Labor negotiations extend one more day, right to the zero hour. Ken Berger of CBSSports.com: “According to a person briefed on the talks, the primary focus Sunday night was system issues — salary cap, luxury tax, etc. — leaving Monday to reconcile those complicated items with the most important point of all: the split of revenues between owners and players. Fisher characterized the meeting as “intense.” The last-minute meeting was called after league and union officials originally couldn’t agree on the parameters of one final bargaining session to save regular season games. On Friday, officials from the National Basketball Players Association requested a meeting, but were met with a precondition from the league that they agree to a 50-50 split of revenues that was offered in Tuesday’s bargaining session. The union declined, and scheduled regional meetings for Miami on Saturday and Los Angeles on Sunday.”
The Drew topped the Goodman League in the highly forgotten rematch, but KD dropped 50 and James Harden put up 48. Good showing by OKC, as always. Here’s some video of KD’s 50-spot.
Tom Haberstroh of ESPN.com with impressions from Saturday’s charity game: “Man, do the Thunder have something special with Durant, Russell Westbrook and James Harden. The Heat’s Big Three will have some company soon.”
Darnell Mayberry says James Harden would suffer most from a lockout: “Now, when the season starts, it seems likely Brooks will revert to his comfort zone. In a shortened camp and an abbreviated preseason, the coach might again reach for that consistency and continuity. It’d be a completely rational decision and one that doesn’t have to stick for an entire season. Nevertheless, it’s Sefolosha who now seems destined to be penciled in as the starter on opening night. And that would have everything to do with the lockout and little to do with Harden.”
KD on acting: “I forgot my lines the first time. And it was simple. I had been practicing them for a couple of days. But once he said action and everything was on, the bright lights and everybody was watching, I got nervous a little bit. But after that I was cool. I’ve been having a lot of fun. I didn’t think I’d be having this much fun.”
Harden says he’s holding firm in the negotiations: “Harden falls squarely into the first camp. Prior to the game, the Thunder guard said he wouldn’t rubber stamp a proposal, even if he received a personal call from union president Derek Fisher. “I’d want to know what the deal is,” Harden said. “Derek is someone you definitely listen to, but I’d also want to talk with the big guys — LeBron, KD, and the rest.” Asked if he could see any scenario where a 50-50 split in basketball-related income (BRI) would be acceptable, Harden shook his head. What’s your drop-dead number? “Fifty-three,” Harden insisted. “No less.”
Dave McMenamin of ESPN LA on the Drew-Goodman game: “Durant finished with 50, a total that was almost ho-hum because of the 66 and the 59 he put up at other offseason exhibitions, but it was his Oklahoma City teammate James Harden’s 48 points playing for the winning team that started to make you wonder. “Wait, so the Thunder has Durant AND Russell Westbrook AND Harden. … And Harden comes off the bench?!”