Thank God for Steve Blake. The man who couldn’t hit a shot to save the Lakers’ season in the playoffs might just be bold enough to save the NBA season. Sam Amick and Adrian Wojnarowski broke the story on Twitter, saying Blake is doing whatever he can to rally the troops, and gain support for a vote by Wednesday. He’s irate at the union and wants to play. He’s not pushing them to take the deal; He just wants a vote. A few other players, and some big names like Kobe Bryant and LaMarcus Aldridge, are willing to look into this deal the owners are offering. Amick even said he called two agents who represent 19 players in total, and that every one of those players wanted to take the NBA’s deal. So basically, the players all seem to have differing opinions, and at this point, with just one day left before they have to accept or decline, that’s not good. Most believe a vote is still a long way off. Let’s hope Blake’s attempts at bringing everyone together shoot straighter than his postseason jumper … Here’s some numbers to chew on. AFP via Google News reports that a recent telephone survey holds that 76 percent of Americans don’t miss the NBA. 12 percent said they did while the remaining 12 percent had no opinion. The survey featured “a random sample of 1,179 voters nationwide” by polling company Poll Position. One has to wonder if the majority of respondents even liked sports, let alone basketball, in the first place. But it’s meant to reflect the thoughts of the general population. Take the stats for what they’re worth … Time.com published a short piece on gauging the economic impact on NBA cities during the lockout. It suggests certain cities will be fine based on various studies on the economies of NBA cities: including one documenting nearly four decades of no NBA work stoppages. Of course, the article mentioned that arena owners, local bars and restaurants will still feel the squeeze. Yet their downfall won’t be felt throughout their respective metropolitan areas. People will either save money by not dropping it on tickets or spend it elsewhere locally. Keep in mind NBA attendance hasn’t moved much in recent years and even got bested by MLS recently. You read that right. MLS is the third most attended sport in 2011 on average after the NFL and MLB. TV ratings are a whole other story, but the trend shows the NBA could bear to adjust their pricing strategies on top of upper management making better decisions to bring in more fans … Besides unleashing his And 1 Mixtape handle this weekend, Stephen Curry‘s taking the lockout time to work towards his sociology degree at Davidson. Ball Don’t Lie shared some of the highlights of his interview with The Story. The talk highlights his rookie year struggles, transitioning to being a student and his thesis on the persona and marketability of pro athletes with tattoos. The thesis idea is rather attention-grabbing since plenty of players get all kinds of reactions from their ink. As Curry said in the interview, aspiring athletes tend to get tattoos modeled after their favorite players as a means to emulate their guise on the court/field. We’ve heard the cons of ink, but is that stuff really true? LeBron seems to do okay with ink. So does ‘Melo … Keep reading to hear about the opening night of college basketball …
Watching Arizona in the first half last night, we couldn’t help but say it: this looks like a team that is just dying for one star player. That guy left for the NBA this summer, and because of it, the ‘Cats struggled to lose Valparaiso early, up by only a bucket at the half. But in the second half, the defense picked up, the intensity picked up and ‘Zona ran away 73-64. We’ve heard both ends of the spectrum of expectations for this team this season. They have some decent players – and a great freshmen backcourt with Nick Johnson (14 points, six assists) and Josiah Turner – but right now, we don’t see special. Valpo head coach, Bryce Drew (yes, THAT Drew), was rocking one of the illest sky blue blazers we’ve ever seen though … St. John’s and their blueprint for success was a carbon copy, falling behind in the first half to William & Mary and then dominating the second half (they won the final 20 minutes 48-26) behind pressure defense and feasting on turnovers. Even without Steve Lavin – who watched from home coming off prostate cancer surgery – we’re gonna have to start watching more of the Red Storm, only because they have a big man named God’s Gift Achiuwa … The only other game from last night saw Mississippi State – a dangerous sleeper team in the SEC West – beat Eastern Kentucky 76-66. Another player who could make our All-Name Team, Dee Bost, went off for 23 points, six boards and six dimes … Not only did we preview the team y’all love to hate (Duke) yesterday, but we found out that there are plans for a Duke vs. UNC alumni game. The first annual “Kings of Tobacco Road” game is going down on Nov. 17 at North Carolina Central University, and both squads are bringing out the heavy artillery. Raymond Felton, Vince Carter, Brendan Haywood and Antawn Jamison will play for UNC while Duke has Kyrie Irving, Nolan Smith, Corey Maggette, Chris Duhon, Elton Brand and Gerald Henderson. The retired Rasheed Wallace is also there so he can stand under the hoop and get dunked on, and then get thrown out … Mitch McGary is going to Michigan. HighSchoolHoop’s No. 6-ranked high schooler chose the Wolverines over both Florida and Duke, a relative surprise even as he said he wanted to go somewhere that he could create his own tradition. McGary is probably the most talented prospect this school has had in over a decade. How many backboards will he break next year? … RIP Smokin’ Joe Frazier … We’re out like MW3.
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