Detroit Pistons and NBA Settle Lawsuit Over Player’s Death

The National Basketball Association (NBA) and the Detroit Pistons organization have agreed to an undisclosed settlement with Gene Upshaw, the mother of Zeke Upshaw, after her son suffered a heart attack on the court during a G-League basketball game with the Pistons’ affiliate, the Grand Rapids Drive. He died days later at a local hospital. Upshaw subsequently filed a lawsuit on behalf of her son against the Detroit Pistons organization, the NBA, DeltaPlex Arena, and the co-owner of the Drive, SSJ Group LLC. The lawsuit…
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“NBA Last 90” Foreshadows the Potentially Lucrative Intersection of eSports and Sports Betting

The National Basketball Association (NBA) has, in many ways, led the way in navigating both the legal logistics of legalized sports betting and the growing industry of eSports, a recently popular form of competition using video games. The recent release of the first-ever NBA virtual sports betting game, NBA Last 90, conceivably foreshadows the future of how two of the most potentially lucrative sports-related industries could intertwine in a meaningful and profitable manner. Since the 2018 Supreme Court decision of Murphy v. National Collegiate Athletic
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The Collective Bargaining Agreement: The Financial and Logistical Guide to the Modern NBA

National Basketball Association (NBA) fans have been glued to their phones lately wondering which players will sign where. The start of the NBA free agency period has become somewhat of a sports holiday when players announce their new (or same) destinations. Teams often resort to buying billboards, hiring celebrities, and even offering players free food for life to convince these free agents to sign with them. The contract and monetary amounts for players can be staggering. Players are accumulating generational wealth and are constantly…
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Zion Williamson’s Legal Battle with His Former Marketing Agency

Zion Williamson is surrounded by more hype than any other basketball prospect in recent memory. He has limitless potential and franchise-altering talent. With all the hype and excitement has also come some legal issues. On April 20, 2019, less than a week after Williamson declared for the 2019 NBA Draft, he signed a marketing deal with Prime Sports Marketing, LLC. Williamson’s contract with Prime Sports had a clause that the contract could not be terminated for five years. However, only 40 days after signing the…
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NCAA Referee Appeals Dismissal of Death Threats Lawsuit

NCAA referee John Higgins asked the Sixth Circuit to accept his case against a Kentucky radio station, as well as two of its hosts, in a brief filed on Monday. Higgins alleges that the hosts deliberately incited fans to attack his roofing business and send him death threats following a March 26, 2017 NCAA tournament game between the University of Kentucky Wildcats and the University of North Carolina Tar Heels in which the Wildcats lost, 75-73, ending their season. According to the lawsuit,…
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The Impending Durant-Warriors Lawsuit That No One Is Talking About

The grumblings are growing louder that Kevin Durant will leave the Golden State Warriors with a parting gift: a bombshell lawsuit that would send shockwaves throughout the legal and sports communities. Last week, I wrote a long-form article as to how, and under what theory, Durant could sue the Warriors based on his torn Achilles, diving into his finances and those of comparable athletes to suggest that the lawsuit could be over $1 billion. It was purely an academic exercise at that point. Yet, since…
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The Perils of Assuming an Unknown Risk: The Anatomy of a $1 Billion Dollar Durant-Warriors Lawsuit

Willis Reed starred in the original and Kevin Durant was poised to headline the remake. Each were legends as a result, but the first was a feel-good story, while the second was a tragedy and one that may lead us to the highest value personal injury lawsuit we’ve ever seen. *** Let’s jump back in the time machine. It’s game seven of the 1970 NBA Finals between the New York Knicks and the Los Angeles Lakers. The Knicks are coming off a loss in…
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Altercation Involving Masai Ujiri Leads to More than Just NBA Championship Press Coverage

A deputy suffered injuries, including a concussion, during an altercation with Toronto Raptors President Masai Ujiri. The deputy stopped Ujiri while he attempted to join his team on the court after clinching their NBA championship against the Golden State Warriors in Oakland, California at Oracle Arena, causing a brief physical altercation. ESPN and the Associated Press reported that the 20-year-veteran of the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office also suffered a broken jaw during the altercation. According to Yahoo Sports, the deputy hired a high-profile civil…
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Judge Sentences Former Arizona Basketball Coach to Three Months for His Role in Bribery Conspiracy

Former University of Arizona basketball assistant coach Emanuel Richardson was sentenced to three months in prison on a bribery charge on June 6, 2019. Richardson, who was with the team from 2010-2016, pleaded guilty in January to charges that he accepted $20,000 in bribes to influence certain Arizona players to hire agent Christian Dawkins. Richardson was one of several people caught on wiretaps involving Dawkins. Richardson’s sentencing came just one day after Tony Bland, a former assistant coach for the University of South Carolina,…
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Evans Sentenced to Three Months for Bribes

U.S. District Judge Edgardo Ramos sentenced former South Carolina and Oklahoma State assistant men’s basketball coach Lamont Evans to three months in prison on June 7, 2019. Evans has been charged with accepting bribes to direct players to a government informant whom he thought was a financial adviser. Last week, Judge Ramos also sentenced former University of Southern California coach Tony Bland with two years’ probation, while former Arizona coach Emanuel Richardson received three months in prison. In January, Evans pled guilty to accepting $22,000…
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