Arizona v Connecticut

Derrick Williams wonders how long lockout will last

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You can’t really blame Derrick Williams for deciding to leave college and enter the NBA draft — even if you’re an Arizona fan.

You only get so many kicks at the can, and after a fantastic NCAA Tournament Williams was a clear high draft pick (he went No. 2 overall to Minnesota). While I get the whole “value of an education” argument when we are talking millions of dollars guaranteed, you have to think that money can secure his future.

Except Williams money is locked up as the whole NBA is locked out.

That seemed to keep some guys in school (a lot of likely lottery picks went back to college for another year). Williams has gotten some money by signing with Under Armour to be his shoe company, but in talking with Holly McKenzie at The Basketball Jones he expressed concern of talk that the season could be lost.

Yeah. If they told me I was going to miss all 82 games next season I would have stayed in college and enjoyed myself and enjoyed all of my teammates and everybody else who is involved with Arizona. I definitely would have went back.

Rookies are in a tough spot, because they are not in the union (they don’t have a contract yet) and so all they can do is watch and workout. For first round picks like Williams, going to Europe means risking that NBA money (if he got injured his team may not sign the deal). For second round picks, who have no NBA guarantee, they have to consider getting paid somewhere.

It’s all just a big mess.

Players’ union, NBA to set up cardiac screening for retired players

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First it was Darryl Dawkins. Then it was Moses Malone.

Two all-time great players who recently died — and at t0o young an age, 58 and 60 respectively — from undiagnosed heart conditions. Even before that, recognizing the issue the NBA players union and the league itself were setting up supplemental health coverage to provide cardiac screening for retired players, something ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan recently broke.

The joint effort between union executive director Michele Roberts and NBA commissioner Adam Silver — at a time when there still may be potentially acrimonious labor negotiations looming for their sides — is intended to ease the health concerns of its retired players.

Roberts said action from the players’ association on providing screening for its retired players is “imminent.”

“I wish I could give you an exact timetable, but we have to make sure all the components are in place,” Roberts told ESPN recently. “I will tell you we hope to have something sooner than later.”

The Cardiologists are affiliated with the NBA already, and some of the money will come from the league, while the union is both pitching in a chunk of cash and is the one organizing this, according to the report.

It’s good to Roberts and Silver working together on this. While you’d like to think this would be the kind of no-brainer move that the league and union would work together on, in the past the relationship didn’t always facilitate this sort of cooperation even on the obvious.

I’d like to think this bodes well for future labor talks, but I’m not willing to completely draw that parallel.


Stephen Curry drops 30 on Portland in preseason (VIDEO)

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Somebody is in midseason form.

Stephen Curry put up 30 on Portland in a preseason game Thursday night, hitting six threes and getting to the line 15 times over the course of his less than 26 minutes. It was quite a show.

Portland won the game 118-101 behind 25 points from Allen Crabbe and 22 from Damian Lillard. Not a lot of defense in this one but it was fun to watch.