Tag:2011 All-Star Weekend
Posted on: February 19, 2011 9:20 pm
Edited on: February 19, 2011 10:33 pm
 

NBA Commissioner David Stern All-Star comments

NBA commissioner David Stern addressed the media in a press conference on Saturday at NBA All-Star Weekend. Posted by Ben Golliver.
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NBA commissioner David Stern lauded the current health of his league on Saturday at All-Star Weekend and spoke positively of developments in collective bargaining agreement negotations between the league and the players union, but acknowledged that there is still significant work that needs to be done.

"My lead is, the game is in great shape. It's never been better," Stern said. "I think it's fair to say that we and the players have each made proposals to the other. We have each expressed to the other our dissatisfication with each other's proposals. And at yesterday's meeting, I think in a very positive vein, we each agreed, the union and the teams agreed that you know everything was available to be discussed, and that we would set up a series of meetings and discuss away so that by the time the agreement currently in effect expires on June 30th, we will hopefully be able to assure our fans that we did all we could possibly do to have a replacement agrement in effect, and that's our intention, to work as hard as possible to cause that to occur."

Stern said that "hopefully" a work stoppage could be avoided but that "it's possible" one will occur.

Later, Stern was asked to compare the distance between the owners and players during this negotiation to the labor negotiation in 1999, which ended in a lockout and partial work stoppage. "We had a huge gap back then and we have a huge gap now. But you work hard to close it. And I think we have the capacity to do it."

Multiple times, Stern noted that his goal is a league with better competitive balance. "We want a sustainable business model that enables 30 teams to be able to compete for a championship that fairly compensates our union members who are currently the best-paid union members in the world, and after the agreement that we hope to consummate, they will remain the best-paid union members in the world in a league that is more competitive and hopefully profitable."

Stern was asked whether he would reduce his salary to $1 if the two sides could not reach a labor agreement, as NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has pledged recently. Stern said: "Last time, I ddin't take any salary. I think a dollar would be too high in the event of a work stoppage."

Here's a summary of the key talking points presented during the question and answer portion of Stern's remarks.
  • Nature of labor negotiations: Stern said that the two sides have reached a consensus that Stern and players association president Billy Hunter fully understand where each other are coming from. "IF the owners asked Billy to represent us, he could do it; and if the players asked me to represent them, I could do it."
  • Progress of labor talks:  Stern noted that the union "agreed to talk about some things that they said were nonnegotiable" and that both sides agreed during Friday's meeting that they were "willing to talk about everything."
  • Agreement on losses: Stern said that the players union now generally agrees on the financial losses presented by the league's owners. "There's no disagreement about the numbers. There's a little intramural disagreement about certain items." Those items include interest and amortization. Union president Billy Hunter issued the following statement on Saturday night following the press conference's conclusion. "There has been ongoing debate and disageement regarding the numbers, and we do not agree that the stated loss figures reflect an accurate portrayal of the financial health of the league."
  • Revenue sharing: Stern said he expects a "robust revenue sharing plan" to emerge "at the same time as we make a new Collective Bargaining Agreement." He noted that "our teams are in broad general agreement that there has to be more robust revenue sharing."
  • Stars teaming up in big markets: Stern said re-iterated his goal to create a business model that would support all 30 teams being able to compete for a title. Stern said that teams shouldn't have to spend into the luxury tax to compete for a title in the new system. "We don't think your ability to pay taxes to have a roster should be a part of the competitive landscape."
  • Franchise tag: Stern said that it "wouldn't surprise" him if a franchise player designation, which would help keep star players in their original market, emerges during CBA negotiations but that "it has not yet been put on the table."
  • Contraction: Stern said that contraction, or eliminating current franchises to improve the financial state of the league as a whole, was "not currently on the table." However, he said a push for contraction is popular among a portion of the league's owners. "That sentiment is out there. It's not a majority sentiment."
  • Expansion: Asked if there would be additional teams added to the league, Stern said: "There is not going to be expansion at this time or frankly in the foreseeable future."
  • Donaghy Scandal: Stern was asked to discuss the latest revelations regarding disgraced referee Tim Donaghy, which raise the question of whether Donaghy fixed games. Stern said the league would continue to review any new allegations but didn't have any new information to discuss this weekend.
  • Sacramento Kings: Stern said the league would continue to allow the Kings to determine their future after the league's attempts to help the team secure a new building did not result as hoped.
  • New Orleans:  Stern said the NBA and the New Orleans Hornets are "doing very well with the expressed and real support that Mayor Landrieu and Governor Jindal are giving us ... and we expect it to propel the club to success." Stern said he felt confident in the team's future in New Orleans.
  • Detroit Pistons sale: Stern said he would meet with prospective buyer Tom Gores and that he expected a resolution to the ongoing negotiation "within the next week." He also noted that "every indication is that there will be a deal."
  • Kansas City : Stern said there has been "some dialogue" about using AEG's NBA-ready stadium in Kansas City but that "there doesn't seem to be an ownership group for that city."
Posted on: February 19, 2011 4:26 pm
Edited on: February 19, 2011 4:29 pm
 

