- Kobe’s going to Italy! Wait! No he’s not!! If we’ve learned anything by now about Kobe and his overseas options, it’s that 1). no deal is done until he comes out and says so and 2). it’s not coincidence that rumors of deals seem to occur right as he’s visiting these countries for Nike promotions. I’m treating all the speculation the way that I do trade rumors in February: agendas drive leaks; wake me when a deal is actually done.
- Mike Brown is the Lakers’ coach but some would have preferred Rick Adelman be the man following Phil Jackson. Instead, Adelman has signed on with the T’Wolves and had this to say about his interest in the LA job and what it would be like trying to fill Phil Jackson’s shoes in a sit down with Sam Amick:
SI.com: So you obviously had interest in the Lakers job, but how did that go down?
Adelman: I think anybody would be interested, and that’s because of the talent they have and the situation they’re in. It’s very intriguing to look at that. It just came down to the fact that we had some discussions about the team, about a lot of things, but they chose to go in a different route [in hiring Mike Brown]. It never really got to the point of, “Are you going to take the job or not?” And frankly, it was very quick after the season ended and I had just moved from Houston back to Portland, so it was kind of a whirlwind thing. But the fact that they decided pretty quickly that they were going to go with Mike, that was kind of it.
SI.com: That’s quite a turnaround mentally to be looking at a championship-or-bust situation one minute and considering a spot like Minnesota the next.
Adelman: Yeah, and that’s how it was going to be, too. Perception is always there, and you just said it, championship or bust. And then you’re following probably the greatest coach in history, record-wise [in Phil Jackson], so there was a lot of stuff there, too. Certainly when you win, it’s better than when you lose, but sometimes even when you win, you lose.
- Part I in a series of posts on the 1993 NBA draft. Give it a read.
- Leaks around the CBA negotiations state that an amnesty clause (where each team would have the ability to waive a player to get them off their salary cap) could be part of any agreement. Based off that, here’s a good examination of who each team should release. I can only imagine most of you would agree with the first player mentioned in the Lakers section.
- Speaking of the lockout, today the negotiations continue in what is universally being called a make or break weekend of meetings. After Wednesdays condensed session, reports surfaced that Stern could announce the cancellation of the season if no progress is made in these talks. And while I view that as little more than a ramp up of the rhetoric as part of a larger negotiating tactic, time is getting short to get a deal done if starting the season on time is a legitimate goal.
On that note, there is some required reading for perspective on where the negotiations are at this point in the process and the main sticking points of the talks:
- Adrian Wojnarowski states the owners have already won, now it’s only a matter of how much of a blowout it’s going to be.
- Marc Stein reports that with the owners willing to make concessions on a hard cap, they want other spending restrictions built into the agreement.
- Over at TrueHoop, Henry Abbott does a great job of digging into the concept of “competitive balance”.
- And just because it’s excellent reading, Beckley Mason takes the owners to task on finances and the business of basketball.
As for my two cents, I just want this thing over already (like I’m sure all of you do). That said, I’m looking for compromise from both sides and a willingness to come to the bargaining table with an open mind that a one sided deal won’t work for anyone.
With threats of a cancelled season now becoming part of discussion (even if only to scare a deal out of hardliners on both sides), now isn’t the time to dig in your heals but instead extend the olive branch. If hardliners prevail and cost us games, it will be obvious who to blame. I’m completely worn down by most of this and when I really sit back and think about why it’s happening and who is driving this disagreement, my head starts to hurt and I get incredibly angry.
I look at the finer details of it all and simply want to shake people by the shoulders.
For example, this past year the league made so much in revenues that for the first time the owners had to return the escrow money back to the players to ensure their portion basketball related income was paid out. However, in the Stein article linked above, the owners are said to want salary roll backs. I understand that this is also tied to what percentage of BRI the players would get in a new CBA, but how do salary rollbacks help if 1). Revenues are growing 2). The escrow payment is now not a guarantee to go back to the owners? If rollbacks are meant to cut salary value, why is the BRI so important?
Meanwhile, the players want nothing to change and to walk away with a system as close to the one they have now. But, that system also says that guys like Eddy Curry (who don’t stay in shape and lack the work ethic to compete at a level anywhere close to their salary) get to ride the pine and collect millions. Contracts also go for 5-6 years with no way to get from out of a bad decision on a player, with the only repercussion being eating the contract.
Both sides need to give something up here. And they need to do it now. I want the NBA back on my TV at the start of November. Make it happen already.