It’s too early in the process to get to the “just lock them in a room together until they figure it out” stage of negotiations on a new NBA Collective Bargaining Agreement. But as both sides continue to posture, I am all for moving up that deadline just to stop the tit-for-tat.
The latest salvo came from Maurice Evans, the veteran guard and VP of the NBA Players Association. He told the Associated Press the players are not buying what David Stern is selling about the massive financial losses of owners ($750 million or more) and the need to roll back salaries.
“We definitely don’t agree with those numbers,” Evans said. “We feel like the game is really at a great place.”
But Evans also spoke the truth — a lockout would be a disaster.
“If we have a lockout, it’s just going to set us back,” Evans said while distributing 1,000 Thanksgiving turkeys to Atlanta-area families in a program sponsored by the NBPA and the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. “With the state the economy is in, fans are not going to want to keep getting slapped in the face with players and NBA teams, as fortunate as we are financially to even be playing a game for a living, to keep throwing it in people’s face that we’re not making enough money, whether it be the league or whether it be the players.”
Missing a few days in July, or missing Summer League and postponing free agency is one thing. Missing actual games in the fall is another entirely. That would be a huge setback for the league that would take five years or more to overcome.
Right now, Evans is saying the right thing about a lockout. So is David Stern. But like their rhetoric on the new CBA, it’s meaningless without action. But right now it’s just rhetoric, posturing. When push comes to shove, will they fear a lockout as much as they should?
Andre Drummond is a terrible free-throw shooter…except, apparently, when he’s shooting from the other free-throw line. Monday night against the Raptors, Drummond cut Detroit’s deficit to five at the end of the third quarter with this three-quarter-court heave at the buzzer:
Now, if only he could work on his accuracy from his own free-throw line.
Not a lot has gone right for the Nets this season, but an impressive clutch shot by seven-time All-Star Joe Johnson gave them their 14th win of the season on Monday. With time expiring, Johnson banked in a long three-pointer to put Brooklyn up 105-104 over Denver and secure the victory:
Johnson had 12 points on the night.
For about a week, word has circulated throughout the NBA that George Karl’s days in Sacramento were numbered. They’ve lost eight of their last 10 games, and players have more or less checked out on him. Remember, it’s only been a year since the Kings unceremoniously ousted interim head coach Ty Corbin to bring Karl in, which came on the heels of their puzzling dismissal of Mike Malone in December 2014.
Now, ESPN.com’s Marc Stein reports that the Kings have made the decision to let Karl go:
The decision itself isn’t surprising—it always seemed to be a matter of “when,” not “if” Karl would be fired. But the optics here are not good. If everybody knows it’s coming, it makes no sense to leak that the change is going to happen hours or even days before it’s made official.
The report of the Kings’ decision on Karl comes on the heels of a concerning bombshell Rajon Rondo dropped following Sacramento’s 120-100 loss to the Cavaliers on Monday night.
Via the Sacramento Bee‘s Jason Jones:
Sports Illustrated‘s Jake Fischer further reported that only three players indeed showed up on Monday morning:
That’s a bad look for everybody involved. An optional shootaround is more or less unheard of in the NBA, and if only three players bothered to come, that’s an unignorable sign that the team has quit on Karl.
Since he came into the league, Karl-Anthony Towns‘ offensive footwork has been unusually advanced for a rookie. He showed off his impressive moves again on Monday night, getting to the basket around Luke Babbitt with this spin: