Posts Tagged ‘Mark Heisler’

Waiting On The Magic Words

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — Faced with the latest drop-dead date to save the on-time start to the regular season, we’ve arrived here to this afternoon’s scheduled meeting between the league and players’ union in New York.

Can they beat the deadline?

Can they save the season?

Will cool heads prevail?

Can we finally get back to basketball?

Only time will tell. And based on Sunday night’s “last-ditch” meeting that lasted nearly six hours, time is a fluid term during these labor negotiations.

But there is a growing sense among most of the people observing these proceedings that it might only be a matter of time before someone utters those magic words (“we have a deal”). And the basketball loving public surely won’t haggle over where it comes from, be it NBA Commissioner David Stern or union executive director Billy Hunter.

After all, during the last lockout there was just one meeting between the two sides before regular season games were canceled. This afternoon’s session will mark the sixth meeting in the past 11 days between the two sides …

Hold That Apocalypse

Mark Heisler of Sheridanhoops.com: After two years of bellicose posturing, the last weeks of September and the first few days of October would show who was serious.

Not only was that true, Stern wound up extending his drop-dead date for opening on time to Oct. 10.

Overheated as this thing has been, with owners who sensed their last great opportunity threatening to burn their village to save it, the last three weeks saw the parties whittle their “irreconcilable” differences down to three percentage points.

(more…)

Kobe, Brown All Good In LA?

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — Apparently time does heal all things.

All that angst over the perceived disconnect between new Lakers coach Mike Brown and Lakers star Kobe Bryant has disintegrated over the past couple of weeks, , according to Hall of Famer Mark Heisler of the Los Angeles Times.

Seriously, all that drama that accompanied Brown’s hiring — a move that Lakers’ brass decided they need not consult Bryant on — has vanished since Brown and Bryant got together for a couple of  meetings of the minds:

Despite Kobe Bryant’s silence, people close to both sides say Coach Mike Brown has won over his new star in two face-to-face meetings.

Their first was May 31 at Bryant’s home in Newport Beach, on Brown’s way to his news conference in downtown Los Angeles . . . more or less.

Apparently, the meeting went well. The second was 10 days later at the El Segundo practice facility, where they went through plays on the court.

A good working relationship between Brown and Bryant is the only way the Lakers will survive their first season of the second post-Phil Jackson era. Brown is one of the best in the business at relationship-building with players, so he was going to win Bryant over sooner or later anyway.

What we’d really like to know, however, is exactly what Brown has in store for the Bryant and crew now that there are loud rumblings that the Triangle offense will not be the primary mode of operation for the Brown-led Lakers.

If not the Triangle then what?

Too bad Kobe’s not talking, publicly at least.

About Last Night: Perspective People

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — Leave it up to one of our favorite coaches to remind us all of where we are right now.

Alvin Gentry‘s Phoenix Suns are as far removed from the direct light sizzling the Miami Heat these days as anyone can be. But after his Suns lit up the Lakers Sunday night for a jaw-dropping 22 makes from beyond the 3-point line (that’s one fewer made than the Lakers attempted) in an upset win over the two-time world champs, he reminded us all of the need for a little perspective, courtesy of Los Angeles Times Hall of Famer Mark Heisler:

“You guys kill me,” a laughing Gentry said after the game, incredulous at being asked about the Lakers’ attitude and defense.

“Like the season is over for them now? C’mon, give me a break. It’s one game!

“You guys going to analyze this team? Let’s see what happens at the end of June, OK?

“You guys kill me, though. It’s one game, We made 22 threes and we had to hold on to beat them. I think they’re OK, OK?”

Shouldn’t the same sort of perspective be applied to the early season start of other contenders, namely our friends in Miami? Many of you that have weighed in on the Heat around here in the past three weeks believe so, while plenty of others disagree.

Maybe you were one of the thousands that weighed in here on Facebook when our friends at the home office asked,”After starting the season 5-4 (they’re 6-4 now), the Miami Heat need to improve _____________ the most?”

(more…)