Archive for November 11th, 2011

Pat Riley anxious to get back to work

pat riley

In his first expansive comments since the July 1 start of the NBA lockout, Miami Heat President Pat Riley said Friday he is anxious to get back to the business of basketball.

While banned by the league from commenting directly on the lockout, Riley, during a Heat-organized event in commemoration of Veterans Day at United States Southern Command headquarters, spoke of being poised to pick up where his team left off in last season’s NBA Finals.

“(We) have been in the office getting ready to hit the ground running, when we can,” he said after addressing military personnel and their families at the youth basketball clinic. “So, we’re ready to roll when everybody else is.”

The Heat had been scheduled to host the New Jersey Nets on Friday night at AmericanAirlines Arena. The NBA instead remains on indefinite hold, although Commissioner David Stern said Thursday night he is prepared for a Dec. 15 resumption of play and a 72-game schedule if the players accept the league’s latest offer, a proposition that remains very much in doubt.

– Reported by Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel

LeBron, Durant set up flag football game

lebron james

According to a Thursday afternoon post on James’ Twitter feed, the Miami Heat forward will be teaming up with Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant to host a flag football game on Nov. 30.

“Its all set people!” James wrote. “Nov.30th Team @Kingjames vs Team @KDTrey5 in Flag football. Its going down. Can’t wait.”

It’s not known where the game will be held, and it’s also unclear exactly who else will be participating, but you can bet it’ll be a star-studded cast.

The players’ announcement that a game will be played is hardly a surprise, however, as both have been testing out their football chops while the labor crisis gets resolved.

– Reported by Sam Gardner of Fox Sports Florida

milwaukee bucks

The Bradley Center and the Milwaukee Bucks have reached agreement on a new one-year lease that covers last season, but the deal also contains a provision in which the NBA team won’t get any money until professional basketball resumes.

The Bradley Center owes the Bucks $9.5 million. But in the new agreement, those payments have been extended further to as late as 2019.

The agreement, announced Thursday, is a reflection of reality given the inability of the players’ association and NBA owners to find a way to end their lockout, as well as the Bradley Center’s own challenged financial condition.

Talks between the players and the league continued Thursday night, with some signs that the lockout will end and a partial season will be played.

The new Bradley Center-Bucks agreement establishes a prorated payment plan on all concession, catering and suite-shared revenue payments to the Bucks based on the actual number of games played.

At all events at the Bradley Center, the Bucks receive 27.5% of concession sales and 13.75% of food beverage sales in the suites. The team also receives 30% of all merchandise sales at Bucks’ games.

Also, the Bucks pay no rent at the facility.

– Reported by Don Walker of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel

In what amounts to the league’s last and best proposal in a labor standoff now into its fifth month, NBA commissioner David Stern on Thursday offered his locked-out players a 72-game season that would start Dec. 15.

Yet the league’s latest pitch, according to sources briefed on its contents after adjustments were made Thursday night, contained what the union regards as miniscule financial inducements for the players after nearly 24 hours of negotiations this week. And that clearly disappointed union leaders who were expecting more after they made a commitment earlier in the week, for the first time since the lockout began, to accept a 50/50 split of annual Basketball Related Income.

NBPA executive director Billy Hunter struggled to mask how underwhelmed he was by the new proposal even as he was telling reporters that he would present it to the player representatives from all 30 teams as early as Monday as a possible prelude to a vote from the union’s estimated 450 members.

“It’s not the greatest proposal in the world,” Hunter said. “But I have an obligation to at least present it to our membership. So that’s what we’re going to do.”

– Reported by Marc Stein of ESPN.com

Nic Batum named Euroleague Week 4 MVP

nicolas batum

SLUC Nancy forward Nicolas Batum was at his best against on Thursday with a brilliant all-around performance to lead the French champs to a 90-85 win over previously unbeaten Caja Laboral. The victory made Nancy 2-0 at home this season and just like in their previous win in front of French fans, Batum was the star of the show and subsequently earned Week 4 bwin MVP honors. Batum amassed an impressive stat line of 21 points with just 3 missed shots in addition to 9 rebounds, 4 assists and a block en route to a performance index rating of 35. Beyond the numbers, Batum was also crucial to the Nancy effort in that he played all 40 minutes – his average 39:26 minutes per game is most in the league – and was clutch down the stretch with and 7 points in the game’s last 5 minutes. Batum also becomes the first player to win the weekly MVP award twice this season. He did face stiff competition this week for the highest index rating from FC Barcelona Regal swingman Chuck Eidson who tallied a 34 index in a 92-75 win over Montepaschi Siena.

– Reported by Euroleague.net

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