Jonathan Lee’s Sports Recap: June 22-26

The NBA Draft was the biggest talk of the night this past week, and it did not disappoint.  Like the draft two years ago, when Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen were both traded to the Boston Celtics in a blockbuster deal, there were some big-name deals made in this year’s draft.  The Kobe and Shaq “dynamic duo” brought three championship rings to Los Angeles, and now it looks like Shaq has found his new partner in crime—Lebron James—with Cleveland trading for the seven-foot big man this week.  Cleveland dealt Ben Wallace, Sasha Pavlovich, cash considerations, and their 2nd round pick in exchange for O’Neal.

The O’Neal trade strengthens the Eastern Conference—which was criticized for being the JV league of the NBA—but as the East got stronger so did the West.  Richard Jefferson of the Milwaukee Bucks was traded to San Antonio in exchange for defensive guru Bruce Bowen and Kurt Thomas.  The deal solidifies San Antonio as a powerhouse in the NBA (who managed to keep the core of Duncan, Parker, and Ginobli in this deal).

After losing to the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA Finals, the Magic were busy on draft night—Orlando acquired the New Jersey Nets’ Vince Carter and Ryan Anderson in exchange for guard Rafer Alston, Courtney Lee, and Tony Battie.  Carter brings an impressive résumé to Orlando, already having made eight All-Star appearances.

Other deals made prior to the Draft: Jamal Crawford sent to Atlanta in exchange for Speedy Claxton and Acie Law; Minnesota trades Randy Foye and Mike Miller to Washington for the fifth pick; the Mavericks and Blazers swap first round picks, after Portland trades their 24th pick and two second round choices for the Mavericks 22nd pick.

While Orlando did snag an All-Star on draft night, they did lose a once NBA most improved player in Hedo Turkoglu.  Following the trade for Carter, Turkoglu opted out of his contract, making him an unrestricted free agent.

In other basketball news, a land deal has been worked out for the Brooklyn Arena.  The Metropolitan Transit Authority voted to give owner Bruce Ratner a price break, which would ask for 20 million up front. The rest would be paid in installments.

Sources have told the Associated Press Monday that Miami Sound Machine and Margaritaville are merging with the Miami Dolphins.  Singer Gloria Estefan and husband Emilio Estefan bought a small ownership stake of the NFL team.  The deal was announced Thursday.

Following the NFL’s announcement that teams can now sell sponsorships on their practice jerseys, the Jets announced Tuesday that they will wear a logo of the company Atlantic Health, a healthcare provider based in New Jersey.

Packers’ star receiver Greg Jennings signed a three year $27 million contract extension with the team Wednesday.  The deal would offer $16 million in guaranteed money.  Defensive end of the Carolina Panthers Julius Peppers signed his one-year $16.7 million franchise tender Wednesday. Other signings included former Chicago Bear safety Mike Brown to Kansas City.  After another report that the Vikings signed Quarterback Brett Favre, Agent Bus Cook has denied the report.

Willie Clark was in court Friday to enter a plea on the murder of Kalonniann Clark, who was a witness in an attempted murder case.  Two other men were charged along with Clark.  Willie Clark was also indicted for first-degree murder in 2007 for the murder of Broncos cornerback Darrent Williams.

Weeks after one of the biggest signings in sports with Christiana Ronaldo, Real Madrid was busy signing other big names.  Raul Albiol of Valencia signed a five-year deal Thursday with Real Madrid.  The deal is said to be worth $21 million dollars.

Manny Ramirez started for Triple-A Albuquerque Isotopes, as he begins his return to the Dodgers from his 50 game suspension for violating the MLB’s drug policy.

The N.L rookie of the year last year Geovany Soto, will not be suspended by the MLB for testing positive at the World Baseball Classic.  That is all the news in Sports Law this week.

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