Stephon Marbury sums up the lockout talk pretty well

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Halfway around the world, playing hoops in a coastal Chinese city most Americans have never heard of, Stephon Marbury is watching the NBA’s Collective Bargaining Agreement negotiations unfold.

And he gets it, just check out this quote from a New York Magazine profile.

“There’s definitely going to be a lockout in the NBA after this season. The owners do not want to pay older players, and the players will cave, because they’re only focused on now. The owners, they’re looking at this long term, like a fifteen-year business investment.”

Seriously, that is it in a nutshell. The owners want a way to get out of their own bad decisions — they keep giving the Joe Johnsons of the world six-year max deals that they regret by year four an have to pay for two more. They want a mulligan on their own choices and that is one thing they are willing to go to the mattresses over.

It is just part of the owners belief the core of the system is flawed, and they are willing to suffer the repercussions of reduced gate and fan interest for years to fix it.

The players don’t want things to change dramatically, but their convictions (and money) will run out more quickly. Marbury says they “cave,” you can say they became willing to compromise, the phrasing is moot. Just know that’s most likely how it all goes down. The only question is will regular season games lost?

On another note, go read the entire fascinating profile of a more mature Marbury. A guy who may be out there but who has a real appreciation for what he had and has. However, he has no appreciation for Chinese food. Which can be a challenge when living in China. However, he plans to stay and do business in China for a long time to come.

PBT Extra: How did Thunder, Pacers move up in PBT Power Rankings?

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As they do every Monday during the season, the PBT Power Rankings came out and while the top three remained the same there were some climbers.

Specifically, the Thunder at No. 4 and the Pacers at No. 5.

Why they are there is the latest PBT Extra topic with Jenna Corrado. The simple answer is they are both excellent teams. Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant, and Paul George are all playing like Top 10 players.

PBT Podcast: We’re back talking Kobe, 76ers, Warriors, Pistons, more

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The ProBasketballTalk NBA podcast is back.

Sure we’re a month into the season, but we’re going to get this podcast rolling again and you can expect us on each Monday and Thursday, with a variety of guests talking everything around the NBA.

Today NBC’s own Dan Feldman joins Kurt Helin to talk Kobe Bryant‘s retirement announcement, and what that means both for the Lakers going forward this season and beyond, but also what that could mean for Byron Scott’s future as the Lakers’ coach.

We also delve into the “showdown” between the Lakers and Sixers on Thursday, talk about the job Brett Brown is doing there as coach (a good one), we talk some Warriors, some Draymond Green, Pistons, Spurs and Pacers to round it all out.

Listen to the podcast below or you can listen and subscribe via iTunes.


Sacramento’s DeMarcus Cousins probable to play against Dallas Monday

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It’s this simple: The Sacramento Kings are 5-5 when DeMarcus Cousins plays this season, 1-7 when he sits. (And that win number is a big misleading, they looked like they would have beaten Charlotte with him, but when he left with back pain they lost, they could easily be 6-4 with him.)

So it’s good news that Cousins is expected to return to the Sacramento lineup Monday night. Well not good for Rick Carlisle and the Mavericks, but good for the Kings, as reported by James Ham at CSNBayArea,com.

This season Cousins is averaging 27.9 points and 11.2 rebounds a game, he has a true shooting percentage above the league average (56.3 percent for Cousins) and he has a PER of 27.1 which is sixth best in the league.

Combine him with the numbers Rajon Rondo has put up lately the Kings become much more dangerous. They’d be even scarier if everyone stayed healthy and George Karl would settle on a lineup.

PBT Extra: Kobe Bryant understands now is time to walk away

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It was expected Kobe Bryant would retire at the end of this season.

It was not expected Kobe would make that official on Nov. 29 — it’s caught the media at Staples Center Sunday (of which I was one) and the fans by surprise.

In this PBT Extra, I talk with Jenna Corrado about the mood inside Staples Center Sunday.

More importantly, I discuss the sense I got that Kobe understands it’s time to walk away, and he is at peace with that.