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CP3 Elected President of Players Union.
Friday , Aug , 23 , 2013 HoopsVibe News

CP3 Elected President of Players Union.

Chris Paul (CP3) replaces Derek Fisher in leading the NBA union.

HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: With the union coming out of some tumultuous years, this could be just the leadership they need.

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Saturday , Nov , 26 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

NBA Lockout (Sort of) Over

The NBA and players have reached a tentative agreement on a new collective bargaining agreement. The deal sets in motion a series of steps to end the lockout and play a 66-game schedule in the 2011-12 season, with opening day on Christmas.

HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: It's over. Finally.

Well, sort of.

Last night, Commissioner David Stern and Union Boss Billy Hunter settled the major system issues and tentatively agreed on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement.

There is still work to be done on the rookie salary cap, drug testing, and other minor issues.

Both sides felt confident enough to shake hands and the owners lifted the lockout. Bottom line: we will probably have basketball. A 66-game season is slated to start on Christmas Day.

What about the damage to the sport?

For months, the NBA was criticized for not getting their house in order. After all, the NFL didn't cancel games. And MLB quietly achieved labour peace last week.

All parties looked especially foolish arguing over the last crumbs on the table. And much of the momentum from last year has been lost.

Still, there will be basketball. That is far more than most expected.

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Saturday , Nov , 19 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Billy Hunter: ‘Maybe we can start our own league’

Billy Hunter: “Maybe we can start our own league. There are faculties where we can do that. Can’t play at MSG but can play at St John’s.” … There’s talk of getting a TV deal and creating a new league but it’d have to be with a network that’s unafraid to cross the NBA.

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: I call nonsense.

There's little chance the players will start a basketball league that can rival the NBA. Correction: there's no chance.

After all, the NBA's television deals, arena rights, and corporate sponsors aren't leaving because of the lockout. And they certainly won't 'cross the floor' to support an upstart league.

Most NBA players have struggled to organize their All-Star game or charity match, so how on earth can they be expected to organize an entire league?

This is Billy Hunter, the former head of the NBA Players' Association and current head of the NBA Players' Trade Association, angling for leverage.

Threatening the owners with a rival league won't work, though.

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


 

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Sunday , Nov , 13 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Billy Hunter: Players will vote on Owners’ propsal

When reached on Saturday night, however, Hunter told SI.com that his intention was to have the player representatives vote on a revised version of the NBA's latest proposal before moving forward. We will vote on the NBA's proposal," Hunter wrote in a text message. "The proposal will be presented with some proposed amendments."


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: They will vote. And the results will matter.

NBA players will vote, and in all likely-hood reject, the owners’ latest CBA proposal at Monday’s meeting in New York.

The real question is what happens next?

The players will officially begin a decertification movement that has been organizing for weeks. Decertification would dissolve the union. There’d be piles of paperwork; the season would be lost.

Of course, the owners have a card to play, too. If the players reject their offer, they’ll cancel games and demand a greater share of Basketball Related Income with a hard cap.

It’s a game of chicken worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Someone has to blink.

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

 
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Saturday , Nov , 12 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Isiah Thomas wants to replace Billy Hunter as NBPA Boss?

According to a pretty piped-in informant, skulking and stalking are exactly what Thomas has been doing as Hunter tries not to lose further frontage to one clearly identified Nor’easter after another: Namely, commissioner Stern stage-managed by 29 owners; players poised to push for immediate decertification if a deal can’t be struck during this extensive bargaining session; weighty agents counseling clients that leadership is limp; and growing frustration among even Hunter’s staunchest supporters.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Once again, Isiah Thomas’ name is linked to treachery, backstabbing, deceit, and angling.

The Hall of Fame guard - who in retirement destroyed the Toronto Raptors, Continental Basketball Association, New York Knicks, and Donnie Walsh’s sanity - wants to replace Billy Hunter as head of the NBA Players’ Association.

Sure, the NBPA has been somewhat dysfunctional under Hunter. And sure, they need a new voice to take the reins after losing negotiations to the owners.

But Thomas?

On the one hand, he was President of the Players Association. On the other hand, everything Thomas has touched since running the floor for the Pistons has blown up in his face.

