The NBA announced on Sunday night they would take questions from people on Twitter and David Stern and Adam Silver would answer them. What followed was a series of refutations from players and repetition of talking points they’ve been spewing for months. It was neither productive, insightful, nor revealing. It did not harness the power of social media, and only served to push the one-sided agenda they’ve been pursuant to for months.
So, no, it didn’t go great.
- They started out by saying contraction had been discussed but that it wasn’t a “complete solution,” a nice way of keeping it on the table to scare some fans.
- They did point out that the stretch exception can’t be used on contracts signed before the new CBA. Hedo Turkoglu signs a sigh of relief as Magic fans burn copies of the proposal.
- They got into a brief spat with Spencer Hawes, with both sides saying “Nuh-uh, season starts if you agree to the deal!”
- They backed off of calling the players greedy, instead just saying the system is “broken.” Instead, they’re just calling the agents greedy.
- They joined the massive chorus of people shooting down the D-League proposal report.
- They responded to a question about the players giving up 7% of BRI and the system changes with this: “We want a system where all 30 teams regardless of market size can compete for a championship.” That’s like me saying, “I turned off the power to my house and blew up my car because I wanted a unicorn.”
- The argument was made that the MLE is about competitive balance, not money. So a player salary level is not about money.
- Someone asked about replacement players. The league responded the “goal” is for a season with current players. Note how they don’t rule it out. Vague threats are the best!
- They had the gall to argue that competitive balance and spending are related, despite all of the comprehensive assaults on that line of thinking over the past three months by media outlets. Specifically, they argued it by saying “is so,” essentially.
- Pulling out the big guns, the league said that if the players decertified, their contracts would become null. That’s a big gun to waive (the league would have to pursue it through the courts for it to be binding). Just something to put a pause in the star players’ thought process.
- Their one productive message on the night was to say that all the executives for the NBA had taken a paycut. Doesn’t help the 300 people they laid off, but it’s something.
And that was it.
It was a noble idea. Reach the fans directly, communicate the league’s position, leverage social media. It just came across as more baseless rhetoric, more noise in a white sea of context-less nonsense. The league could have elaborated more on the specifics of the deal, shown how it isn’t as bad as the players have made it out to be. Instead they just said “No, it’s not!” and that was all.
The rhetoric continues as tomorrow’s doomsday clock ticks shorter.
Giannis Antetokounmpo grew up hocking wares — clothes, sunglasses, whatever — on the streets of Athens, Greece. He easily could still be living there, the tallest salesman in a poor part of a country with high unemployment and real challenges.
Instead, he is a multimillionaire living comfortably in the United States, and is one of the 10 best basketball players in the world — and still improving. In a few years we may well be saying he is the best player on the planet.
Antetokounmpo will be telling his story on the legendary television news magazine 60 Minutes this week, and the show released a clip. Check it out.
We’ve all seen this situation before at every level of basketball: A team down three points gets fouled in the final seconds and has two free throws, so the shooter aims to make the first free throw then miss the second and create a rebound he or a teammate can grab then throw back in to tie the game. It works about as often as an NFL Hail Mary — either the shooter makes the shot anyway or the defense gets the board — but what other choice is there?
Nobody has ever pulled it off as well as Paulinho Boracini of the Brazilian league team Cearense.
Intentional or not (and I lean not), he banked the second free throw off the rim toward the corner, ran it down himself and hit the game-winning three.
Damn. That’s impressive.
(If Boracini and Cearense sound familiar, you win the award for “watching too much Knicks preseason basketball” because they played New York in a 2015 exhibition.)
MILWAUKEE (AP) The Milwaukee Bucks say Giannis Antetokounmpo is doubtful for Friday night’s game against the Chicago Bulls with a sprained right ankle.
The All-Star forward got hurt in the second quarter of a 127-120 loss on Wednesday to the Los Angeles Clippers when he appeared to trip over teammate Shabazz Muhammad under the Bucks’ basket.
Antetokounmpo is fourth in the league in scoring at 27.3 points a game.
Anfernee Simons spent the last year playing high school basketball. But because he did so as a fifth-year prep after technically graduating from high school last year and turns 19 in June, he’s eligible for the NBA draft.
Following a path taken by Thon Maker and considered by Jonathan Isaac, Simons – as expected – is turning pro.
Jonathan Givony of ESPN:
Anfernee Simons will forgo his collegiate eligibility and declare for the 2018 NBA draft, he informed ESPN.
Simons informed ESPN that he will sign with agent Bobby Petriella of Rosenhaus Sports Representation
Simons looks like a mid-first-rounder, though his range is quite wide considering how large of a jump he’s making. Teams can learn relatively more about him in workouts and interviews.
A 6-foot-4 shooting guard who specializes in scoring, Simons is quick on his feet with a quick release off the dribble – with range from beyond the 3-point arc to an impressive floater game. Those floaters will be important, because Simons isn’t nearly strong enough for the NBA. He’s also a lackluster passer, though because of physicality concerns, no team will count on Simons to run an offense anytime soon, anyway. He’ll have time to develop as a distributor.
By signing with agents, Simons loses his college eligibility. Drew Rosenhaus, a big-name football agent, isn’t certified with the National Basketball Players Association. Petriella’s only NBA client has been Diamond Stone, a 2016 second-rounder who’s out of the league. They’re all in this bold venture together now.
As the NBA considers changing its draft rules for young prospects, Simons will be an interesting case study. He obviously meets the draft-eligibility requirements in the one-and-done era, but he’s also jumping from prep-school competition to the NBA. The league’s strength and nutrition programs should serve him well. His overall development could influence the wider debate.