It was quite a letdown to learn, after NBA owners and the NBPA spent full days negotiating on Sunday and Monday, that they had made almost zero real progress, and that the first two weeks of the season were officially cancelled. Now that we've all had a few days to let that digest, let's see where we go from here. More rhetoric, more charity games, a mediator will join labor negotiations, and Jared Dudley talks cold, hard cash.

Follow the jump for more....

Federal Mediator to Join Tuesday Negotiating Session - CBS Sports

George Cohen, Director of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (Scott Howard's former job), will mediate future negotiating sessions between the union and owners, starting this Tuesday. Cohen is an accomplished mediator, having helped the NFL resolve its labor dispute this past summer. Also on his resume:

Cohen has argued five landmark labor cases before the U.S. Supreme Court and last year helped avert a crisis in Major League Soccer's labor talks. He is a former appellate court attorney with the National Labor Relations Board, and in fact argued before then-U.S. District Judge Sonia Sotomayor on the day she issued an injunction that effectively ended the Major League Baseball strike in 1995. Cohen was the MLBPA's lead attorney in the case, and also has worked with the NBPA.

Unfortunately, Cohen has no binding authority. He can make suggestions, but that's it. Having him there can't hurt, I guess, but his role is more as a Jerry Springer-type who can ask questions and hope to keep the parties from throwing chairs at each other, when they could really use a Judge Wapner-type who could hear their complaints and make a final judgment.

More Threats from Stern - New York Times

In an interview with New York radio station WFAN, Stern said that "if we don’t make it by Tuesday, my gut — this is not in my official capacity of canceling games — but my gut is that we won’t be playing on Christmas Day." This is classic Stern. He's been making dire threats like this all along, but there's no way there will be any more than a couple of additional weeks of games canceled if Tuesday's negotiations are fruitless. 

Amare Stoudemire Says Players Will Consider Forming New League - ESPN (I recommend reading the story and muting the video unless, unlike me, you are able to listen to Skip Bayless without vomiting)

"Obviously we're trying to ... get this lockout resolved. We want to play NBA basketball. But if it doesn't happen what are we gonna do? We can't just sit around and not do anything. So we have to figure out ways to now continue to play basketball at a high level against top competition and have fun doing it. So, that's the next step," Stoudemire said Tuesday night at a Manhattan Footlocker to promote his new sneaker, the Nike Air Max Sweep Thru.

I'm in the "this is never gonna" happen camp on this one. I doubt players realize how much work has been done over the years to develop the infrastructure that supports NBA basketball. From the arenas to the team management to the coaching to the administration to the refs and rules (hate them as we might), it isn't a simple affair. If we're talking about something like the Impact tournament or the Team Philly/Team Melo game, yeah, players can organize those types of things. But a real, viable league with a charter, rules, owners, coaches, schedules, venues, etc started by players? Not gonna happen, and saying it might is either a transparent negotiation ploy or an overwhelming sense of self-importance from the players.

Kevin Durant to Host Charity Game - SI.com

The charity games figure to keep coming until a labor settlement is reached. This one will feature Kevin Durant and Blake Griffin.

Kevin Durant and Blake Griffin will play on opposing teams in an exhibition game next week at the Cox Convention Center, with LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and Chris Paul among the other NBA superstars expected to fill out the rosters.

Jared Dudley Says He Has Plenty of Money to Survive the Lockout, Thank You Very Much - Hardwood Paroxysm

Dudley has prepared himself to receive no pay for as long as the lockout should go, and hopes other players have done the same.

The fact that Dudley signed a five-year, $22.5 million extension with Phoenix, likely less than he could have received on the open market after serving as a spark plug off the bench for the Suns in 2010-2011, lends an air of credibility to his advice. Seemingly every major decision he’s made since entering the league has been with an eye toward the lockout and preparing he and his family for a prolonged work stoppage. For veterans and newcomers to the league alike to have not done the same is completely asinine.

Let's hope Dudley doesn't have to tap into his savings for too long.

Are we there yet?


The cancellation of regular season games is making me sick all over--mentally and physically. 