The man’s closet is full of enemies, skeletons, and who knows what else. He has always been despised by many, and his presence would fracture an already divided and fragmented union.

Hopefully, the players find somebody else to replace Hunter. Thomas isn’t right for the job.

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

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Friday , Oct , 28 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Players, Owners to sign new CBA on Friday?

I think we’re within reach (on system issues), within striking distance of getting a deal,” Hunter said. There are still big hurdles ahead, ones that could mean negotiations will need to go through the weekend or even into next week.

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Owners and players don't have a new labour deal, but they're close.

Commissioner David Stern and Union Head Billy Hunter were caught joking together at a recent press conference. Such a sight would have been unthinkable a few days ago.

Work is still to be done. For instance, the two sides have yet to discuss the split of Basketball Related Income, deciding to focus on system issues the last few days.

For months, BRI was the elephant in the room. The split of revenue was a point of contention, so perhaps it's overly optimistic to think this sticking point can be resolved in one short day.

However, the two sides have momentum.

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Saturday , Oct , 15 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Billy Hunter on CBA negotiations: ‘we were close’ to a deal

Yet during an interview on WFAN on Wednesday, Billy Hunter indicated that an agreement between the owners and players had been nearing completion. "We thought we could live with the deal we were close to making," Hunter said.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Two people can see the same thing very differently.

Commissioner David Stern said the players and owners were miles apart after the two met last weekend, while union head Billy Hunter apparently believed a deal was there to be made.

As usual, the truth lies in the middle. Somewhere.

Will the players and owners ever find the middle? After all, the two sides are unlikely to find an ideological common ground when it requires them to leave their line in the sand.

Right now, Stern and Hunter can’t even agree on the state of negotiations. So how can they possibly bridge the gap on hundreds of million of dollars, keep the groups they represent happy, and preserve their professional reputations by forging a ‘win’?

It doesn’t look good. A start would be to agree on how exactly to characterize negotiations.

O.Sandor.

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Sunday , Oct , 02 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

David Stern on negotiations: We’re not near anything

The NBA and NBPA broke for the weekend on Saturday after an eight hour bargaining session that followed a four-hour meeting on Friday. No agreement is in place, but the sides have moved "closer" to a compromise on system issues, commissioner David Stern said."We're not near anything," Stern said. "But wherever that is, we're closer than we were before."


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call:
Commissioner David Stern said the two sides are ‘closer on system issues’, but union boss Billy Hunter believes owners and players are ‘miles apart’.

So what to make of Saturday’s labour negotiations?

Well, the two sides are talking and will meet again on Monday. However, they can’t even agree on how to characterize discussions and didn’t try tackling Basketball Related Income because it’s too contentious.

Bottom line: both sides have their ideological lines in the sand. They formed these lines years ago.

Something or some group will have to give. And it starts with figuring out the split of BRI.

--O. Sandor.

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Wednesday , Aug , 31 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Stern,Silver, Holt, Hunter, and Fisher having urgent meeting on Wednesday

Commissioner David Stern, deputy commissioner Adam Silver, and San Antonio Spurs owner Peter Holt, who leads the labor relations committee, will take part, as will players’ association executive director Billy Hunter, union president Derek Fisher of the Lakers and union counsel Ron Klempner, two people told the Associated Press yesterday on condition of anonymity.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Peter Holt, Adam Silver, David Stern, Billy Hunter, and Derek Fisher will be at Wednesday’s meeting between owners and the union.

Five people at the sit-down of all sit-downs. Five people to negotiate the fate of the NBA season.

If Wednesday’s bargaining session goes well then there will be basketball, and the season may even start on time around Halloween.

However, if Wednesday’s bargaining session goes as most expect, poorly, the season will be delayed for months and maybe cancelled.

Hopefully, it doesn’t come to this and these five individuals map out a solution.

The stakes are indeed high at the sit-down of all sit-downs.
 
--Oly Sandor.

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Sunday , Aug , 28 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Durant, LeBron, and CP3 confirmed for game between Melo All-Stars and Goodman League

After the Goodman League defeated the Drew League last weekend, they were soon being dubbed the best summer league in the country. However, many other regions that didn’t get a chance to compete disagreed with that sentiment and wanted their shot against Goodman’s finest.

