David Stern, Adam Silver

Details of owners’ latest offer emerge, just last offer tweaked


The real question is how the sides are going to handle it if — more likely when — the players reject the latest offer from David Stern and the owners.

We are starting to learn more about that offer, and basically it is minor changes from the offer the players rejected last weekend. It doesn’t sound like the players have any interest in accepting this one either, although if they think this is the best offer they are going to get it may change their minds.

Here is what we know.

• It calls for a 50/50 split of basketball related income. Technically it is the 49 percent to 51 percent band in place in the last owners offer. But the reality of how that band is structured is that the split is 50/50 with little variation.

• Teams paying the luxury tax would be able to use a “mini mid-level” of $3 million for three years (up from two years at $2.5), according to Ken Berger of CBSSports.

• There would be a sign-and-trade deal for teams paying the luxury tax, but it is restrictive (it was banned totally in the last league offer), Berger reports.

• There would be a salary floor for teams at 85 percent of the salary cap number, according to Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated.

• The players would be able to opt out of the labor deal after six seasons, although it would be a 10-year deal.

Interestingly, the players are not going to get together and discuss this until Monday. That gives a full weekend for players and agents on both sides to try and rally support among the team representatives before the meeting. It gives time to Fisher to decide how he wants to sell the ideas to the reps.

What ultimately matters most is how both sides react when the players reject this offer next week. But now we’re starting to know what they are turning down.

Kobe Bryant says his age 37 is not like Michael Jordan’s age 37

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Once again, Kobe Bryant‘s career arc is being compared to Michael Jordan’s.

There’s a lot of reason’s that’s flawed — starting with Kobe being drafted on to a Lakers team that had Shaquille O’Neal and was already considered NBA elite, as opposed to Jordan working to build a franchise up. That said, Kobe has invited the Jordan comparison at times and it has been a constant through is career. Fair or not.

Kobe is coming back this fall after seasons of injury to the NBA and those comparisons continue — now to the Wizards’ version of Jordan. And Kobe is not at all fond of that, as he told Sam Amick of the USA Today.

“This is uncharted territory,” he said. “My 37 (years old) isn’t MJ’s 37 (when he returned after taking two seasons off to play for the Washington Wizards), you know what I mean? Nor is it the same team or the same system that he was playing in. It’s much, much different. There’s really no barometer, no (precedent) for training physically, for recovery. It’s uncharted territory.”

Kobe is right, starting with Jordan was retired at age 37 (he came back at 38). Also, Jordan had four+ seasons off by the time he was 38 and was not coming off multiple major surgeries.

Kobe is entering his 20th NBA season and what any real basketball fan should wish for him is health. Let him play one full season (with limited minutes and nights off), let him get to the final game of this season next April and make his own decision on his future. Let him leave the game on his own terms.

That said, if Kobe can average Jordan’s numbers at that age — 22.9 points, 5.7 rebounds and 5.2 assists per game — it will be a major accomplishment, and the Lakers will have a better record than many of us expect.

And Kobe may want to play a 21st season as well.

Celtics ease to 124-91 win at Olimpia Milano in Global Games

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MILAN (AP) — The Boston Celtics eased to a 124-91 victory over Olimpia Milano at the Mediolanum Forum on Tuesday, comfortably winning the first of a double-header in Europe as part of the NBA Global Games.

Isaiah Thomas led the way for the Celtics with 18 points, including nine in his first seven minutes after coming off the bench midway through the first quarter.

Jared Sullinger added 14 points, as did Avery Bradley, who also had four three-pointers, while David Lee weighed in with 13 as well as seven rebounds and three assists.

Alessandro Gentile – who is reportedly wanted by the Houston Rockets, who hold NBA rights to the 22-year-old – top scored for Milano, with 19 points.

Next up for the Celtics is Real Madrid in Spain on Thursday.