One man’s suggestions we like to stop future lockouts

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This lockout is painful. Like any smart creatures — and I’m talking about we the fans, not the players and owners — we want to avoid suffering the same pain in the future.

Meaning once this lockout ends, what steps can be put in place to make sure next CBA negotiations, whether it is six or 10 years from now, gets done with more urgency?

Our man A. Sherrod Blakely had a couple ideas over at CSNNE.com.

First step:

Every day after July 1 that the CBA passes without there being at least an agreement in principle, the league will pay $500,000 to a predetermined group of charities – chosen by the players, but not their own charities – in every NBA city…. (the players union will) have to pony up $250,000 for every day – it doesn’t make sense that the guys who get the checks are punished the same as the guys who cut them, does it? – and those will go to a predetermined group of charities – chosen by the owners – in every NBA community as well.

And for every month moving forward, the owners will have to pay another $250,000 (i.e., on August 1, $750,000 per day, September 1, $1,000,000 per day, etc.) while the players will see their daily total increase by another $125,000 per day (i.e. on August 1, $375,000 per day, September 1, $500,000 per day, etc.)

The idea here is pretty simple — these two sides didn’t really start to negotiate until they felt a financial pinch (and even that has not been enough). So, move the financial pain up in the calendar.

Second step:

After July 1, a federal mediator should be injected into the talks because at that point, it’s clear that both sides can’t and probably won’t strike a deal even with the threat of having to cut checks because they can’t stick to a damn deadline, and…

It works for me. I would prefer to have owners not going for every penny and players willing to die on issues that only impact a handful of players, but I’m not trusting human nature here in the future. I trust Blakely more.

Kevin Durant reverses course: Playing Thunder ‘just a regular game for me now’

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Kevin Durant said last season playing the Thunder is “never going to be a regular game for me.”

Now, the Warriors star, who’s questionable for tomorrow’s game in Oklahoma City, is singing a different tune.

Anthony Slater of The Athletic:

Durant:

Just a regular game for me now. I learned how to tune out the crowd. I learned how to tune out the bulls— and just play. Just keep at basketball, and I’ll be alright.

Durant is entitled to change his mind, and maybe that’s all that happened.

But this strikes me as yet another chasm between how Durant actually feels and how he wishes he felt – all while facing immense public scrutiny.

Durant spent eight years in Oklahoma City. Many of his former teammates, including Russell Westbrook, are still there. Durant might want to move on, but how could there not be a different feeling when playing the Thunder, especially in Oklahoma City?

Tony Allen: Russell Westbrook flopped to draw DeMarcus Cousins

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DeMarcus Cousins got ejected from the Pelicans’ win over the Thunder last night for elbowing Russell Westbrook in the head.

Afterward, Tony Allen came to his New Orleans teammate’s defense.

Fred Katz of The Norman Transcript:

Did Cousins elbow Westbrook in the head? Yes. Did Westbrook create and/or embellish the contact? I don’t know.

Westbrook stuck his head in close, and he might have been baiting Cousins into a foul. But that doesn’t give Cousins carte blanche to commit a foul.

And even if Westbrook were baiting Cousins, the elbow still might have hurt. Westbrook’s reaction could have been genuine.

Did Cousins’ reputation as a flagrant fouler influence Westbrook’s strategy and how officials perceived the play? It’s much easier to convince me of that.

Ray Allen tells Orlando court he was ‘catfished’

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ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Retired NBA star Ray Allen believes he is a victim of “catfishing,” and has asked a court to throw out a case where he is accused of stalking someone he met online.

Allen says Bryant Coleman “pretended to be a number of attractive women interested in” him. In documents filed Tuesday, Allen acknowledges he communicated with who he thought were those women and that he eventually entered into an agreement with Coleman to not disclose details of those conversations.

Allen says that agreement was violated.

It was not clear if Coleman has an attorney, and a working phone number for him could not be found. Coleman told the court in a filing Monday that Allen is stalking him; in Allen’s request for an injunction, he says “the reverse is true.”

Klay Thompson interviewed about scaffolding on local news (video)

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Man-on-the-street interviews are a staple of local news.

They just don’t usually include Warriors star Klay Thompson.

But here’s Thompson – in town for Golden State’s win over the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday – talking on Fox 5 New York about walking under scaffolding in the wake of a couple recent scaffolding collapses:

Thompson is the only NBA star who could do this interview so earnestly.