NBA announces rule changes, ads on uniforms

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NBA announces rule changes, ads on uniforms

From Comcast SportsNet
LAS VEGAS (AP) -- The NBA Board of Governors approved a new look for uniforms and a couple of changes in the use of video replay. Commissioner David Stern met with the media Thursday after the Board of Governors held their annual summer meeting. He said the league is looking to add possibly 100 million in revenue by permitting small advertising patches on uniforms starting in the 2013-14 season. "The view is, that the teams would need a significant time; one, to sell the patch; and number two, for Adidas to manufacture the uniforms, because the patch that would be on the players' uniforms would also appear on the jerseys at retail," said Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver, who is handling the uniform change. Silver said there are revenue projections from European soccer teams that the NBA could use. The competition committee altered a few rule changes with respect to the use of video replay, primarily in the final 2 minutes or overtime of games. At any point in the game, officials can now check video replay on all flagrant fouls. "So the call is flagrant foul and then you go the tape, and you decide whether it's a 1 or a 2, or in some rare instance, maybe even a common foul," Stern said. Officials can now use video replay in the final two minutes or overtime to decide whether a defender was in or out of the restricted area around the basket on charge and blocking fouls. Replay can also be used for goaltending calls in the late stages games as well. In September, the competition committee will look at flopping and fouls away from the ball. Stern said that under the Collective Bargaining Agreement and the implementation of revenue sharing that profitable numbers are "optimistic." He said the proposed sale of the Memphis Grizzlies is proceeding on pace and the league hopes to approve it in the next couple of months. The league approved the sale of the Ontario Teachers Pension Plan's ownership interest in the Toronto Raptors to Bell Canada and Rogers Communications. Stern said there are more positives with the league, including the successful summer league held in Las Vegas. "We had a happy group of owners," Stern said. "Our ratings are up 28 percent over the last decade, while television ratings are down around 30 percent the last decade. We are going to have our best year ever, both in gate and sponsorship this coming year."

Roasted: Ortiz apparently thought Pedroia's real first name was Pee Wee

Roasted: Ortiz apparently thought Pedroia's real first name was Pee Wee

BOSTON — It took until 2015, apparently, but David Ortiz now knows Dustin Pedroia’s full name.

The couple days leading up to the jersey retirement ceremony tonight for Ortiz have been packed. Around lunch time Thursday, Ortiz had a street near Fenway Park named after him — a bridge wasn’t enough — the street formerly known as Yawkey Way Extension. (It’s between Brookline Avenue and Yawkey Station.) On Friday morning, he was at Logan Airport where JetBlue Gate C34 was designed with a new theme to honor Ortiz.

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Tonight's the big night, so to speak. But Thursday night will probably go down as the most entertaining.

Ortiz was roasted at House of Blues on Thursday, joined on stage by Pedroia, Rob Gronkowski and a handful of actual comedians. Bill Burr was the biggest name among the professional joke-tellers. It was a charity event to benefit the David Ortiz Children’s Fund, which helps to provide lifesaving surgeries for children.

All the comedians — Lenny Clarke, Sarah Tiana, Anthony Mackie, Josh Wolf, Adam Ray (a young man dressed up as an old Yankees fan) — ripped on everyone on stage, including Pedroia. Naturally, Pedroia was mocked for being short over and over and over.

When he took the podium, Pedroia said it was a good thing the height of the microphone was adjustable. If he had to stand on his wallet, he said, he’d be up to the roof.

Most jokes were not suitable for print or broadcast. But the story Pedroia told about being in the on-deck circle when a catcher needed a ball once was a highlight. It's from just two years ago.

“So I had already played with David for, I don’t know, nine years?” Pedroia said. “And I hit right in front of him for nine years.”

The Red Sox were playing the Indians at home. The umpire had to use the bathroom and the ball rolled near Pedroia. So the catcher said hello to Pedroia, using the second baseman’s first name.

“David walks over and goes, what the [expletive] did he call you?” Pedroia said.

“I said, ‘Dustin,’” Pedroia said. 

Ortiz was confused. “’Why’d he call you that?’” he said.

“I go, that’s my [expletive] name,” Pedroia said. “He goes, 'Oh, is that right?’

"I’m like, ‘Yeah, bro. I’ve had 1,600 games with you. They’ve actually said it 5,000 [expletive] times: now batting, No. 15, Dustin Pedroia.’”

“I thought it was Pee Wee," Ortiz went.

“This is dead serious,” Pedroia said. “Now the umpire comes back — I’m standing there, I got to hit...and I’m looking at him, ‘You thought my parents would name me [expletive] Pee Wee?’ 

“And he’s just looking at me, and we’re having a conversation. The umpire’s yelling at me, the catcher’s laughing at me because he can hear kind of what he’s saying.”

No jersey retirement speech will be that funny.