Derrick Rose doesn't talk much. But he talked the other day, and he was asked a lot of the same stuff a lot of other NBA players have been asked lately. Maybe that's because aside from the lockout and video games, there's not much to ask about. And while I'd be amused to hear Zach Randolph thoughts on the Michele Bachmann/Rick Perry Gardasil controversy, I'm sure that's not happening any time soon.
So Derrick Rose was asked if he'd go overseas if this lockout continues, and he said...
"If it does (cancel the season), yes, I am taking into consideration that I might be going overseas but I don't know where," Rose said on Tuesday following a court renovation and clinic at Murray Park Playground in Englewood, where he grew up playing basketball. "There's a lot of great places overseas but I haven't really gotten time to get details on every place."
So he's taking into consideration that he might be going, but he doesn't know where. Sounds like a guy ready to jet at a moment's notice, huh?
I appreciate Derrick Rose trying to say the right things to try to keep some pressure on owners who may be afraid of star players getting hurt overseas, but Rose couldn't have couched that statement any more. He's going nowhere, and that's obvious.
He did spit some truth, though.
"Right now, it's looking pretty tough, but to me I think the lockout is unnecessary," he said. "There's no reason why billionaires and millionaires should be arguing about money. There's other things in this world that we should be arguing about, but money shouldn't be the problem."
Preach on, brother. There's no reason people can't work this out. Overbearing greed is a problem in these negotiations. If level heads were to look at this objectively, we could get this thing done.
There is no doubt the Memphis Grizzlies are a team on the rise.
They upset the Western Conference's number one seeded San Antonio Spurs as an eighth seed in the first round of the 2011 NBA playoffs and tested the Oklahoma City Thunder in the semifinals in seven games. And Memphis did all this without their injured star player - Rudy Gay.
However, this begs the question: Can Memphis be that much better when Gay returns to the team? Zach Randolph believes so.
"When Rudy comes back," Randolph said, "we'll be a team to be reckoned with."
You know what? Z-Bo might be right.
This team has a nice balance of solid veteran players, young players and a coach, Lionel Hollins, who can get the best from the team.
Randolph and Marc Gasol (if he resigns) form a formidable duo. Darrell Arthur, Greivis Vasquez, O.J. Mayo, and Mike Conley add a youthful punch on the court while Shane Battier and Tony Allen provide the veteran leadership.
Add the fact Rudy is putting in the work in this offseason and, according to him, he is feeling great which should put a smile on Grizzlies fans across the globe.
It is like Christmas in September. It is almost here! NBA2K12 is coming the first week of October to soothe all our ills and maybe even tide us over during the lockout. Get used to the default rosters, kids, because nobody knows when that next update is coming.
The anticipation for the latest version of NBA2K, which will feature more legends including Michael Jordan, Bill Russell, Magic Johnson and Larry Bird, is brimming. For all those people jonesing for some basketball if this lockout lasts, NBA2K might be the only release. Where else are you going to see today's and yesterday's stars on the big screen?
So who is the top dog in NBA2K12? Well, first off, the overall number is not necessarily an overall number. NBA2K's super advanced game engine takes into account player strengths and weaknesses and it is the secondary attributes that actually tell you how good the player is. So maybe this overall number means nothing.
The rosters are still last year's rosters and rookies are not included. So it is pretty much the end of the year rosters from last year.
The Heat will certainly be a popular team with James and Wade to play with -- although after Chris Bosh's 80 rating, no player is above 70. The Thunder too should be fairly popular to play as with defensive wunderkid Serge Ibaka to protect the basket and try to block shots with and Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook to play with offensively.
The Knicks too could be fun to play with. A balanced offensive attack of Amar'e Stoudemire (88), Carmelo Anthony (91) and Chauncey Billups (79) form a potent starting lineup. Plus they have Mike D'Antoni as coach, which helps with the offensive minded people that play this game.
I do not think negotiating skills go into an overall player rating as Derek Fisher clocks in at a 67. Ron Artest, though, is a 71. Dancing skills might have factored into this equation.
The defending champion Mavericks? They do not fare too well. Dirk Nowitzki is underrated at 85. Caron Butler is still an 81 even after missing half the season with an injury. The rest of the team is role players that fit the team. Not exactly eye-popping numbers that gamers want to play.
