It’s starting to feel a little like “Groundhog Day” around here. No matter what we expect, we keep ending up back in the same place.
Again the NBA and its players union met on Thursday, again for more than five hours, and again the meeting ended with little talk of progress. There are no new meetings scheduled until next week.
Multiplereporters on the scene said NBA Commissioner David Stern said nothing about the meetings content but seemed “dour” and his body language did not suggest anything good had happened. His quotes stuck to the “there’s a lot of work for both sides” variety.
Union representatives were equally tight lipped, with union president Derek Fisher saying there was “nothing to report.”
You want good news? It was David Stern’s birthday and both sides had cake. Sorry, that’s ally we got. I mean, if you want to think that since the two sides spoke for more than five hours they made progress but are keeping it close to the vest go ahead, but I don’t see the evidence. And I’ve had five-hour conversations with a date and made no progress, so I can see how that happens.
If there really was no progress, expect an announcement in the next few days cancelling the start of training camps. If the two sides don’t have a handshake agreement by the end of next weeks camps will not open on time, and it almost certainly means regular season games will be postponed or missed.
I suppose anything could happen, this could come together quickly. But I wouldn’t get my hopes up. It’s Groundhog Day.
Hawks sign two-way Tyler Cavanaugh to standard contract
ATLANTA (AP) — Rookie forward Tyler Cavanaugh, who originally came to Atlanta on a two-way contract, has signed a multi-year deal with the Hawks.
Cavanaugh has averaged 5.5 points and 3.2 rebounds in 19 games, including one start, since signing the two-way contract on Nov. 5.
Cavanaugh, from Syracuse, New York, played two seasons at Wake Forest before transferring to George Washington, where he averaged 18.3 points and 8.4 rebounds last season. He was selected the National Invitation Tournament Most Outstanding Player in 2016 after leading the Colonials to the NIT title.
Carlos Boozer went from being known as a gritty second-rounder to an overpaid defensive liability.
In some ways, that’s the ultimate success story.
Now, after playing last season in China, he’s walking away.
Boozer on ESPN:
I’m officially retired.
The Cavaliers drafted Boozer with the No. 35 pick in the 2002. After he spent a couple productive seasons in Cleveland, the Cavs declined his cheap team option to make him a restricted free agent – with an agreement he’d re-sign at a reasonable rate if you ask them, with no handshake deal if you ask him.
Boozer bolted for the Jazz, who gave him a six-year, $68 million contract. He made a couple All-Star teams and helped Utah reach the conference finals.
The Bulls are 5-0 since Nikola Mirotic returned from an injury suffered when Bobby Portis punched him in the face during a preseason practice. Mirotic and Portis are both excelling individually, and Chicago has outscored opponents by a whopping 34.3 points per 100 possessions when those two share the court.
When asked if the two former combatants have spoken yet, Mirotic said, “We did on the floor. We’ve always spoken because we need to have good communication.” As for whether they’ve talked off the floor, however, Mirotic was succinct in his response: “No.”
I guess Mirotic hasn’t completely moved on, though he said he did. But that’s fine. How could someone get past a teammate punching him in the face?
Importantly, this is becoming just a regular NBA problem. The extent of that practice punch was practically unprecedented. But plenty of players have loathed teammates while making it work on the court. That happens more than people realize.
Mirotic and Portis can make this their status quo – at least the on-court cooperation. I’m not convinced Chicago will keep winning like this.
Watch Kobe Bryant’s ‘Dear Basketball’ short film (video)