Billy Hunter

NLRB decision expected next week in lockout case


Sports Illustrated’s Zach Lowe reports that the NBPA’s charge of unfair labor practices and failure to negotiate in good faith has “finished investigation into (the) union’s complaint.” Final briefs are expected next week.

The odds of a different result than the NFL garnered are pretty small, but the effect would be devastating for the owners… for about thirty seconds before they appeal and this thing enters legal purgatory. The owners can’t lose this fight, so they’d have to keep appealing, which would be costly. Then again, they’ve literally stopped their business, so what’s a few more million on top of it?

Meanwhile, everything continues according to plan, with both sides following the same playbook legally they were expected to. And that’s really been part of the issue. Both sides continue to follow the playbook line by line with no deviation. If there’s going to be a season, something’s going to have to deviate from the expected pattern, otherwise both sides are just charging headlong into losing the entire year.

The swiftness and decisiveness of the decision may give us some insight into how organized the Union is at this point.

Stan Van Gundy rips ‘selfish’ Pistons

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The Pistons had just 19 assists – to 22 turnovers – in their 93-83 loss to the Nets last night.

Stan Van Gundy was none too pleased.

On offensive problems:

I told them in there – that was the first thing – we’re not playing together at all. I thought it was a very selfish performance, and guys wouldn’t just pass the ball to open men. They wanted to see if they could take one more dribble to get their own shot, so the passing angles were gone. I just thought we forced play after play after play. We’re not willing to move the ball

On Reggie Jackson, who scored seven points on 3-of-10 shooting with six assists and six turnovers, and was coming off Achilles soreness:

He was not good at all. He was forcing everything.

On injuries to point guards – Jackson, Brandon Jennings and Steve Blake – hindering the team’s flow in practice and that carrying over to the game:

We could probably make a lot of excuses for our guys, but we were selfish.

Van Gundy is clearly trying to send a message, and the preseason is the best time to do it.

But it’s somewhat troubling he had to do it after this game.

Eight of the 10 Pistons who played against Brooklyn project to make the regular-season rotation. Joel Anthony played over Aron Baynes, and once healthy, Blake could challenge Spencer Dinwiddie to become back up point guard – at least until Jennings is ready. Otherwise, Detroit – with Jackson, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Marcus Morris, Ersan Ilyasova, Andre Drummond, Jodie Meeks, Stanley Johnson and Anthony Tolliver – looked similar to its opening-night lineup.

Van Gundy is blunt, but he doesn’t tell the media things he hasn’t already directly told his players. They appreciate that.

He’d appreciate them getting this message.

Report: Dwight Howard didn’t have offseason surgery

Dwight Howard
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Dwight Howard said he played with a torn MCL and meniscus in the Western Conference finals – pretty shocking news that few knew what to make of.

So, um, did he have offseason surgery?

Calvin Watkins of ESPN:

Howard obviously feels great about his health now, so maybe this was the right course.

We’ll never how Howard would have performed if fully healthy, but he averaged 14.4 points and 14.4 rebounds in 35.1 minutes per game against the Warriors during the conference finals. How bad could the injuries have been?