Posts Tagged ‘Mike Bibby’

Proud Hawks keep playoff streak alive

By Sekou Smith, NBA.com


VIDEO: Jeff Teague talks about the Hawks clinching their playoff bid against the Heat

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – They did it with their best player sidelined with a torn pectoral muscle since Christmas, with a parade of journeymen and supposedly over the hill stars like Elton Brand filling in and playing huge minutes, with the likes of Pero Antic and Mike Scott, Cartier Martin and DeMarre Carroll playing vital roles.

Jeff Teague and Kyle Korver, fantastic basically from start to the near finish of this regular season for the now playoff bound Atlanta Hawks, can probably walk around the city without being rushed by fans for autographs. Would you even know Hawks All-Star forward Paul Millsap if he walked up on you in street clothes?

Perhaps … but probably not.

Reserve guard Lou Williams, in and out of the regular rotation all season, is arguably the most recognizable face on the roster for locals, and that’s mostly because he played his high school ball in the area at South Gwinnett High.

These Hawks are the poster child for the anti-tanking movement, a motley crew if ever there was one, bound for a first round playoff matchup against either the two-time defending champion Miami Heat (the team they beat Saturday to secure their Eastern Conference-best seventh straight postseason trip) or the struggling Indiana Pacers.

Instead of accepting their fate after All-Star center Al Horford saw his season end the day after Christmas due to a torn pectoral muscle, the Hawks survived and advanced to yet another trip to the playoff line.

Williams, who scored 18 of the Hawks’ 29 fourth-quarter points, including the final 12 Atlanta points of the game, admitted that the opponent Saturday night did not matter. The outcome was the sole focus.

“It doesn’t make a difference (who the opponent was),” he said. “That was our second time beating them this year. We gave them an overtime run earlier this year. It’s a team we’ve played well against this season. It was just satisfying to get a win and be in the groove that we’re in.”

As stubborn as they are fearless, Mike Budenholzer‘s Hawks finished the season series with a 2-2 record against the Heat. They had the same mark against the Indiana Pacers, the team they’d face if the playoffs began today. Whoever earns that No. 1 seed will be dealing with a No. 8 seed just crazy enough to believe they can compete with the best.

They could have packed it in and headed for the lottery, like so many others. Their fans wouldn’t have blamed them. The prospect of a higher pick in the lottery and the wistfulness that comes with it make for an easy sell. What could be is always a powerful elixir when you know there is no hope for a championship.

The hard work and dedication it takes to earn a playoff berth, even in a year when the Eastern Conference is historically weak, shows a level of perseverance that the Hawks should be applauded for showing. They knocked the dysfunctional Knicks (and former Hawks coach Mike Woodson) out of the playoff mix, ending Carmelo Anthony‘s personal playoff streak at 10 seasons.

Budenholzer is working with a much different talent base than Woodson did when he started the Hawks’ playoff streak. Horford, Joe Johnson, Josh Smith, Marvin Williams, Josh Childress, Mike Bibby and Zaza Pachulia comprised the core group. Hawks boss Danny Ferry hasn’t had the time to build a comparable core group, yet.

They backdoored their way into the No. 8 seed in 2008 and promptly scared the life out of the top-seed and eventual champion Boston Celtics with an epic seven-game series that was as entertaining as it was intense, considering one team finished the regular season 66 wins and the other with 37. (It was arguably the Celtics’ toughest series during their championship run, seeing as how they only saw one more Game 7 — against Cleveland — during their march to the Larry O’Brien trophy.)

“I’m happy that we get to play more games and I get to talk more about improving, and getting better each practice,” Budenholzer said after his team outlasted LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and the Heat before a raucous home crowd Saturday night. “We want to build something here. Miami has been in the Finals for three years in a row. There are a lot of teams that have had a lot of success. It takes time to build your habits. (Miami’s) habits are outstanding. We want to continue to build our habits and continue to improve. Our group has really fought hard and competed hard this year. I think they got what they deserved.”

The Hawks got exactly what they earned, which is at least four more games for this bunch to show that sometimes it’s hard to break a habit of winning your way into the playoffs.


