Amare Stoudemire

Stoudemire hopes for labor deal… or new players league


Someone out there is still hopeful. Amar’e Stoudemire is hopeful.

But if that hope is misplaced he has another idea.

Amar’e Stoudemire was making the rounds of the ESPN campus on Tuesday to pimp his new shoes, but all anyone wanted to talk about was how he couldn’t wear those shoes on a court right now. And will not be able to for a while.

Stoudemire is more optimistic than most of us right now (video).

“I think we’re pretty far apart, but the most important part is that we’re trying to work to get something done,” Stoudemire said while making appearances on “SportsCenter” and “ESPN First Take” at ESPN’s Bristol, Conn., headquarters to promote his new sneaker, the Nike Air Max Sweep Thru. “There are so many jobs at stake; their livelihoods are on the line. We’ll get a deal done eventually.”

But if that doesn’t really pan out, Stoudemire is down with the players forming their own league.

“If we don’t go to Europe, then let’s start our own league; that’s how I see it,” the 6-foot-11 forward/center said.

Stoudemire was asked to gauge “how serious” the idea is being considered.

“It’s very, very serious. It’s just a matter of us strategically coming up with a plan, a blueprint and putting it together,” he said. “So we’ll see how this lockout goes. If it goes one or two years, then we’ve got to start our own league.

If the summer tour of charity and pro-am games has showed us anything, it’s that the NBA’s ability to organize and promote shouldn’t be underestimated. Glitches marred pretty much every game. To the point that when LeBron James and Dwyane Wade were asked about a players league last weekend, they laughed it off.

Let’s just hope Stoudemire’s optimism isn’t misplaced.

Khris Middleton dunks, Jimmy Butler can’t stop him (VIDEO)

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Khris Middleton has more expectations and more pressure on him after a breakout season in Milwaukee, followed by him getting him PAID this summer.

Well, he looked pretty good on this play against the Bulls, making the steal then throwing down despite Jimmy Butler‘s efforts to stop him.

Middleton finished with 10 points on 5-of-7 shooting for the Bucks. However, Butler had the last laugh as he went off for 23 points on 12 shots and led the Bulls to the (meaningless) preseason win.

Somebody looks comfortable: Paul George drops 20 in first quarter

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Paul George‘s first experience starting as a power forward was going up against Anthony Davis — not just one of the best power forwards in the game, one of the handful of best players in the game period. That didn’t go well for George, and he wasn’t happy about it.

His second experience was in another preseason game Tuesday, going up against the Pistons and their four, Ersan İlyasova. He’s not quite as intimidating.

George scored 20 points on 7-of-8 shooting, 4-of-5 on threes — and that was just the first quarter (you can see it all in the video above).

As we have said before, George at the four is not a bad call by the Pacers, but some of that depends on the matchup. On the nights the Pacers face Davis or Blake Griffin or LaMarcus Aldridge or Zach Randolph (or a handful of others) the Pacers’ coaching staff is going to have to adjust. But there are a lot of nights where George at the four is going to force the other team to adjust, and that will play into the Pacers’ hands.