On August 30, one such league will have that opportunity. The Melo League is located in Baltimore and has had many NBA players in their gym throughout the course of the summer. They’ve been one of the more competitive pro-am leagues in the nation over the last few years and want to see if their All-Stars can take down the group from D.C.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: It’s Tyson vs. Douglas. It’s Ali vs. Frazier. It’s Celtics vs. Lakers. And it’s Silva vs. GSP.

Forgive the hyperbole, but the August 30th game between the Goodman League and Melo’s All-Star squad may be the only basketball fans see for a while.

Thankfully, Wednesday’s tilt will be a star-studded affair. The Goodman squad features Kevin Durant, Brandon Jennings, and John Wall, while Melo’s All-Stars will be represented by Carmelo Anthony, LeBron James, and Chris Paul.

Hopefully, Commissioner Stern and union boss Billy Hunter’s bargaining session, also on Wednesday, is fruitful, and fans get an NBA season to follow this interesting friendly.

--Oly Sandor.

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Thursday , Aug , 18 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: China says no to Kobe, D-Wade, and Dirk Nowitzki

Just hours after Shanxi Zhongyu announced their deal with Kobe, the Chinese basketball league decided not to allow players who have deals with NBA teams to play in CBA. The league lists 108 players who have no deals with NBA; only them can register in CBA.

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, Dirk Nowitzki, and Dwyane Wade won't be playing for a Chinese club come fall.

Today, the Chinese Basketball League banned NBA players from signing with Chinese clubs if they have an NBA contract.

NBA free agents can still sign in China; however, getting an opt-out clause to return to America when the lockout ends may be difficult.

In other words: if you sign in China, you stay in China.

This is fair. The government created the Chinese Basketball League to develop talent for the national team, and not to provide leverage for locked-out, millionaire superstars from America.

And now Billy Hunter and the Players Union have a problem. The game's biggest stars have maintained they'll head to China if the owners prolong the lockout with their hardball negotiating tactics.

Such a threat is now meaningless. The money, lifestyle, and branding opportunities aren't as good in Europe. Greece, Portugal, and Spain are also in poor financial shape, so few roster spots will be available.

Hopefully, this development forces the players back to the bargaining table.

--Oly Sandor.

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

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Wednesday , Aug , 17 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Kevin Love: ‘We’re going to miss games’

"We all know we'll have to sacrifice but something has to be done," Love told ESPN.com Tuesday night. "It has to be sooner than later. We have to get the ball rolling. We can't wait around until October or November and then nothing gets done. The owners will keep stalling and obviously they have more means than us to lock us out."

"I want to play basketball," Love said. "I want us -- the players -- to sign a great deal. I want us to make a compromise with the owners but not sign what they're proposing. We'll play hardball if we have to. I want there to be an NBA season but it's also apparent that we're going to miss games."

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: The NBA would have a new Collective Bargaining Agreement if more people had Kevin Love's attitude.

Love recognizes that both sides must compromise. And the compromising, known as collective bargaining, must begin as soon as possible. 

The longer the posturing, pointing, and blaming continues, the less likely there's a season.

Love's view supports an interesting idea proposed by Stephen Brotherston of Hoopsworld.com. Brotherston believes the players should make a highly competitive offer to the owners. And they should do it now.

Think about it: the owners know the players will eventually return to the bargaining table. But when?

It might be September. It might be November. Or it might be January. They will return, though. They have to.

Whenever they do return, the owners will dictate the terms of the new CBA. The process won't be easy for the players, as Stern and the owners will extract everything they possibly can from the players. They'll 're-set' the league's financial system and then some.

So why not undercut the owners' leverage by making those concessions today and doing it in the most public manner possible?

Suppose the players gave the owners a 52-48 split of Basketball Related Income. Suppose they found a happy medium between the owners' flex cap and the current luxury tax system. Suppose they agreed to significant salary rollbacks and, say, eliminated the Mid Level Exception and other costly loop holes.

Here's the key: suppose they informed every print/net reporter, radio broadcaster, TV host, and blogger of such concessions. The ball would be in the owners' court; the players would be 'the good guys'.