NBA All-Star Saturday: Griffin, Bosh, Allen video

A few video clips from NBA All-Star Saturday including Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin, Miami Heat forward Chris Bosh and Boston Celtics guard Ray Allen. Posted by Ben Golliver.

In one of the funniest moments from NBA All-Star Saturday, Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin was asked to shout out "Republica Deportiva." Griffin's stunned, confused reaction is priceless, but he got through it like a pro.



Miami Heat forward Chris Bosh said this year's All-Star weekend is different from previous years when he was a member of the Toronto Raptors. "It’s different, I mean, I’m used to not seeing anybody from my team and now it's like, 'Hey man, what's going on?'"



Miami Heat forward Chris Bosh said he's rooting for his former Toronto Raptors teammate, DeMar DeRozan, to win the NBA Slam Dunk Contest and says that DeRozan, who hails from Compton, should have the home court advantage, even over Griffin.




Boston Celtics guard Ray Allen, the NBA's All-Time three-point leader, dodges a question about which All-Stars have the best and worst shooting form but does compare shooting forms to ice cream.


Posted on: February 19, 2011 1:30 am
Edited on: February 19, 2011 1:37 am
 

NBA All-Star Friday pics and quips

The 2011 NBA All-Star teams addressed the media on Friday. Here's a photo gallary and round up of the best quotes. Posted by Ben Golliver.

The 2011 NBA All-Stars met with a giant group of media members at the Marriott Hotel near Staples Center on Friday, in advance of Sunday's All-Star Game. Here's a photo gallery of the biggest names plus a round up of some of their best quotes.

Miami Heat forward LeBron James on his pick for the Slam Dunk contest: "(Griffin's) explosiveness is higher than mine's ever been," James said. As quoted by NBA Fanhouse.
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Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant on calling Miami Heat forward Chris Bosh a "fake tough guy": "“I don’t regret it at all,” Durant told NBA.com. “I said it. I knew what I was doing. Nobody influenced me to say it. I knew what I was doing. At the same time, I’m not the type of person that lets emotions get to me. I was so upset about the loss. I wanted to win that game so bad."

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Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin on receiving a bounce pass alley oop from Washington Wizards point guard John Wall: "…That [bounce] pass was crazy. I thought Steph Curry could have swiped at it. But I was glad he let it go." As quoted by the LA Times.

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Boston Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo: I'm not sure Rondo actually said anything during his media interview, as he had this same look on his face the entire time I watched him, even when the questions were in English. 

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Miami Heat forward Chris Bosh on taking a break this weekend from the fierce rivalry with the Boston Celtics: "You don’t want to be on edge all the time,” Bosh said. “You want to have time to relax. You don’t want to feel like you’re in competition with somebody every time you see them, especially when it’s supposed to be a break." As quoted by the Palm Beach Post.

