Politicians grandstanding on NBA lockout starts Wednesday


It was only a matter of time before a politician somewhere (we like to imagine in a smoke-filled backroom) said “how can I gain some points with my constituents around the NBA lockout?”

Meet New York State Senator Malcolm A. Smith — who represents a rather gerrymandered looking district that includes parts of Hollis, Queens and more — who is putting up a petition in front of Madison Square Garden (not in his district) tomorrow for season ticket holders to sign and ask for a full refund of their full season ticket money. He’s bringing restaurant and bar owners losing money due to the lockout together to complain, too. (He should reach out to the guys running escort services, while he’s at it.)

Grandstanding. Look it up in the dictionary and this is exactly the definition.

People who renewed season seats and didn’t see this potential don’t get my pity. It was a risk, they renewed anyway. But they can now get their money back from the teams on games lost to date, or they can leave it with the team gaining interest that can be applied to future season seats. Which is what most are doing.

If you really want to have some fun, do this in front of the NBA league offices. Or the union offices. Both are in New York (again, outside Smith’s district). Why MSG?

Yes, we’re all ticked right now. But this is about as helpful as challenging Michael Jordan to a game of one-on-one to end the lockout.

Is DeMarcus Cousins MVP worthy? “It’s mine to grab”

DeMarcus Cousins

Last season, DeMarcus Cousins received zero MVP votes (the same as every year of his career). Even though he averaged 24.1 points, and 12.7 rebounds a game, which was enough to get him his first All-Star berth, MVP is another thing entirely. Only players on winning teams tend to draw the attention of MVP voters.

This season, can Cousins — arguably the best center in the game — get in the conversation?

He thinks it’s more than just that, he told Kevin Ding at Bleacher Report.

The topic is the 2015-16 NBA MVP award and whether it could be reachable for DeMarcus Cousins.

“Reachable, man?” Cousins told Bleacher Report, his voice rising high. “It’s mine to grab.”

As noted above, the only way Cousins gets into the conversation — fair or not — is if the Kings are in the playoffs (at the very least). He understands that.

“It’s going to take a full team effort,” Cousins said. “I’ll try to play at a high level and bring my team along with me.”

Vlade Divac built a Kings’ team designed to start winning now — as you would expect from a team a year away from moving into a new arena they need to fill. Owner Vivek Ranadive is not about selling hope anymore, he wants to sell wins.

I think Cousins can help provide that.

I’m less sold on the cast around him being able to help.

PBT Extra bold prediction preview: Markieff Morris will be a happy Sun

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After a bumpy season where the he fought with Suns coaches, then a summer where he and his twin Marcus felt they were blindsided by a trade, Markieff Morris has been plenty vocal about his unhappiness in Phoenix. To the point it has cost him some serious cash.

So what should we expect from Markieff Morris’ upcoming season?

Relative calm, I tell Jenna Corrado of NBCSports in this latest edition of PBT Extra previewing the NBA season.

The reasons are twofold. First, he has to realize the Suns aren’t trading him anyway (especially not while he publicly demands a trade, lowering his trade value). Second, can you imagine how new locker room leader Tyson Chandler is going to react to that? Chandler was brought in to fill a leadership void in the locker room, and you can bet he will make his displeasure at such team-disrupting antics known.

Still not sure if that’s enough to get the Suns to the playoffs.