SB Nation: NBA players file antitrust lawsuit in Minnesota
And they're off. A day after the NBA's players rejected owners' latest offer and instead opted to file a disclaimer of interest to disband their union, the first federal antitrust lawsuit was filed in Minnesota against the NBA and its teams (see the complaint here). A similar suit is expected in Northern California, all part of the players' strategy to take their battle to favorable legal venues in attempt to scare the owners into softening their negotiating stance. Good luck with that.
Naturally, the owners aren't rolling over either, with Herb Kohl among ten owners who sent a letter to the league's labor relations board arguing that the owners' last offer was in fact too generous. That group of primarily small market owners want a more favorable BRI split than the currently proposed 50/50, not to mention a system that drops the hammer on big spending teams. Many of those provisions went by the wayside as the NBA tried to swing a last-second deal a week ago, but now all bets are off as both sides seem intent on retreating to their deal-killing bunkers.
The only remaining source of hope is that both sides should still want a deal rather than protracted litigation, though disbanding the union only further complicates the sides' ability to work together without legal intervention. That all but guarantees both sides will lose more money when all is said and done than they would have by capitulating to the other side and getting a deal done. As a result, you could argue that the two sides are no longer acting out of greed--at this point it's purely about ego, saving face and sticking it to the other side. And they seem bizarrely happy to lose money for the chance to do it.
ESPN New York: Brandon Jennings, Lance Stephenson star in Brooklyn
It's people sort of playing basketball! Brandon Jennings teamed up with fellow Under Armour endorsers Derrick Williams and Greivis Vasquez for a quick tour through Baltimore and New York City, including a showcase in Brooklyn against Lincoln High alums Sebastian Telfair and Lance Stephenson. And as the video below suggests, he hit up another gym for some fun in his spare time.
And if that still hasn't satisfied your craving for Jennings-related video, UA just released a pretty cool new long-form commercial featuring Jennings touring his hometown of Compton. By the way, if Jennings doesn't improve significantly next season I'm blaming Roscoe's Chicken & Waffles.
Wojnarowski: Stern, Hunter lose sight of NBA season
Plenty of blame to go around for the NBA's very uncertain future, and nobody handles a hatchet quite as deftly as Yahoo's Adrian Wojnarowski.
Too many of the player reps didn’t know the difference between a disclaimer of interest, decertification and "Dancing with the Stars" when they walked into that meeting. As it usually goes in these labor talks, whoever gets the players’ ears last can talk them in and out of almost any directive. The agents were locked out, cell phones confiscated at the door, and Hunter had a captive audience with some big fancy antitrust lawyers to make his case. Too many of those player reps are young kids who were given the task as a locker-room punishment, or older guys looking for the free annual meeting in the Caribbean.
WSSP: Woelfel reiterates Bucks' interest in Joel Przybilla and Caron Butler
Catching up on last week's news items, Gery Woelfel joined WSSP's Big Show to talk lockout (remember when they were still negotiating?) and also discussed a) Herb Kohl's continued interest in selling the Bucks and b) the likelihood of John Hammond and company pursuing Caron Butler and Joel Przybilla if/when that whole CBA situation is resolved. Definitely worth a listen, though I'm still trying to figure out how it's possible to have a conversation about the Bucks being sold and not talk about who the heck might buy them.
JS: Bucks agree to one-year lease with Bradley Center
One-year leases aren't much to get excited about, especially considering that the Bucks' latest lease agreement with the Bradley Center covers last season (better late than never, eh?). Meanwhile, Don Walker also reports that major sponsors like Frontier Airlines and MillerCoors are understandably withholding sponsorship payments from the Bucks and other NBA teams, and the BC itself has used the lockout as an excuse to stop paying down the nearly $10 million it owes the Bucks. It's all very encouraging, isn't it? In case you're wondering, here's the basics of the Bucks' deal with the BC--note that they normally get a decent chunk of non-Bucks event concessions.
At all events at the Bradley Center, the Bucks receive 27.5% of concession sales and 13.75% of food beverage sales in the suites. The team also receives 30% of all merchandise sales at Bucks' games.
Turkey: Anadolu Efes stays undefeated
Ersan Ilyasova scored 10 points (2/5 fg, 2/3 threes, 4/4 ft) and added seven rebounds in 21 minutes as Anadolu Efes improved to 5-0 with a win over rivals Galatasaray (4-1). Elsewhere in Europe, Jon Leuer (sprained ankle) missed Fraport Skyliners' latest Bundesliga loss over the weekend as well as a narrow 73-72 EuroCup loss to Turkish side Banvit.