Archive for October 9th, 2011

Around 6:15 p.m. (give or take 15 minutes) Sunday in New York City, representatives of the NBA owners and players union met for an unexpected get-together in very late attempt to avoid losing regular season games. The league has said that Monday, if no labor agreement has been reached, the first two weeks of 2011-12 regular season games will be canceled.

Around 11:50 p.m. ET, several reporters covering the meeting commented on Twitter about the results:

Howard Beck of the New York Times: Meeting over. Stern says no comment, except that they’re meeting again tomorrow afternoon… Needless to say, LA union meeting is canceled. But Billy Hunter just confirmed, anyway… Fisher says not necessarily any closer to deal now than when night began, but back at it tomorrow.

Ken Berger of CBS Sports: Stern and Silver just emerged unannounced at 11:50 p.m. and Stern gave that brief statement… Stern said the no-comment was by mutual agreement with the players… Fisher says two sides “not necessarily any closer,” but, “We’re going back at it tomorrow.” Player meeting in L.A. postponed.

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports: Stern has no comment, except to say they’re breaking for the night and meeting again on Monday afternoon… Stern said NBA and NBPA agreed to have no comment on the five hour-plus meetings in New York on Sunday night… Billy Hunter says he isn’t going to LA for players meeting, and will return to meet with NBA at 2 pm on Monday… Fisher has nothing to say, except that players meeting in Los Angeles on Monday will be rescheduled.

Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated: Stern just came out, said no comment. Will reconvene tomorrow afternoon… Now waiting for union reps to come out. Suspect they won’t have much to say either… Billy Hunter says he is not going to LA tomorrow… Fisher: “We’re not necessarily any closer than we were tonight.”

JJ Redick

J.J. Redick is eager to find out if he has recovered completely from surgery in late May to repair two muscle tears in his lower abdomen.

The Orlando Magic guard says he feels great, and he’s gone full-speed with his workout regimen for a couple of months now. But even Redick acknowledges that he’s looking forward to seeing how he feels during and after a full-speed competitive situation.

“I haven’t tested myself in a competitive situation to say whether or not I’m 100 percent,” Redick said. “But I’m feeling great. I really am. I don’t know what percentage I’m at, but I’m really, really, really happy with where I’m at right now.”

It’s been a strange summer for Redick — and for all of his Magic teammates — because of the NBA lockout.

– Reported by Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel blog

mario chalmers

Mario Chalmers participated Saturday in the South Florida All-Star Classic, scoring 10 points for Team Wade.

After the game, the restricted free agent spoke of his desire to continue playing with Wade — Chris Bosh, LeBron James and the rest — whenever next season starts.

“I want to get back to where I was at the end of last season,” Chalmers said.

At the very end, he was the starting point guard.

– Reported by Ethan J. Skolnick  of the Palm Beach Post blog

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Looking ahead was not high on the priority list late Friday night as the Minnesota Lynx basked in their three-game sweep of the Atlanta Dream in the WNBA championship series at Philips Arena.

And really, why should it?

Celebratory cheers and toasts lasted well into the early morning Saturday in tribute to a whirlwind season of dominance that led to the ending of a 20-year championship drought by major professional sports teams in Minnesota.

Perhaps equally impressive, the Lynx’s 27-7 regular-season record and 7-1 run through the postseason brought heightened awareness throughout the region, so much so that it was difficult to get through a day without hearing about the Lynx on sports radio or on television news.

The Lynx averaged nearly 9,000 fans a game this season, and during their playoff run, they sold nearly 1,000 season tickets. Crowds of more than 15,000 attended the first two games of the championship series.

“Next year?” point guard Lindsay Whalen asked incredulously. “I’m not even thinking about that right now. We deserve this (celebration) and are going to enjoy it.”

Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve refused to look ahead as well.

“That’s not necessary right now,” she said.

– Reported by Tim Leighton of the St. Paul Pioneer Press

Utah Jazz have roster moves to make

The Jazz will need to pick up at least two free agents — and as many as four — to reach the minimum roster size when that window opens up.

They need another point guard or two.

They need to decide whether or not to continue their Andrei Kirilenko relationship.

And so many more questions, O’Connor recognizes.

The Jazz are even getting ready for the 2012 draft — one of the reasons they recently hired international scouting director Rich Sheubrooks — and planning on which upcoming college games they’ll be attending for scouting purposes.

“What we can control right now,” the Jazz GM said, “is ourselves. … When the ball drops, we’ll go from there.”