Something would get done. And that something would be far better for the players than a wait-and-see approach.

--Oly Sandor.

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

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Tuesday , Aug , 09 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Lakers Targetting Chris Paul?

With the Lakersshowing more signs that their basketball mileage is catching up with them, they need to inject speed into their lineup. And with Mike Brown planning to abandon most of the triangle offense, they need a solid point guard. ... [Chris Paul] has the edge over [Deron Williams] because of his youth (26) and uncanny speed.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: With the 2012 season in limbo, many have turned to speculating on next year’s free agent class.

One rumour keeps making the rounds: Chris Paul walks on the New Orleans Hornets to sign with the Los Angeles Lakers next July.

Before you roll your eyes at the new Collective Bargaining Agreement for not fixing the migration of stars to big markets, recognize that this makes sense for Paul.

The Lakers will have financial flexibility. They have $67 million in committed salary for the 2012-13 season, but the club holds options on $25 million for Andrew Bynum and Lamar Odom.

While they won’t walk on Bynum, the purple-and-gold will gladly bolt on the final $8 million on Odom’s pact. There are other ways to trim salary.

Regardless of the system - hard or soft cap - the Lakers will be able to make a competitive offer for Paul.

New coach Mike Brown will replace the Triple-Post with a drive-and-kick system that relies on the point guard penetrating and running pick-and-rolls.

Sounds perfect for Paul, right?

The New Orleans Hornets can’t afford Paul. The league owns the team and the city can't generate enough revenue to pay for a top supporting cast.

So it’s generally accepted that Paul will leave New Orleans and join Carmelo Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire in New York.

Not so fast.

Last I checked the Knicks played in the Eastern Conference. Each year, Paul would have to go through Miami’s Three Kings to reach the NBA Finals.

And when the Heat have a down year, Paul would likely face 2010 MVP Derrick Rose and his upstart Chicago Bulls. The Bulls, with their air-tight defense, are no pushovers.

So Paul’s best bet at championship glory may be out west with the Lakers.

--Oly Sandor.

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

 

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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.

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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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Saturday , Aug , 06 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: No $2 million per month Chinese offer for Dwyane Wade?

“Dwyane Wade’s agent said Friday his client has received no offers nor has had any discussions with professional teams from China, but he wouldn’t rule out the possibility of that scenario changing. ‘If offers are made down the road, will they be looked at? Absolutely,’ agent Henry Thomas told ESPN.com on Friday. The Chengdu Daily reported that Zhejiang Guangsha was offering Wade $2 million per month to play next season in the Chinese Basketball Association, a report that was later denied by a team official.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: China makes the most sense for a temporarily out-of-work NBA superstar.

After all, China is flush with cash because of their strong economy. And with a billion people, it would provide opportunities to spread the superstar’s brand.

However, the greatest reason may be timing. The season doesn’t start in China until December, which would allow the superstar an extended break, while hedging his bets on when the NBA season starts.

Conversely, Europe is broke, the branding opportunities are limited, and training camp for the long season will soon be opening.

So Dwyane Wade, like most big-ticket American stars, will play in China or rest until the owners and union can find common ground on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Forget the $2 million per month salary, Wade has yet to receive a formal offer of any kind from a Chinese side.

That doesn't mean it isn't coming, though.

These clubs need to identify sponsors to help finance big-ticket offers and are waiting to see what happens with negotiations between Commissioner David Stern and Union Boss Billy Hunter.  

--Oly Sandor.

Will Wade stay or go? Well, get at HoopsVibe News with thoughts in the comment box below.

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Wednesday , Aug , 03 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

David Stern and Billy Hunter: Masters of Posturing

NBA commissioner David Stern will not collect on his eight-figure salary during the ongoing lockout, according to sources with knowledge of Stern's pay status.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: August isn't the time to blink. Not when the owners haven’t written a cheque. And not when the players haven’t missed a cheque.

So Commissioner Stern and the owners have gone to court and accused the union of negotiating in bad faith. And Union Head Billy Hunter has responded by saying the owners are negotiating in bad faith.

Now The Commish is refusing to take a salary while the league is locked-out, which is quite the 'sacrifice' given the amount he’s earned over his career. 

