Stephen Jackson playing in Impact League, Perth an "unrealistic" destination for Andrew Bogut?

West Australian: Perth captain describes Andrew Bogut bid as "unrealistic"
Perth Wildcats co-captain Brad Robbins doesn't sound too bullish on his club's pursuit of Andrew Bogut, though he does have a delightfully wimpy haircut.

"We haven't really given it too much thought because to me it's pretty unrealistic," Robbins told thewest.com.au.

"It's more just speculation than anything. I'm assuming if it was a real deal we would have had a discussion, but the leadership group hasn't even been consulted about it."

Meanwhile, the Sydney Kings' board met earlier this week and reaffirmed their interest in making Bogut an offer.

Whatever happens with Bogut and the NBL, the good news is that Australia will back in the Olympics again next year in London. Playing without Bogut due to his pesky insurance issues, Australia swept their rivals from New Zealand 2-0 in the best of three Oceania playoff to claim an automatic qualifying berth for the London games.  

Inside Hoops: Stephen Jackson among NBA players participating in Impact Basketball league
Around 60 NBA players will be heading to Joe Abunassar's Impact Basketball training center in Las Vegas for the so-called "lockout league" planned for September 12-23. Stephen Jackson is currently the only Buck slated to participate, though there have been murmurs of Brandon Jennings joining the fun as well. As for Brandon, he's been throwing himself more alley-oops, this time in Ludacris' celebrity game.

SLAM ONLINE: Nobody’s Smiling
I really enjoyed Eldon Khorshidi's video profile of Tobias Harris...though I'm also not holding my breath on the Carmelo Anthony comparison.  

TrueHoop: Signs of Labor Progress in New York
That weird sound reverberating through the echo chamber that is the NBA blogosphere? Optimism! Considering the owners and players have spent the past few months focused mainly on waging a PR war with one another, it's probably a very good sign that this week has seen the two sides a) meeting regularly after two months of relative inaction and b) playing it coy with the media rather than droning on about the other sides' unwillingness to bargain. Nobody is willing to say that a deal is imminent, but Howard Beck writes that the tone has clearly shifted since a smaller negotiating group went to work last week.

This week, the group expanded to include the union's economist, Kevin Murphy, and its outside counsel, Jeffrey Kessler. The N.B.A. brought in Dan Rube, its deputy general counsel, who specializes in collective bargaining issues. The purpose, according to the person briefed on the meeting, was to have experts in the room who could immediately run the numbers as the sides traded ideas for a new economic model.

Although the sides remained divided, they have moved from the entrenched, distant positions that led to the lockout on July 1. Silver seemed to allude to that Thursday when he said it was "never accurate" to say that the sides had not exchanged new proposals since June 30.

Both the owners and players have internal meetings scheduled for next week, so the progress made in the coming days could be crucial for maintaining momentum and possibly getting a deal done before training camps are scheduled to open on October 3. That might still be a longshot, but for the first time since the lockout began we're at least talking about the possibility of it happening. Ever the optimist, Chris Sheridan pegs the odds of the regular season starting on time at 75-80%.   

NBA.comMoncrief, most aristocratic Buck, back on Milwaukee bench
Steve Aschburner reflects on Sidney Moncrief's long-awaited return to Milwaukee.

We're Bucked: All-'80s Bucks Team
K.L. Chouinard picks his five favorites from the '80s, including plenty of video of Sir Sid.

Hardwood ParoxysmExercises In Futility: The 50 Worst NBA Rotation Players
Last seen unsuccessfully trying to get a job in Turkey, Keyon Dooling can at least take some solace in earning the 22nd spot in HP's highly coveted "worst rotation player" rankings. Congrats!

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