Sep 082011

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Talks Resume but N.B.A. Keeps Quiet

September 8 New York Times

If progress can be measured in hours spent in conference rooms, then the N.B.A. lockout would appear to be moving — slowly, methodically — toward some sort of conclusion. But no one sitting in those conference rooms is willing to confirm or refute that premise, at least publicly.  Negotiators for the league and the players union spent five and a half hours in bargaining talks in Manhattan on Wednesday, which followed a six-hour session last week. The sides are scheduled to resume talks Thursday, and will meet again Friday if warranted.

Labor talks to continue Thursday, maybe Friday

September 8

Momentum is not the same thing as progress, so it wouldn’t be right to assume too much from the willingness of both sides in the NBA labor dispute to meet on two, maybe three consecutive days this week. Then again, more frequent negotiations would seem to be a better thing in hammering out a new collective bargaining agreement than the infrequent sessions — two, total — the owners and players held in July and August.

Agents pushing for clear union strategy

September 8 Yahoo! Sports

After listening to Players Association executive director Billy Hunter and the executive committee players at an informational meeting in Los Angeles in August, witnesses described agent Bill Duffy probing union officials on labor talks with the NBA. Duffy was rational and reasoned, asking tough, fair questions, witnesses said. Only, the answers weren’t clear to Duffy, nor many of the agents in the conference room at the Beverly Hilton.

Lockout Update: Checks totaling $161 million being paid to players by NBA

September 8

Any day now, Kobe Bryant will receive a check in the mail for $1,984,400, courtesy of the NBA.  Rashard Lewis’ check is for $1,565,817. Even oversized and overpaid Eddy Curry, whose name has come up in lockout talks as the symbol of what is fundamentally wrong with the NBA’s salary structure, is getting another windfall: $927,746.

Hush-hush labor meeting means there might be progress

September 8

A month from now, when the NBA either will be killing a portion of the 2011-12 season or basking in the glow of training camps, we’ll be able to look back on Sept. 7 as a significant date one way or another.  Either the strange, secretive vibe that permeated the lobby of a midtown hotel — another new venue for the talks, not divulged to reporters — was created to camouflage progress or was little more than a false positive on the litmus test for hope.

NBA wants 3rd round in draft

September 7

After an overnight flight connecting through Helsinki, Finland, I bumped into a scout for the Denver Nuggets near the tourist information booth at the quaint little airport here where the second round of EuroBasket is taking place.  Whether he knows it or not, he may be here scouting future third-round draft picks.  That’s right: Third round.

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