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Steve Ballmer Completes $400M Purchase Of The Forum

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CAPSS LLC has completed the purchase of The Forum in Inglewood from Madison Square Garden Entertainment Corp. Newly-created Forum Entertainment LLC will operate The Forum as a premier, live event venue with the existing leadership team of Geni Lincoln and Mike Fallon remaining in place, reporting to Gillian Zucker, Clippers President of Business Operations.

“We are excited to welcome The Forum to our family. The talented team at The Forum has created a world-class live entertainment venue, and we are committed to building upon that reputation,” said Zucker. “Having The Forum just a short distance from the L.A. Clippers’ new arena will give us the opportunity to provide the City of Inglewood with a number of benefits, including a collaborative approach to managing traffic and community activities.”

It is expected that all of the venue’s California-based staff will remain as employees of Forum Entertainment LLC, and assist in making the transition seamless for artists, partners and fans.

The Clippers’ plans for a new, privately financed, fan-focused NBA arena in Inglewood near The Forum continue to move forward, with public hearings slated to begin this summer.

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NBA's Board Of Governors To Approve 22-Team Return-To-Play – RealGM.com

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The NBA’s Board of Governors will approve a proposal from Adam Silver on a 22-team format to restart the 19-20 season in Orlando at the end of July. The conference call and vote will take place at 12:30 PM ET on Thursday.

The plan includes 13 Western Conference teams and nine Eastern Conference teams, eight regular-season games, a possible play-in tournament for the eighth seed and playoffs.

The NBA suspended the season on March 11th after Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19.

The NBA has yet to publicly detail how it intends to keep players and staff safe.

Adrian Wojnarowski also reports that one owner said they believe the 22-team format was the ultimately most compelling and certainly more financially rewarding than just 16 teams.

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Archer (shoulder) will miss 2020 season – TSN

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Right-hander Chris Archer has undergone thoracic outlet surgery in his throwing shoulder and will miss all of 2020, the Pittsburgh Pirates announced on Wednesday.

Archer, 31, was to head into the final season of his current deal with the Bucs holding an $11 million option for 2021 with a $250,000 buyout.

A native of Raleigh, NC, Archer made 23 starts last season, going 3-9 with a 5.19 earned run average and WHIP of 1.412 over 119.1 innings pitched.

Joining the Pirates in a trade midway through the 2018 season, Archer spent the first six seasons of his career with the Tampa Bay Rays with whom he was a two-time All-Star.

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Report: NBA presents players with 22-team restart plan – TSN

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The NBA has told the National Basketball Players Association that it will present a 22-team plan for restarting the season to the league’s board of governors on Thursday, a person with knowledge of the situation said.

The teams that will be going to the ESPN Wide World Of Sports complex on the Disney campus near Orlando, Florida would play eight games to determine playoff seeding starting around July 31 before the post-season begins, according to the person who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity on Wednesday because the league has not released its proposal publicly.

The plan, once approved, would have 13 Western Conference teams and nine Eastern Conference teams going to Disney and the cutoff being that teams must be within six games of a playoff spot at this point. Playoffs would start in August, and the NBA Finals will likely stretch into October, the person said.

The Milwaukee Bucks, Los Angeles Lakers, Toronto Raptors and Boston Celtics already have clinched playoff spots — and, if only eight games are left, that would mean the Miami Heat, Indiana Pacers, Philadelphia 76ers, Los Angeles Clippers, Denver Nuggets, Utah Jazz, Oklahoma City Thunder and Houston Rockets would theoretically have clinched spots as well.

The Dallas Mavericks would be virtually assured of clinching a West spot, holding a seven-game lead over eighth-place Memphis. So that would mean the Grizzlies, Portland, New Orleans, Sacramento, San Antonio and Phoenix all would be in the running for the No. 8 seed out West. In the East, Washington is six games behind No. 7 Brooklyn and 5-1/2 games behind No. 8 Orlando — so within range of triggering a play-in series.

“I’m all in from the state’s perspective,” Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said at a news conference in Central Florida on Wednesday. “I don’t think you could find a better place than Orlando to do this. I think it’s very exciting.”

DeSantis met by phone with NBA Deputy Commissioner Mark Tatum on Tuesday. The governor also said the state helped with the plans to make a golf match last month featuring Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Tom Brady and Peyton Manning — one that raised $20 million for coronavirus relief — happen. And Major League Soccer announced Wednesday a plan to restart its season in Orlando.

“Orlando really could be the epicenter of the comeback of professional sports,” DeSantis said.

For an NBA play-in series to happen to determine the No. 8 seed on either playoff bracket, the ninth-place team would have to be within four games of eighth place once the eight-game schedule of lead-in games is completed. If a play-in series occurs, it would basically be a best-of-two — where the No. 9 seed would have to win two head-to-head matchups to take over the No. 8 spot.

There would also be some jostling for playoff positioning happening in the eight-game restart. In the East, Toronto and Boston are separated by three games for the No. 2 spot and Miami, Indiana and Philadelphia are separated by two games for the No. 4 spot. Out West, the Clippers, Denver, Utah, Oklahoma City and Houston are all within four games of one another in the race for the No. 2 seed on that bracket.

There are still some elements of the restart plan that could be changed, and other matters are still being negotiated — such as how much of a percentage of their salaries that players will lose because some regular season games will be cancelled. If 15% of the regular season is not played, which would be the current estimate based on the proposal, players would have to give up roughly $610 million in salary for this season.

It’s also unclear what will happen to the eight teams that would not be vying for a post-season berth under the proposed format — Charlotte, Chicago, Atlanta, Detroit, New York, Cleveland, Minnesota and Golden State. If the 2020-21 NBA season doesn’t start until December at the earliest, which would seem to be a very real possibility, those teams could go about nine months without playing games and some have expressed concerns over what that will mean for player development.

The NBA suspended its season March 11, becoming the first of the U.S. major pro leagues to do so after it became known that Utah’s All-Star centre Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19. The list of NBA players who were known to test positive eventually grew to 10 — not all were identified — and Commissioner Adam Silver said that the actual total was even higher.

The ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex is a 255-acre campus with multiple arenas that could host games simultaneously and has been home to, among other things, the Jr. NBA World Championship in recent years. ESPN is primarily owned by Disney, one of the NBA’s broadcast partners.

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