VIDEO: Jeff Teague leads the way as the Hawks earn their seventh straight playoff bid

Ex-Hawks teammates Smith, Horford ponder what might have been

By Sekou Smith, NBA.com


VIDEO: Al Horford talks about his relationship with former teammate Josh Smith

ATLANTA – As different as they were and are, as players and people, the chemistry was undeniable. And it was instantaneous on the court for both Josh Smith and Al Horford, the former staples in the Atlanta Hawks’ frontcourt for six seasons.

Most folks agree they both played out of their comfort zones — Horford at center and Smith as some sort of hybrid power/small forward — but they did it with and energy and fervor. That duo fueled six straight playoff trips that spanned from Horford’s rookie season in 2007-08 through last season, Smith’s ninth and final campaign with his hometown team. After a first-round loss at the hands of the Indiana Pacers, Smith left town for free-agent riches in Detroit that weren’t available here.

Nearly a full season later, the No. 8-seeded Hawks host the playoff-eliminated Pistons tonight (7:30 ET, League Pass) in a make-up game that was postponed because of a snowstorm. Neither Horford nor Smith are expected to suit up for due to injuries. Still, the questions linger.

Were they friends … or merely co-workers? Was their a rift between them that made working together for say another six years impossible … or was their split precipitated simply by the business of the NBA? And what might have been if the Hawks had decided to build around and play through their undersized frontcourt stars from the start?

“I think we both have only wanted the best for each other in life,” Smith said of his relationship with Horford. “He’s a little different from what I’m accustomed to off the court, in terms of just our personalities and where we come from, but we were always cool on and off the court. We fed off of each other. Even when he made those All-Star teams when I was here, it was like I made it I was so excited for him. It took some of the sting away for me knowing that one of us was representing for our team. And that chemistry was instant because it equaled success. Playing with a guy of his caliber and feeding off of each other each and every night … it was special.”

The answers to those questions, and plenty more, flow freely from both men now that they’ve had some time to reflect on just how hard it is to sustain playoff-level success. The pain and disappointment of seasons filled with injury and unmet expectations have a way of clearing the past’s haze.

“I think we had different personalities, definitely. Josh is probably louder or whatever and I’m probably more laid back, but we got along because we’re both competitors and wanted to win,” Horford said. “He’s very smart. He’s a very smart basketball player. He gets the game and understands the game. I learned so much from him. We had a good relationship. It was definitely good.

“His mom and my mom would have karaoke nights, so I would definitely be over there hanging out with them and things like that. It was good, we definitely had a good relationship. Josh is a good guy. Like you said, there probably wasn’t a lot of emotion going on, but I respect his game and I respect him.”


VIDEO: Josh Smith had big hopes for himself in his first season in Detroit

Smith believes there was more they could have accomplished together, had they been allowed to finish what they started.

“I don’t think we hit a ceiling as teammates,” he said. “I think we didn’t necessarily get the opportunity to maximize our potential together. I think it could have worked. We could have a been a smaller version of the twin-towers down there on the block where we were both getting featured. Who knows what it might have been? You never know … until you have a coach who says these are the guys we’re going to go through every night and we’ll see what happens.”

The Hawks should be headed back to the playoffs, provided they survive the next two weeks. But they’ll have to do so without Horford, who tore his right pectoral muscle on Dec. 26 and has not played since. He tore his left pectoral muscle in 2011 and eventually came back for the playoffs, but he’s already ruled out trying to do so this time around. Paul Millsap, Smith’s replacement in the lineup, was an All-Star berth this season. But he’s never gotten the chance to develop the sort of chemistry with Horford that Smith had.

The Pistons, picked by many to be one of the upstarts in the Eastern Conference this season after adding Smith and Brandon Jennings to a core that included promising young big men Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe, struggled mightily to start 2013-14. They never mounted a comeback in the standings, coach Maurice Cheeks was fired 50 games into the season and now, it’s no secret that longtime Pistons boss Joe Dumars is expected to resign sometime soon.

Smith will shoulder much of the burden in Detroit. As the team’s highest paid player, the player Dumars targeted and landed in free agency, he’s paid to carry that weight. And he’s fine with that. He believes the Pistons can do what the Hawks once did: turn a struggling outfit into a playoff regular.

Talented big men in Drummond and Monroe are good building blocks, but the Pistons must work through whatever issues arise and cultivate the right chemistry, the kind Smith and Horford used to use to torment opposing big men.

