Posts Tagged ‘CBS Sports’

One Man’s Plan, Hard Choices

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — With things mostly quiet on the NBA lockout front the past few weeks, folks have had plenty of time to come up with their own theories as to how to solve the problem.

Few people have been as precise in their aim as HT fave Ken Berger of CBS Sports, whose detailed plan we have highlighted here several times in recent weeks.

His final installment, however, includes some suggestions that will make fans in certain cities cringe. The word “contraction” usually has that effect on the conversation. Berger calls for hard financial choices to be made.

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One Man’s Plan, Part II

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — We’re a week into this NBA lockout and there have been countless solutions proffered up by the masses, informed and otherwise, that would supposedly end the misery for us all.

But here at the hideout we’re terribly selective in what we read and choose to believe in. Emotional and knee-jerk suggestions are fine, but when there is little to no chance of it happening in any realm, it’s hard to spend a lot of time dwelling on those sorts of mythical plans.

There is an alternative to some of this labor tomfoolery that has invaded our space and it’s being provided by HT fave and Hang Time Podcast regular Ken Berger of CBS Sports, who continues to deliver some of the most salient commentary where the lockout is concerned. Having already detailed his strategy for bridging the collective bargaining agreement gap via revenue sharing, Berger is ready to share the second phase of his plan for labor harmony. And this time he’s locked in on the salary cap issue:

You are going to see a lot of similarities between what I am proposing and what the NFL already has had. The NFL system isn’t perfect, but there’s a lot to like — starting with, of course, far more substantial revenue sharing. So if we’re taking a fresh look at how the NBA does business, make like ‘Melo and tip your cap to yourself if you know that the first issue that has to be decided is … the cap.

The players want to maintain a soft cap with a plethora of exceptions that allow teams to exceed it. The owners have proposed what they call a “flex cap” with a $62 million midpoint and undefined upper and lower limits. Any salary system with an upper limit is, by definition, a hard cap. And by the same logic, any cap that can be exceeded isn’t a cap at all. I am with the players (and the agents) when they point out that nothing in the current system forces owners to overpay players with multiyear guarantees and the like. The problem is, the tools currently at management’s disposal aren’t giving low-revenue teams a chance.

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One Man’s Plan For Labor Peace

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — Someone had to speak up and at least toss a solution out there, not that either side in the NBA’s labor dispute was asking for any outside help.

An alternate plan has been hatched anyway, though, courtesy of our main man Ken Berger of CBS Sports. And after reading Part 1 of the “Berger Plan” late last night and then giving it a second read this morning, we must admit that we not only appreciate the effort, we also like the premise of both sides bending to make sure we don’t have any interruptions this summer.

Now, we fully understand that the concept of a reasonable solution for such a complex issue could never be broached in simple column form, a fact the author makes clear repeatedly. But again, it’s the intent that swayed us.

Whether or not NBA Commissioner David Stern or NBA Players Union chief Billy Hunter are moved at all in what is to be their final meeting before the midnight deadline for the expiration of the current collective bargaining agreement remains to be seen.

One can only hope.

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Hang Time Podcast (Episode 60)

MIAMI — Wait, it’s not over yet.

Before the champagne in Mark Cuban‘s hair dries and the victory parade through downtown Dallas kicks off, we wanted to share our final observations from the thrilling, roller coaster ride that was The Finals.

It’s not easy trying to capture two months of riveting drama, on and off the court, in the limited amount of time we have — kudos to the 2010-11 NBA champion Dallas Mavericks, by the way.

That’s why we forced a couple of old friends of the program to join us on Episode 60 of The Hang Time Podcast to see if they could help us figure it all out.

Michael Wallace of ESPN.com’s Heat Index and Gregg Doyel of CBSSports.com weighed in with their takes on Dirk Nowitzki, LeBron James, Jason Terry, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and all things Finals.

LISTEN HERE:

As always, we welcome your feedback. You can follow the entire crew, including the Hang Time Podcast, co-hosts Lang Whitaker of SLAM Magazine and Sekou Smith of NBA.com, as well as our super producer Micah Hart of NBA.com’s All Ball Blog.

– To download the podcast, click here. To subscribe via iTunes, click here, or get the xml feed if you want to subscribe some other, less iTunes-y way.

You Try Explaining This One Away

OKLAHOMA CITY — Russell Westbrook‘s confidence is admirable.

The Thunder All-NBA point guard refused to budge on his ongoing stance in these Western Conference finals that whatever struggles his team endures are self-inflicted.

“We just didn’t make shots,” he said after the Thunder’s Game 4 meltdown that coincided with the Mavericks’ miraculous comeback to shift the momentum in this series decidedly into the favor of the men from Dallas.

Does he believe that? Or is it his defense mechanism for trying to cope with that which he can not — or does not — comprehend?

It’s more than just missed shots young fella, so much more. (Dirk Nowitzki, Shawn Marion, Jason Kidd and the rest of the relentless Mavericks’ veterans had a little something to do with it, no?)

But in your defense, there were plenty of us that struggled to make sense of what we saw last night. Lots of us will have a tough time explaining this one away, as no doubt you and your Thunder teammates will for years to come.

A few brave souls tried to do it on the spot.

Gregg Doyel of CBSSports.com saw it this way:

Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook didn’t have to be great down the stretch to win this game. They’d already been great, Durant especially, for most of four quarters. That gave Oklahoma City a 15-point lead with less than five minutes to play, and from that point, greatness was no longer required. Mediocrity would have worked. Hell, below-average play would have gotten the job done.

But Durant and Westbrook were neither mediocre nor below average. In the final minutes, they were awful.

And Dirk Nowitzki was not.

And that’s how it happened. Durant missed shots. Westbrook missed shots. Nowitzki didn’t miss a damn thing. That put the game into overtime, where it continued. More misses from Westbrook and Durant. More turnovers. More Nowitzki. In the final 10 minutes of regulation and OT, Westbrook and Durant were 1 for 12 from the floor and 0 for 2 from the line, and they committed three turnovers. Nowitzki? He scored 14 points in those 10 minutes.

That’s how Dallas won, taking a larcenous 112-105 victory for a 3-1 lead in the Western Conference finals.

… and Barry Tramel of the Oklahoman:

Now we know.

Now we know why experience matters. Now we know why you’ve got to pay your dues.

Now we know why young teams, no matter how good, no matter how talented, now matter how athletic, no matter how blessed, eventually get derailed in this meat-grinder known as the NBA playoffs.
The old Mavericks beat the young Thunder 112-105 in overtime for the simplest of reasons.

The tortoise kept running. The hare, not so much.
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