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Clippers' Season Will Begin in Japan Against Seattle

May 21, 2003|From Wire Reports

The Clippers will open the 2003-2004 regular season in Japan with two games against the Seattle SuperSonics, marking the first NBA games in the country since 1999.

The games will be played Oct. 30 and Nov. 1 at Saitama Super Arena, site of the 2006 World Basketball Championship. The 2003-2004 NBA season opens on Oct. 28.

It will be the sixth time the league has played regular-season games in Japan since 1990 and the second time for the Clippers and SuperSonics.

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LeBron James, the 18-year-old guard projected to be the first pick in the June 26 NBA draft, has been offered an endorsement deal for more than $75 million over six to eight years by Reebok, according to the Akron Beacon-Journal.

Nike and Adidas are also in the bidding for James.

Although the total value of James' deal isn't expected to surpass the record five-year, $100-million extension that Tiger Woods signed with Nike in 2000, a deal worth half that annually would be a milestone given that James is coming out of high school and has yet to play professionally. Woods received $8 million per year in his first five-year deal with Nike.

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Carmelo Anthony, who led Syracuse to the NCAA championship last month and is projected as the second or third pick in the draft, signed a multiyear endorsement contract with Nike.

Anthony, a 6-foot-8 forward who gave up his final three years of college eligibility, will reportedly receive about $3.5 million annually for six years.

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