Posts Tagged ‘Vincent Goodwill’

Labor Talks: Here We Go Again

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HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – Did you wake up this morning wondering what the first weekend of November has in store for you, NBA fans?

Let us help.

How about another round of “talks,” perhaps even another round of hollow smiles and more posturing about deadlines that move at the whim of the men on both sides of the league’s labor dispute and even a scare tactic or two that threatens to cost us the entire 2011-12 season?

We completely understand if lockout fatigue syndrome is full-blown in your household. It’s choking the life out of things here at the hideout, where every breaking news blast is met with a raised eyebrow and questions about who might be pulling the strings on this latest stunt (the dissolution of the union is coming back to the forefront now).

(SI.com and NBA TV’s legal analyst Michael McCann details all of the particulars for you!)

They’ve met in small groups, larger groups and committees. There have been conference calls, secret ones and not-so-secret alike, news conferences and now threats of the union decertifying and still no sign of the one thing we need … a new collective bargaining agreement!

Substantive talks are one thing and we’d welcome anything in that neighborhood going on this weekend.

But showing up to a Manhattan hotel and sticking around just long enough to tell each other that nothing has changed is not what we’d consider progress.

And we’re not the only ones exhausted by the process …

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Bob Ryan of the Boston Globe captures the mood of many with his column that places the current state of affairs in the proper historical context:

It is very annoying for those of us who still love the sport of professional basketball to see what its custodians are currently doing to harm it. I wish it were as easy to decipher as the NFL madness. It was pretty easy to outfit the combatants in that one.

White Hats: Players

Black Hats: Owners

The NFL lockout was about very rich guys, all making a profit from their teams, wanting more. The players asked for nothing. Status quo was fine with them. There was a $9 billion pie, and there was ample opportunity for everyone to get a nice slice.

The NBA pie is worth “only’’ approximately $4 billion, and, unlike the NFL, not everyone makes a profit. That is clear. But just who is losing what remains unclear, because history teaches us that in these matters, professional sports teams make statements concerning their finances that, while perhaps not outright lies, are, shall we say, substantial stretches of the truth. Make that enormous, stupendous, astonishing stretches of the truth.

Hang Time Podcast (Episode 53)

DALLAS – Playoffs?

Did someone say playoffs?

They’ve never been better, as far as we can tell. You’ve seen the Hang Time Grizzlies and the Atlanta Hawks, both on the verge of pulling off first round upsets. The underdogs have been the story of the first round, so far, with lower seeds stretching series and avoiding sweeps at all costs … well, every one but the New York Knicks, of course.

But not everyone has playoff fever. What about those teams watching from the distance? The Detroit Pistons, once a playoff staple in the Eastern Conference, are on the outside looking in. But with new ownership, they’re going to get a fresh start. Pistons beat writer Vincent Goodwill of the Detroit News makes his Hang Time Podcast debut on Episode 53 to break down the state of affairs for this one-time Eastern Conference power. It’s the first in our series of Lottery Looks, where we we will study up on different lottery teams during the playoffs.

We also spent some quality time with NBA.com’s college basketball and draft specialists Chris Dortch, editor of the Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook. The draft process is heating up and CD sheds some light on the movers and shakers in this year’s draft class, which he grades as an average class, at best. Who is the next Wesley Matthews? Listen to Episode 53 for that and more.

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.

Curtains For The Real Big Ben?

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – Long before someone decided to tag that Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback with the same nickname, “Big” Ben Wallace was busy becoming an icon in Detroit.

One of the truly unique players of his era and really in league history — he was a four-time All-Star and a four-time Defensive Player of the Year while barely a factor on offense for much of his 15-year career — Wallace is talking about calling it quits after this season.

He didn’t say he would retire. But he did say it is one of the options that could be under consideration this summer, per my main Vincent Goodwill of the Detroit News:

“That’s always been the case, the last couple of years,” said Wallace, 37. “When the season is over with, I’ll see how my body feels. See if I can get my strength back. If can help this team, maybe I’ll come back.”

Wallace is under contract through next season ($1.9 million), but with the drama — and losing — it’s not hard to envision him reconsidering.

“I’d definitely like to honor (the contract),” Wallace said. “But I have to do what’s best for me as far as my body.

“My legs are feeling good. Let me run up and down the court a little bit, see if I need to do some more work or sit my butt down.”

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