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Tuesday , Aug , 09 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

LeBron: ‘I’m optimistic that we will have a season’

“I'm optimistic that we will have a season this year,” James said. “Very optimistic.” A little anxious, too. He's working out twice a day, trying to erase some of the sting that's still there after the Heat lost to the Dallas Mavericks in the NBA finals.


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Does LeBron James know something the rest of us do not? Secret talks? A covert deal? Has he chatted with Union Boss Billy Hunter?

I appreciate LeBron James’ optimism that owners and players will somehow strike a hail-Mary deal, however, the facts are tough to overlook.

Right now, there’s no negotiating and/or bargaining between owners and players. Both are holding firm and refusing to compromise on a new financial system.

The owners want salary rollbacks, a hard cap, and a greater share of the Basketball Related Income, while players want to stick with the current system -even if it’s out of whack with the post 2008 economy.

Yet James remains optimistic. Fair enough. Always look at the bright side, I guess.

Still, the negative is tough to overlook. Alex Meruelo recently dropped $300 million on a mediocre franchise, the Hawks, in a mediocre sports town, Atlanta, because Commissioner David Stern surely promised a hard cap and a better split of the BRI.

And to get those concessions the owners will likely have to blow-up the entire season. That’s right: no basketball for 2011-12.

So James can stay optimistic. I’ll stay optimistic he knows something the rest of us do not.

--Oly Sandor.

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Sunday , Aug , 07 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

What will Alex Meruelo mean for ATL Hawks?

Businessman Alex Meruelo has reached an agreement to buy a majority ownership stake in the Atlanta Hawks, he told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution in an exclusive weekend interview.


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Three things worth noting about the Atlanta Hawks' new owner.

First, a good organization has a good owner. It starts with the man at the top having clear expectations with respect to professionalism, attitude, and desire.

After years of poor play, the Hawks have recently become a good team. However, the LLC Spirit wasn’t committed to winning - they were too busy suing each other and cutting costs - so they weren’t a good organization.

Hopefully, Meruelo, also known as The California Pizza King, models what he expects from players, so the Hawks become a good organization.

Second, the NBA is a diverse league. Meruelo would be the league's first Hispanic owner, which is a positive.

Third, the NBA is in a nasty lockout because owners claim the business model is broken. Yet, there’s a willing buyer, Meruelo, for a weaker franchise, the Hawks, in a city, Atlanta, that doesn’t provide overwhelming support for its teams.

I’m curious to see what, if any, impact this has on future labour negotiations.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.