“The thing that stood out to me was how they could both rebound and push the ball in transition,” Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer said of the Smith/Hoford combo. “They could find each other and have plays that made them special. But they could find shooters on the perimeter, too. And just to have two big guys that could really rebound and push and make plays in transition, the ballhandling and passing, it made them different and unique.”

It was the differences that clicked with Smith and Horford. But there were plenty of similarities as well. Most notably, they are both fiercely loyal family men, and that included their extended, work families. Their mothers became fast friends while they were teammates, with those karaoke nights, dinners and card-playing parties at the center of many gatherings. Their moms, Paulette Smith and Arelis Reynoso, were perhaps even better friends off the court than their sons.

“My mother is an open-arms type of person, always wanting to cook for somebody and hang out,” Smith said. “When Al’s mom came here she was the same way, so naturally they embraced each other. And it was great to see. You never forget how someone treats your family. And I consider Al and his entire family as an extended part of my own, and I always will.”


VIDEO: Josh Smith’s high-flying ways have continued in Detroit

Hawks Will Rebuild From Scratch





HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – The locals will talk about it forever.

What would the Hawks have been like with Chris Paul or Deron Williams instead of Marvin Williams? Or Rudy Gay or Brandon Roy instead of Shelden Williams or basically anyone other than Speedy Claxton?

Conference finals appearances instead of first round exits? Global recognition of a basketball brand reborn with superstar talent instead of a league laughingstock (after a 13-win season in 2004-05) and the team that can always be counted on not to come through when they should?

Hypothetical questions with no clear-cut answers make the Hawks’ past every bit as murky as their immediate future. They enter free agency this summer with only six players under contract, four Draft picks (two in each round) and approximately $33.1 million in cap space for their GM, Danny Ferry, to work with in rebuilding the roster.

The Hawks choices in the Draft and free agency have come to define the franchise over the past eight years more so than anything they have actually done on the court. They ended an eight-year playoff drought after the 2007-08 season with a core group of Joe JohnsonJosh SmithAl HorfordMike BibbyJosh ChildressMarvin WilliamsZaza PachuliaShelden Williams and Acie Law. That group kicked off a run of six straight playoff appearance that came crashing to an ugly end Friday night at Philips Arena in a Game 6 loss to the Indiana Pacers in their first round series.

It was the official end to not only their season but also an era for the Hawks, who have just three players — Horford, Lou Williams and rookie John Jenkins – under guaranteed contacts for next season. Even Hawks coach Larry Drew, who has been on staff (the last three as head coach) throughout this entire era, does not have a contract for next season.

We’ve seen the last of these Hawks as we know them, Drew acknowledged as much after the Game 6 loss.

“Even with the injuries to Zaza and Lou, we were able to juggle some things around, move people around,” Drew said. “And we stayed together. We did not fragment. We stayed together even when it got tough. A lot of people didn’t predict us to make the playoffs. No one gave us a chance, but this group hung in there. They persevered and I’m really proud of them.”

It was an honorable finish to a tumultuous season for all involved. A team loaded with three times as many pending free agents as players under guaranteed contracts, has issues that go above and beyond the professionalism required to do the job under those circumstances.

That said, Ferry is sticking to his plan. He’s going to be rebuilding basically from scratch, with nine players heading into free agency July 1.

Smith, one of the only remaining building blocks from the franchise’s last rebuild and a long-time source of division within the franchise (some folks loved the hometown kid who flashed signs of being an All-Star caliber player over the years while others loathed the enigmatic performer who clashed with his coaches and drove fans nuts with his play), going into the summer as one of the marquee names on the market.

It’s time for Smith and the Hawks to go their separate ways, amicably, of course. Everyone involved knows that it’s time for a mutual parting of the ways for the good of all involved.

Point guard Jeff Teague is a restricted free agent and while he’s shown loads of improvement since Drew took over for Woodson, there remain questions about whether or not he is best suited as the starting point guard for this team.

Ferry can make a clean break from the Hawks’ recent past, from all of the second-guessing, head-scratching and eye-rolling that has surrounded the Hawks for years. No one will vilify him for cleaning up the mess made before he arrived last summer, the one he started clean up himself by moving both Johnson and Marvin Williams in trades last summer.

It’s the uncertainty of what’s to come, however, that makes skeptical Hawks fans nervous. There will be big fish on the free agent market, guys like Los Angeles Lakers’ big man and Atlanta native Dwight Howard and the Los Angeles Clippers’ Paul, stars capable of turning an uncertain situation around by signing their names on the dotted line.

