Archive for September 8th, 2011

The Impact player roster list, showing the players that will participate in the Impact Las Vegas Basketball League: Competitive Training Series, is now available.

It’s mostly NBA players, and a couple of true gems like John Wall, Stephen Curry, Stephen Jackson, Zach Randolph and more, and there are a few non-pros in there as well.

Read it here.

Reuters reports:

Armed, masked law enforcement officers on Thursday raided a bank part-owned by Mikhail Prokhorov, a billionaire Russian magnate who is leading a political party into a December parliamentary election, officials and lawyers said.

The head of the International Finance Club bank, known by its Russian acronym MFK, said the evening raid on the bank’s office in central Moscow had nothing to do with Prokhorov’s Right Cause party or even with the bank’s operations.

“Investigative actions were conducted in relation to one of our borrowers. This has nothing to with Right Cause or Onexim,” the bank’s chief, Oksana Lifar, told Reuters by telephone. Onexim is Prokhorov’s investment vehicle.

But the raid raised eyebrows in a country where critics of the authorities face harassment and law enforcement officers are sometimes employed to put pressure on opponents in business disputes.

A small meeting between a few top representatives of NBA owners and players took place Thursday in New York City. The discussion reportedly lasted over five hours.

First, here are comments from David Stern on the owners side of the fence:

According to Howard Beck of the New York Times via Twitter, “Stern says talks will resume Tues in NY, with full committees from both sides. Won’t say whether that’s an indication of anything. Adam Silver also, somewhat testily, refutes suggestion that no new proposals have been exchanged since June.”

According to Ken Berger of CBS Sports, “League and union agreed to bring full committees to New York for larger meeting on Tuesday, David Stern said. Stern said there is nothing formal to present to larger committees. Time was right to see if there will “be a deal or shouldn’t be a deal.” Stern: “We think it’s getting to be an important time and it was a good idea to have larger committees.” Stern: “I don’t really know that it’s positive or negative. I just think it’s time to bring the parties to the room.” Board of Governors scheduled to meet Thursday. Asked what he hopes to tell full board, Stern said, “I’ll tell you on Thursday.” Deputy commish Adam Silver disputed notion of no new proposals since June 30. Nothing formal or complete, but “ideas” and “concepts.” Stern said sense or urgency comes “more because of the calendar” than progress in talks. Decisions must be made “eventually,” he said.”

And, according to David Aldridge of Turner Sports, “League, players to meet again in NYC next Tuesday, with full committees on both sides. Stern says “it’s time” to have more people in room. Stern says calendar dictates expansion of meetings. Stern also said no vote authorizing cancellation of games and/or training camps will be taken at next Thursday’s Board of Governors meeting.”

As for what representatives of the NBA players union said today:

According to Ken Berger: “Derek Fisher: Union officials will meet with players in Las Vegas next week to get feedback on what’s been negotiated so far. A few dozen players already scheduled to be in Vegas for Impact Basketball league. All players invited to meeting, Fisher said. Players’ meeting on Sept. 15 in Vegas coincides with owners’ meeting the same day in Dallas.”

And according to David Aldridge: “Fisher; I wouldn’t read into full committees meeting next week “that we’re on the verge of making a deal.” Fisher said 2 sides “are trying to respect each other’s positions” during meeting. Fisher re: Roger Mason’s Tweet; “roger knows we’re no closer now to a deal than we were before, questioned whether it was actually Mason’s. Union will meet w/players @ Impact workouts in Vegas next Thursday. About 40-50 players currently expected to take part.”

And the NBA lockout continues, for now.

Ricky Rubio OK with role on Team Spain

Ricky Rubio, David Kahn, NBA Draft, Minnesota Timberwolves

FIBA Europe reports:

Ricky Rubio is comfortable with his role in a Spain team that many wondered if he would make this summer.

The playmaker should make his much anticipated debut in the NBA this coming season with the Minnesota Timberwolves if the lockout ends and he’s hoping it will be a breath of fresh air because there were some tough times at Barcelona.

Rubio doesn’t possess a great jump shot but passes extremely well and plays as good a defense as any player at the EuroBasket.

He didn’t score in the 77-68 win over Germany on Wednesday and frankly, he doesn’t care.

“Little by little, I’m getting better as the tournament goes on,” he says.

“I feel more comfortable, although I still have to improve in shooting.

“I think I’ve done well in other facets of the game and that boosts my confidence.

“I know my limitations and my strengths and I have to take advantage of those.

“My strength is defending and hopefully I will see my shots go in but it does not worry me.”

Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun reports:

For the first time, Canada has failed to qualify for three straight Olympic basketball tournaments and as a result, head coach Leo Rautins has resigned.

Canada’s senior men dropped a stunning 91-89 decision to struggling Panama on Thursday at the FIBA Americas tournament in Argentina.

Panama had been 1-6 at the tournament coming in, dropping its previous three games by an average of 30 points.

It was a bitter pill to swallow for a program trying to reach the Olympics for the first time since 2000 in Sydney, though Rautins said he did not feel pressure from his bosses to leave.

“A lot of good things have happened unless you’re close to this program you’re not going to see,” Rautins said on a conference call.

“To continue the things that need to be done, I’ve made a decision that this team needs a new voice in the locker room.”

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