A bad day at the talks but big days ahead
Okay, well, guess the NBA labour talks could have gone better, no?
They are close on the money, are miles apart on the soft vs. hard cap aspect of how that money gets distributed to the players and now both sides are retreating to significant meetings today.
The owners are in Dallas and the players are massing in Vegas with David Stern and Billy Hunter ready to fill them in on just where everything stands.
And where is that?
Well, no one knows for sure since the rhetoric got turned up big time and as one NBA guy once warned me: “When they start ripping each other publicly, it’s time to make sure your BS detector is on high.”
Really, all the stuff that was said yesterday, from Hunter talking about half a season likely to be lost to Stern poo-pooing the notion the owners haven’t changed their demands since June, was little more than backlash at the fact nothing got accomplished in the room.
I still say we’ll wake up one day and a deal will be done – the players will lose because they always lose – but I do think the start of training camp and a bit, maybe all, the exhibition season will be lost and to that I say, ‘hooray!’
The one thing I’m getting increasingly bored with though, and it happens in every sports negotiation in any game, is the talk. I don’t want to hear how intractable the other side is, I don’t want to hear doom and gloom and I don’t even want to hear rhetoric about the parameters of a deal being close.
I want them now that we know where they are to invoke a cone of silence, tell us when it’s over so we can get on with our lives. And the over-riding sense I’m getting from the general populace is that fans feel the same way.
Yawn. Do a deal. Don’t talk ‘til it’s done.
Hey, you saloon owners!
Everyone – EVERYONE – who manages your joint at any time of any day needs to know where everything – EVERYTHING – is on the television dial.
Print ‘em out a schedule overnight or give them a weekly guide or do what you have to do. Just get them prepared each day.
There is nothing more frustrating than showing up knowing there’s a particular game on that a lot of people are interested in and having the staff offer nothing but blank stares when asked to switch a TV or two because they don’t know where it is.
Can we make that happen, please?
All in the name of customer service.
Canada 25, Tonga 20
And glorious rugby victory is ours. No, I didn’t stay up which wasn’t a bad idea since the 6 a.m. alarm comes early and I wouldn’t be sure what I was seeing anyway.
Not entirely up on my rugby but I have a feeling I might learn a bit over the next little while.
There was one interesting quote that came after the NBA talks ended yesterday, from Maurice Evans I believe was.
He was asked about “defections” of union members to Europe now that there’s a cloud over the training camp, exhibition games and the start of the regular season and he said, yes, he figured there would be.
Not a chance.
First off, a lot if not all European teams are about to start or have started training camps and there simply aren’t a lot of jobs available. There are limits everywhere on the number of non-Europeans allowed on any team and many of them are filled by guys with history with those franchises. The work simply isn’t there.
Neither is the money and unless they are the worst financial manager in the history of the world and are currently flat broke and unable to make ends meet, I don’t think there are too many NBA guys who’ll end up playing for the salaries offered.
As I said when the whole “let’s go play in Europe” talk began, I cannot imagine 20 NBA guys – and less than 10 who could be considered front-line players – ending up in Europe and out of a total of about 450 players, that’s hardly significant.
Speaking of Canada-Tonga …
Q: Hi Doug. I'm a Canadian living in Auckland, New Zealand. The Rugby World Cup has started here and Canada is slated to play the Mighty All-Blacks in a couple weeks time.
The All-Blacks do the Haka before each game which has to be the coolest pre-match ritual in all of sport. Can you think of any others?
Ryan G, Auckland, N.Z.
A: Well, I know Fiji does something called the Cibi, if memory serves, but it’s not nearly as well known as the Haka and, trust me, you haven’t lived until you’ve seen Sean Marks and the Tall Blacks do it.
Don’t have video of him but I did find this, which even includes an explanation of what you’re seeing:
Well, I’m told one of the Raptors bigwigs is doing his homework.
According to a spy, there was a Dwane Casey sighting at the EuroBasket thing over in Lithuania.
Now, I know Dwane won’t, and isn’t able to, talk to either Jose Calderon or Jonas Valanciunas, the two Raptors still going over there but he will get a chance to see them in game situations to get an idea of what skills they have.
I’m sitting on a stool in Niagara (Hi, Mick and Angelo’s!) watching TOD go down to ignominious defeat when I see Thames make a great catch along the wall in left, trot in, hand the ball to a serviceman in uniform and the serviceman turns around and hands to an urchin one row back who’s grinning from ear to ear and that kind of made the game good.
Yes, we shall begin the process, let all your innermost thoughts pour out when you click here and write.