The good news is the owners and players are back in the same room talking again.
On Thursday that will include the leadership of both sides — Commissioner David Stern and Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver for the owners, union president Derek Fisher and union Director Billy Hunter. Some attorneys and economists from both sides will be there as well, tweets Ken Berger of CBSSports.com.
Staff from the two sides met on Wednesday but there have been no reports out of those talks.
According to John Canzano of the Oregonian, the owners have decided on two “amnesty clauses” to go into the new labor deal. That is something the owners and players have to discuss, but these deals would allow teams to waive a couple of players and get some salary cap relief (the players still get paid their contract).
It’s unclear what, if anything, is different after talks last Tuesday that both sides labeled as “disappointing.” The players were willing to lessen their take to 53 percent of the league’s “basketball related income” from the 57 percent they had in the last deal. But the owners wanted both that and a hard salary cap, and the combination was too much for the players to accept. Then both the owners and players had separate meetings, and both sides preached unity.
It may be possible the owners would come off the hard cap demands — although they will still want something more restrictive that the old system — if the players give up another percentage point or two. It’s unclear if the players will go that far.
Time is ticking on both sides — if a deal in principle is not reached in the next week to 10 days (by Oct. 1) there is no way for training camps or the league’s regular season to start on time.
Is the Derrick Rose/Jimmy Butler relationship nothing but puppy dogs and rainbows? No. There will be sparks between two intense competitors.
Have those sparks started a fire Bulls fans should be concerned about? A report on Wednesday said the core problem was Butler doesn’t respect Rose’s work ethic, which provided some kindling for that spark to catch.
However, as you would expect, Butler said this was all much ado about nothing, that he and Rose are all good. Via K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune:
Spin this however you wish: Their relationship is fine and someone in the media is making this up; or their relationship has been rough, and this is all just leaking out now.
This is a Bulls team in a bit of a transition as Rose declines some and Butler has grown into a top-flight player. Clearly that dynamic has some people around the team — likely the people in one of one of the players’ camps doesn’t like the power struggle or where it leaves his buddy — talking out of school to the press.
But as Butler noted, winning cures all ills. If Chicago can get off to a fast start, nobody will be asking chemistry questions.
For now, however, tounges are wagging.
The NBA is still investigating and can take its own action. In theory people involved in the incident could decide to file a civil lawsuit (although Fisher said he would not).
However, Memphis’ Matt Barnes is not going to face any criminal charges for an altercation he instigated with Knicks’ head coach Derek Fisher at the home of Barnes’ estranged wife in Los Angeles, according to police, who talked to TMZ.
Matt Barnes will NOT be charged with a crime for allegedly attacking Derek Fisher over the weekend … the Redondo Beach Police Department tells TMZ Sports.
Cops tell us they did respond to an incident and a police report was filed regarding the altercation — but officers say the case “was reviewed and there is no basis for criminal charges.” As we previously reported, a witness at the home says Barnes struck Fisher in the face and a fight ensued. However, the NY Post is reporting that Fisher did not want to pursue charges against Barnes.
Fisher has been seeing Gloria Govan — Barnes’ estranged wife and star of the “Basketball Wives” reality series — for several months, and was over at her house in the South Bay of Los Angeles Saturday night, along with other friends. Barnes said he got a call from one of his two sons, who “looked distressed” that Fisher was over, and that caused Barnes to drive over to the house. Once he arrived an altercation broke out between the two men, with Barnes allegedly texting a friend that he beat up Fisher and spat in his wife’s face. That’s not going to scar the young boy any further, well done.
If Barnes did this as described (and we don’t know the details), the NBA has to look hard at this. Barnes does not get to decide for a woman he is no longer seeing who she can and cannot see, and who she has over to her home. She is not property. That is the level of control seen in domestic abuse situations, and the league can’t sit back and tolerate it.