Right now it’s all posturing — more for the general public than each other — but it still sounds ominous.
The latest in the public back-and-forth over a new NBA Collective Bargaining Agreement is what Billy Hunter, executive director of the NBA Players Association (the players union) told the Associated Press.
He said he was “99 percent sure” there would be a lockout next season.
“I think it’s highly probable that there will be a lockout and that’s what I’m preparing for because I don’t see anything else right now,” Hunter said…
But Hunter said the owners aren’t budging on their demands for cuts in salaries, contract lengths and guarantees, annual raises, and the rookie salary scale.
“What’s left?” Hunter said in a conference room at the union’s headquarters after helping distribute turkeys to 2,000 families outside….
“I don’t really see that the argument’s all that compelling for the changes that they’re asking for,” Hunter said.
It’s early on, we really will not know how things stand until the All-Star break. The sides are at least talking and meeting, and these are largely the same players at the table from the last CBA negotiations, they know the game.. And you can be sure both sides know that striking in this economic environment would be horrible public relations and would cause economic damage to the league.
But there are some owners pushing hard to reshape the financial structure of the game and some who privately use a higher lockout percentage than Hunter does. The players are not sold in the least that the problems are that serious or that systemic, they are not backing down easily.
Smart money says there will be a lockout July 1. Summer League may be at risk, free agency pushed back. But that’s not the real threat. If this is a two-week lockout in July it’s forgotten when camps open. But if camps don’t open, if exhibition and particularly regular season games are missed, then the damage will be deep. And it will take years to recover.
The Cavaliers were ready for their game against the Raptors tonight, and Toronto’s dance team wasn’t going to change that.
The last time I remember something like this happening, Grizzlies guard Tony Allen walked through the Warriors’ kid dancers. This video doesn’t show got the Cavaliers got to that point, but they might have the defense of being there first. Allen definitely didn’t have that.
Gary Neal made a jumper with 10:12 remaining in tonight’s Wizards-Hornets game.
That was Washington’s last basket.
Jared Dudley made a pair of free throws on the Wizards next possession, and Neal added two more free throws with 23 seconds left.
And that was all the Wizards scoring in the quarter.
Washington, which entered the final period up seven, lost 101-87 after its 1-for-20 final-period shooting.
The six fourth-quarter points were the fewest by an NBA team in a quarter since Cavaliers scored six third-quarter points in a Jan. 26, 2014 loss to the Suns. Last time a team scored so few in a fourth quarter: Nov. 13, 2012, when the Raptors had five against the Pacers.
At least Neal’s late free throws spared the Wizards further shame. Nobody has scored four or fewer points in a quarter since the Warriors managed just two in a Feb. 8, 2004 loss to the Raptors.
As it stands, this is one of only 44 times in the shot clock era a team has scored so few points in a quarter.
After a rare period of on-court competence, the 76ers led the Celtics by five with two minutes left tonight.
Then, Philadelphia snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.
The 76ers yielded a 9-0 run to close an 84-80 setback.
They’re now 0-16. Combined with their 0-10 finish to last season, that’s a 26-game losing streak – tied for longest in NBA history. Last year’s 76ers already shared the record.
Philadelphia is also in danger of the worst start to a season. The 2009-10 New Jersey Nets began 0-18, and last year’s 76ers won only one game sooner.
The 76ers will try to avoid the all-time longest streak at the Rockets on Friday. If that goes unsuccessfully, they’ll try to avoid matching the worst season start at the Grizzlies on Sunday. And if both fail, they could set the worst-start record against the Lakers on Tuesday.
76ers-Lakers – it’s shaping up to be a big one.
The Timberwolves didn’t select the meanest tweets about these players, but credit Karl-Anthony Towns, Tyus Jones, Shabazz Muhammad and Zach LaVine for being good sports.