President Obama expected in attendance at Bulls-Cavs opener


President Obama expected in attendance at Bulls-Cavs opener

The extra Secret Service members are in full attendance at the United Center, in anticipation of President Barack Obama’s attendance at the NBA’s season opener between the Bulls and Cleveland Cavaliers.

No president in recent memory has attended the NBA’s tipoff game, but considering Obama’s diehard allegiance to his hometown Bulls and his being in town, it’s an easy hike to get down to the United Center tonight.

“He loves the game of basketball,” Cavs forward LeBron James said. “I think we all know that. It's an honor for me to be a part of a venue and a spectacle where the president would like to come and watch.”

It’s not James’ first time playing in front of the President, a huge NBA fan in general, but it’s the first time President Obama will see James play in Chicago. It hasn’t been revealed where President Obama will be sitting but while in Washington D.C., he usually has sat courtside as opposed to a suite.

“I played in front of him in DC, on the Olympic team we played Brazil here in America (in 2012) and he was able to grace that game,” James said. “He came into the locker room and things of that nature. It's great to represent the country and play the game that I love.”

[NBC SHOP: Gear up, Bulls fans!]

Cavaliers coach David Blatt said he can’t remember if he’s coached in front of President Obama before but considering he coached in Israel for a number of years, he felt it necessary to say this isn’t the first time he’s been in front of heads of state before.

“I've been in front of presidents in other parts of the world,” said Blatt, while acknowledging how ‘cool’ it is. “But of the United States, yes.”

Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg was a little more excited about the possibility, with his mind being squarely on his first official game as an NBA coach.

“Yes, very honored to see him. That’ll be cool,” Hoiberg said. “It’ll be great for our guys to see the President in the building.”

When someone mentioned to Hoiberg there would be a President, a “King” (James’ nickname) and a “Mayor” (Hoiberg’s nickname), he replied with an easygoing quip.

“I’m pretty low on the totem pole on that one,” he said.

NBA Board of Governors pass new, stricter anti-tampering rules


NBA Board of Governors pass new, stricter anti-tampering rules

After much discussion over whether or not the NBA should impose harsher penalties on teams for breaking the anti-tampering rules, an official decision has been made. The NBA Board of Governors passed a much more strict set of rules that will force teams to be compliant with the anti-tampering rules.

Among the new measures, the league will be selecting five teams per year that will undergo a "random audit", the maximum amount for a fine related to tampering has been raised to $10 million and team officials are required to save communications with agents for one full year.

The league will also retain the right to take the communication devices of owners if it is deemed necessary in investigations, though it has been stated that it is not something that Adam Silver wants to rely on moving forward. 

Though concrete details have not been released, possible punishments for tampering will reportedly include taking away draft picks, the voiding of contracts and more.

This is all in an attempt to create a more "even playing field" amid the belief that small-market teams are at a disadvantage when it comes to player movement. The new rules sound great but there is already fear among NBA GMs when it comes to how their privacy will be affected with this being a clear area of focus for the league. 

Along with the new, harsher tampering penalties, the league also announced that they have changed the language regarding traveling calls to "address the uncertainty around traveling." Another new rule announced was that teams are now required to announce their starting lineups at least 30 minutes before tipoff as opposed to 10 minutes, in an effort to "increase transparency for teams, media and fans." Teams will still be allowed to change their lineups up to the last minute if a player gets hurt in pregame warmups. 

All of the new anti-tampering rules approved by the league on Friday were a response to this wild NBA offseason we just experienced. There were many deals agreed to right at the start of free agency, such as the Bulls with Thaddeus Young, and the timing of those deals had many owners wanting the league to make tampering a greater focus. To a greater extent, moves like Anthony Davis forcing his way to the Lakers and Kawhi Leonard orchestrating he and Paul George's move to the Clippers are what got this package of anti-tampering measures passed.

Adam Silver has picked up a reputation as an NBA Commissioner who is very willing to listen to new ideas and make changes, and Friday's events support that reputation as he and the league continue to look for the best ways to get NBA teams to be in compliance with the anti-tampering rules. 

Is Ryan Arcidiacono trying to become the fourth Jonas Brother?


Is Ryan Arcidiacono trying to become the fourth Jonas Brother?

The Jonas Brothers are in Chicago for concerts that are taking place on Thursday and Friday night, and they have enjoyed quite a week. This week the trio has enjoyed a nice golf outing at Village Links in Glen Ellyn, had some quality BBQ at Bub City and even got the amazing opportunity to play a touch football game at Soldier Field. But one particular Bulls guard is looking to add another fun experience to their Chicago trip.

The Bulls organization welcomed the Jonas Brothers to the city with a set of custom jerseys for the trio and their significant others and that's when Ryan Arcidiacono chimed in with his offer. 

Since the Jonas Brothers have already got to play some football on the actual Soldier Field grass, Arci figured they might as well keep the Chicago sports-themed fun going and shoot some hoops with him. 

Now, Arcidiacono didn't make it clear whether or not he was offering for the Jonas Brother to get some shots up with him at the United Center, where their shows take place on Thursday and Friday night. But, either way, his time is running out as they will be moving on to Jackson County, MO for their next stop on tour on September 21.

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