The Hawks have the necessary resources to pursue those two, who will be first and second, in whatever order, on every free agent wish list of a team with money to spend this summer.

The summer of 2013 is the Hawks’ biggest since the summer of 2005, when Johnson (sign-and-trade) and Marvin Williams (No. 2 pick overall in the Draft) were added to the mix. That was the beginning of a painstaking rebuilding process that ultimately led to six straight playoff appearances, the second-best stretch of its kind in the Hawks’ Atlanta history.

For a franchise that has endured a recent stretch of complete insignificance during that playoff drought, followed by the past six postseason runs, a return to the non-playoff abyss is a bit frightening.

That’s what made the end of Friday night so bittersweet for Horford, who has only known the playoffs during his time with the Hawks and in the league.

“I feel for our fans,” he said. “I know they wanted us to do better. I felt like, as a team, we did about as much as we could. We had some adversity and we handled it well. We had a good season, looking at the big picture. One thing I appreciate about these guys was how they competed. Even tonight, we could’ve gone the other way. That is something I’m proud of the guys for.”

The “guys” will look a lot different next season.

In fact, Horford might be one of the only truly familiar faces around if Ferry carries out his master plan.

Knicks Call On Douglas For Game 5





MIAMI – Once again, the Knicks’ season is on the line. And once again, they’ve got a change in their rotation.

In the wake of Baron Davis‘ injury, the Knicks need help in the backcourt. And in Wednesday’s Game 5 (7 p.m. ET, TNT), it will be Toney Douglas‘ turn to step up.

Douglas has yet to play in the first round series against the Miami Heat and hasn’t been a part of the Knicks’ regular rotation since late January. He shot just 32 percent from the field and 23 percent from 3-point range this season.

But he did give the Knicks one strong game in Orlando after Mike Woodson took over as coach, putting up 15 points, five rebounds and six assists in a 96-80 victory on April 5.

On Monday, Woodson said that we’d only see Douglas if the Heat used Norris Cole off the bench. But by shootaround on Wednesday, Woodson had changed his thinking.

(more…)

Knicks ‘Not Counting’ On Lin For Game 5





NEW YORK – The Knicks will have an update on Baron Davis later Monday, but it’s very safe to assume that Davis will not play again this season after suffering a dislocated patella in the third quarter of Sunday’s Game 4 at Madison Square Garden.

So now would be a great time for international sensation Jeremy Lin to return to action. Lin has been running up and down the floor in 3-on-3 games at the Knicks practice facility, and would be doing the same Monday and Tuesday before the Knicks travel to Miami for Game 5 on Wednesday (7 p.m. ET, TNT). But Knicks coach Mike Woodson tempered expectations in a conference call with reporters Monday morning.

“I’m not counting Jeremy Lin playing,” Woodson said. “We’ve just got to continue where we’ve been, in terms of guys that are in uniform. And I’m not counting on him to play.”

Lin had surgery to repair a meniscus tear in his left knee on Monday, April 2. At that time, the Knicks said he’d be out six weeks. And right now, we’re at the five-week mark. And as he did with Amar’e Stoudemire for Game 4, Woodson made it clear that the decision on Lin is out of his hands.

“I think it’s going to be up to the doctors and Jeremy to make that decision,” he said. “It won’t be my decision.”

(more…)

Rosen’s Report: New York at Orlando




Jeremy Lin is down for the count and who knows when/if Amar’e Stoudemire will return to action. That means what’s left of the Knicks’ roster will have to carry New York for the duration. While the Knicks are still battling for the last playoff slot, they also have their sights set on the No. 6 seed in order to play Orlando in the opening round instead of either Miami or Chicago. And on the heels of last week’s trampling of the Magic, a repeat performance would not only greatly enhance the achievement of both of these goals, but also make Orlando shiver in anticipation of encountering New York in the money season. After their fourth-quarter meltdown in Indiana on Tuesday, the Knicks also has to prove that they do have a necessary killer instinct.

On the flip side, the Magic need the win to demonstrate that their humiliating performance in New York was a fluke, and that they are indeed legitimate championship contenders.

