The NBA announced on Sunday night they would take questions from people on Twitter and David Stern and Adam Silver would answer them. What followed was a series of refutations from players and repetition of talking points they’ve been spewing for months. It was neither productive, insightful, nor revealing. It did not harness the power of social media, and only served to push the one-sided agenda they’ve been pursuant to for months.
So, no, it didn’t go great.
- They started out by saying contraction had been discussed but that it wasn’t a “complete solution,” a nice way of keeping it on the table to scare some fans.
- They did point out that the stretch exception can’t be used on contracts signed before the new CBA. Hedo Turkoglu signs a sigh of relief as Magic fans burn copies of the proposal.
- They got into a brief spat with Spencer Hawes, with both sides saying “Nuh-uh, season starts if you agree to the deal!”
- They backed off of calling the players greedy, instead just saying the system is “broken.” Instead, they’re just calling the agents greedy.
- They joined the massive chorus of people shooting down the D-League proposal report.
- They responded to a question about the players giving up 7% of BRI and the system changes with this: “We want a system where all 30 teams regardless of market size can compete for a championship.” That’s like me saying, “I turned off the power to my house and blew up my car because I wanted a unicorn.”
- The argument was made that the MLE is about competitive balance, not money. So a player salary level is not about money.
- Someone asked about replacement players. The league responded the “goal” is for a season with current players. Note how they don’t rule it out. Vague threats are the best!
- They had the gall to argue that competitive balance and spending are related, despite all of the comprehensive assaults on that line of thinking over the past three months by media outlets. Specifically, they argued it by saying “is so,” essentially.
- Pulling out the big guns, the league said that if the players decertified, their contracts would become null. That’s a big gun to waive (the league would have to pursue it through the courts for it to be binding). Just something to put a pause in the star players’ thought process.
- Their one productive message on the night was to say that all the executives for the NBA had taken a paycut. Doesn’t help the 300 people they laid off, but it’s something.
And that was it.
It was a noble idea. Reach the fans directly, communicate the league’s position, leverage social media. It just came across as more baseless rhetoric, more noise in a white sea of context-less nonsense. The league could have elaborated more on the specifics of the deal, shown how it isn’t as bad as the players have made it out to be. Instead they just said “No, it’s not!” and that was all.
The rhetoric continues as tomorrow’s doomsday clock ticks shorter.
TORONTO (AP) — Kawhi Leonard had 31 points and 10 rebounds, Serge Ibaka added 21 points and the Toronto Raptors beat the Boston Celtics 113-101 on Friday night in an early matchup between Eastern Conference contenders.
By the end of the game, Raptors fans were chanting “M-V-P” for Leonard.
Kyle Lowry scored 15 points, Danny Green had 14, and Fred VanVleet 11 to help the Raptors win for the 10th time in 11 home meetings with the Celtics.
Kyrie Irving scored 21 points for Boston, and Al Horford had 14 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists. Jayson Tatum scored 16 points, and Jaylen Brown had 13.
Boston’s Gordon Hayward scored 14 points in 24 minutes, connecting on six of 13 field goal attempts.
Leonard made 10 of 25 attempts, including 2 of 5 from 3-point range, and went 9 for 9 at the free throw line.
Brown made a 3-pointer to give the Celtics an 87-86 lead with 9:03 remaining. VanVleet answered with a reverse layup, the first basket in a 6-0 spurt that gave Toronto the led for good.
Green and Lowry each made 3-pointers around an offensive foul by Tatum with just over two minutes remaining, giving the Raptors a 107-99 edge. Green went 4 for 7 from long range, while Lowry made 3 of 5.
NEW YORK (AP) — Caris LeVert‘s driving layup with a second left gave him a career-high 28 points and the Brooklyn Nets their first victory of the season, 107-105 over the New York Knicks on Friday night.
LeVert surpassed the 27 points he scored Wednesday night in Detroit, when the Nets fell just short. He made sure they pulled this one out, driving right into the lane and putting up the tiebreaking shot over Tim Hardaway Jr.
D'Angelo Russell and Jarrett Allen each added 15 points for the Nets. They improved to 6-1 in home openers since moving to Brooklyn in 2012.
Hardaway and Enes Kanter each scored 29 points for the Knicks, who were trying for just their third 2-0 start in 20 years. Kanter tied it on a three-point play with 15.9 seconds remaining but all they could manage for a final shot after LeVert’s basket was a long 3-pointer by Hardaway that wasn’t close.
The Nets were still without starting forwards Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, who just became a father, and DeMarre Carroll, who had right ankle surgery. But they did get back Allen Crabbe, their normal starting guard who came off the bench after missing the opener while recovering sprained left ankle.
They started fast, shooting 70 percent in the first quarter, and were in control until early in the second half. Then, Kanter and Frank Ntilikina had a couple of baskets apiece in an 11-0 run that wiped out a 10-point deficit and gave the Knicks a 66-65 lead on Hardaway’s 3-pointer.
New York was ahead 76-74 after three quarters and neither team led by more than six in a back-and-forth final 12 minutes.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Chasity Melvin has been hired by the Charlotte Hornets’ G League team, the Greensboro Swarm, as an assistant coach.
She becomes the first female coach in Hornets and Swarm history.
The former North Carolina State standout was the 11th overall selection in the 1999 WNBA draft. She played 12 seasons in the WNBA and was an All-Star in 2001.
Melvin was part of the NBA Assistant Coaches Program, which prepares current and former NBA, WNBA and G League players for coaching careers. Former program participants include James Posey (Cavaliers), Jerry Stackhouse (Grizzlies) and Vin Baker (Bucks).
Her hire comes one day after Kristy Toliver became the first active WNBA player to become an NBA assistant when she joined the Washington Wizards.
Other female assistants in the NBA include Becky Hammon with the Spurs and Dallas’ Jenny Boucek.
How is Tom Thibodeau doing in Minnesota tonight?
Friday night is the Timberwolves home opener — a big production where every player is introduced and the crowd is hyped. How hyped? Derrick Rose got a surprising amount of love from the fans.
However, the reception for Jimmy Butler — who has demanded a trade out of Minnesota, thrown a tirade during practice, and generally been disruptive — and coach/GM Tom Thibodeau (blamed by many for creating and dragging out this situation) both heard it from fans.
Watching the broadcast you could hear some boos, but the pumped-up in-arena entertainment noise on that feed made it hard to hear anything clearly. In the arena were a few cheers mixed in there for Butler, although mostly he was booed. Loudly.
Thibodeau didn’t get even that much love.
Timberwolves fans were indiscriminate and were ready to boo anyone who ever pissed them off — enter Kevin Love.
The boos for Butler subsided as the game went on.
The coach and star player getting booed maybe motivate owner Glen Taylor to step in and force the situation, but probably not. At this point how much more embarrassing is it going to get? If the Timberwolves get off to a slow start this season because of the chemistry, that might be the tipping point.
Right now, Butler trade talks are dormant. This — and these boos — are the status quo.
But everything is fine.