Howard Beck of the NYT: “Some notes of caution on NBA labor talks: “very, very difficult system issues” still to be settled, source says, including luxury tax plan.”
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports: The last system hurdle appears to be use of exceptions for taxpayers. “Tax not issue” a source said. “Exceptions are where the fight is.” As for where the deal stands, it’s “in a very good place” according to the report. “There’s a strong expectation [within the negotiations] that hands will shake [Friday],” a source said.
Henry Abbott of TrueHoop: “Much was made of Portland owner Paul Allen’s appearance in last week’s mediated session. The suggestion was that he was there to send a message that owners were holding a hard line. NBA sources, however, say it was nothing of the sort. In fact, they say, he was there at the invitation of the NBA’s negotiators to watch Kessler. Allen was one of several owners who thought Stern and Silver had made players an overly generous offer of 50 percent of basketball-related income. The league’s lead negotiators essentially replied: go see for yourself. You think you can get Kessler to go for 47 percent? Good luck to you.”
SLAM named KD the second best player in the NBA: “In a summer marked by greed, Durant’s only been giving—giving back to the game he loves. Dedication and passion light the path to basketball’s hallowed Hall. It’s refreshing to see Durant hasn’t veered even slightly. No matter where he goes, what jersey he wears, Kevin Durant just plays basketball. KD passed his first test when he thrived through the toughest season in his career as a 19-year-old rookie. That’s how I learned that no obstacle can stand in the way of Kevin Durant. And that’s why I’ll be rocking KD’s Sonics jersey when the Hall comes calling.”
KD’s got a new commercial coming out: “While in Oklahoma City last weekend for his charity basketball game, Durant filmed a spot at a local truck stop. In the spot, Durant shows up at a Love’s and plays with a group of truck drivers in the middle of the night.”
A Chesapeake Arena official told me they have not been contacted by the NBA about holding potential dates for an 82-game schedule. I don’t know what to make of that, but there’s talk of contingency schedules floating around right now. Gotta get a deal first.