The NBA avoided a two-week slice on Tuesday, despite what a source close to the New York Daily News spun the night prior. Instead, the NBA and the NBA Player’s Association (NBPA) met Wednesday for a 15-hour talk, which will continue this afternoon in New York. While the two sides spoke of the meeting as a stepping stone rather than milestone, the NBPA suggested a full 82-game season is still on the table.
Following Wednesday’s meeting, NBPA President Derek Fisher told the media “We can’t say that major progress was made in any way, but some progress was made on system issues. Obviously enough for us to come back.” But the union leader also brought up how the complete NBA season, 82-games in all, could still materialize, which would be a radical step forward. The catch? And end to negotiations by this weekend.
“I assume if a deal can be achieved between now and Sunday, or Monday of next week, I think it’s possible,” said NBPA Executive Director Billy Hunter. “It’s going to be somewhat stressful because of the need to do some back-to-backs, as we did in 1998 coming out of the lockout.” Since the NBA cancelled the first two weeks of the 2011-12 season, the NBA would have no choice but to either extend their season into April, or jam games together mid-season.
NBA Commissioner David Stern shared Hunter’s thoughts on the difficulties of an 82-game season, but he said Wednesday’s meeting was a “solid day of negotiations” despite the near four months of unresolved issues. “The energy in the room has been good, the back and forth has been good, and we’re looking forward to tomorrow.” For the optimist, the negotiations finally sound as if they are going somewhere. However, those two weeks of November basketball which were rumored to be cut on Tuesday might still be in danger of the chopping block. When and if the lockout ends, the NBA will set aside some time for a training camp and preseason, which will likely cut into the regular season.
Hughes to join Iverson in Las Vegas
Former Washington Wizards guard Larry Hughes will be one of the many free agents should the 2011-12 NBA season free itself of the 118-day long and counting NBA lockout. The stoppage claimed the preseason and has snipped away at the regular season, yet 82-games are still possible. The question is whether or not Hughes would be up to the task.
Hughes played every game of his first three seasons in the NBA. However, his last nine were riddled with injury woes aside from his three-year stint with the Wizards from 2002-2005. Still, Hughes has never averaged less than 9.1 points per game. When he’s healthy, he’s productive. As such, the 32-year-old Hughes thinks he can still make an impact at the NBA level, even though he had to take last year off because he couldn’t find the kind of deal he wanted. But as Wizards Insider reports, Hughes will have a chance to show off this November, thanks to former Philadelphia 76ers teammate Allen Iverson.
As reported Tuesday, Iverson will host an All-Star tournament on November 12-13, in Las Vegas, Nevada. Joining the 36-year-old Iverson, aside from Hughes, will be four teams worth of NBA talent, and the winning team will claim $100,000 when everything is said and done. After first glance, it looks like “Team A.I.” will be hard pressed not to win it all. All rosters are tentative, and as such may change. Also note that only “Team A.I.” and “Team Philly” are official names (A-D was just a way to categorize them neatly).
Team A, “Team A.I.”
Allen Iverson, Larry Hughes, Kevin Durant, Paul Pierce, Andre Iguodala, Joe Johnson, Rudy Gay, Thaddeus Young, Zach Randolph and Jamal Crawford.
Al Harrington, C.J. Watson, Monta Ellis, David Lee, James Harden, Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson.
Team C, “Team Philly”
Hakim Warrick, Tyreke Evans, Jason Thompson, Lou Williams, Marcus Morris, and Markieff Morris.
Team D, Rookies
Kyrie Irving, Derrick Williams, Kemba Walker and Jimmer Fredette.