A ‘Nuclear Winter’ Hits The NBA; Syracuse Is The Deepest Team In The Country

In the words of one of our more eloquent Twitter followers: “What the f— am I supposed to watch after the Super Bowl?” The season hasn’t exactly been canceled yet, but with the players rejecting the latest proposal from the owners and threatening to take them to court, the ugliness might’ve just started. David Stern promised that the next time the two sides do negotiate – whenever that’ll be – the owners will be discussing 47 percent BRI and no more, and yet the players still hit the owners with a backhanded slap. So now Stern is calling it a “nuclear winter,” the players are saying it’s a good move and everyone is all wrapped up in self-destruction. The next move is a movement toward the legal process and the disbanding of the union. No one is really sure exactly what’ll happen at this point. But everyone seems pissed, most of all Stern, who ripped into Billy Hunter (saying if he was a player, he would be second guessing Hunter) and attorney Jeffrey Kessler. As SI’s Chris Mannix tweeted, Stern admitted yesterday that “If there is a deal, we will do what we can to bring fans back.” That doesn’t sound too promising. You know what’s incredible about this whole thing? J.R. Smith might’ve outsmarted us all … Forget the lockout. Let’s talk college hoops. We already did, breaking down literally everything that happened this weekend … There’s not a deeper team in the whole country than Syracuse, and as they mentioned on the telecast last night, this team is NBA-big. Their starting lineup is actually taller than the Knicks. Everyone is incredibly long, athletic and versatile. When they shoot like they did last night against Manhattan (7-13 from deep in the first), they’ll be nearly unbeatable. That zone is that deadly with turnovers and leakouts. Manhattan obviously never had a chance, losing 92-56. It felt like the Orange were coming in waves, Boeheim throwing out a fresh body every two minutes and never losing anything. Our only question about them is offensively in the half-court. They can make bad decisions; Their guards can be up and down with this. Then there’s Kris Joseph (15 points, seven boards and went over 1,000 career points), their best player and the guy who’ll have to do the damage come March … Whereas ‘Cuse has the depth, their main Big East competition, UConn, has the star power. The Huskies beat Wagner 78-66 as the starting backcourt, Jeremy Lamb (20 points, seven rebounds) and Shabazz Napier (21 points), did whatever they wanted to. Coming off the bench, the guy some people are calling the best prospect in college, Andre Drummond, had another somewhat quiet night (eight points, five boards, three blocks). But at least it was an improvement over the opener … Missouri, Florida State, Marquette, Michigan and Alabama, all top 25 teams, all won with hardly anyone breaking a sweat … No one has worse luck than Louisville, who has been bitten by a terrible injury bug. Mike Marra was hurt this weekend and its now been discovered that he’ll be out for the season with a torn ACL … After watching Penny Hardaway get up on some of his old tricks this weekend during his charity game, Dwight Howard said he wants the Magic to retire Penny’s jersey. Penny has a special place in any ’90s baby’s heart, but played just six seasons in Orlando with four All-Star appearances and a Finals berth. He should get some extra credit for sort of putting the Magic on the map with those mid-’90s teams but if every player with those accomplishments had their number retired, we’d run out of jerseys pretty soon in some places. In reality, Penny had four outstanding years in Orlando until the injuries and the bad blood filled up. Did he really do enough in four years to get his number retired? As for the game, Hardaway apparently received the loudest ovation of any of the players and had a couple of shifty post moves and a few dazzling passes while Gilbert Arenas looked like he had lost weight even if he wasn’t moving all that well … Rajon Rondo is hosting his own charity game this Saturday at 6 p.m. at Harvard University, and the lineup looks pretty crazy: Rondo, Paul Pierce, Glen Davis, Marquis Daniels, Josh Smith, Kendrick Perkins, Rudy Gay, Leon Powe, Jeff Green, Kevin Durant, JaJuan Johnson, Jeremy Lin and Kyle Lowry among others. The one drawback though is the tickets. They’re available starting today and can be purchased through the Harvard Athletics Box office. But courtside seats are $100 and general admission is still a somewhat steep $50 … And if you’re into high school basketball, the city of Chicago or both, check out this dope little documentary on the state of the game there. It highlights a few of the up-and-comers, and features interviews with Tim Grover and Iman Shumpert … We’re out like the NBA’s fans.

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