LeBron’s “Taco Tuesday” Trademark Blocked

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has rejected LeBron James’ application to trademark the phrase Taco Tuesday. Having become a popular part of American food culture, Taco Tuesday is a common theme found at restaurants across the country. Since the NBA offseason began, James recorded and posted videos celebrating Taco Tuesday. Some videos were with his family at the dinner table and other videos were by himself. The USPTO explained its decision, stating that “Taco Tuesday” is a “commonplace term, message, or expression…
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Barclays Center and Brooklyn Nets Have New Owner

On August 16, 2019, it was announced that Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov agreed to sell the Barclays Center and his controlling stake in the Brooklyn Nets to Joe Tsai, co-founder and Executive Vice Chairman of the Alibaba Group. The deal was reportedly worth $3.5 billion. It was long anticipated that Tsai, one of the world’s 150 richest people, would purchase the Nets as he already owned 49 percent of the franchise. The change in ownership continues what has been an already transformational summer for the Nets. The…
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The “Greek Freak” Freaks over Trademark Infringement

Giannis Antetokounmpo, a member of the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks, recently filed a lawsuit against Viral Style LLC, a clothing company. According to Antetokounmpo, Viral used the trademarks “Greek Freak” and “Greek Fr34K” without Antetokounmpo’s permission. Antetokounmpo earned the nickname “Greek Freak” and later trademarked the name and an accompanying image related to his nationality, skill, and household notoriety. The nearly seven-foot-tall Bucks star claims Viral infringed on and counterfeited his trademarks by “designing, selling and distributing various products, including tees, hoodies and T-shirts, under the…
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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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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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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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Michael Avenatti Accused of Embezzling $2 million From NBA Player

Michael Avenatti, celebrity lawyer and notably outspoken President Trump critic, is once again in the spot light. On April 21, 2019, the Los Angeles Timesreported that, in 2017, Avenatti embezzled $2 million from NBA player Hassan Whiteside. Back in 2017, Avenatti was representing Alexis Gardner, Whiteside’s ex-girlfriend, in order to negotiate a settlement of a potential lawsuit against Whiteside. The public does not know the contents of an alleged potential lawsuit; however, Avenatti was able to negotiate a $3 million settlement. Both Gardner and…
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Let’s Go Live: NBA Announces Partnership to Distribute Real-Time Odds

On November 28, 2018, the NBA announced that sports data providers Genius Sports and Sportradar will have nonexclusive rights to distribute real-time, official data to licensed sportsbooks in the U.S. This is inclusive of both NBA and WNBA games, including preseason, regular season, and postseason play. This partnership comes on the heels of “live betting” beginning to take off; indeed, at a recent gaming conference in New York, a FanDuel executive noted that in-game betting amounts to approximately 40% of the amount wagered at its…
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