“The Jock Exchange” (p. 156). Contributing editor Michael Lewis reports that Wall Street is about to launch a new way to trade professional athletes the way you trade stocks. On the proposed A.S.A. Sports Exchange, an athlete would sell 20 percent of all future on-field or on-court earnings to a trust, which would in turn sell securities to the public. “As a number of smart people seem to have noticed at once, professional athletes have all the traits of successful publicly traded stocks, beginning with enormous speculative interest in them,” Lewis writes. “Americans wager somewhere between $200 billion and $400 billion a year on sports, and between 15 million and 25 million of them play in fantasy leagues—which is to say that a shadow stock market in athletes already exists.” Lewis reports that in the past three years, at least a dozen baseball teams have hired the type of young statisticians you’d more commonly find working in risk arbitrage at Bear Stearns. “The fans have always had an emotional investment without a [legal] financial one,” says a leading sports agent. “This is taking emotion and putting it to financial use. Screw this putting 300 bucks into a pot at work. This is ‘everyone get online and open your account at Ameritrade.’ ”
Back in black.
The Flyers on Saturday morning revealed their 2017 Stadium Series jerseys for their Feb. 25 outdoor game against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Heinz Field.
With their 50th anniversary sweaters resembling their current away jerseys with gold outlining throughout, the Flyers have gone back to black and orange for the outdoor game.
The jersey is almost all black, with an orange name plate and an orange elbow stripe. Orange is sprinkled throughout the jersey.
In addition to the outdoor game, the Flyers will also wear the jersey against the Penguins on March 15 at the Wells Fargo Center, a Wednesday Night Rivalry game.
Pittsburgh unveiled its Stadium Series jersey back on Nov. 25, an all gold uniform in celebration of its 50th season.
OKLAHOMA CITY -- James Harden scored 21 points, and the Houston Rockets overcame Russell Westbrook's seventh consecutive triple-double to beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 102-99 on Friday night.
Harden also had 12 assists and nine rebounds to help the Rockets win their fifth straight. Houston withstood Harden's 6-for-23 shooting effort.
Westbrook finished with 27 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists. He has the longest triple-double streak since Michael Jordan had seven straight in 1989. The most in a row is nine by Philadelphia's Wilt Chamberlain in March 1968.
It was Westbrook's 12th triple-double this season and the 49th of his career. He is the NBA's active leader in the category and ranks sixth all-time.
The Thunder had won the previous six games during Westbrook's triple-double binge (see full story).
James moves into 9th on scoring list as Cavs top Heat
CLEVELAND -- LeBron James scored 27 points to move into ninth place on the NBA scoring list, and the Cleveland Cavaliers defeated the Miami Heat 114-84 on Friday night.
James passed Elvin Hayes on a driving layup with 6:58 remaining and has 27,315 career points. The four-time MVP was removed about a minute later and received a loud ovation from the Cleveland crowd.
Kevin Love, a game-time decision because of back spasms, scored a team-high 28 points and had 15 rebounds for the Cavaliers. He missed the morning shootaround but was in the lineup after warming up on the court about an hour before tip-off.
Kyrie Irving added 23 points for the Cavs, who have won three straight after losing three in a row.
Derrick Williams scored 17 points to lead the short-handed Heat, who have lost four straight (see full story).
Schroder has career-high 33, Hawks rally past Bucks
MILWAUKEE -- Dennis Schroder scored a career-high 33 points and the Atlanta Hawks rallied from 20 down in the second half to defeat the Milwaukee Bucks 114-110 on Friday night.
Paul Millsap had 23 points and 14 rebounds for Atlanta. Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 18.
The Hawks, who ended a seven-game losing streak Wednesday with a win over Miami, trailed by 20 at halftime. A 40-point third quarter put them back in the game.
Jabari Parker scored 27 for Milwaukee. Giannis Antetokounmpo, in foul trouble throughout the game, had 14.
Atlanta pulled ahead 105-103 on Kyle Korver's jumper with 3:15 remaining, giving the Hawks their first lead since early in the game (see full story).