The NBA is finding itself assaulted from two fronts this week, one from the players and the other from the people who don't believe what the league is saying. On the one hand, the league really doesn't need to disclose anything; this is a private CBA negotiation. On the other hand, it is kind of fun to see how uncomfortable they get.
Young gets a great interview with one of the lesser publicized people in the OKC Thunder engine, VP of Marketing and Sales Brian Byrnes. It is an excellent insight as to how the organization has worked diligently to build the Thunder brand and make the game experience great for everyone.
If you had not yet noticed, SBN's Trail Blazers blog is one of the best around, and they are embarking on an attempt to record the history of the Blazers. Be sure to check out this series to get a great understanding of this mercurial franchise's place in sports history.
Here is a similar retrospective on the New Jersey Nets. I had forgotten how talented this early 90's team was. Unfortunately it was also the same time as when Michael Jordan was dominating the league. Also, their best player was Derrick Coleman, so, you know, whoop-de-damn-do.
Arturo reaches the same conclusion as I do, in the sense that there is a feeling that the league is not arguing in good faith. By offering our efforts to shed some light as to what is going on, we can help end the impasse.
This is a good look to the other sports' labor situations. It is a delicate balance to protect the interests of the structure of the game against the risk of turning the fans against you. Sometimes, it is better if the system is imperfect, as long as it moves in the right direction.
More links after the jump.
The NBA has a lockout clause in place in its contract with ESPN/ABC. This means that even in the event of a work stoppage, they will still get paid, which insulates the league and owners from the disappearing revenues that would result from a lost season. Note the explanation in the story as to why the NBA's situation is different from the NFL's which recently got the NFL in trouble.
Blott takes a look at some proposals that various people have made to tinker with the organization of the NBA with the goal of making it more interesting.
One writer tries to look ahead to after the lockout ends, and begins it with discussion about the Thunder's chances. Kevin Durant is stewing.
If you're newer to the NBA game, you may not recognize the name Armen Gilliam. He was one of the better low-post players during the era of Charles Barkley, and word is that he died while playing basketball at a local fitness gym.
I missed this one earlier in the week, but Knicks shooting guard Roger Mason Jr., who is the NBPA Vice President, gave an interview where he discussed the players' position in the labor negotiations.
"We're not out here questioning their books, so do we think that 22 teams lost money because of the system? No, we don't feel like the system is the reason that 22 teams lost money."
"Season ticket-holders' investments with teams are completely protected. The league-wide policy is that in the unfortunate event of missed games, all season ticket-holders have the option to receive a refund plus interest on a monthly basis for all missed games." - Mike Bass, NBA Senior VP of Marketing and Communications
Manu Ginobili is friends with Spurs trainer Will Sevening, but because they are technically on opposite sides of the negotiating table, they aren't allowed to speak. So Manu ended up tweeting his birthday wishes to his friend. And of course his friend cannot even acknowledge it. Also, Manu is starting to look like Balki.
Lastly, for something completely weird: