Well it’s here. Doomsday is upon us. Nothing will be the same, not even NBA.com. Team websites will be gloomy (except that we’ll probably be smothered with photos/videos of dance teams/cheerleaders). The owners and players are still miles apart, with much of the tension focused on this hard cap that the suits seem obsessed with inserting. Plus, the players’ latest proposal was pretty much mocked out loud in public by David Stern and Adam Silver. But there is a silver lining in all of this: Gilbert Arenas can tweet away to his heart’s fancy, and have absolutely no repercussions. A tweet from the man himself: So the lockout rules–there’s none once it hits midnight we can say and do what we want without any fines or future fines … Speaking of fines, Ric Bucher tweeted that league offices plan to fine any team that contacts players 1 MILLION DOLLARS. Dude…seriously? … Since it looks like we are going to have all this time to twiddle our thumbs (we’ll be running next), here’s a question for everyone: there were 37 active players in 2010-2011 who also played in the lockout-shortened 1998-99 season. How many of them can you name? … Both Nene and Tyson Chandler were unable to work out extensions with their respective teams and are now free agents. Nene, who apparently wants a deal starting at around $13 million a year, will be all sorts of courted. And although he really wants to get back in Dallas, Chandler wasn’t going to take a paycut and the Mavs weren’t going to do anything drastic until after they saw what the new CBA would entail. But they need to be careful. Sacramento and Toronto are already contending they’re gonna throw more than just dollars Chandler’s way. If you’re Chandler, would you rather stay in a championship situation, pampered by Cuban or head to a cold-weather, terrible team or a franchise who no one knows if the owners are purposely trying to sabotage it? At the same time, money talks … It just strikes us as odd that we’d be talking about Wilt the Stilt on a stamp, considering all that he was. Yes he was great. But after years of revisionist history, there isn’t much talk about how he hated big moments, literally wilted in the pressure (he even used to admit this), nearly everyone who ever played with him couldn’t stand him, all of them ripping him in book after book and how he was entirely obsessed with his own numbers, convinced the entire point of basketball was to see him play. Sorry about the rant. We’re just trying to even out the love affair, considering most of what you’ll hear is “Why not? The guy averaged 50 points a game for a whole season!” Either way, it would be tremendous; The only athletes to have this are Jackie Robinson, Babe Ruth, Joe Louis and Jesse Owens. Does Wilt deserve to be in that company? … Cleveland, we hope you enjoy having Omri Casspi around. He better be worth it, considering you guys wouldn’t give up J.J. Hickson (and spare parts) for Amar’e Stoudemire less than two years ago (although some voices still contend it was Phoenix that backed out), and now you’ve gone and given him away for a pick and someone whose career average is 9.5 PPG. Sacramento is smitten with their new power forward, and the team’s press release showcases that … Almost immediately upon arriving in Milwaukee, Stephen Jackson let it be known that he wants a contract extension, one that will pay him upwards of $10 million a year until he turns 37. This will not end well … Shannon Brown says he will opt out and test free agency. But how much money would you give to a guy who couldn’t even shoot 30% from deep (after a blazing start to the season)? … Jeff Green was also given a qualifying offer by the Celtics, making him a restricted free agent … Brian Scalabrine plans to try playing overseas, seemingly a little aggravated at a bunch of millionaires/billionaires arguing and taking away his opportunity to earn standing ovations for 15 seconds. But over there, he’ll be just another guy. Even if he grows out a ginger beard, he’ll lose his appeal as the walking victory cigar … We’re out like muzzling Arenas.
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