Entertainment mogul Ice Cubes Big3 basketball league is looking for a rebound.During a conference call with reporters Thursday, Big3s backers had planned to tout their incredible success and ambitious plans to expand the fledgling league into new markets.But Cube and his business partner, entertainment executive Jeff Kwatinetz, also revealed some ongoing challenges facing the league, including the end of its two-year TV contract with Fox Sports.It is really time to move on, Cube said.Big3 has spent much of the last year locked in a bitter legal dispute with a Qatari investment firm and has struggled to recruit a deep-pocketed investor to help back the leagues hoped-for bid for the Fox sports channels.Cube and Kwatinetz previewed their plans for the leagues expansion: Big3 intends to grow to 12 teams from eight this year, and the league plans to widen its tour to 18 cities, up from 10.,Although its games which consist of former NBA basketball players competing three on three have brought in large crowds to sports arenas, TV rights deals are the lifeblood of professional sports leagues.Big3, Kwatinetz and others say, has been fielding interest from other sports broadcasters and the group hopes to have a new TV home by June, when the leagues third season tips off.Cube and Kwatinetz downplayed the termination of the Fox Sports TV contract.The company [Fox] is going to be a little different after Walt Disney Co. buys much of 21st Century Fox, Kwatinetz said.,Were both competing for a similar asset, potentially, Kwatinetz said.The league has been trying to scrape together as much as $15 billion to make a competitive bid for the Fox regional sports channels that Disney must sell after the Burbank entertainment giant completes its $71.3-billion purchase of much of Fox.,Kwatinetz said that tennis star Serena Williams, entertainer L.L. Cool J and former basketball star Julius Erving were interested in joining their bid for the regional sports networks.The U.S. Justice Department is forbidding Disney from acquiring the 22 regional sports networks as part of its proposed Fox purchase because Disney already owns sports juggernaut ESPN.,Several people close to the auction say the odds are great that the 22 networks will be split up because that would generate more money for Disney.Kwatinetz, during the conference call, seemed to acknowledge that their bid for some or all of the Fox local sports channels might collapse.Ice Cube and I dont need a big asset to prove that were cool, he said.

The Padres’ $1.26 billion worth may be No. 17 in baseball and only No. 69 in pro sports, but that’s up $145 million in a year or 13 percent — the biggest percentage jump in Southern California.,Despite one of the league’s top win-loss records in the past decade, the team’s value was unchanged in the past year at $460 million, a middling No. 18 in the league and a low No. 110 out of 123 pro teams.,Take the average league-wide team values: football is No. 1 at $2.5 billion, followed by the National Basketball Association at $1.65 billion; Major League Baseball at $1.64 billion and the National Hockey League at $620 million.,Expenses such baseball’s long season and the lower stadium costs of indoor sports juggle the rankings by “profit margin” — operation income vs. sales: football’s still No. 1, averaging 23 percent, then there’s basketball at 21 percent and hockey at 16 percent before baseball’s 9 percent.,The Padres’ $1.26 billion worth may be No. 17 in baseball and only No. 69 in pro sports, but that’s up $145 million in a year or 13 percent — the biggest percentage jump in Southern California.

Harris, one of the NBA's top first-quarter scorers, started slow but still ended up with 28 points and the Clippers overcame a sluggish opening to beat the Orlando Magic 106-96 on Sunday.,Los Angeles outscored the Magic by eight points in the second quarter and by 12 points in the second half.,Vucevic had 11 rebounds in the first quarter to help the Magic take a 28-18 lead, but they blew a double-digit first-half lead for the second consecutive game after falling at Minnesota on Friday night.,Orlando led 47-45 at halftime, and the Clippers took their first lead just under two minutes into the second half on Marcin Gortat's turnaround basket.,Clippers: The last time the Clippers lost to the Magic was a 98-90 decision at Orlando on Nov. 6, 2013.

