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NBA AM: Labor Talks Resume Friday
Posted By Lang Greene On July 20, 2011 @ 11:25 am In All,Main Page,NBA | No Comments
Representatives from the NBA and the players union are scheduled to hold talks regarding the current labor issues.
The meeting will take place roughly three weeks since the league imposed a lockout after failing to negotiate a new collective bargaining agreement.
It is important to note that the meetings will mark the first face-to-face negotiations since the lockout began on July 1.
The heart of the issue is how the owners and players should split the financials from a league which reportedly generated over $4 billion in revenues last season.
Those hoping for significant ground to be broken during these discussions should consider that the meeting, which will be held in New York at the league office, won’t include team owners, NBA commissioner David Stern, members of the NBA Players Association’s executive committee and executive director Billy Hunter.
The highest ranking officials in the session will likely be deputy commissioner Adam Silver and Ron Klempner who serves as the associate general counsel for the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA).
The discussions Friday are expected to center around smaller items such as how the new salary cap should be structured.
The owners previously submitted a ten year proposal to the players in late June, but Hunter stated both sides were more than $5 billion apart at the time.
Formal discussions involving commissioner Stern, league owners and the NBPA executive committee aren’t expected to occur until early August according to a report by Ken Berger for CBS Sports.
But there is a glimmer of hope in the potential timing of the next round of formal negotiations amongst the power brokers.
Well, at least in the hopes a full season won’t be lost because of a lack of compromise.
The last league lockout took place in 1998 and when both sides failed to come to an agreement the league shortened the 1999 season from 82 contests to 50.
However, at that time it took 37 days for both sides to come back to the negotiating table after the lockout was imposed.
At least from a pacing standpoint, both sides are moving at a similar speed when analyzing past precedents.
Can Woodson Save The Timberwolves? According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, former Atlanta Hawks head coach Mike Woodson is the latest candidate to interview for the Timberwolves’ head coaching job.
Woodson wasn’t extended after six seasons in Atlanta which saw him guide the franchise from 13 wins upon his arrival to 53 victories in his last campaign with the club in 2010.
Woodson’s career coaching record of 206-286 in the regular season (11-18 playoffs) won’t immediately grab your attention, but what can’t be denied is his proven ability to lead a team from the rebuilding phase back to the postseason.
From 2005-2010 the Hawks won 13, 26, 30, 37, 47, and 53 contests and reached the playoffs under Woodson from 2008-2010.
The Timberwolves fired Kurt Rambis last week after he amassed a woeful 56-145 record at the helm. It is reported that Rambis and general manager David Kahn’s relationship had been strained in recent times.
A potential Woodson hire would seemingly differ from Kahn’s desire to field an up tempo fast paced squad on the floor moving forward.
If Woodson has a fast break offensive arsenal in his toolkit it didn’t show much in Atlanta where he established himself as more of a defensive oriented coach.
In fact it is believed that a lack of offensive diversity contributed to his departure from the Hawks and a new offensive system for Atlanta was the first thing implemented by his replacement and longtime assistant coach Larry Drew last season.
Woodson is also reportedly a strong candidate for the Detroit Pistons’ vacancy at head coach.
Minnesota started the interview process by discussing their opening with retired guard Terry Porter who had coaching stints with Milwaukee and Phoenix (99-116 record / 1-4 playoffs).
Evan Turner – Breakthrough Candidate? In the lead up to the 2010 draft Evan Turner didn’t hide the fact he believed he should be the event’s No. 1 overall selection.
Unfortunately, Turner didn’t get his wish as the Washington Wizards selected John Wall to lead their franchise out of the league cellar with the No. 1 overall pick.
Turner was selected No. 2 by Philadelphia.
On the surface it appears Washington made the right choice by a wide margin.
Wall averaged 16.4 points and 8.3 assists per game in his first season and was named to the All-Rookie first team.
Turner on the other hand struggled to live up to the hype as a rookie averaging just 7.2 points and 3.9 rebounds on 42 percent shooting from the floor. He also wasn’t named to any of the All-Rookie teams.
But Turner is using the lockout to fine tune his game and believes he has a cure for his struggles as a rookie – refining his shooting stroke.
To do that Turner has enlisted soon to be inducted Hall of Famer Herb Magee’s help.
“My whole college career and high school career I shot 50 percent,” Turner told CSN Philly’s Dei Lynam after his hour-and-a-half shooting session with Magee. “This was the first real bad year where I ever shot below 50 percent. I don’t know how hard it is to shoot 50 percent in the NBA, but I felt there were a lot of shots I took that I didn’t make that could have gone in with little tweaks.
Magee, who has won over 900 games at Philadelphia University over the past 44 years, believes Turner has it in him to turn it around offensively.
“He is a good shooter, actually a very good shooter,” Magee commented. “We go 15 feet, we go off the dribble, we go foul line and he is very effective. His problem is when he steps back to three his guide hand is in the way, so we have been working on it from the vantage point of shooting the 15-, 16-footer the same way we shoot the 22.9 shot.”
Philadelphia made the playoffs this season, the first under head coach Doug Collins, and figure to remain one of the young teams on the rise in the league.
To accomplish that Turner will have to take and excel in a larger role in the rotation alongside emerging point guard Jrue Holiday.
In fact, Collins was the person who suggested Turner use the summer to tweak his shooting stroke.
“Coach Collins brought it up and then he called my agent,” Turner said. “He said I don’t know if Evan has met with anybody but I kind of would like him to meet with someone. My agent (David Falk) said I think it would be great to go see Herb because he is a shooting coach, as opposed to going to someone who is a good shooter. He actually knows how to build a form.”
For now, Turner’s focus is more about rediscovering the basics and a potential breakout season.
“I just want to shoot a great percentage and have confidence from my teammates and my coaches that I can make shots,” Turner said. “There are tons of little things that you don’t even think about. You know how they say the fundamentals have been taken out of the game, the little things like holding your follow through and how to hold the ball right. Stuff like that is great.”
Warriors Hire Celtics Assistant: According to Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe, the Golden State Warriors have reached an agreement in principle to hire current Celtics assistant coach Darren Erman.
Erman is expected to develop scouting reports and work out players for the Warriors under the direction of new head coach Mark Jackson.
While the Celtics will return Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Ray Allen and Rajon Rondo, head coach Doc Rivers’ coaching staff could be undergoing more changes.
Leading defensive assistant coach Lawrence Frank is one of the finalists for the head coaching job in Detroit.
Rivers also lost Tom Thibodeau, the 2011 Coach of the Year who took the head coaching job with Chicago, from his staff after the 2010 season.
Roster turnover of players via trade or free agency will continue to receive the lion’s share of the headlines, but championship teams also need consistency from their bench leadership.
Time will tell how much of an impact to Rivers’ defections will have on the squad.
Or it’s quite possible that the experience of the vets won’t make any of this an issue.
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