HOW THE KNICKS CAN WIN

  • Forget about LeBron, Kobe and/or Kevin DurantCarmelo Anthony is the most versatile scorer in the game. If KD is a better long-distant dialer, Anthony’s 3-point shooting is more reliable than the other two elite scorers. The difference is ‘Melo’s dynamic post-up game. With Stoudemire out, Anthony is now filling the power forward slot, which makes his offense even more unstoppable (plus he’s a better rebounder than his predecessor). There’s certainly no way that either Hedo Turkoglu, Ryan Anderson (if he makes a miraculous recovery from a freshly sprained ankle), or Glen Davis can put up any meaningful defensive resistance without considerable help. The problem is the Knicks’ spacing forces defenders to come a long way to double Anthony. And should Anthony bring his A-game into the last period, the Magic will run out of tricks.
  • Assuming that Dwight Howard has recuperated from the infamous phantom punch, Tyson Chandler has the length and the defensive chops to make him labor mightily to score in the low post.  In addition, Howard gets flustered when he’s doubled on the move and tends to force shots, make wayward passes, or simply commit turnovers.  Chandler’s timely dive-cuts on high screen/rolls should also put him in dunk city. (more…)

Knicks Point Guard Jeremy Lin To Miss 6 Weeks After Surgery For Meniscus Tear





HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – A torn meniscus has done what just about no one else could, put an end to Linsanity for at least the next six weeks.

The New York Knicks announced this evening, via Twitter, that their prized point guard Jeremy Lin would miss at least the next six weeks after an MRI revealed a “small chronic meniscus tear” in his left knee that will require a surgical procedure to repair the problem. In 35 games this season, Lin is averaging 14.6 points and 6.1 assists, sparking a global craze when he burst onto the scene last month.

The Knicks have endured a coaching change, from Mike D’Antoni to Mike Woodson, and are also dealing with injury issues to Amar’e Stoudemire, Jared Jeffries and now Lin, who had surgery

“It’s obviously been a very emotional year,” Lin said to reporters before the Knicks-Cavaliers game at Madison Square Garden. “”I want to be out there helping the team. It’s a six-week rehab process but I heal quickly so we’ll see. When I come back I’ll be stronger than I ever was and a better player.”

The Knicks were in a funk before Linsanity began. But they’ve gone 8-2 since Woodson replaced D’Antoni, mixing and matching lineups as they’ve dealt with all of their injury issues.

Rookie Iman Shumpert and veterans Baron Davis, another one of the Knicks’ injury casualties at different times this season, and Mike Bibby will all be pressed into service at point guard in Lin’s absence. And speaking of, if the Knicks don’t make the playoffs then we could very well have seen the last of Lin this season with just three weeks left in the regular season.

Stay tuned for more details after Lin finishes addressing the assembled media in New York …

Rosen’s Report: Knicks at Grizzlies

***
The Knicks’ win last night in New York was their first over a team with a winning record. Of course, the unfolding of their schedule is a random thing over which they have no control.  But the point here is that, in order to live up to Mike D’Antoni’s boasting that New York is a championship-caliber squad, the Knicks have to dominate all of the league’s weak sisters.  That’s why an impressive showing in Memphis is critical.

Meanwhile, Memphis is struggling to be merely respectable while Zach Randolph is down and out.  In the interim, the Grizzlies have demonstrated that they play much better at home than on the road —- as evidenced by their playing OKC on nearly even terms on Tuesday.  A win over New York would put Memphis only two games below the even-Steven line and do wonders for team morale.

(more…)

A Fresh Start For Oden In … Miami?

– For the latest updates check out: NBA.com’s Free Agent Tracker

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – When we spoke in June about wanting to see Greg Oden get a fresh start to this next phase of his career, we were absolutely sincere. We viewed it as a cathartic move for Oden that meant the same for the Portland Trail Blazers and their fans.

Too much has happened to Oden during his time with the Trail Blazers. The injuries and time missed because of them has left a scab that we’d just as soon everyone try to ignore and move on from, if at all possible.

But move on to what?

For Oden, could that next move include relocating to Miami?

Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com’s Heat Index reports that the Heat have interest in the restricted free agent big man, who is expected to be examined later this week to determine when he can return to contact action since his latest knee surgery. Sure, it sounds like a reality TV-dream waiting to happen, Oden teaming up with Miami’s Big 3 of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in their second season.

