Player Spotlight: Vernon Goodridge


From Brooklyn, NY, at 6'10 240, RBA believes Vernon Goodridge has the potential to be the top Shot-blocker in the NBA. Vernon is a rare combination of size, speed & athleticism, with the ability to excel at both the 4 & 5. GSW PG Steph Curry called Vernon "A Dunking Machine" during Vet Camp & several NBA Executives have said that Vernon would have been called up to the NBA already, had it not been for speculation about the lockout & cancellation of NBA Summer League...

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Player Spotlight: Marvin Phillips


From State College, PA, at 6'7 235, RBA believes Marvin Phillips has the potential to be the top Rebounder in the NBA. Marvin has the Basketball IQ, strength, bounce, work-ethic & all-around game to help a winning NBA front-court. Coming off a break-out season in the NBA Development League, where he finished as the leagues top Rebounder, several NBA Executives have said that Marvin would have been called up to the NBA already...

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Player Spotlight: DJ Smedley


DJ Smedley led his team, Naestved (Denmark), to a semifinal appearance. In two quarterfinal wins, DJ averaged 11.5 points, 5 rebounds and 10.5 assists, while commiting only 2.5 turnovers.  He led the league in assists during the regular season with 6.6 per contest. Thanks to DJ, Naestved finished in 3rd place, their highest finish in franchise history...

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A Conversation with Dane Johnson


Dane Johnson, 6'10" 245 lbs Center, Instanbul BB (Turkish Basketball League II)
Dane finished the season on a tear, averaging 14 points, over 10 rebounds and 2 blocks per game on 65% shooting during the last 2 months. Dane averaged a double-double for the season. We caught up with Dane to get some thoughts on his season:
How did you enjoy playing in Turkey this season?
Overall, I had a great experience in Turkey. My team missed the playoffs by a game though, which was tough. The fans were great and I was treated well by the team.
What's the toughest thing that you have to deal with when playing overseas?
Being away from my family is the toughest thing. There's also an adjustment period when you play over-seas and move from market to market.  
When you are not playing in practice or games, what do you typically do?
Watch TV, listen to music, chat online, etc.
Describe your best basketball moments from this season?
I had 23 points and 16 rebounds one game. I also had 16 points and 20 rebounds in another game. We won both. 
Worst moment?
That's an easy one. That last game we lost. We needed a win to make the playoffs. I only played 23 minutes and scored 7 points on 3-4 shooting and 1-1 from the line. I also had 9 rebounds and 2 blocks.
Tell us about your relationship with RBA, in particular, BJ Bass and Brian Rubenstein and what you expect of them.
It's actually pretty funny. I just met them in person for the first time last week. I signed with them because a few of my friends from NYC are represented by RBA and they had great things to say. I wasn't disappointed. These guys were able to place me right away in Turkey D2 as a young player. Both checked in with me often over the course of the season. My previous agent placed me last season and then I didn't hear from him again. Once he got his commission, he stopped taking my calls. BJ and Brian have my long-term career in mind. They work hard and they expect their players to work hard too. What do I expect from them? I expect a lot. Promoting me to good teams, making sure the teams uphold the contract, making sure I'm okay wherever I play and most importantly, doing what's best for my career, long-term.
Tell us about your relationship with Mustafa Bozkurt, RBA's agent partner in Turkey and about how you think Mustafa and RBA work together.

Mustafa was great. To tell you the truth, my first few weeks were tough for me in Turkey. Mustafa spent some time with me and helped me focus on the important things. He came to several games and he had a good relationship with the team, which helped. You would have to ask BJ and Brian about their relationship with Mustafa, but from what I can tell, they worked really well together.
What is your playing goal for next year and beyond?
With all the work I've put in, I'm now around 245 pounds. I feel like I played pretty well this season, so we should have opportunities to continue to play in Turkey and in other European markets. My ultimate goal? I believe I can play in the NBA. I have the work ethic to get there and now I have an agent who can get me all the looks I need. Let's see how this summer plays out. The NBA Development League is also a possibility for next year.


In This Issue
Vernon Goodridge
Marvin Phillips
DJ Smedley
Dane Johnson
RBA Training Business
Agent Spotlight: RBA's BJ Bass
RBA Training Business
RBA's strategic partnership with Basketball City and its' new "State of the Art" NYC Headquarters, a 100,000 square foot facility on the lower east side of Manhattan, enables RBA to provide a unique and significant value proposition to RBA Athletes. Beginning in Spring/Summer 2011, Basketball City will be home to the RBA training business and the core focus will be on NBA and FIBA professionals, providing a venue for them to learn from top trainers and compete against their peers on a daily basis.

Click Here to learn more about the RBA Training Business.


Agent Spotlight:
RBA's BJ Bass
The NBA's current Collective Bargaining Agreement expires this summer and the possibility of a lockout looms over the league. The NFL's current labor conflict proves how real a concern this should be for everyone in the NBA community. RBA Sports' BJ Bass takes a look at the real possibility of a work stoppage and what it would mean for the league:
The looming NBA lockout has affected RBA in the short term to the extent that several executives have said that both Vernon Goodridge and Marvin Phillips would have already been called up, had it not been for the speculation about the lockout. Last season there were 40 call-ups to the NBA from the NBADL and there were only 27 this season.
Bigger picture, with New York back in the mix, the NBA is experiencing a major upswing in overall popularity and market-share. Whatever issues are on the table with the new CBA, let's negotiate them and not make a grave mistake with any kind of work stoppage that would hurt our great fans that "love this game".

I was at Madison Square Garden recently for Carmelo's return and for the Big East Tournament. NY is the Mecca of Basketball and Basketball is going through a renaissance.

Give Commissioner Stern a tremendous amount of credit. In my view he is one of the best CEOs in the world. His vision and understanding for marketing the individual players (Magic, Bird & Jordan), versus the teams themselves, was the key to lifting the sport in the 1980's.

His ability to leverage that success to build the NBA into a global brand has enabled the league to surpass the other major sports in terms of global market share. Stern was also ahead of the curve on the Internet. He understood before anyone else how to position the sport for the convergence of the Internet and TV.

From the players' point of view, in terms of the current CBA, the two biggest issues that I think are often times overlooked by the media are franchise values and revenue from new media.
If you take look at franchise values over the last 15 years, how does that offset some of the operational losses teams may have taken? I would also be interested to know what kind of revenue model the NBA plans to use for Internet Advertising and Interactive TV. Revenue from these areas and from subscription fees to access premium content will be significant, through an integrated NBA TV and platform.
Should the NBA Players Association just sit back and wait for the NBA teams to lock them out on July 1st? I'll leave that one to Billy Hunter. 
Either way, let's look at the big picture when both sides negotiate. Let's plan for shared risk and shared growth over the long term and most importantly, let's take care of our fans. If we need to adjust a financial formula, or if a team needs to be contracted and rosters expanded, I'll leave those specifics to those people in the back room. They just better get it done.

Next month BJ will discuss some of his influences from the sports, business and entertainment industries.