This summer ESPN’s NBA editors undertook a project to rank every player in the NBA, a process that involved 91 experts including members of the TrueHoop Network. Then one by one from 500 down...

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Knock knock

Who's there?

The CBA talks.

Jesus Christ! You're still there?! I thought you were finished about four months ago.

Nah, still going.

So what do you want?

To be discussed.

Yeah...that's..uh..that's not gonna happen.


Well it will but only for about 8 hours a week and in the meantime, we're gonna cancel a bunch of games.

Oh right, well cheers for that.

Glad you appreciate it because the fans don't.

The who?


*(To save yourself some hassle, skip to the bottom of the post for the result of the lockout talks to date) 


That joke, right there, is exactly how I feel these CBA talks have gone.  They've dragged on when they should have finished months ago, there's no definite point to the progress made and they aren't funny.


Any yet Stern and Billy Hunter still can't manage to sit down for longer than XFactor is on during the week, in order to sort it out.


Good news though - while they are still being A class tools and posturing, posing and talking loudly, they're still providing soundbites, the most recent of which has come via the radio.


Hunter on WFAN


Billy talks about the following:


How the owners are looking to roll it back to 37% over an eight year period, Stern the prophet, the gap of 6% between 47 and 53 and how it closed but then instantly opened right back up again, guaranteed contracts and the player's feelings on it, his feelings on the result of a lost season and playing hardball.


Stern stated that continuing to meet up with the players and Billy Hunter was essentially pointless unless something changes...and soon.  He has quoted Tuesday as being a pretty important day but how definite that day is, is anybody's guess. All of that can be found here.


So, to recap - there is still no NBA season.


Feel free to carry on with your day.

Blow it up and start over!

We have enough basketball with college “Road to the Final Four” and the international competitions. Let those who want to be pro start their own league and pay their own bills. They can do the advertising and build the arenas or lease them. In the end the players and fans will get a fair return on the product.

The owners should take their money and put it into productive projects that hire more Americans. There are only a handful of great players in the U.S. The huge sums of money would be better used if spread around to millions of workers instead of a few high priced participants that produce nothing but their own celebrity.

This is a totally unneccessary industry.

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 -

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!!!

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