The Heat would certainly provide the fresh start we believe Oden needs. And he couldn’t pick a place more opposite than Portland in so many different ways. How realistic a move this could be will be determined by that examination later this week and by how serious Heat boss Pat Riley is about pursuing a big man with Oden’s injury history, as Windhorst explains:

Oden has a one-year qualifying offer from the Portland Trail Blazers for $8.9 million on his plate at the moment. The most the Heat could offer is the bulk of the $5 million mid-level exception.

For these reasons, it would seem like an easy choice for Oden if he can return to the floor, which could come as early as January. By making the hefty qualifying offer, the Blazers indicated they have not given up hope even though Oden has only played 82 games since being taken with the No. 1 overall pick in 2007.

But Heat president Pat Riley is known for his powers of persuasion and last year convinced free agent after free agent to take less money to sign in Miami. Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, Chris Bosh, Udonis Haslem and Mike Miller all took less money than they were offered elsewhere.

It happened right up until March, when Mike Bibby gave up $6 million guaranteed for this season so he could sign with the Heat for a few months at a portion of the league minimum.

The Blazers maintain matching rights for Oden but sources say Riley still is interested in making the pitch.

It is apparently one of a number of options the team is considering. According to sources, they also have been in contact with free-agent centers NeneSamuel Dalembert and Kwame Brown.

The financial risk seems minimal compared to the potential rewards, provided Oden can resuscitate his career in a fashion that allows him to stay on the floor and use his sheer size to become a factor. And if we learned anything about the Heat during their run to The Finals last season, it’s that they need more of an inside presence than what we saw in the playoffs (no particular offense to Juwan Howard, Eric Dampier and HT fave Joel Anthony.)

At the same time, it seems a bit twisted to take Oden and thrust him into the fish bowl that will be the Heat locker room this year. If he wanted to find his game again, doing it somewhere without as much glare might make more sense.

Still, the voyeur in us can’t help but be intrigued by the idea of the Big 3 adding Oden to their mix …

***

Labor Talks: The Voices Of The Fans

 

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – We’ve heard from most everyone that is allowed to speak in the days, weeks and months since the NBA lockout began.

From NBA Commissioner David Stern to union executive director Billy Hunter to an assortment of players with microphones in their faces and on twitter, plenty of folks have weighed in on the impasse that is holding up the 2011-12 regular season.

The only voice missing, at least around these parts, has been that of the fans. Until now, of course. We will lift the silence today, in whatever way we can, by sharing some of the correspondences we have received here at the hideout in the wake of last week’s breakdown in talks between the two sides … (these are your words):

The Voice Missing From The Equation

There is a key party with no representation at the labor negotiations between the players and owners – the fans. The fans are the ones who pay those multi-million dollar salaries on both sides and buy all those jerseys and other sports paraphernalia. I’ve been a basketball fanatic ever since I was a kid in the ’70s. When I read that 2 billion dollars isn’t enough for 400 players who are playing basketball for a living in what is a non-essential profession such as sports entertainment in an economic downturn, it gets my blood boiling.
If I were to represent the fans at those meetings, my words would be sharp and to the point:
“Players, we pay your salaries.  You are not the intangible asset, we are.  If the owners are in fact telling the truth and only 8 teams are profitable, and a 50/50 split is what they need to remain viable over the long-term, then tighten your belts (yeah right) and accept the 50/50 split.
If just one more game is canceled, WE are going to boycott YOU. Many of us will stop attending your games and spending money on your jerseys and other accessories. That 4 billion dollar pot is going to shrink, fast. You can have 50% of 4 billion dollars (which still sounds ridiculously high for us peasants in the stands), or hold out, cancel more games, lose more salary, enrage your true employers, and try to hold out for a bigger portion of what will surely be a smaller pot.”
Mike Genung
***
What Took So Long To Get Serious?
What bothers me the most besides a deal not getting done, is the fact that players and owners have had enough time to talk about a deal since the lockout started.  Why wait until the end of September to start having serious talks about the CBA.
Basketball has become a fixture in my house for over 25 years and have seen my favorite team go through some ups and downs.
Just recently my daughter (last season) was really getting into the games and I started to notice that not only was she watching our favorite team, but started to follow other teams as well, turning on the computer and watching archive games on League Pass. This brought a tear to my eyes.  How much she was looking forward to the next season was exciting to watch.  Marking on her calendar and coming up to me saying only so many more days ’til the season.  WOW, how excited I was for her; at the same time hiding my thoughts about the lock out.