Some weird story from Anatolia on Kobe and KD in China: “Besiktas also made an offer for the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Kevin Durant, who said he wouldn’t play on the same team as Bryant, Yalcin said. Should Bryant not accept a position, Durant said he was “ready to come live with his mother in Istanbul and wear the Besiktas jersey,” Anatolia quoted Yalcin as saying.”
Players canceled a meeting because David Stern is unavailable for two weeks, via BDL: “With training camps scheduled to start seven weeks from now, one would think that the NBA and its Players’ Association would be hell-bent on explaining their respective sides to each other as they attempt to end the month and a half-long lockout. No dice, friends. Because David Stern’s got some relaxing to do. Apparently it’s been a tough summer for him, too.”
Stern does feel optimistic though: “I expect that we’ll make a deal because the alternative is very destructive,” he said. “It’s destructive of $2 billion worth of player salaries and it’s destructive most important to our fans of the game. And if it spirals badly everyone gets hurt. But in some ways I worry because the players have more to lose, especially those in the later stages of their career. So we’re going to do everything when can when the rhetoric slows down to get this thing back on track.”
Ziller on Stern: “By alleging that the union won’t play ball now, as NBA fans grow more agitated about delayed free agency and an inevitable bump of the training camp/preseason schedule? Even if it stretches the truth, it’s planted the seed that the union is just as culpable as the NBA for the slow progress. It yanks the players down to the owners’ level. Stern wins.”
Interesting piece from The Nation on why mayors love stadiums: “Why do new sports facilities have such a hold on local elected officials? The simplest explanation is fear: because team owners can choose new cities but cities can’t choose new teams—thanks to the leagues’ government-sanctioned monopolies over franchise placement—mayors feel they must offer owners anything they want. “Politicians continue to believe that it would be political disaster to lose a team on their watch,” Baade says.”
Big important news: The new Thunder Girls squad was selected.
Wages of Wins on parity: “If the NBA wanted perfect parity, this would be easy to achieve. Simply put all the players’ names in a hat, and randomly dole out players to all teams at the beginning of the season. The beauty of this is that none of us stat-heads have to sit around and argue about what metric to use to divide the players “fairly” — randomly is, by definition, fair. I guess you can make an argument that coaching determines success as well, so let’s divide them up randomly also. Sure, this would put a lot of stress on the players and coaches, but the NBA owners seem to believe that there are plenty of players willing to play basketball for money, so forcing this kind of agreement down the players’ throats shouldn’t be a problem. Bingo, parity guaranteed!”
Noam Schiller of Paroxysm on the Pacers: “And yet, there the Pacers were, facing the best team in the NBA in the regular season with no fear in their eyes (except during the final 4 minutes of every single game), always primed to grab the win, only done in by an unfortunate combination of playing against Derrick Rose and not being able to do anything right with the game on the line. Of course, resting on the laurels of your encouraging playoff series as an 8th seed only works if you have Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook and James Harden and Serge Ibaka. Luckily, there seems to be an explicit intent to do no resting on any laurels of any kind.”