NBA owners and players apparently made no progress Thursday

Representatives of NBA owners and the players union met again Thursday with the mediator, but apparently no real progress was made, and negotiations have broken off for now.With David Stern sick with the flu, Adam Silver led things for the owners side today.

Adam Silver and Spurs owner Peter Holt after the meeting said:

1) Players are now willing to drop their BRI (basketball-related income) demands from 53% to 52.5%. But owners are still offering players 50% and are not willing to go higher. So there’s just a 2.5% difference.

2) There continue to be system issues, meaning the way free agency works, mid-level exceptions or other exceptions, salary cap and other items that need to be worked out. The two sides still have a lot to work on in this regard aside from the big BRI issue.

3) Silver said that as of tonight (Thursday), the league is not ready to announce that additional regular season games have been canceled yet. They aren’t saying when the next set of two regular season weeks may be canceled, but it won’t be tonight.

4) San Antonio Spurs owner Peter Holt says his team has lost money two straight seasons.

The owners side, as it has done before, suggested that the players union isn’t really open to negotiation.

Players Union president Derek Fisher after the meeting said:

1) “You guy were lied to earlier,” said Fisher to reporters. It appears what he means is that the owners reps were implying that the players union is unwilling to negotiate and be flexible, but Fisher says they are. That’s a general paraphrase.

2) Fisher says that the above is extremely frustrating.

3) Billy Hunter said what he’s said before, that he feels this has been the NBA’s plan for two or three years now, to totally break the union, and that owners really want the NHL system applied to the NBA.

4) Hunter confirmed what is pretty well-known, that the big-market owners are looking to get a deal done, but he feels the small-market owners are the ones who are playing harder than the rest and really going for a homerun deal. He thinks there’s a sizable gap between the big vs small-market owners.

5) Hunter says owners are still saying that the deal needs to be a 50/50 BRI (basketball-related income) split, or else a deal is simply not going to work, regardless of the other issues that still need to be resolved.

Billy Hunter ended with: “We’re open to negotiate. We’re ready to go back to the table anytime — without any preconditions, though.”

It turns out that the players union says that owners have again made it clear that players have to agree to a 50-50 BRI split or else there’s simply nothing else to talk about at this time.

And that, the NBA lockout continues.

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Dirk Nowitzki will throw World Series Game 3 first pitch for Texas Rangers

Dirk Nowitzki

Dallas Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki will be throwing out a World Series first pitch after all.

After it emerged earlier Wednesday that the Rangers’ desire to have Nowitzki throw out the first pitch before one of their home games against the St. Louis Cardinals had been rejected by Major League Baseball, league officials reversed course and announced hours later that Nowitzki would be invited to throw the ceremonial pitch before Saturday’s Game 3.

MLB spokesman Pat Courtney, after earlier in the day confirming that the Rangers’ request to bestow first-pitch honors on Nowitzki had been denied, said commissioner Bud Selig was not involved in the original veto and ordered the reversal.

Nowitzki quickly accepted the fresh invite Wednesday night, not long after taking to Twitter to thank fans for their backing in the wake of’s original report that the NBA Finals MVP was not deemed to be a suitable first-pitch thrower.

— Reported by Richard Durrett and Marc Stein of ESPN Dallas

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Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries marriage rumor: Not going so great?

kris humphries

Rumors are swirling that Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries are on the brink of splitting, just two months into their marriage.

Star reports that Kardashian may have already consulted a “top divorce lawyer,” as she was spotted on said lawyer’s floor in a New York office building. The magazine claims that Kardashian is fed up with Humphries’ partying while he is out of a job thanks to the NBA lockout. It reported that Humphries has been spotted partying in both Miami and New York without Kim, getting flirty with multiple women and “acting like a single man.”

“Kris takes other girls’ cell phone numbers all the time,” a source said. “To be honest, I don’t think Kris truly loves Kim. And I don’t think he ever really did.”

— Reported by Page Six of the New York Post.

Jameer Nelson talks about future of Dwight Howard with the Magic

Jameer Nelson

Nelson, one of Howard’s best friends, says he has no idea what Howard will do next summer. But he isn’t concerned about the magazine interview.

“People ask me every day what he’s going to do,” Nelson said. “I don’t know what he’s going to do. I don’t know what I’m going to do tomorrow. One thing I know is the guy is preparing to be the best player he can be this season, and that’s all I can say. I don’t know what his decision is going to be.

“Whatever he’s going to do, he’s like my little big brother. He’ll definitely have support from me. But obviously, he’s definitely wanted here in Orlando.”

— Reported by Zach McCann of the Orlando Sentinel Blog. Full article is here.

Pistons fire sideline reporter Eli Zaret

Eli Zaret, who has spent the last five years with the Pistons organization, doing sideline reporting and other television assignments, has been let go by the team’s new management.

“The new guys are very smart, the direction that they’re going in, a plan that’s different than the one that is in place,” said Zaret, who has been part of the Detroit sports scene for more than 30 years.

Pete Skorich , who had been with the franchise for 30 years and most recently executive vice president of broadcasting, parted ways with Palace Sports and Entertainment a couple of weeks ago. It was then that Zaret saw the writing on the wall.

— Reported by Vincent Goodwill of the Detroit News