Representatives of the owners and players emerged from the umpteenth NBA lockout negotiation session on Wednesday (actually, Thursday — this one was of the 12-hour variety, 1 pm to 1 am), with an agreement to continue to negotiate on Thursday. Neither black nor white smoke emerged, but rather a bunch of smoke blown up our collective butts. That and the telltale sign from covering media via Twitter: ‘Two different press conferences, you know what that means.’ It means no basketball.
No news is not good news, it’s no news. Yet, people are forced to look for silver linings, some citing the mere fact that NBA commissioner David Stern “stopped the clock” (his words) on a previously given ultimatum of a 5 pm Wednesday deadline (for a player acceptance of the owners’ offer) as a positive sign. Afterward, neither side could publicly say whether progress was made.
“I can’t characterize whether they showed flexibility or not in certain system issues,” said player rep Derek Fisher. “Nothing was worked out today,” said Stern. Media sources have, however, indicated a semblance of progress. “Progress was made on three system issues,” wrote the Twitter account @WojYahooNBA.
When asked by Howard Beck of the New York Times if the NBA was in a position where they could give the players some semblance of what they want (in terms of in exchange for a 50-50 Basketball-Related Income (BRI) split) Stern said, “I don’t know how you would define ‘some semblance’.” Exactly.* Nothing appears as it seems, or vice versa.
This may have been the straw that broke the camel’s back which then caused that camel to fall on the puppy holding a bouquet of flowers for his puppy girlfriend while they nuzzled wet puppy noses in a field of porcelain angels surrounded by butterflies and rainbows, and ice cream.
Did you hear what JaVale McGee did?
Maybe you read about it. Maybe somebody told you. Or, you can listen to JaVale McGee himself over a tape recorder, via the L.A. Times website, saying, “There’s definitely some guys in there saying that they’re ready to fold, but there are some guys, a majority of us, are ready to stand strong,” when asked by a reporter outside of a National Basketball Players Association meeting if players are standing strong against the NBA lockout, or if some are saying that they’re ready to go back to work.
Maybe McGee was earnest and right, but a negotiator with media concerns in mind he is not.
[Editor's note: The two interesting, or curious, developments in the John Wall injury recovery process is that he is looking into getting his own personal trainer to help with his knee, etc. issues, per the Washington Post's Michael Lee, and that he has shut himself down for an indefinite amount of time. Wall speaks with CSNWashington's Chris Miller in the video below. -Kyle]
[After last week’s Wizards loss to the Los Angeles Lakers, I asked Derek Fisher, Ron Artest and Shannon Brown their impressions of John Wall's game. Wall did not play in the defeat, but had a stellar outing in their previous match up in LA.
Brown commended of Wall’s ability, Fisher heaped high praise on John’s character, and Artest had a comedic response. -Adam]
Remember that goofy Bobby Knight “Game Face” display during some press conference long ago? Whether you do or you don’t, let’s take it to YouTube (it’s No. 2 in the countdown of top Knight soundbites):
But what about pre-game faces? Well, thanks to TAI’s Adam McGinnis, we have some of those faces from last Tuesday’s Wizards-Lakers game below. But first …
Truth About It is giving away more free Wizards tickets, this time two lower-level tickets to Saturday’s Wizards game versus the Miami Heat, courtesy of StubHub.
How do you win the tickets?Like last time, at around 3 PM EST this afternoon, Friday, December 17, I will be posting a Wizards-related trivia question on the TAI Twitter account: @Truth_About_It. The first person to email, NOT Tweet, the correct answer to firstname.lastname@example.org will have two (2) tickets — Section 117, Row F — waiting for them at the Verizon Center Will Call for Saturday night’s 7 PM game.
The trivia question last time was: “Before playing last game @ US Airways Arena in 97, the Wash. Wizards signed a player who prev. played in 345 total gms as a Bullet. Name him”
“How dare us (the Lakers) be complacent and lackadaisical in regular season game,”said Derek Fisher from the podium during his NBA championship winning press conference.
What regular season game was D-Fish speaking of in reference to the turning point of the Lakers’ season? Why, an early December ’08 meeting against the Washington Wizards in the Verizon Center of course.