It’s all posturing for what is to follow. Games will be at risk if the next set of negotiations fail. But that’s in a month or so.

The charade can continue in early August. The owners and players have sufficient time to stand, point, and blame. And the only people smiling are, of course, the lawyers.

--Oly Sandor.

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Tuesday , Aug , 02 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

David Stern, Billy Hunter, Derek Fisher, NBA must step out The Bubble

“I don’t feel optimistic about the players’ willingness to engage in a serious way,” Stern said.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: They came. They talked. They accomplished nothing.

Yesterday Commissioner David Stern and the owners met with Player Union Head Billy Hunter and Derek Fisher to - cough, cough - negotiate a new Collective Bargaining Agreement.

There was little negotiating. There was even less bargaining. And both sides emerged restating their ideology about how the NBA’s financial system should function.

Ironically, at the exact same time the American government was putting the final touches on the debt crisis bill. Say what you like about the politics but Republicans and Democrats found a compromise.

And for all the posturing both parties seem to finally have some awareness of the hardship the average American is currently facing.

Not the NBA, though. The billionaire owners want a guaranteed profit and filed a lawsuit against the union. The millionaire players want to maintain their average salary of $5 million per annum.

Living in such a bubble must be nice.

--Oly Sandor

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Thursday , Jul , 28 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Is Marcin Gortat vs. Robin Lopez a problem for Suns?

Marcin said that on his first day in Phoenix he asked Robin if practice started on the court or with a video session. Robin told Marcin that he didn't know so Gortat went to the gym while Lopez went to watch video. According to Gortat, a coach came to get him and asked why he was late and Marcin said that he had asked Robin and was told he didn't know where practice was starting. The coach said everyone knew where they were supposed to be. Marcin took that as a sign of where things stood between himself and Lopez.

Gortat went on to talk about the opportunity that Lopez had to earn and keep the starting job.

"This guy (Lopez) had such a big chance, such a big opportunity, to play in the best league. When I was Orlando, playing behind Dwight (Howard), I was praying to get a chance to play and he (Lopez) has had this chance for two years and he didn't take.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Sport is competitive.

Every night teams compete, and every night teammates compete for playing time, touches, and shots, which determines the zeros on their contracts.

The tiff between Phoenix Suns teammates Marcin Gortat and Robin Lopez is about as surprising as the current pissing match between Commissioner David Stern and Union Head Billy Hunter.

The Suns weren’t winning, so Lopez and Gortat focused on the starting center position. And it got petty -fast.

Gortat publicly accused Lopez of sabotaging his first day with the Suns by intentionally telling him practice began in the video room when it began on-court.

However, the Polish post was just warming up. He then mocked Lopez for not taking advantage of the opportunity given to him by the Suns.

On the one hand, Gortat is about as wrong as you can get. He can’t call Lopez out to the media for what`s likely a miscommunication.

On the other hand, Gortat is right: Lopez, for whatever reason, hasn’t seized the moment and performed near expectations.

Of course, Gortat vs. Lopez isn’t going anywhere. Both want to start. Both are intense. Neither will back down. 

When the season begins, Coach Alvin Gentry should encourage competition, but can’t let his centers become a distraction like Brenadan Haywood and Etan Thomas with the Washington Wizards.

--Oly Sandor.

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Thursday , Jul , 28 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Billy Hunter on Lockout: ‘It’s all about greed’

I’ve said the same thing: They’re not negotiating in good faith; they have no desire or intentions of getting a deal without a lockout because if they think they can threaten us or lock us out for a year or whatever, that the players will cave and they’ll get everything they want. … In this instance, as far as I’m concerned, it’s calculated. It’s all about greed,” Hunter said. “It ain’t about nothing else.”

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Just when you had hope -this happens.

NBA players and owners will meet next week to discuss the lockout. Yes, Commissioner David Stern and Union Head Billy Hunter will be in the same room, however, little, if anything, will get done.

This is about appearances, and nothing more.

After all, Hunter just called the owners greedy. Individuals who are serious about negotiating - especially when they feel a resolution is near - avoid these statements.

Expect the lockout to be extended for weeks, months, or maybe an entire season.

--Oly Sandor.

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