– Reported by Jody Genessy of the Deseret News

dwyane wade

A person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press that Dwyane Wade called an hourlong meeting with players after his Team Wade pulled out a 141-140 overtime victory over Team LeBron. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because talks were to remain private, saying Wade, Chris Paul and Miami Heat player representative James Jones fielded questions about the status of negotations.

The person also said Wade has taken “a more active role” in talks about a new labor deal of late and that he urged players to be “informed rather than accept any deal.”

Before the meeting, Carmelo Anthony said the lockout is “sad all the way across.”

“It’s sad for us as players. It’s sad for the whole NBA. It’s sad for the fans of the NBA. It’s sad for our personal fans. So we want to keep giving back like this,” Anthony said.

Virtually all the players in Saturday’s game shared a similar sentiment. The game drew a sold-out crowd of 4,000 to Florida International University, where Basketball Hall of Famer — and past NBA players’ association president — Isiah Thomas is the Panthers’ coach.

– Reported by Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press

A normal day’s take at Bayside’s Los Ranchos steakhouse is roughly $7,000. On Miami Heat game nights, the restaurant usually clears a hefty $12,000.

At the Four Seasons on Miami’s Brickell Avenue, visiting NBA teams often book dozens of rooms at the $400-a-night hotel — with basketball-related revenues topping a half-million dollars per year.

And at Tickets of America, located across the street from the AmericanAirlines Arena, Heat basketball is its lifeblood. Owner Michael Lipman deals heavily in the floor seat market, with playoff passes reaching the tens of thousands of dollars.

But these are anxious times for all three businesses, as the prolonged NBA labor dispute this week reaches a critical stage. Due to the three-month-long lockout, the entire preseason has been scrapped. And if the owners and players’ union do not carve out an agreement Monday — a dubious prospect, at best — the first two weeks of the regular season are likely lost. The first home game is scheduled for Nov. 3.

That means no LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.

No lines out the door at Los Ranchos, no lengthy room service bills at the Four Seasons, and quiet telephone lines at Lipman’s ticket shop.

– Reported by Adam H. Beasley of the Miami Herald

carmelo anthony

With NBA commissioner David Stern saying the start of the regular season will be canceled if no deal is reached by Monday to end the lockout, Carmelo Anthony said he was not expecting a miracle.

“Right now, it looks like they’re going to cancel the first two weeks of the season,” the New York forward said after scoring 30 points as his Team Wade beat Team LeBron 141-140 on Saturday night in a charity game put together by Miami stars Dwayne Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh.

“Let’s be realistic,” Anthony added. “I don’t think nothing is going to happen between now and Monday. We just got to prepare for that and prepare for the lockout for the first two weeks of the regular season.”

– Reported by NewsCore via Fox Sports Florida

NBA`s loss has become China`s gain

Carrie Xu is used to rooting against the Nuggets. She’s a Los Angeles Lakers fan, after all. And this season, she’ll continue to root against the Nuggets. She’s a Shanghai Sharks fan, after all.

kenyon martin

And three Nuggets of this past season are on rival teams in the Chinese Basketball Association — Kenyon Martin now plays for Xinjiang Gyang Hui, while Wilson Chandler and J.R. Smith play for Zhejiang Guangsha.

“I’m sad about the lockout and about the current status of the lockout,” said Xu, a former Nike employee who blogs for chinasportsbiz.com. “But I’m happy for the Chinese basketball fans, who can enjoy such great players.”

There should be some great ball in China this winter. The Nuggets players will likely put on a show, though the competition level is more Joel Anthony than Carmelo Anthony. To put it in perspective, the top scorer on the CBA’s top team last year was American Quincy Douby — and not many folks have even heard of Quincy Douby.

– Reported by Benjamin Hochman of the Denver Post

amare stoudemire

Knicks superstars Amar’e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony keyed last night’s Team Wade 141-140 overtime victory over Team LeBron in the South Florida All-Star Classic hosted by Isiah Thomas and Florida International.

But neither player believes he is going to be keying victories for the Knicks any time soon.

“The way it looks right now they’re going to cancel the first two weeks of the season,” Anthony said after dropping 30 points and hitting a clutch, game-tying 3-pointer with two seconds left to force overtime.

Stoudemire dropped in 21 points to go with 10 rebounds and hit two of Team Wade’s final three buckets in overtime, scoring five points in the final 45 seconds. It wasn’t a bd showing for Stoudemire, who spent most of the summer rehabbing a pulled back muscle.

“I felt great,” Stoudemire said. “First time playing since the playoffs. I feel I’m in great shape. It’s the most I played since last season.”

– Reported by Marc Berman of the New York Post

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