News flash: there may not be basketball next year. We don’t mean to be the bearer of bad news, but amidst all of the excitement of a sick Finals and a wildly unpredictable upcoming draft, the uncertainty of the NBA’s financial future continues to hang over our heads like a teetering bedroom ceiling fan. In negotiations, any step is a positive step, so the fact that owners and player reps have been spending hours in a room together has gotten us a few winks of sleep these past few nights. We’ll see if Tuesday’s upcoming follow-up meet gets us a few more … As far as updates, ESPN.com’s Chris Sheridan reported recently that the owners have pretty much relinquished their request for NFL-style non-guaranteed contracts, but remain diligent in getting a less-soft salary cap and a bigger cut of the financial pie. Fellas, don’t you all know? Mo’ money, mo’ problems … To keep everyone out there from eating a Xanax, let’s smoothly transition to the NBA Draft, ’cause it’s happening real soon (Thursday). Apparently, there’s a whole lot of chatter swirling around the Cleveland Cavaliers and the belief that they may not be all-in yet on selecting the “consensus” number one pick, Duke’s prized one-and-done 1, Kyrie Irving, first overall. Is that real life, in a draft where there’s only thought to be one sure thing? Could it be a head game ploy to get Minnesota GM David Kahn in a tizzy (as we all know what happens when David Kahn gets in a tizzy)? And in a draft where every pick after Derrick Williams at two is up in the air, could our only solid ground be slowly cracking beneath us? With the word on the street (who’s trading up/down, in/out), the draft picture has gotten fuzzier than the picture on your grandma’s 14-inch TV. And it’s not looking like things are getting any clearer before Thursday, so we recommend patience, friends and a good therapist … And isn’t the NBA Draft one of the best times of the NBA year? It’s the head games from GMs. The “sources report.” The draft-day trades. It’s mental warfare from front office to front office, with hoop suits getting their one yearly opportunity to pretend like they’re in the CIA. For the prospects themselves, it’s the one time annually where every fan of every NBA team can get themselves all jazzed up. Is your guy gonna be the next “the guy” for your team? Is he gonna be the missing piece of the puzzle? Is he gonna be the guy we wonder for years how team X got him at pick Y? For every young man that gets his name called and/or wears a bad suit on stage, it’s all about optimism (and maybe a few bro-hugs), mostly, because we haven’t found out if he sucks yet. Because he just might be the franchise savior … On Friday, we posted our list of the 10 best foreign-born cats who have rings and an interesting discussion popped up. Who would you rather have: Hakeem or Timmy D? … If their reported interest is genuine, do you think Jonny Flynn would look good in a New York uniform? … Did you know that a 16-year-old from DeMatha Prep has the longest recorded wingspan of any basketball prospect ever? … We always say that basketball players are the world’s best athletes. There’s really no way to confirm or refute that. But at least now we have evidence that John Wall definitely can’t play baseball. Throwing out the first pitch at a recent Nationals’ game, Wall was nearly as bad as Mariah Carey. Let’s hope he doesn’t wake up one morning eight years from now and tell everyone he’s gonna go out, take someone’s minor league spot and chase a childhood dream … And check out this incredible finish from Kevin Durant in a Drew League summer game. KD might as well just start passing to himself because Russell Westbrook seems to have some trouble with that … We’re out like cutting dead-weight contracts.
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