With a six hour meeting on Wednesday, and another scheduled for today (Sept. 8th) and potentially Friday, Sept. 9th - does this mean we are seeing some daylight in the NBA Civil War? And might we be having a Denver Nuggets season after-all? In a word - maybe!
As mentioned, the NBA and the NBA Players Union (NBAPA) met for six hours in New York yesterday, and again, nothing was said after the meeting. In labor negotiation logic, this is a very good thing. Usually, when people come out talking after a meeting it's filled with invective accusations and general ill will and I'm not talking about Wilson Chandler. Or in other words, they leave the meeting looking meaner than two fat guys wrestling over pork chops and greens, can you dig it? (check the 2:28 mark of the clip)
It's hard to tell, but the tone and tenor of these meetings has dramatically changed from the meeting on August 1st where a grim faced David Stern emerged to tell the assembled throngs how disappointed he was and whatnot. Everyone who has been following the lockout closely (yours truly included) has been expecting this to drag out into the season, or perhaps even longer. While this may still occur, everyone should be encouraged that the sides seem to be shutting up and getting down to business. Nothing but good can come from this regardless of how long this takes.
I believe this means that we may see a full season. Please, don't take that to the bank. Yet, it's always good when the two sides shut up publicly and get to talking privately. More than that, the rapid inclusion of future meetings is also a better sign. A sense of urgency is what you like to see in labor negotiations and I like what I'm seeing. Stop the hyperbole and just get to the nitty gritty.
Below, I will link to various articles regarding yesterday's developments and add my own commentary, including my take on a certain NBA reporter who seems to have lost his way. Keep in mind there are more meetings planned, so keep checking back with Denver Stiffs for more information as it becomes available.
Hush-hush labor meeting means there might be progress - Ken Berger, CBSSports.com
Ken Berger continues his good work covering the NBA Lockout. In this column he talks about how the silence of these recent meetings mean there might be progress to be had in the negotiations. Including the strange story of Roger Mason Jr. and his disappearing tweet which espoused "Looking like a season. How u". The tweet was quickly deleted and then Mason used the infamous excuse his account was hacked. The likely intent of Mason's tweet was that it was a direct message that he accidentally sent out as a tweet. It happens a lot with these "smart" phones (think Representative Weiner), but it may say more than any silenced meeting could.
Progress made in latest meeting, but Hunter's fate rests on a solution - Sam Amick, SI.com
The always reliable Sam Amick of SI.com talks about the latest meetings, and also includes some information about a divide between agents and the NBAPA (more on that below). There's a general air of optimism about the talks that hasn't been there before, and it's nice to see some good news to report for a change. However, Amick makes a curious reference to a heavily flawed, deeply slanted piece by a certain New Jersey based writer.
Agents pushing for clear union strategy - Adrian Wojnarowski, Yahoo Sports
I have a love/hate relationship with Adrian Wojnarowski's work. On one hand he gets inside access to certain players, agents and teams that very few reporters have. On the other hand, in my opinion, Woj gets used to push agendas more than any writer in recent memory. Not only that, but he goes in with both feet and it tends to make his writing harder and harder to take seriously. For example, this most recent article he talks about a blowup between an agent and Union Vice President Maurice Evans. Loud arguments happen in every union meeting (having been in several I can tell you this is true). And while it may point to a difference in opinion between the NBAPA and the Agents; there are just some hard line agents (like there's hard line owners) that want their message to be heard by the public. They want it known that they want the NBAPA to De-certify! Show those owners you won't be pushed around! Regardless of their point of view, there's some common sense that must prevail. After a day like Wednesday, where optimism is everywhere, it makes you wonder if the hard line agents and Woj are missing the point.
NBA Lockout Meeting Results in Rare Optimism from Union Officials - Tom Ziller, SBNaiton.com
I link to this brief wrap of the NBA meetings of Wedensday for one reason. I encourage everyone who want's to keep informed about the NBA Lockout and what's going on to follow Tom Ziller on Twitter (@teamziller) or monitor his articles on SB Nation. He's got the best reporting on the lockout so far, and I'm not just saying that because he's a fellow SB Nation writer. Go ahead and follow him folks. Well worth your time and effort.
And just think ... if this lockout ends soon, we can get back to stuff like this:
Shook Ankles: Ty Lawson's Speed just isn't Fair - Michael Pina, ShakyAnkles.com
In a report that is sure to make Denver Stiffs frequent commenter TyLawesome very happy, Pina breaks down a couple of of Ty Lawson's crossover moves from last season. Great speed when Lawson decides to become aggressive. We need to see more of this in the coming years.
Twitter - https://twitter.com/#!/jmorton78