From Sam Amick, Spors Illustrated: While the cloak of secrecy has been draped over the recent discussions, two sources with knowledge of the talks indicated that no formal proposals were exchanged. The players expected the owners to put forth a new proposal for quite some time now, and the continued absence of one at Tuesday’s bargaining session would be a foreboding sign for the fate of the coming season. Meanwhile, the reading of the labor tea leaves will continue. On the heels of Roger Mason’s now-infamous tweet in which the NBPA vice president wrote, “Looking like a season. How u,” but later claimed his account was hacked, one league source claims that union president Derek Fisher text-messaged numerous players last week indicating that some progress had been made and imploring them to be physically prepared just in case the season started on time.
From Kevin Ding, OC Register: Derek Fisher’s work as president of the players’ union continues this week with more highest-level meetings with NBA officials in New York, but he is scheduled to get some basketball work in when he is in Las Vegas on Thursday for a larger meeting with the players he represents. Fisher is listed on one of the eight teams put together for Impact Basketball’s upstart two-week summer league in Las Vegas. That league of NBA-level players begins play Monday, although Fisher won’t arrive till Thursday for a planned meeting to share details of negotiations with union members…One of Fisher’s teammates in the Vegas league will be Derrick Caracter, who is under non-guaranteed contract for another season with the Lakers but might not be back with the team.
From Kurt Helin, Pro Basketball Talk: Now West is writing his own autobiography (due out in a couple months) and Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News got an advanced look (via Eye On Basketball). He says the book is very West — unflinchingly honest. And very interesting. West is an iconic Laker, but when Phil Jackson came in to the franchise (the first time) he changed the dynamics of power structure and with that pushed West out. Almost literally at one point — Jackson famously threw West out of the Lakers locker room after a game. Phil needed power, West had it and that was the seeds of the issue. West talked about that relationship — to say that there wasn’t one.
From Mike Trudell, Lakers.com: It was a long summer in Lakerland, the May 31 hiring of Mike Brown as the new coach of the franchise feeling like quite a long time ago. In the meantime, Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak has had a chance to get to know Brown quite well. “Since we’ve announced Mike as the next Lakers coach, we’ve spent a lot of time together talking basketball, talking personnel,” Kupchak said during a Live Chat on Lakers.com. “Obviously, looking to put together as much of his staff as possible. He’s very energetic, upbeat and eager to coach the season. Lately, the assistant coaches and Mike have been meeting every day, sometimes at Mike’s home, and sometimes here at the facility in preparation for the upcoming season.”
From Mark Medina, LA Times Laker Blog: Various incidents trigger Lakers forward Lamar Odom to reflect on losing his mother at age 12 to colon cancer. It happens whenever Odom takes out a pair of white, purple and gold Nikes before every game and writes out Cathy, referring to his mother, Cathy Mercer. Memories spark whenever he accomplishes something, such as when he approached the lectern last spring to accept the NBA’s sixth man of the year award. Odom’s gratitude toward having a life insurance policy when Mercer passed away served as inspiration to becoming a spokesman this summer for Life Insurance Awareness Month, appearing in a recent PSA on behalf of the nonprofit Life Foundation.
From Brian Kamenetzky, Land O’ Lakers: Most Lakers fans following Pau Gasol’s progress with the Spanish national team through the European Championships are looking for three things each time he takes the floor: 1. High end, skill-sharpening, confidence-galvanizing performances helping destroy, like hardwood Listerine, any lingering bad mouth flavors following last spring’s playoff letdown. 2. Everything in item 1, done in as few minutes on the floor as possible. 3. Don’t get hurt. If that’s your formula, and it’s certainly mine, then Thursday’s 84-59 victory for Spain over Serbia was about as good as it gets. Pau was dominant on the floor, making nine of his 11 field goals, along with seven-of-nine from the line en route to 26 points. Add in eight rebounds, three assists, and a pair of blocks, and it all adds up to a very, very productive night. Best of all, Pau played a grand total of 23 minutes. In the wake of a 30 minute night against Germany, coming after he sat out Monday’s game against Turkey with a bad ankle, a little extra rest is a very good thing.
Lastly, over at TrueHoop, Henry Abbott has done fine piece of reporting on the CBA negotiations looking at the owners positions on the key parts of a labor deal. He’s created a handy chart on the subject that’s worth your time as it explains that while larger negotiations on hand are between the owners and the players, there is also some agreeing that needs to happen between the owners themselves. He had this to say about his chart, and the Lakers’ owner Jerry Buss:
The 30 NBA teams have varying positions on collective bargaining and revenue sharing. Based on insight from more than a dozen well-placed sources, here is our best assessment of where the 30 owners stand at the moment — although all of this can change quickly. There is a big difference between owners who would like a much better CBA, and owners who would hold up a deal over a much better CBA.
The Lakers have good revenues that they’d like to keep collecting. Jerry Buss is close to David Stern, and likely to support any deal the league is pushing.
The Lakers stand to lose the most in revenue sharing, by far. Reports are conflicting about whether they have accepted the idea of paying tens of millions per season. This is a huge issue.