Some players have not felt ‘in the loop’ with union

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When NBA union director Billy Hunter asked for a show of hands in a New York hotel on Monday it was unanimous. All the guys in the room backed the idea of the union filing a “disclaimer of interest” and taking the fight to the courts.

But for some rank-and-file players who would rather just get back on the court, they don’t feel heard in all this.

Take what Glen Davis told the Boston Herald. The Celtics (well, free agent) forward speaks for others.

“I don’t think I’ve been kept in the loop as far as what’s going on and how things are going on,” he said. “I want to be kept in the loop, but when I say that, they say, well, come to the meetings.

“It’s not just Paul (Pierce, Celtics team rep) making that decision,” said Davis. “It’s also Derek (Fisher) and Billy Hunter. I talk to players, but my friends are guys like Paul and (Kevin Garnett) – guys who are in a different stage of their careers. I don’t talk to a lot of the guys who are more in my stage, like Carl Landry and DeJuan Blair.”

On the other coast, Kings forward DeMarcus Cousins was frustrated, too, as are a number of younger players, he told the Sacramento Bee.

“Some of the young players I talked to, it’s not about the money. We just want to go out there and play ball,” Cousins said. “For me, it’s knocking off time for me to be improving as a player. This whole situation is really not helping out us younger players.”

With 450 members in the players’ union — well, trade association now — it’s not going to be able to keep everyone happy. Some guys care and seek out the information, others stand back and let others take the lead. Not everyone is going to seek out the information on where things stand.

But remember that while the sentiment in that New York hotel conference room was unanimous, it is not across the full width of the NBA.

Remembering Notre Dame, Laker legend Tommy “the hawk” Hawkins

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Tommy Hawkins passed away recently at the age of 80.

The former NBA player was the first black athlete to earn All-America honors in basketball at Notre Dame (he still holds the school’s total rebounds record), was drafted in the first round, and went on to have a 10-year NBA career playing for the Minneapolis/Los Angeles Lakers as well as the Cincinnati Royals. Los Angeles fans may also remember him as the long time director of communications for the Los Angeles Dodgers after his playing days ended.

The NBA put together this well done video look back at Hawkins’ career.

Celtics’ Brad Stevens said early September tests will show if Thomas ready for camp

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Isaiah Thomas said he expects to be ready for the Celtics’ training camp next month. The guard’s All-NBA season came to an early end in the playoffs when he aggravated a labral tear in his right hip initially suffered back in March. At least the injury did not require surgery.

Players are also about the worst judges of when they will recover from an injury. They pretty much all think they are invincible and will be healthy faster than doctors predict.

Coaches tend to be more pragmatic. Take Boston’s Brad Stevens, who told Chris Mannix on The Vertical Podcast that tests in a couple of weeks will show if Thomas is ready for camp.

“He has another follow-up and another scan in the early part of September. Obviously, it’s been a lot of appropriate rest, a lot of rehab. There have been some good strides here certainly in the last month or few weeks, but we’re not going to know that until after that early September timeframe.”

The Celtics are understandably going to be cautious with Thomas, while Thomas wants to prove he is healthy and has no ill effects from the injury as he enters a contract year (one where he expects to get PAID). Also, the Celtics could use him in camp as they start to figure out how he and Gordon Hayward can share playmaking duties.

Still, from the outset, the timelines have suggested he should be ready for camp in late September. Coaches are just cautious on these things by nature.

Allen Iverson predicts LeBron James will win MVP

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LeBron James has four NBA MVP trophies in his case. (Does he keep that case in his home in Akron or the one in Los Angeles… that’s a question for another day.) Only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (six) and Michael Jordan (five) have more.

Could LeBron James add a fifth to his case this season?

Allen Iverson said yes at last weekend’s Big3 playoffs in Seattle.

LeBron was fourth in preseason odds to win the MVP at 15/2, behind Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant, and Kawhi Leonard.

To me, LeBron could be a good bet. If/when Kyrie Irving is traded, the chances of LeBron getting the MVP go up. If LeBron puts up impressive numbers (again) and leads a depleted Cavaliers team to a top two seed in the East, he is certainly going to be in consideration. And should be.

It’s a long season, and personally, I think you need to get midway through the season before seriously considering the year-end awards. But history says LeBron will be in the mix, and Allen Iverson could be proven prophetic.

Phoenix Suns with quality solar eclipse joke on Twitter

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With the cooler-than-I-expected solar eclipse on Monday came a lot of bad solar eclipse jokes on Twitter. Because that’s what Twitter does. Especially the NBA Twitterverse. We knew a lot of “where on the flat earth will Kyrie Irving watch the eclipse?” jokes were coming.

There were a couple of good ones, however.

Appropriately, the Phoenix Suns won the day.

One personal favorite here, an old meme that never goes out of style.