The league and players will negotiate, sort of, today in New York City. It really will be more of a lawyer battle because of the lawsuits and disclaimer of interest stuff filed by the entity formerly known as the NBPA, but the fact there will be talking is an encouraging sign.
John Hollinger with player profiles for the Thunder: “While Westbrook is a magnet for criticism and Rose appears immune, their games are actually quite similar. Westbrook makes more turnovers but earns them back with more rebounds. In terms of shooting and passing they’re extremely similar. In fact, Westbrook’s PER (23.63) and Rose’s (23.62) couldn’t be closer. The difference is that, aesthetically, Westbrook leaves a lot more to be desired. The end result may be the same, but Westbrook’s mistakes are more visibly frustrating — his shot selection is questionable, he has no in-between game (he was the third-worst shooter in the league from 3 to 9 feet, at just 26.6 percent), and his game comes across as more selfish. If he fixes these shortcomings he’s first-team all-world, but last May was pretty rough on the eyes.”
J.A. Adande says this season is most important for Russell Westbrook: “Just like his 2010-11 season was the most important for the Thunder. They needed him to join Kevin Durant as an All-Star-caliber player and he did so, but Westbrook’s decision-making in the playoffs left a lot to be desired. If he can figure out when to shoot and when to pass, the Thunder will get even more dangerous.”
Great piece from Anna Katherine Clemmons of ESPN.com on Byron Mullens playing prison ball: “With two armed guards by his side, Byron Mullens walks with several friends toward the inner perimeter fence, the two feet of barbed wire curls running along the top glistening in the sunlight. They have already handed over their cell phones and keys, gone through a metal detector, signed in the log book and walked through a series of locked doors that won’t open until the previous one is shut. Now Mullens and crew must go through another round of security, pausing as they get to the gate and holding up a badge.”
Howard Bryant of ESPN.com: “Instead of the empty rhetoric of “nuclear winters” and the socialism of salary caps and “guaranteed profits,” owners such as Mark Cuban should pave the road to reform with more capitalism. If Milwaukee, Minnesota, New Orleans and Charlotte can’t make it, they should close their doors, just like every other failed business in America. You can’t blame the players for that.”
KD is returning to Seattle. For a charity game.