When Stu Jackson stepped down as the VP and enforcement arm of the NBA, this rumor somehow got started around the Web (as often seems to happen): Jackson was going to take over as the head of the NBA players union.
That doesn’t make much sense — you don’t take a guy from the enemy’s inner circle and put him in charge of negotiating the next collective bargaining agreement for you. He sees things through their eyes, not yours.
SBN’s Tom Ziller was making this point on twitter when the well connected Zach Lowe of Grantland threw out this comment:
@teamziller FWIW (maybe little), people around the league have been talking for months like Mills getting the job is a foregone conclusion.
This is not the first time we heard this rumor, it’s been thought of around the league for a while.
Mills (a former basketball player at Princeton) was the COO of Madison Square Garden, the owners of the Knicks and Rangers. His stocked dipped there in part because he helped bring in Isiah Thomas, but this is the Knicks front office so nothing is ever just that simple. He is currently the CEO of Athletes & Entertainers Wealth Management Group.
The union has been without an executive director since Billy Hunter was ousted back at the All-Star Game by a unanimous vote of team representatives. An audit of the union had raised a lot of questions about nepotism and how the union’s money was spent (but there was a lot of other issues with Hunter being let go tied back to how the lockout ended).
We’ll see if this happens, but it’s something to watch.
Either or both sides can opt out of the current CBA in 2017. One side will. If I were a betting man I would bet on another lockout then.
Spurs to give Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili Friday night off in Denver
That is the first night of a back-to-back, with former Spurs’ assistant coach Mike Budenholzer and his Atlanta Hawks coming to San Antonio on Saturday. Popovich is saving his two veterans for that game.
Duncan and Ginobili have looked like they found the fountain of youth this season. Duncan is taking on less of the offense but has been very efficient in those moments. Ginobili has the impact he did a few years back in his bench role.
What Gregg Popovich cares about is them playing like that come the postseason. So they will rest on Friday.
Rejecting the tender is a favor to the drafting team, which gets to keep the player’s exclusive rights for a year. If Thornton tries to join the NBA now, he’s stuck negotiating with only the Celtics.
By accepting the tender, the player typically gets one of two outcomes. He either plays on that contract and draws an NBA salary or he gets waived. But even getting waived is better than rejecting the tender, because at least the player becomes a free agent and can negotiate with any team.
Players who reject the tender go to another league and play for less money. In Thornton’s case, that mean Australia.
How’s that going?
(Almost) never reject the required tender as a second-round pick.
Byron Scott says they just have to get Kobe Bryant better looks
Kobe Bryant is averaging 15.2 points a game at age 37. It’s just taking him 16.4 shots per game to get there. After his 1-of-14 shooting performance against the Warriors the other night — with too much isolation and too many plays run just for him — there has been a lot of talk about his shot. With reason, this is his shot chart so far this season.
So what do the Lakers’ do? Get Kobe to shoot less and get the ball in the hands of the young stars they supposed to be developing more? Nah.
“I know his mentality is that he can still play in this league,” Scott said. “And we feel the same way….
“Obviously he’s struggling right now with his shot, and I think everybody can see that,” Scott said. “So it’s trying to get him in better position to be able to have an opportunity to knock those shots down on a consistent basis. That’s No. 1.
“I don’t know if it’s his legs. I don’t think so. Again, our conversations are pretty blunt. … He tells me when he is tired and he tells me when he’s not tired. And the last few days, he said he feels great. So, I don’t think it’s a matter of him being tired or his legs being tired. I think it’s a matter of his timing being a little off.”
Yes, how could it be his legs? It’s not like he’s a 37-year-old with more than 55,000 NBA minutes played, and coming off an Achilles rupture and major knee surgery.
Honestly, I hope the Lakers and Kobe find a balance soon, because they have become just hard to watch. And I don’t want Kobe to go out this way.