Sports

European expansion is on the table for NBA

Imagine a Grammy trip for the Lakers that starts in London before going on to Paris, Rome, Madrid and Berlin.

Maybe they would rename it the Royal Albert Hall trip.

Incoming NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said this week he was open to the idea of European expansion, provided the global economy recovers and potential host cities construct modern arenas.

And if the NBA goes overseas, it would probably go all in.

"It's most likely that if we were to come to Europe," Silver told reporters before the Brooklyn Nets defeated the Atlanta Hawks at a sold-out O2 Arena in London on Thursday night, "it would be with a division rather than a single team, for the sake of logistics."

In the meantime, Silver said the NBA would continue playing regular-season games in London to build the league's brand abroad. It's off to a good start, already having a King James.

A fine ending?

Mark Cuban, sentimental softy?

You could make that case after the notoriously ruthless Dallas Mavericks owner told ESPN.com he wanted David Stern to fine him one more time before Stern retires as commissioner on Feb. 1.

You know, just for old time's sake.

Cuban has rolled up more than $1.8 million in fines during his 14 years of ownership, including a $500,000 penalty in 2002 for saying he wouldn't hire Ed Rush, then the league's head of officiating, to run a Dairy Queen.

Clippers fans might have wondered whether Cuban was daring Stern to financially ding him when he came onto the court at Staples Center after the Mavericks' 129-127 loss to the Clippers on Wednesday to scold referees for a few controversial calls.

Stern said the next day he wasn't sure Cuban would be writing him another check.

"I know he is trying," Stern said, "but our muffin-fund coffers are overflowing."

Reality bytes

Virtual payment for virtual basketball sounds like an even exchange.

Unfortunately, it will still cost money to attend Sacramento Kings games at Sleep Train Arena after the team announced it would become the first professional sports franchise to accept Bitcoin for tickets and team merchandise.

Bitcoin users purchase digital money and load it onto a digital wallet, making payments through an online service called BitPay that charges users a flat fee. One potential downside to Bitcoin is that the currency is subject to wild fluctuations in value.

That makes it unlike the Kings, whose fortunes remain constantly bad.

Coverup operation

The NBA had something up its sleeve for its All-Star jerseys: sleeves.

The jersey design for the midseason showcase Feb. 16 in New Orleans was leaked on the Internet on Thursday before the league officially revealed the look.

The East and West teams will both wear a Fleur-de-lis on the chest instead of uniform numbers, which will be displayed on the left sleeve.

It's a design reminiscent of the jerseys teams wore on Christmas. The East jersey is blue with greenish-teal trim and the West version is red with purple trim.

Purple and gold must have been ruled out based on the Lakers' record.

ben.bolch@latimes.com

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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