Who are the sneaky teams you might want to play as?
The Wizards look like fun with John Wall and dunk machine JaVale McGee. If you can take lots of missed jumpers, that is.
The Suns are always solid with Steve Nash and since the game rates Butler and Gilbert Arenas highly, Vince Carter still has to have some value. Right? And how about the Detroit Pistons. You are guaranteed one bench mutiny every five games when you play with them. That is not actually true.
The owners’ proposal on Tuesday “would still have the affects of a hard cap,” one source with knowledge of the talks said.
The owners didn’t budge on a desire to change the basketball-related income percentage (BRI) to a split that takes the players from 57 percent to the mid 40s, sources said. The players had offered to drop from a 57-43 split to 54-46 at a meeting last week in New York.
•The "Larry Bird exception," which allows teams to exceed the cap to retain their own free agents regardless of their other committed salaries, is limited to one player per team per season.
•The mid-level exception, which the league valued at $7.4 million last season and could be extended by as many as five years, is reduced in length and size.
•The current luxury tax, the $1-for-$1 penalty a team must pay to the league for the amount it exceeds the salary cap, is to be severely increased.
So it looks like both sides have some moving to do. For players to bite on limiting the Larry Bird and mid-level exception, owners are going to have to come up to at least a 50/50 split of BRI. Players are not going to agree to limiting exceptions that lead to more money for themselves if they're have to give up so much of the overall revenues.
This is moving closer to what a lot of people, including myself, have been saying for a while now. The system doesn't need an outright overhaul. The system, if it is to be less favorable to big market teams that have no fear of the luxury tax, needs to limit the exceptions and have a more punitive luxury tax system. Those proposals do that. It will be interesting to see how GM's get around them if they survive the bargaining process. Will players agree to stagger deals so key guys can potentially be re-signed with Bird exceptions in consecutive years? Will teams find loopholes like NFL signing bonuses?
This is progress, for sure. Any sort of discussion that moves off the key sticking points of previous proposals is progress. Today will, if I may state the obvious, be key. This may be the day where make enough progress to get a deal done in time to save the season. It may also be the day where we realize we're not going to get anything done for a while. It may be the most important day yet of the negotiations.
As if the upcoming season wasn't enough to think about, Dallas Mavericks guard Rudy Fernandez is taking it one step further and thinking about the following season.
Fernandez signed a contract to play with Real Madrid during the lockout. Playing with the Spanish team will serve as research for Fernandez.
After playing in Spain and then joining the Mavericks after the lockout, Fernandez will decide if the NBA is still where he wants to spend the remainder of his career.
Fernandez is no stranger to the Spanish ACB league after playing for DKV Joventut for six years before entering the NBA Draft in 2007.
Playing for the NBA Champions could change Fernandez' mind, but last offseason, he was practically begging and pleading with the Portland Trailblazers to release him so he could return to Europe. At one time, his agent said, Fernandez would be willing to sit out of the next two years of his contract if he was not released or traded.
If Fernandez chose Spain over the Mavs next season, he wouldn't be the first to spurn the NBA for greener pastures overseas.
After one season with the Memphis Grizzlies, Fernandez' Spanish teammate Juan Carlos Navarro chose to return to Spain to play for FC Barcelona, choosing the club's lucrative 5-year contract over the Grizzlies' qualifying offer.
If it comes down to money with Fernandez, Real Madrid will be the clear winner. They are in a position to more than double Fernandez' current contract.
Inconsistent playing time lead to Fernandez wanting out of Portland. If the Mavs want to keep him in Big D, they'll likely have to give Fernandez a defined role on the team, which could be tough considering the minutes Caron Butler, Jason Terry and DeShawn Stevenson will be commanding at shooting guard.
It's safe to say Los Angeles Lakers' Kobe Bryant is financially sound. Between the millions he has made with the Lakers and endorsement deals, it's highly unlikely Bryant will be pulling a "Sprewell" and state he needs more money to feed his family.
So when the Italian club Virtus Bologna came calling and offered Bryant $6.7 million to play during the NBA lockout (which would amount to a few months) any reasonable person would call that a great deal.
Kobe reportedly passed on Virtus' initial offer and countered with $15 million in order for the team to see him take his talents to Italy. That comes out to around $7.5 million a year after taxes.
