the games of all of his teammates. Jones is the closest thing you will find to Chris Paul on the amateur level."
Like most top-recruits from the class of 2014, Kaleb Joseph has been inundated by interest from high-level Division 1 coaches.
Whether receiving calls, texts or messages via social media, the 6-foot-3, 195-pound Nashua, NH product – who suits up for Cushing Academy during the school year and Mass Rivals throughout the AAU season – has remained the object of affection for coaches seeking a long and lanky point guard with the ability to break down defenders off the dribble, hit a midrange pull-up jumper, penetrate and find open teammates, and display lockdown, on-ball defense.
So when the 2013 April live period kicked off – the first opportunity for Division 1 coaches to evaluate players, in-person, since last July – it wasn’t surprising just how great the demand was on Joseph’s time.
“It’s really stressful. A lot of schools are calling all the time and texting,” Joseph said in a phone interview a few days after the two-week window concluded. “It’s a lot to deal with sometimes, but I can’t really be upset about it because a lot of kids would like to be in this position.”
The list of schools that have offered Joseph now includes Boston College, Delaware, Fordham, Georgetown, Marquette, Maryland, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Seton Hall, St. Bonaventure, Syracuse, TCU and Tennessee. In the live period alone, he added high-major offers from Georgetown, Minnesota, and Marquette.
Asked to identify the schools that have shown the most interest, Joseph replied, “Georgetown, Minnesota, Marquette, Kansas State, Kansas, West Virginia, Syracuse, Pittsburgh and Providence.”
“I just want to build a good relationship with the coaching staff and just player development,” Joseph said about the criteria he’ll use to make his decision. “At the end of the day, I just want to get better. That’s what it is all about – to get me to where I want to be by the time my college career is over. And I want to be around good people who care about me off the basketball courts as well as on the court; (a place where) they’re going to develop me into being a better person.”
Diamond Stone rotated to block a shot, corralled the loose ball and snapped a three-quarter court outlet pass to a streaking teammate who finished with a layup on the other end in a matter of seconds.
“The thing that makes him special is his skill,” ESPN National Recruiting Analyst Reggie Rankin said. “He’s got excellent skill—he can score with his back to the basket, he can score facing the basket and he can make passes out of double teams when he draws multiple defenders. When you have a post player who can do those three things at 6-10, 250 pounds that puts him in a special category from a skill standpoint.”
The big man finished with 12 points, 10 rebounds, 4 assists and 6 blocks as his Young Legends cruised by the Milwaukee Spartans 62-41 on Sunday during the quarterfinals of the NY2LA Sports Invitational in Milwaukee. Stone & Co. then went onto beat Chicago Lockdown in the semis and DTA by 20 points in the Platinum Division championship.
He was named co-MVP of the 16s division by NY2LA Sports, and added yet another trophy to his collection as he has been part of Dominican’s last two Division 4 Wisconsin state championship squads.
When we spoke with Theo Pinson in late April, he said he wanted to trim his list soon. And then suddenly last Saturday, reports surfaced that Pinson was cutting his list to five -- and ready to make a decision.
That decision came on Wednesday afternoon: Pinson is headed to North Carolina.
The 6-foot-5 wing from Wesleyan Christian Academy (NC) chose the Tar Heels over primary competition from Indiana, although Louisville, Georgetown and Duke were also in his final five.
2013 Spring/Summer AAU & Camp Schedule
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