Photo: Catherine Avalone / Hearst Connecticut Media File Photo

Photo: Catherine Avalone / Hearst Connecticut Media File Photo read more

Jan 6, 2019Nick DePaulaESPN

In a week filled with debuts and surprises, Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry led the way with a custom hand-painted edition of his latest Under Armour sneaker -- a joking nod to his "moon landing" controversy weeks ago.,Join on Facebook » read more

Nor is it likely to end well for a lot of Lakers, some of whom could be New Orleans-bound in a trade for Anthony Davis … or cut for salary cap space, like the eight of them who are on one-year deals, to bring in more free agents like Klay Thompson … or unemployed like Coach Luke Walton if Magic Johnson holds him responsible for any shortfall.,I don’t see a second-round loss going over well with Johnson, not after he read Walton the riot act seven games into the season, then, in as close as he felt like coming to reassuring everyone publicly, said Luke would, “finish this season unless something drastic happens, which it won’t.”,It’s still emerging with last week’s report by ESPN’s uber-connected Adrian Wojnarowski that Magic has wanted a new coach since he took over, but has yet to convince Jeanie Buss, who is “fiercely loyal” to Walton.,Despite his cachet, James hasn’t been a behind-the-scenes schemer … aside from all his player recruiting … although Riley, whom LeBron left high and dry, late revealed that LeBron hinted that he would like him to fire Coach Erik Spoelstra during LeBron’s first season in Miami without coming out and actually asking him to do it.,A recent report from ESPN’s uber-connected Adrian Wojnarowski indicated that Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson has wanted a new coach since he took over in February of 2017, but has yet to convince team owner Jeanie Buss, who is “fiercely loyal” to Luke Walton, left.

Lacking sufficient students willing and able to pay for costly basketball tickets to fill the new Pauley Pavilion, why should UCLA cough up millions any top-market basketball coach would feel himself to be worth?,How much did it cost UCLA to serve as an uncompensated NBA training camp?My vision of UCLA basketball is somewhat different from Plaschkes: Ticket prices reduced precisely because the coach is not being paid the stellar wage commensurate with a rock star status, and students cheering for actual student-athletes who might go into fields other than pro.,The simple fact is that UCLA does not have someone who knows what he is doing and therein lies UCLAs problem over the past 16 years of Dan Guerreros tenure.Success at the highest level in the two major sports, football and basketball, requires not onlya top-flight coach, but also a top-flight athletic director.,Trump U., for example.Michael JenningVan Nuys::Bill Plaschke, just what was the purpose of your hatchet job description of the UCLA basketball program in your column on New Years Day?,Of course, I was watching the Lady Bruins and their coach, Cori Close.Now that the mens program is looking for someone to take over for coach Alford, perhaps UCLA look no further than its own campus.Mike FeixChino HIlls::For front page news on New Years Day we are offered Bill Plaschkes lament on the failure of basketball at UCLA.

Does it matter to most residents of Oregon, Washington, California, Arizona, Utah and Colorado whether their states' major college football programs match those in Alabama or Ohio dollar for dollar and victory for victory?,OK, more links: The O’s James Crepea takes a deep dive into Oregon’s 7-6 victory over Michigan State in the Redbox Bowl, the good, the bad, the encouraging and the discouraging.,Vince Grippi for the Spokesman-Review: Washington’s loss shows the Pac-12 just doesn’t measure up against college football’s elite level.,Joey Kaufman of the Los Angeles Daily News: Washington’s loss to Ohio State is one more Pac-12 disappointment.,Washington wilts in a Rose Bowl loss to Ohio State, leaving the Huskies with bigger questions.

7:30 p.m., YES, WFAN (660-AM) — NBA: New Orleans Pelicans at Brooklyn Nets.,6 a.m., Tennis Channel — Brisbane International from Australia; WTA Shenzhen Open from China; ATP Tata Open from Pune, India; WTA ASB Classic from Auckland, New Zealand; Hopman Cup from Perth, Australia.,6 p.m., Tennis Channel — Brisbane International from Australia; WTA Shenzhen Open from China; WTA ASB Classic from Auckland, New Zealand; Hopman Cup from Perth, Australia.