“If I were head of the players, I would have prepared them for the lockout by saying, ‘We’re in the middle of one of the worst financial downturns in American history, so this isn’t a matter of giving back, it’s a matter of how much,’ ” David Falk, the game’s most prominent agent for many years who represented Michael Jordan and Patrick Ewing among other stars, said last week. “And if I were head of the league, I would have prepared my owners by saying we need a better revenue-sharing plan and we have to take a hard look at our front-office expenses. Then I would have went to the players and asked them to work with me.
“This was botched from both sides from the beginning, in my opinion. The players needed to become more capitalistic and stop worrying about the middle class. It’s absurd that LeBron James, the best players in the game, have restrictions on their salaries because we need to make it more equitable for players that shouldn’t be making as much. And as far as the owners go, they needed to become more socialistic, start sharing their wealth the way football does for the good of the game.”
Still, Stern saves his reputation, which would have taken a monster hit with a lost season. Even after the players called his bluff in early November— when he uttered his infamous “take it or leave it” words — Stern and the owners still allowed the players a 50-50 split.
After the details are worked out, an NBA season is indeed on.
For what it’s worth, if LeBron doesn’t get a bona fide big man in Miami or someone with Ray Allen’s stroke when he doesn’t want to shoot, he’s not winning it this year either.
Kobe is still Kobe, but with a new coach and system the Lake Show is not getting out of the West. I actually see the Lakers going out in the first round. Book it.
If Dallas gets old fast, the Bulls are in prime position to walk away with the hardware in a truncated season in which young teams that stay together hold many of the cards.
The Wizards? I can say with complete conviction that . . . they’ll be better than Detroit. Like the NBA these days, it’s all about baby steps now.