Today would be the Thunder’s media day and the start of training camps. Thinking about that makes me immensely sad, especially considering there’s a meeting going down in New York that could determine if we’ll have a season at all.
Michael Kimball of The Oklahoman with an incredibly interesting look at what a lost season does to OKC’s economy: “And it’s important to note the arena still can bring in revenue for the city’s economy even without a Thunder season, Anderson said. Officials will be able to fill some of the dates that would be left open with concerts and other events, and the renovations might help the city lure events that skipped the area in the past. City officials have had preliminary discussions on what budget maneuvering would be required if the NBA season is canceled but haven’t yet studied it in depth, Dowler said. The largest impact would likely be an increased subsidy for the arena, but by how much isn’t yet known, and it would not likely cause many problems within the city’s $920 million budget for fiscal year 2012.”
Better late than never, I suppose — Darnell Mayberry looks at the supposed Perk-Westbrook clash: “Presti also rarely was seen by the team’s beat writers in the locker room. In fact, it became common to see Presti intentionally detour around the dressing area whenever he was needed in the locker room, which also houses the training room. As for Westbrook and Perkins, no one could characterize them as bosom buddies inside the locker room. But Perkins’ locker is stationed across the room from Westbrook’s. That never stops Westbrook and Eric Maynor from volleying jabs. But Perkins, the no-nonsense center, always was all business the moment he stepped foot into the locker room. Westbrook, meanwhile, never shied away from crediting Perkins for the team’s defensive turnaround in the second half last year.”
Kurt Helin of PBT isn’t optimistic: “Nov. 1 was going to be a fun night. The Dirk Nowitzki, Jason Kidd and the rest of the Mavericks were finally going to get their championship rings (or whatever) and Mark Cuban was going get a banner raised to the rafters in Dallas. Then the Mavericks were going to take on the Chicago Bulls in what would be a fun matchup. Right as that ended, the next generation in the west — the Oklahoma City Thunder – were to take on older generation not ready to go quietly, the Los Angeles Lakers. The NBA was going to open its new season that night in grand style. Now, NBA arenas will be dark.”
One quick thought about the reactions after the lockout talks Saturday: Did people really expect Derek Fisher and David Stern to emerge holding hands saying, “We got a deal!” Now, Monday and Tuesday are pretty much at the make-or-break point of it all and I’m not feeling great either, but people really got the sads after Saturday. Until I hear from Stern the season is postponed, that’s when I’ll believe it. There’s still time to talk, which means there’s still time for a deal.
Zach Lowe of SI on what the league is shooting for: “These proposals are all designed to cut spending and level payrolls without the introduction of an actual hard cap — something the players claim they will never accept. And at first glance, many of these proposals appear to increase a team’s control over its players in a way that might restrict player movement. The Melo Rule and the ban on sign-and-trades, for instance, could give incumbent teams a bigger edge in keeping their own stars. If you increase the gap between what the Magic can offer Dwight Howard and what a rival team can propose, perhaps you increase the chance that he stays in Orlando after next season. Make the gap big enough, and it could work like a watered-down version of the NFL’s franchise tag.”
KD to the Boston Globe on his relationship with Westbrook: “I think that was kind of overblown,” Durant said. “But people don’t realize [how tough the playoffs are] once you’re there, and that was the first time there. It was kind of different for us as far as getting that far in the playoffs – we’ve never played that deep into the season – but I think we handled it well. We lost some games that we should have won but I think we handled it well. Guys didn’t break down, even though the media was trying to break us up as a group, as far as Russell and what they were thinking about him. But he stayed strong and we supported him every time.”