So how did Virtus' owner, Claudio Sabatini, take it? As you would expect.
The counterproposal made by Kobe and his agent shocked Claudio Sabatini who said that, with that amount of money, can offer to Kobe Bryant just a two-month deal.
If you are a Lakers fan then you are loving this. No way will Virtus pay this huge amount for a few months of work from Bryant which mean more rest for him and his knee.
Also, Bryant's counter proposal to Bologna should be a signal to any team looking to sign him during the lockout and that signal is "Show me the money."
In a twist, Bryant will be in Italy for a Nike promotional tour but after this $15 million request, it's doubtful he will remain in Italy.
It's worth mentioning that Virtus is also looking to sign Spurs' Manu Ginobili and according to Project Spurs, Manu is not closing the door on the opportunity to return to his former team.
This is from a Lithuanian site called Delfi Sportas. The below text is the Google-translate version of what appeared on the site:
46-year-old Lithuanian basketball legend Arvydas Sabonis on Tuesday evening, about 19-20 hours., Playing basketball and had a heart attack - a former athlete, straight from the sports hall was taken to Emergency Hospital, Kaunas.
Of course, this is all unconfirmed at the moment and it's hard to really understand everything even with the translation, but it seems he may have suffered a heart attack while playing basketball.
Sabonis was just inducted into the Hall of Fame and is considerd to be one of the greatest European players of all time. We will update this post as this story continues to unfold.
Spanish website Cadenaser.com reports that Sabonis will apparently recover (again, translated via Google translate):
Although at first not revealed any information about his condition and the information published digital editions of the Lithuanian press was confusing, Ortega has said that Sabonis is out of danger. He also clarified that the former player was undergoing health examinations regularly.
The Blazers issued the following statement Tuesday afternoon: The Portland Trail Blazers have confirmed that Arvydas Sabonis has been hospitalized after suffering a heart attack in his native Lithuania. His condition is believed to be non-life threatening. Our thoughts are with Arvydas and his family at this time. We wish him well in a speedy recovery."
Not to be outdone by this off-season's series of barnstorming events, LeBron James is planning his own game too along with Heat teammates Chris Bosh and Dwayne Wade.
Unlike Kevin Durant who scheduled games in his hometown of DC, or Carmelo Anthony who played a couple games in his native Baltimore, LeBron is not staging his game in Akron.
His game will be played in Miami, and will feature basketball masterminds Rick Ross and Kevin Hart as the two coaches. Sam Amick broke this story on twitter first, and below Chris Broussard offered a bunch of details on the game they're calling The South Florida All Star Classic.
"The game will be held on Oct. 8 at 7 p.m. ET at Florida International University, where Hall of Famer Isiah Thomas is coach. All proceeds will go toward a charity supporting the educational community of South Florida.
A number of NBA players are slated to join the Miami trio on the court, including fellow Heat teammate Mario Chalmers, the Oklahoma City Thunder's Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, the New York Knicks' Carmelo Anthony, AmareStoudemire, the New Orleans Hornets' Chris Paul, the Washington Wizards' John Wall, the Atlanta Hawks' Jamal Crawford, the Houston Rockets' Jonny Flynn, the Los Angeles Clippers' Eric Bledsoe, the Dallas Mavericks' Caron Butler, the Memphis Grizzlies' Rudy Gay, the Boston Celtics' Rajon Rondo, the Philadelphia 76ers' Lou Williams, the Golden State Warriors' Dorell Wright, and the Portland Trail Blazers' Wesley Matthews and free agent Eddy Curry.
Cleveland Cavaliers first-round picks Kyrie Irving and Tristan Thompson also are possible participants in the game.
The squads will be headlined by Brand Jordan players (Wade, Anthony, Paul) vs. Nike (James, Bosh, Durant). Comedian Kevin Hart, who has appeared in Brand Jordan commercials with Wade, is expected to coach the Jordan team, while Miami-based rap star Rick Ross is expected to coach the Nike club."
I imagine Rick Ross will take his boss-like leadership skills into the locker room pregame to get his Nike group ready hustle hard. Sorry, that was uncalled for and cheesy, I didn't really have much more to add. Sounds like it will be a pretty good game, we'll keep you posted.