About the players not getting paychecks… they are about to

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One of the theories on why the owners were going to get the best of the players in this round of NBA labor negotiations was the old “millionaires vs. billionaires” premise. Basically, the owners have more money, the players make a lot of money but spend a lot of money. Once the players missed a paycheck, they’d cave.

Except, they are about to get a paycheck.

It was money still owed NBA players from last season, but it is a payday, as Chris Sheridan explains at

The money represents the 8 percent of each player’s salary that was withheld from their paychecks last season under the NBA’s escrow tax system, which was put in place to ensure that the players received no more than 57 percent of basketball related income in the 2010-11 season.

A total of $161 million in escrow funds were withheld last season, and the league office sent a stack of more than 350 checks to the Players Association last week to begin issuing the refunds, SheridanHoops has learned.

For Kobe Bryant, that is $1.9 million. But that is also a drop in the bucket for him. Where it matters more is guys like Knicks rookie Landry Fields — he made $473,604 last season. Which is good money, but when you take out taxes and factor in the cost of living in New York, he’s not living the crazy high life of some NBA players. The check he gets for $37,888 matters. That staves off some money crunch for him.

All of which is to say if this labor negotiation goes sideways and loses its apparent current momentum, both sides can hold out for a while. Which means only we fans lose.

C.J. McCollum ejected for flagrantly fouling Gordon Hayward (video)

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I’m not sure C.J. McCollum meant to grab Gordon Hayward‘s neck. The 6-foot-8 Hayward elevated, and the 6-foot-4 McCollum just might not have been able to get high enough to make a play on the ball.

But McCollum did grab Hayward’s neck.

It was a dangerous and unnecessary play, especially in the preseason.

Report: Mavericks may be team interested in Larry Sanders

Larry Sanders
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The Dallas Mavericks are looking for a center— desperately at times, they brought JaVale McGee into training camp to get a look. They will start Zaza Pachulia and behind him it’s probably Samuel Dalembert once he gets healthy.

Which is why Dallas may be the team interested in Larry Sanders — Mark Cuban is a guy known for giving second chances in the league. But there have been no talks, yet, reports Tim MacMahon at ESPN.

Larry Sanders has been out of the game since his buyout last February trying to deal with his personal demons and may well not be ready to return. He may never return.

His couple seasons with the Bucks were filled with drama and issues. There was the nightclub brawl left him with an injured thumb in need of a surgery. There were the charges of animal cruelty. There was a five-game drug suspension. There was missed time for personal reasons. There was the 10-game suspension for marijuana use (he failed at least four tests to get there) — then that suspension was extended past the 10 games. In the end, he agreed to a buyout to get space away from the game to deal with his personal issues.

He may or may not be ready to return from that. He may or may not ever be ready. But if he decides to give it a try, NBA teams will be waiting. Maybe Dallas.