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Boston Celtics guard Ray Allen on entering the three-point competition against teammate Paul Pierce: “If you ask Paul, he’ll tell you that I won it was 10 years ago and everything’s changed,’’ said Allen. “(He’ll say that) I’m the dinosaur in the game, so I don’t stand a chance. I don’t know the formula now because he won last year. It’s just shooting. The formula is to settle in during the week and make sure you’re not too tired or overwhelmed or exhausted so when you get to that, your body is in a good place.’’ As quoted by PatriotLedger.com.

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Orlando Magic Center Dwight Howard on what he would do during a lockout: "“I’ll be a pizza delivery man,” he said. “I think I’d be good at that job. Just call me and I’ll bring the pizzas to your house. Or the pool guy. Most people like pool guys.” As quoted by the L.A. Times and asked by The Basketball Jones.

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San Antonio Spurs power forward Tim Duncan on his disappointment that his teammate Tony Parker was left off the All-Star team: "I wish Tony could be here. He deserves to be here, he’s had an excellent year so far. I think if he can grow a couple of inches the next couple of days, I’d trade [spots] with him."

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Posted on: February 18, 2011 10:38 pm
Edited on: February 19, 2011 1:46 pm
 

Video: John Wall bounce pass oop to Blake Griffin

Posted by Royce Young

LOS ANGELES -- For the most part, the Rookie Challenge was what we expected. The worst defense in the history of everything, lots of dunking, some dumb turnovers and mostly, boring.

But this John Wall bounce pass alley-oop to Blake Griffin made it all worth it. Oh my goodness, did it make it all worth it.


Posted on: February 18, 2011 7:14 pm
Edited on: February 18, 2011 7:25 pm
 

All-Star Notebook: Bosh talks about Durant

Posted by Royce Young



LOS ANGELES -- A few interesting items and quotes I picked up from the mad rush that is All-Star media availability:
  • Dirk Nowitzki talked a little about the potential of playing overseas if there is a lockout. He said, "Everything's open now." He mentioned his age and how he couldn't afford to take a full year off. So while he'd have to negotiate being released from his Mavericks contract and risk having it voided if he was injured, Dirk at least sounds like he's ready and willing to consider playing in Europe. Said Nowitzki:"Right now it seems like both sides are pretty far apart but things could change in a meeting or over time. We'll just have to wait and see."
  • Blake Griffin media swarm rivaled that of anyone not named Carmelo or Kobe. Reporters piled in around the Clipper rookie as if he was as household a name as any other superstar in the room. He was asked about a lot of things, but when asked about his friend Wilson Holloway that passed away this past weekend, Griffin's eyes watered as he said, "He's just one of those guys that was always positive and always a great guy. To see him go through what he did and always keep smiling and stay positive was an inspiration to a lot of people."
  • Also of note: Griffin talked about the dunk contest quite a bit and while he wouldn't reveal anything specific, he said he has one dunk that he feels pretty good about, saying that no one has ever seen that one. He also said he'll be employing Baron Davis for a little help and that they practiced the dunk Thursday night and that he was "surprised at how well it went."
  • Kevin Durant started a lot of chatter after he called Miami forward Chris Bosh a "fake tough guy" a couple weeks ago. I asked Bosh if it's been awkward seeing Durant this weekend and Bosh joked about the two getting together for an NBA Cares event. "His comments after a game, I've made bad comments after a game before. Or I've made comments that I wanted to take back or just something that I felt very strongly about and just said it the wrong way. Sometimes after a game, especially a close one, it can be the wrong time to ask a guy something like that but it's the nature of the business."
  • James Harden who is town replacing Tyreke Evans in the Rookie Challenge makes it four Thunder players participating in All-Star Weekend. And with Durant in the 3-point contest, Russell Westbrook in the Skill Competition, Serge Ibaka in the dunk contest plus Ibaka and Harden in the Rookie game with Westbrook and Durant in the All-Star Game, someone from OKC is in every event. "Thunder up, Thunder up," Harden said. "That was the whole objective, that was key. We didn't really worry about the individual statistics because we're all a family over there but it's great to be rewarded for your accomplishments so I'm excited for everyone to be here. As for a Thunder sweep? "That would be a good look," Harden said. "We could go back to our city with something to carry home."
Posted on: February 18, 2011 7:04 pm
Edited on: February 18, 2011 7:17 pm
 

