Ken Berger of CBSSports.com: “Following a series of small compromises by both sides, it was the owners’ turn to move the needle in a significant way. And they did: According to a person briefed on the negotiations, the league put forth a new number on the split of revenues, or basketball-related income, on Thursday, a step that could help propel the talks forward even as the start of training camps were set to be delayed and preseason games canceled — with such gloomy but fully expected and insignificant announcements expected Friday. “It’s moving,” said another person with knowledge of the talks. “Not as fast as some people would want, but it’s moving.” According to one of the people familiar with the bargaining, here is some of what transpired Thursday: After signaling last week that the players’ offer to move lower than the 54.3 percent share of BRI was a starting point that could lead to a deal on economics, league negotiators came back with their own number. Unsurprisingly, the number was lower than what the players had last proposed, though multiple people involved in the talks refused to specify by how much.”
Officially though, some preseason games have been cancelled and training camps postponed. The Thunder loses a game at Utah Oct. 12 and a home game against Charlotte Oct. 14. So far, that is.
Check out Scott Brooks flowing hair. Darnell Mayberry on it: “My bet is Brooks’ family put him up to it. Brooks has a history of catering to those closest to him. The bracelets seen in the above picture are just one of the many ways Brooks recognizes his family. His wife and now 11-year-old daughter also have encouraged him in the past to grow his hair out. Brooks obliged. But that was during the season. When the cameras were always watching. Eventually, Brooks had to see a barber. You can’t be too carefree when you’re an NBA coach and the spotlight is always shining on you. But during a lockout… I wonder if Brooks will return with his locks still intact. I doubt it. It’s not his style. He likes the focus to be on his players, the organization and its product rather than himself.”
The Thunder uses advanced analytics in evaluating players. Daryl Morey and Sam Hinkie on Moneyball: “In reality, the referendum on whether using objective analysis improves decision-making is long over. Industries can remain insulated for a time, but the advantage of augmenting decision-making with data is such that adoption becomes near ubiquitous over time. For example, in baseball, what started as a small movement with the Oakland A’s has become routine with all 30 teams using analysis to one degree or another. While the storytelling genius of Michael Lewis turned baseball’s adoption of analytics into a fascinating yarn, the phenomenon is actually just the mundane manifestation of the march of progress.”
Tommy Craggs for GQ with great thoughts on the movie: “Maybe it’s time to start thinking about the book in the same way: It’s really a story about hustlers. It’s about a cheap ball club that stays cheap because it gets a fat annual revenue-sharing check from teams that aren’t, a team that wills itself back into baseball’s primordial sludge, operating as if the 1970s—and free agency and all those good things that put more distance between a baseball club and the plantation—never happened. Moneyball consecrated the notion that it’s noble to win inexpensively, and in that respect it was great PR for the owners. The league got to pretend that small-market teams aren’t just soaking the Yankees on the back end, even if, well, they are. I think Moneyball is one of the greatest sports stories ever told, but I sometimes wonder if the plutocrats who own “small-market” teams get together in a grotto once a year and dance around a leather-bound edition. They’re profiting madly off a misperception—and isn’t that the most Moneyball thing of all?”