Archive for October 15th, 2011

dwyane ade

Wade said the NBA has done an “amazing” job in getting its message out to basketball fans during the lockout. Players, he said, have not wanted to take the same approach as the NBA on the battle of perception.

“We haven’t done a great job of complaining,” Wade said. “That’s what the NBA has done, they’ve done a great job of complaining. We haven’t done a great job of that so no one sees our side. They more so see the owners’ side.”

And that side is this: Without more competitive balance, the league can’t succeed.

“There’s a real willingness of the high-grossing teams to pitch in and put in some dollars,” Stern told NBA TV in an interview broadcast Thursday night. “And there’s a real desire on the low-grossing teams to have the money to make them competitive.”

Wade and Stern discussed that point during a sometimes contentious meeting several top players attended in New York a couple weeks ago, and just as he did then, the star doesn’t agree with the commissioner.

– Reported by Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press

Billy Hunter said earlier Friday that he fears much worse than canceled games if the lockout drags on.

“If everybody begins to dig into their respective positions, then I think the league will be decimated. It took us five years to recover from the 1998 lockout and there’s probability that we may never recover [from this lockout],” Hunter told ESPN before Friday’s sit-down with players. “I think there will be some teams that won’t survive. Particularly if the season gets shut down, there will be teams that will not be around next year.”

Hunter singled out the Sacramento Kings as a franchise that may fall victim to “forced contraction.”

If negotiations with the federal mediator next week fail to warrant any movement toward a deal, the players association hopes it has an ace up its sleeve as it awaits the National Labor Relations Board’s action on the unfair labor practices claim that the union filed back in May.

“It has been prolonged and I believe it has been prolonged because I believe they have taken this case serious,” union vice president Maurice Evans told ESPNLosAngeles.com. “The ruling could weigh heavily on these negotiations as it is the only legal verdict that could in fact end the lockout. We do expect to hear from them within the next two weeks.”

– Reported by J.A. Adande and Dave McMenamin of ESPN.com

Read NBA fan opinion or share your views in this basketball forum topic.

Kenny Smith has a way to end the NBA’s lockout, but he’s also realistic enough to know his plan might be too simplistic for league and union bureaucrats that seem to enjoy the battle more than trying to end it.

That’s why the TNT anaylst is planning a charity all-star game - perhaps the most appropriate such event in terms of who it will benefit.

Smith said Thursday night he is in the process of organizing a charity game in Las Vegas and wants it to benefit military members.

It will be played on Veteran’s Day, Friday Nov. 11.

That’s the day before Manny Pacquiao is scheduled for a welterweight title fight in Las Vegas against Juan Manuel Marquez, which could make it a huge sports weekend in Sin City.

The beneficiaries will be former military members, which is fitting because the game will be played on Veterans Day.

Many details must be worked out, but Smith said he has already been in touch with numerous players and the response has been excellent. And having the event benefit veterans would make it an instant success with sponsors.

– Reported by Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News

NBA players union says it remains united

derek fisher

Put three people in a room and two of them will talk about the other. Put 30 NBA players in a room and unanimity is impossible.

So though Wizards center JaVale McGee said some NBA players “are ready to fold,” both he and players union president Derek Fisher stressed more players are staying together in their labor fight with the owners, which is scheduled to go before a federal mediator in New York on Tuesday.

With Commissioner David Stern continuing to make the rounds on TV and radio shows to teach and preach the gospel of the league and the owners, about 30 players met with National Basketball Players Association executive director Billy Hunter at a Beverly Hills hotel yesterday for updates on the latest labor proposals and to re-affirm their solidarity. The union has held similar regional meetings in Las Vegas and Chicago. But after McGee left early, he provided the headline fodder.

– Reported by Fred Kerber of the New York Post

After initially forbidding front-office executives from attending college basketball practices during the lockout, the NBA has changed course and informed teams they can now do so, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.

With college practices starting this weekend, NBA executives and scouts are free to travel to campus and watch practices and workouts. Front-office executives and scouts were always going to be allowed to scout games, which don’t start until mid November.

– Reported by Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports

InsideHoops.com editor says: Smart and logical move by the NBA. There is no reason to harm NBA teams by limiting their ability to study up on talent that they might someday want to draft.

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