Standout sophs deal with injuries, adjustments

The top three candidates for the NBA's 2010 Rookie of the Year have all struggled with injuries and adjustments in their second season. Posted by Ben Golliver. 
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LOS ANGELES – Sacramento Kings guard Tyreke Evans, Milwaukee Bucks guard Brandon Jennings and Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry all enjoyed charmed rookie seasons, each providing highlight-reel material and consistent production to make a competitive run at last season’s Rookie of the Year honor. The second time through the NBA's season-long obstacle course hasn't been smooth sailing for any of them, however. Evans has been limited by plantar fasciitis, Jennings had surgery on his foot and Curry has battled persistent and painful ankle problems.

"A lot of guys have had a lot of injuries," Evans said after the Sophomore team's morning practice on Friday, in advance of Friday night's Rookie/Sophomore challenge. "Hopefully we'll get them out of the way now, be ready for next year."

Evans' foot pain is forcing him to miss the Rookie/Sophomore challenge. "I know it ain't 100 percent, it's hurting me kinda bad, so I want to see the doctor and see what he says," Evans said. Similarly, Jennings was scheduled to compete in the Slam Dunk contest but pulled out to avoid putting any unnecessary wear on his healing foot.

The injuries have been just the beginning of the challenges facing this year's sophomores. All three have watched their teams struggle to below .500 records at the break and all three have had to deal with defenses that are more focused on stopping them individually and roughing them up.

"It's totally different than your first year," Jennings said. "[During your rookie year], a lot of coaches don't know you, they don't know your game. Everything is totally different. It's an adjustment you have to make. [This year,] they play me tougher, they're showing on the pick and rolls, they're more physical, they force me to my right more."

Confronting new and improved defensive schemes, while also working his way back into form, is doubly challenging. "The injury has been a mental thing, I've got to put it back together, get back to a winning mentality."

The mental adjustments have been a focus for Curry as well. "It's more of a cerebral game this year," Curry said. "You have to sit back and prepare and approach it a different way."

His biggest adjustment has been getting comfortable with a new-look Warriors lineup that includes forward David Lee and big man Ekpe Udoh. "It's just about seeing the floor and managing the game better. I had new teammates that had to get to know and learn, and where they wanted the ball, how to play with them. As a point guard, that's your first job, to get everybody involved in the game. That's something that I've really had to study film, study the flow of the game, make sure we're getting the shot that we want."

Curry noted that, despite the injuries, he's more accustomed to the physical pounding the second time around. "Last year was worse. Coming in, most of the initial attacks from the opponents were taking me or Monta [Ellis] into the post to try to exploit that. We hold our own now, we don't really give up too much space and ground in that situation."

The Sophomore team's coach, Boston Celtics assistant Lawrence Frank, called the trio's struggles with injuries "purely coincidental" and said things could be a lot worse. "The summer between your first and second year as an NBA player is your hardest summer, that's a dangerous summer, especially if you've had success your first year. You feel a little puffy about yourself. You feel like you've arrived. But you realize, now you're on everyone's radar. They're gunning for you. They're coming after you."

Frank's message to Evans, Jennings, Curry and the sophomore group: this is just another step on a path of continual improvement and the target on their backs is only going to get bigger. "You've got to get better. If you stay the same, you've gotten worse."