I can't eat; I can't drink. I feel Chicago bullimic.  I'm now allergic to milk; I'm lakratose intolerant.  I've stopped drinking orange juice and now I have maveRickets.  My throat is all constricted, like I have a piece of griztle or some paper clips stuck in it.  I cough and try to hawk something up, but I just wizle and moan, eyes bulging like a big ol' hornetoad. 

I've got facial celTics.  My stomach feels all ripped, rapt, torn like it's full of cuts and knicks. It spasms and spurts. My kidneys are full of nuggets and little stones called rock-ets. When I'm breaKing wind it sounds like thunder.

I've got heart palpitations so bad I'm going to need a pacermaker.  This lockout is giving me heatstroke and I feel so depressed it's like my bottom's been shot full of buckshot.  I feel very pist on. Any more depressed and I'll become bobCatatonic.  If I get any worse, I'll just be like one of those Cadaverliers in the morgue.

I'm developing split personalities and my psychiatrist says I'm Seventy sixerphrenic.  I told him I have paranoia and he said that's just because everyone's out to get me. He said if I believed in magic or any of that jazz, I'd probably think I had lycanthropy, or werewolfism. He called me a hypochondriac and told me to stop being such a big worrior, otherwise they'll chase me with nets and fit me for one of those long-sleeved, white blazers whose arms tie in the back.

I want the NBA to start so I can go back to just having SUNS fever!!!


NBA Lockout: The Next Steps

Stern said Monday that the league will address cancellations two weeks at a time. Don't expect some high-tension meeting like Monday's every two weeks. Instead, pushes will be made in time for major moments: to save the Christmas Day games (last week of November and first week of December are the critical times there) and to save the season in some form (early January).

From SB: Tom Ziller


parody:

def 2: a feeble or ridiculous imitation

 

Pan into a Denny's booth in Buckeye, AZ. Around the table sit Lon Babby, Alvin Gentry, and Lance Blanks. They are looking at menus despondently.



Gentry (scowling) :  "Lon, what the hell are we doing in this dump?"


Babby:  "We've begun renting out the conference rooms at US Airways for extra cash, we needed to meet somewhere else."

Gentry:  "In Buckeye? I thought they tested missiles out here."


Babby:  "Well when I was a young lad..."


Blanks (scowling): "When was that, before dirt was invented?"


Babby (continuing wistfully): "Buckeye was a boom town, with sun, sand, beaches, earth, stars, young and wondrous, like Steven Nash in his prime!!"

Gentry (to Blanks):   "You got some headphones man?"

Blanks (handing them over): Never hit up a meeting without 2 pair.



In saunters a whistling Robert Sarver, grinning from ear to ear. He attempts to sit down next to Gentry who shakes his head. Still whistling, he attempts to sit on the other end next to Babby, who is enthralled with the menu:

Babby:  "mmmmm....Grand slam breakfast, mmm, sausage and flapjacks, mmmm love the flap..."

Sarver (with raised voice):  "Lon, scoot over, huh?"

Babby (startled): "Right, right, sorry Bob."

 

Sarver sits down, clears his voice and addresses the table:



Sarver:  "OK gents, good to see you all! Hope you brought your appetites. Hey, this place is nice! Not too many swastikas or naked boobies etched in the table, too!"


A tired old limping waiter approaches the table and asks for orders.



Gentry:  "I'll take the 'Moons Over My Hammy'please and a..."

Sarver (interrupting):
  "Um, Alvin, that's a little pricey, er, could you, you know..."

Gentry (deep sigh):  "Wheat toast, no butter."

Sarver:  "Oh and happy birthday, Alvin! Everyone have you wished Alvin a happy birthday?"

Denny's Waiter (tiredly): "Sir I need to see some ID."

Sarver: "He's um, he lost it, it's gone, say what the hell! I could buy you ten times over, (well maybe only 7 or 8 times now with the economy...) what gives you the right..."

Gentry: "Bob, I'll make up the difference, just leave it alone!"

