Judge Rules Adidas RICO Suit Will Continue

On March 2, 2020, U.S. District Judge Joseph F. Anderson Jr. declined to dismiss a civil racketeering lawsuit against Adidas and others, allowing the lawsuit to continue. The suit was brought by Brian Bowen II, a former University of Louisville basketball recruit, who claims that the NCAA corruption scandal cost him opportunities in both college and professional basketball.

Specifically, Judge Anderson determined that Bowen would be permitted to continue claims under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), a federal law that provides a …

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Vanessa Bryant Brings Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against Helicopter Owner

On Feb. 24, 2020, attorneys for Vanessa Bryant brought a wrongful death lawsuit against the owner of the helicopter that crashed last month, causing the deaths of Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant, their daughter Gianna Bryant, and seven other individuals. The suit was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court while a memorial service took place at Staples Center, the arena where Kobe made much of his history.

In the complaint, Bryant alleges the pilot, Ara Zobayan, failed “to use ordinary care in piloting …

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Inglewood Scores Big with Legal Victory in Clippers Arena Lawsuit

A California judge handed the city of Inglewood a win by ruling against a group of local residents who sought to block the city from selling public land for a $1.2 billion arena for the NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers.

The city of Inglewood accepted $1.5 million for an exclusive negotiation agreement with Murphy’s Bowl LLC, the developer of the proposed arena. The arena is located at a site near Los Angeles International Airport and the land was acquired by the city so that residents would …

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One Tweet Threatens 30 Years of NBA Expansion into China

The controversy began on October 6, 2019, after Daryl Morey, the general manager of the NBA’s Houston Rockets, tweeted about the ongoing pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, China. Since the 1980s, the NBA has spent millions of dollars investing in Asian markets, including China, hoping to grow the game of basketball. For example, the NBA has helped build basketball courts, given broadcasting rights for free, and played preseason games in China and Japan.

However, Morey’s tweet threatens years of progress and what has otherwise …

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Washington D.C. Arena Will Be America’s First Sports Venue with Sportsbook

Capital One Arena, the home of the Washington Wizards and Washington Capitals, is about to become the first major sports venue in the United States to have a sportsbook.

Monumental Sports & Entertainment, owner of the teams and the arena, announced a partnership with sports betting operator William Hill US. The sportsbook will span multiple floors and be accessible to both non-ticketholders and ticketholders for certain events. Expected to open in 2020, the sportsbook will be open year-round and is accessible to the public from …

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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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