Posted on: February 18, 2011 6:24 pm
Edited on: February 19, 2011 2:53 am
 

For a weekend, the Kentucky trio reunites

Posted by Royce Young



LOS ANGELES -- It wasn't a coincidence that DeMarcus Cousins, John Wall and Eric Bledsoe all sat within arm's length of each other during media availability following their Rookie Challenge practice. The three have been separated for a few months, but if just for a weekend, it's like the good old days in Lexington.

"It's great for us to all be on the floor again together," John Wall said. "It's probably for the last time too unless something happens in the future with some trades or something. So it's cool."

The Kentucky supertrio all went separate ways with Wall staying east with the Wizards, with Cousins and Bledsoe stretching out west to Sacramento and Los Angeles.

It was a historic draft night for the Wildcats, with the three players all going in the first round. Wall was taken first overall, Cousins fifth and Bledsoe 18th.

Their rookie seasons have all been similar, but in different ways. All three are on struggling teams that are working to rebuild. All three have had some serious ups and down. Wall has battled some injuries, Bledsoe is getting used to playing as a backup behind Baron Davis and Cousins, well, he's had his own stuff to deal with.

Cousins has had a few incidents early in the season but caught a lot of attention with a locker room scuffle with teammate Donte Greene. But for the 20 minutes he sat next to Bledsoe and Wall, he looked to be right at home. He actually ignored questions at times because he was too busy messing with Bledsoe. When one photographer wanted a picture of Bledsoe and Cousins together, Cousins grabbed his former Wildcat teammate and pulled him over. Never mind that Bledsoe was in the middle of answering a question.

I talked to Cousins following the Kings loss in Oklahoma City which was his first game back after being ruled inactive because of the locker room incident. Of course the Kings had just lost, but Cousins overall mood was night and day different sitting next to Wall and Bledsoe. Whatever it is, you just can't substitute that camaraderie developed playing for a school. 

The three have been together so far the entire stay in Los Angeles, Bledsoe said. They try and stay in touch as much as possible, but it's been a challenge because, you know, they're busy. Bledsoe said they still communicate with John Calipari some, exchanging texts here and there. But for the most part, the three have been separated by the NBA.

They were prepared for it because when they all joined up for that one season in Kentucky, they had this vision. They knew they'd get one crack at playing together before they all went on to try bigger and better things. But a serious bond was formed for the three as they wound their way through the SEC and made a good run in the NCAA tournament. And to be back again, sitting together answering questions, even if just for a little while, was nice.

"It's a great memory," Bledsoe said. "Everybody's reminiscing. Just coming in and seeing how each other's doing, telling old jokes. It's been pretty fun."

Posted on: February 18, 2011 5:10 pm
Edited on: February 19, 2011 12:00 am
 

Melo: 'I'm ready for this whole thing to be over'

Carmelo Anthony speaks at All-Star media availability, and affirms no meetings scheduled with Nets or Knicks. Melo says he's "ready for this whole thing to be over."
Posted by Matt Moore

In front of one of the largest media assemblies at All-Star Media availability, Carmelo Anthony faced the throng to speak about his current situation, while rumors fly as heavy as any in recent memory. Ken Berger of CBSSports.com was there to capture Melo's quotes in our live feed

As he played the verbal tango with the media, Anthony made one thing clear: he's tired of all this. ""There's some things that I'm still thinking about in the back of my head. I'm ready for this whole thing to be over with," Melo said, as he reasserted that he had not scheduled meetings with either the Nets' or Knicks' representatives. His frustration with the situation was evident behind his usual (this season, anyway) cool, collected demeanor. "I'm mindboggled right now about this whole situation," he said. "I just want to get this thing over with right now. I wish there was just something, a legit offer on the table and the Nuggets can say, 'Let’s get it done.'"

