Robert Sarver probably gets a bad wrap sometimes. I mean, yes, he does sell off draft picks like an EBay junkie and yeah, his organization has the turnover rate of your average fast food joint. But the Suns have consistently made the playoffs or been within reach for the past decade and he has made an honest effort to compete. So he probably doesn’t deserve the entirety of the grief he’s received. Still, the lockout has had some stories of him being ridiculous. Notably, he and Dan Gilbert reportedly submarined efforts towards a compromise a few weeks ago, a position that Dan Gilbert is said to be softening on. Sarver, though? Sarver’s holding that line. And for some very odd reasons, as reported by Yahoo! Sports:
Once again, Phoenix Suns owners Robert Sarver was the most vocal proponent of the owner’s case, and he befuddled players by insisting that his wife had asked him to bring back the middle level exception in a designer bag. He’s been a strong advocate for a hard salary cap, and a source said that Sarver told the players in the room that he hadn’t been able to get the return on buying the Suns that he had hoped.
via Wade, LeBron make stand in labor meeting – NBA – Yahoo! Sports.
Your wife… wanted you to bring home the mid-level exception… in a designer bag.
I’ll take “woefully removed from the economic realities of America” for $600, Alex.
I get the talk that we can’t compare owners or players’ issues to your average Americans because they’re so different. I get the complexities of markets and sports economics. But as far as I know, a dollar has the same value to Robert Sarver as it does to any of you. And talking about your wife wanting the mid-level exception in a designer bag, and using that as a reason to slow progress towards a deal that would save thousands of jobs this year and boost the economies of 29 cities is beyond absurd.
And if anyone in that negotiating room is in need of a Michael-Jordan-esque “If you can’t afford to run your team, then sell it,” it’s Sarver. You haven’t seen the return on the Suns that you were hoping for? Maybe you should get out of the Suns business. Just an idea. I don’t know, maybe ask your wife.
Kevin Garnett intimidates people. In the machismo-fueled world of professional sports nobody comfortably admits they were intimidated, but in the wake of Garnett announcing his retirement, a number of players stepped forward to say exactly that. And that KG trashed talked them fearlessly.
Oklahoma City’s Steven Adams found a way to avoid that — tell KG he didn’t speak English.
Adams was lucky, KG had a reputation for going harder at foreign-born players with his trash talk and intimidation. Then again Adams is not the kind of guy prone to be intimidated.
Athletes are injecting themselves into the needed national conversation about race, violence, and policing in this nation. That has taken some very public forms, including LeBron James, Chris Paul, Dwyane Wade and Carmelo Anthony speaking at the ESPYs, and Colin Kaepernick taking a knee during the national anthem and leading others to do so. Some NBA players likely will follow Kaepernick’s lead.
Pistons coach/GM Stan Van Gundy likes seeing players speak out.
A couple of his Detroit players — Reggie Jackson and Marcus Morris — said they backed the 49ers quarterback. Here is what the never shy Van Gundy said about all of it, via Vincent Ellis of the Detroit Free Press.
“I’m encouraged by the fact of what some of those guys stood up and did at the ESPYs and had a conversation,” Van Gundy said. “I’m really proud of the fact that we have guys that not only see the problem, but want to try to do something about it…
“To me, in some ways, (police brutality is) just the most visible to focus on and it goes to deeper inequities in our criminal justice system, our education system so there’s so much to focus on,” Van Gundy said. “I think it’s great that we have players that want to be part of that conversation, and a lot of players that want to go beyond the conversation and be part of the solution.”
Van Gundy has been telling his players part of that solution is to vote.
The players union and NBA sent out a release saying they wanted to work together to create positive change, but details are still vague on what that might be. The only thing we know for sure as we head into the NBA season — with as divided a nation and election as anyone can remember as a backdrop — is that some NBA players are going to try and keep the conversation going.
It was the last game of the group stage of the 2000 Olympic basketball tournament at the Sydney Olympics, the USA was taking on France, another USA win on its way to another gold medal.
But what we all remember is this one play — Vince Carter dunking over the 7’2″ French center Frederic Weis.
Best. Dunk. Ever.
Weis was never the same.
In an impressive career — two-time All-NBA, eight-time All-Star, hours and hours of crazy highlights — this is always going to be the highlight at the top of the list. So we will use the anniversary of this dunk to look at it one more time.
Hat tip to nitramy at NBA Reddit.
The final minutes of a close NBA game rank among the best moments in sports – which is pretty remarkable, considering frequent stoppages interrupt and impede enjoyment of the game.
Clutch play. Timeout. Clutch play. Timeout. Clutch play. Timeout.
Coaches should probably call fewer timeouts, because drawing up a play also allows the defense to set. But timeouts give the offense the option of advancing the inbound spot into the frontcourt, a key advantage. So, teams will keep calling timeouts.
Steve Aschburner of NBA.com:
For Charlotte’s Steve Clifford, the ability in the final two minutes of a game to advance the ball without requiring a timeout to be called could speed up the action. That has been used on a trial basis in the D League and in Summer League, and several coaches felt it worked well.
“The game is at an all-time high in popularity, but a lot of people complain about the last two minutes,” Clifford said. “I think it would add a different dimension but it would also be a good thing in addressing our biggest issue.”
Not that the coaches would be willing to lose any of their timeouts, though. They just wouldn’t save them specifically for that purpose.
I’m here for that.
I’m unsurprised control-seeking coaches want to keep all their timeouts, and reducing those seems unlikely, anyway. The NBA pays its bills through commercial breaks.
Would moving those advertising opportunities earlier in the game pay off? Audiences are probably larger in crunch time, but an action-packed closing stretch could hook fans and grow overall audiences. It’s always a difficult decision to forgo maximizing immediate revenue in pursuit of more later.
But I’m fairly certain fans would appreciate the change, which is at least a starting point in considering it.