SI: The lockout is forcing NBA players to organize their own
Brandon Jennings' summer exploits have been well documented (see above), but don't mistake Lee Jenkins' piece at SI for another fluff piece recounting everything you already knew. While it may not be surprising given all we know about Brandon, it's still a fascinating portrait of Jennings' love of the game.
Jennings has become the union's underground ambassador, appearing in more pickup games than Wesley Snipes and Woody Harrelson. "Where they hooping?" he tweets in the morning, with a hashtag for his location. He considers all offers, and if he chooses one, he tweets the address in case anybody wants to stop by. He is like a taco truck, serving broken ankles. The day that Jennings went to Rowley, a group from El Camino College in Compton saw his tweet and came to challenge him. They might as well have walked into a sparring session with Floyd Mayweather. "He gave us a chance," says Mathew Rodriguez, an El Camino student and tutor. "But not much of a chance."
All that talk about the game serves as a refreshing contrast to the lockout negotiations going on in New York, where the union and league now face a Monday deadline before regular season games will begin to be canceled. It's not to say that progress hasn't been made, as both sides have now offered significant concessions from their original (and rather unreasonable) proposals. But the specter of agents pushing for decertification and a lack of planned meetings are casting considerable uncertainty over what comes next.
BallinEurope: Ilyasova says he wants to stay with Anadolu Efes
Maybe Ersan Ilyasova just needs a hug. Spanish website TuBasket reports that the Turkish forward still hasn't warmed to the idea of returning to Milwaukee and has instead reiterated his desire to stay in Turkey this season regardless of when the lockout is resolved. As you may recall, Ilyasova still has one year and $2.541 million left on his contract with the Bucks, which would take precedence over his new Turkish deal provided the lockout doesn't wipe out the whole 11/12 season.
While Ilyasova had previously cited his disappointment with playing time and the team's style as factors in his disenchantment with the Bucks, TuBasket also notes Ilyasova's "lack of social life in the U.S." as a factor in his souring on the NBA. Whatever the reason, the Bucks will have a tricky decision if and when the lockout is resolved, as they will likely be loathe to let Ilyasova out of his contract for nothing. But the Bucks have also been fairly clear about only wanting players who want to play in Milwaukee, and that no longer seems to be the case with Ilyasova, who was widely reported to be on the trading block in the lead up to the draft. The Bucks didn't manage to swing a deal then, so it will be interesting to see if resolving the lockout allows them to make any headway on getting something of value for Ersan rather than losing him for nothing.
Tobias Harris highlights from the Jimmer's All-Stars game
Richmond Times-Dispatch: Sanders spent NBA rookie year growing up
Larry Sanders spent the early part of the summer working on his game at the IMG Academy in Florida, but with the lockout now canceling games he's doing what many 22-year-olds do this time of year: heading back to school.