He did say however that an extension with the Nets, the matter which is reportedly holding a nine-player deal in pending , is not off the table. ""That's something I'm going to have to think about," but he noted "there are a lot of things that come into play when dealing with that. The superstar was very clear that he wasn't going to get boxed into any decision, and that staying in Denver is still a possibility.

"I've told you guys this since day one, that's still an option," Melo said in regards to the possibility that he would re-sign with Denver. He reasserted that he's said that continuously since the summer, while of course omitting that he's also turned down the opportunity to sign that extension since July. However, he did say he hadn't talked with Denver in months about that possiblity. "I haven't had that conversation since November or December, it doesn't surprise me. It just tells me what they’re trying to do, obviously they're trying to get younger and save money over there. At the end of the day, it’s a business so they’ve got to make a business decision. And I've got to look at it as my career and as a business decision."
"I can't really sit here and say I want to go here or I want to go there," Melo said on his preference between New York and New Jersey, remaining coy while admitting that he was "pretty sure" the Nuggets were negotiating with N.J., giving a little weight to the reports of the past day while still feigning ignorance. Melo did say he was examining the possibility of being traded without an extension. "It’s a lot of situations that I look at. If the Nuggets came to me and said, 'This is a deal that we have, this is another deal that we have', I would have to look into that if my option is not to sign."

But the idea of being a "rental" as Melo referred to it, should he be traded without an extension, does not appeal to him. "Unless they’re trying to get car services and want to rent a car. I really don’t want to have to be a rental. I don’t feel like I'm a rental player. I don’t want to go somewhere and be a rental for two months and then have to deal with this all over again. I dont want to go there."

For all the talk that Melo is the one who can control his destiny, he says that Denver has just as much control over where he ends up. While he can tell the Nuggets where he wants to go, Anthony says it's still their job to figure out what's best for them. "They have to do what’s best for them and their organization, too. So at the end of the day, they can say, forget it, we have to take care of our organization, Melo. He did what he had to do here for eight years, but we have to do what we have to do, too."

Anthony said that the Knicks have a different situation from the Nuggets, because in Melo's mind, the Nuggets are looking to rebuild, while the Knicks are already ready to win. "Far as building, which the Nuggets are trying to obviously do in their near future they’re trying to start all over and build up – and don’t try to flip it on me – but New York already has something there. I think the city is looking forward to briging back great basketball and they’re looking forward to that. So if that’s my destination then that’s something that I can bring to that city."


So if Melo's so big on New York, what would he be looking for in a meeting with Knicks' owner James Dolan? "Just something that I want to look in Mr. Dolan’s eyes and see if he’s really interested in me coming to New York or see if Mr. Prokhorov is interested in me coming to Jersey. Whoever I deal with I want to have a sitdoown with. That’s just proper etiquitte."

Anthony made clear that New York and New Jersey aren't the only options, however. "I don’t think they're the only two teams that I can sit here and say, "Yo, I definitely want to be on those teams or nobody else." The Nuggets have to weigh their options. If it’s a deal with somebody else that’s legit then we all have to sit down and hash that out and talk about it. But time is ticking, man, and time is money."

The most revealing quote from Anthony was that he wanted to see a "legit" offer by the end of the weekend. He's through sitting back and being accepting of what has been happening. "Before I leave here I would love to have something on the table. I would love to have an offer, a legit offer on the table where they can sit down with me and say, 'Melo, this is what we have. Let’s try to figure it out.' But as of late there’s been a lot of things that have been going on in the media, deals in the media that haven't been legit."

"I would love to have something happen this weekend. I would love to have a legit offer to sit down and figure it out."

After six months, this thing may finally be coming to an end. At least Anthony understands the media and fans are tired of it as well.

"This has been  a long process for me, for my family, just for everybody, I'm pretty sure it’s been a long process for you guys too, to have to wake up in the morning and deal with the Melodrama."

Maybe this weekend is the breaking point for all this nonsense to end. 
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com