There are plenty of NBA players grumbling about the NBPA’s move to file a disclaimer of interest and move the lockout to the courts.
But only a few are willing to make those concerns public. There are a few out there, and you can add Cavaliers forward Samardo Samuels to that list, as he told the Beacon Journal (via Ball Don’t Lie).
“A lot of people in the league are panicking,” Samuels said. “You’re talking about missing paychecks. Those paychecks you’re missing are going to add up and guys have families and responsibilities and bills to pay. I’m just a guy that’s coming out of college. I’m 22 years old, I don’t have much responsibility.”
Samuels said was in a group of players who didn’t like the latest offer from David Stern and the owners but would have voted for it to get back on the court. We’ll never know how large that group was because the union leadership went another direction, but it felt like that sentiment may have been the majority of the league’s rank and file players.
Now those players are frustrated. We all are.
You want to know why NBA owners were willing to cut off the Maloof brothers at the knees, block a Kings move to Anaheim and give Sacramento one more shot to keep its only major league sports franchise?
The owners have understood from the start this was going to be a long and ugly NBA lockout. And even if this were a situation where the league and players had reached a deal this week, the ability of the Kings to win over fans in their new home was compromised. “Hey, we’d love you all to pay to come out and see us play, as soon as we are done arguing about how to split up your money.”
So Sacramento got one more chance — a real chance to get plans for a new arena moving forward enough to keep the team.
But can they pull that off in the wake of a lost season? Mayor Kevin Johnson worked hard to rally businesses and fans, to show the groundswell of support for the team. Now is that all being thrown out with the first months of the NBA season (at least)?
USC Sports Business Institute executive director David Carter told the Orange County Register things just got a lot tougher for Sacramento and look better for Anaheim.
“Missing a meaningful amount of the upcoming NBA season will certainly have an effect on Sacramento’s interest, willingness, and ability to keep the Kings,” Carter said. “Public sentiment about the lockout doesn’t help anyone, but it can really impact any franchises that are in flux.”
Sacramento’s chance to keep the Kings is real, but it already had a lot of challenges. Then this week Billy Hunter threw another big hurdle out there on the track. Like the whole lockout, it doesn’t seem fair, but it’s reality.
Barcelona — already one of the powerhouse clubs of European basketball — could become dominant thanks to the NBA season winding its way toward oblivion.
Both Gasol brothers — the Lakers Pau and the Grizzlies’ Marc — could sign to play for the club as the NBA cancels the season. That is the big news in today’s rush of players trying to get paid to play overseas.
The Gasol brothers have been working out at the Barcelona facilities and news of their interest comes from Pau via AS.com (hat tip to SLAM for the translation).
‘If they cancel the season we would like to play here (in Barcelona). I speak for myself, but Marc would also like to play for Barcelona.’ Also assessed the possibility that Real Madrid tried to sign his brother. ‘I can not imagine him in white, but nothing is impossible.’ Pau said the cancellation would have a very nice season for the European leagues. ‘The best players in the world would be free and eager to play in other leagues,’ he said.”
In other player movement news:
• Andres Nocioni will play for Penarol in Argentina now. Nocioni is getting a pretty small salary but the team is picking up the insurance on his NBA contract. There is an opt out but if the lockout continues he likely stays.
• The Xinjiang Flying Tigers in China would like to get Jamal Crawford, reports ESPN. Crawford is a free agent and could play the full rest of the Chinese season (through March) then return to the NBA if there is a season going.