Babby (oblivious): "I'll have the senior grand slam with a side of prunes, oh and some warm prune juice with lemon. Oh and a side of prunes, too!"

Sarver:  "Alright boys, I know you have a lot of questions for me about the lockout, but before we get to them, I want to introduce someone to you. Please welcome our new team president, Brian Casper!

Blanks (taking the headphones out of his ear): "Whose the fat white guy?"

Gentry: "Isn't it Brad Casper?"

Babby (rising): "Oh Stevie, Stevie, what's become of you, you're short, fat and you cut your hair, you were my sun, my moon, and..."

Sarver(standing and extending his hand): "SIDDOWN LON, eat your prunes. Brad, Brad, Brad, have a seat my good friend."

Casper sits next to Sarver,. He has a large suitcase with him, which he immediately opens.



Casper:  "Gentlemen, thank you very much for the warm welcome, God I love Denny's, thank you Bob, Uncle Lon, good to meet you Mr. West (shaking Blanks' hand), and of course Mike D! (shaking Alvin Gentry's hand), Been tanning?...I'm a huge fan of 17 seconds or less, great excitement back in '05! That Amaray is going to be something! Wow!!! I have something for you all!

Casper proceeds to hand out little gift bags to the confused table, except for Babby, who has fallen asleep on top of a bowl of prunes.




Blanks: "What is this? Hand sanitizer? Travel size shower gel? What, you think I smell bad? Who is this punk?"

Sarver:  "Everyone, I don't think you know how lucky we are to have Bri-er , um, Brad join the team. He's run a billion dollar company into the ground and then later into the hands of a merger with a German competitor, er to great new heights, profitibility and commercialized corporate success! Oooh lookie free deoderant!"

Gentry:  "So Brad, what do you think is the most glaring weakness in the organization?"

Casper: (Rubbing sanitizer through his hair) "Michael, I'm glad you asked me that question. As I said to Bob on his jet as we were coming back from Aruba, it's all about brand recognition these days. The Suns are on the bottom shelf at the NBA-Mart. We need to get them on the top shelf again, the team you see at eye level, so you buy it without thinking and pay more, it's all about product placement-eye level, you get me?"

Sarver (interrupting):  "Hear that? PAY MORE! This guy's great"

Gentry (rubbing his forehead):
  "I, I, what are you talking about? I meant players, the role of ownership and front office, thoughts on the draft, securing new young talent, transitioning from a lottery team back up to division or conference champions! How are you going to run this ship, Brian, Brad, whatever the hell they call you?"

Blanks: "Yeah, what are you gonna do? Wait a minute. Aren't I GM? Can't I? (looks over at the snoring Babby) Oh wait, nevermind."

Puzzled looks all around


Sarver:
  "Have you guys seen those Dial Dancing Dads?! You came up with that, right Brian? Hilarious! Fat, ugly, middle aged men dancing for the masses, now that's creativity, Mike er, Alvin! Did I tell you, Dial is a billion dollar multinational conglomerate that makes the masses smell April fresh?!"

Silence and confusion around the table.



Gentry: "Nevermind that Robert, what about the lockout? Will there be a season? When can we play?"

Blanks:  "Yeah, Bob, I got some ideas for the 2 guard, are you guys ever going to make a deal?"

Denny's Server:  "What about the fans, Sarver?! You're pissing away 40 years of love for the Suns! Why would you do it?"

Sarver eyes Casper. Casper nods approval.


Casper: "Sir, can I interest you in some dial hygiene products?"

Denny's Server: "Wow! Can I use the sanitizer as hair gel? Hey wait a minute!"

Sarver (stands and breaks into a sprint to the door): "EAT AND RUN, EAT AND RUN, EVERY MAN FOR HIMSELF, HAHAHAHAHAHAA!!!!!!!!!!!!"

 

Jumps into the back of a limo and flees in the direction of San Diego.



FADE TO BLACK


PHOENIX — As has been feared for months, NBA commissioner David Stern cancelled the first two weeks of the NBA season on Monday, citing a significant gulf “on virtually all issues,”...

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