Kevin Durant at the PDX charity game on the owner’s position: “It’s sickening,” said Durant, who is coming off of his rookie deal and set to earn $13.6 million in 2011-2012. “It’s sickening. Us players have sacrificed, gave up money, doing what we have to do. Now it’s on the owners. At this point it’s starting to get bad. We’ve done our thing. They’re trying to pressure us, back us into a corner and take a deal that’s not fair to us.”
ESPN.com ranked the five top juniors and it was pretty Thunder-centric: “Henry Abbott, ESPN.com: Serge Ibaka. Being that big, mobile and active is breathtaking, and international play over the summer suggests he has developed a reliable jumper, too. No joke: If he can protect the rim like a madman, and punish you for leaving him on offense, he’ll be one of the West’s most important playoff big men for years to come.”
The Wu Tang Clan as the Thunder. Hint: James Harden is Ghostface Killah.
Henry Abbott of TrueHoop on the owners’ threat: “But if you ignore the rhetoric and look at the dealing, there’s plenty of evidence both sides really want to get this done, and the remaining issues are tiny compared to what has already been accomplished. Also, players are little more than a week from their first missed paychecks. Missed paychecks are the source of any lockout’s leverage. It hardly makes sense from the owners’ side for the league to effectively cancel the season before players have even felt the heat. It’s easy to imagine that with or without an ultimatum, the two sides will be negotiating again within the next few weeks.”
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo!: “As David Stern tries to hold off his most rabid hardline owners, the NBA’s commissioner has expressed a willingness to meet with the Players Association with the possibility of relenting on some system issues that are important to the union in reaching an agreement, league sources told Yahoo! Sports. Nevertheless, union executive director Billy Hunter was still deciding late Monday whether he wanted to take the meeting, two sources involved in the talks told Yahoo! Sports. The reason for Hunter’s hesitation was unclear.”
How business hurts without the NBA: “In Oklahoma City, economists estimate each lost game is a million-dollar hit to the economy. Even with that, Mayor Mick Cornett says he’s not as worried about the loss of money; he’s more concerned about the way the games boost the metro’s image. “The idea of having Kevin Durant out there playing with ‘Oklahoma City‘ on his chest and being in sports magazines and the team being on national television,” Cornett says, “those are very positive elements for the community, and there’s an indirect economic development to all of that.” So far, the NBA’s monthlong cancellation will mean the loss of seven home games in Oklahoma City. Officials book other events in the 18,000-seat arena around the team’s expected season. But on canceled game nights, the center will likely stay empty, further hurting the regional economy.
Sean Gregory of TIME magazine: “Without question, sporting events generate sizable, if often overstated, amounts of game-day spending in cities. According to the Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce, for example, every Oklahoma City Thunder game pours $1.3 million into the local economy. As The Atlantic recently pointed out, Spurs games generate $95 million for San Antonio, the Portland Trail Blazers made a $2 billion local impact between 1970 and 2004, according to a study, and in 2010 the Greater Memphis Chamber of Commerce estimated that the Grizzlies and their arena, the FedEx Forum, general an annual economic impact of $223 million.”