BREAKING: The NBA is going to lock out.
Ken Berg's announcement: it's official. This despite the players' having reportedly submitted a new proposal today, according to Yahoo!'s Adrian Wojnarowski. Billy Hunter has insisted that the Players Union will not decertify and that negotiations will continue. Settle in, basketball fans. Lockout begins at 12:01 AM.
Paschketball: Stephen Jackson meets the press
Stephen Jackson was introduced to the Milwaukee media yesterday, and the press conference covered a lot of existential topics: Stephen is excited to be in Milwaukee. Stephen wants to win more than anything else. Stephen is a misunderstood player haunted by a few bad decisions many years ago. There is definitely something to be said for bringing in a guy with a dominating personality and a strong character. The on-court struggles for the Milwaukee Bucks were well-documented last year; stat sheets and box scores were less adept at capturing the leadership crisis and lack of focus that apparently plagued the team between games.
In that sense, Jackson represents a calculated risk, a known quantity hired at least in part to fix an unknown problem. Raw intensity might be the best medicine for this team, and Jackson's sharp press conference words leave little doubt that intensity will be brought. But what about the on-court issues, the ones we all saw and analyzed, the ones that placed Milwaukee at the bottom of the list in just about every measurable offensive statistic? Jackson's a known quantity there too. Unfortunately, he doesn't inspire quite as much confidence in that department. I hope as much as the next Bucks fan that Jackson becomes a vocal leader and restores some swagger to the roster, but he needs to play good basketball too.
Jersey Numbers - Milwaukee Bucks Facebook Photos
At last, the suspense gives way: the newest Bucks have picked their numbers. Stephen Jackson will wear #5, Shaun Livingston #9, Beno Udrih keeps his #19 from Sacramento, Tobias Harris goes to #15, Jon Leuer keeps his college #30.
TrueHoop: 11 thoughts about the end of the CBA
Henry Abbott lays out some great points regarding the end of the current CBA and the potentialities of the new one. Jacob tweeted about #11, regarding how owners get money to build stadiums, being a big issue for the Bucks--any financial relief the organization gets out of the new CBA should, hopefully, be turned around and dumped into a new arena in the near future.
ESPN: Proposals from the players, owners for new CBA
Andrew Brandt breaks down what the owners and players want in a new CBA.
NBA.com | Hang Time Blog: Bucks Made Out Like Bandits
Sekou Smith apparently thinks the Bucks hit the "Jack"pot (I'm sorry, couldn't resist) in their draft-day trade, grabbing a couple of players that are sure to get them back to the playoffs where they belong. That seems to be the general consensus, but I'm torn in my agreement with many national columnists who think that this new Bucks iteration is a guaranteed return to the glory of old, old being two years ago. "Scoring should no longer be a problem" says Smith. Ahh, if only it were that simple. Stephen Jackson will almost certainly help fill the leadership vacuum (intangible), and his fiery personality will bring a nice spark to a Bucks team that looked down in the dumps for the better part of last season (intangible). But whether he and his new friends can fix a woefully inefficient offense (tangible) remains to be seen.
Ball Don't Lie: Stephen Jackson asks for a 'mandatory' 2013 contract extension
This was a bit of a low-light in Jackson's press conference, and while it shouldn't really be an issue for at least a little while, it's a reminder that you always get the good with the bad. Dwyer doesn't think too highly of the move, and while his take might be a bit harsh, it's obviously something that John Hammond will have to deal with at some point, and he needs to act prudently.
Woelfel: Jackson expecting contract extension
Here's another take on the contract extension from Gery Woelfel at the Racine Journal Times. Most of the same quotes are presented, with a similar reaction. There's also some interesting notes at the end: apparently the Bucks recently offered their five assistant coaches contract extensions, but none have been accepted. The extensions reportedly ask each assistant to take a pay cut, and two coaches - Kelvin Sampson and Jim Boylan - are in contention for coaching positions with other teams.
Hoops World: Corey Maggette Excited for Fresh Start in Charlotte
Corey Maggette offers his version of Jackson's reaction to the trade.
"I had the chance to talk to him," Maggette said of Jackson. "He wasn't happy about it. He was really happy in Charlotte. He loved all the fans, the organization, as well as playing for Michael. He really loved it in Charlotte, but he understands that this is business and this type of stuff happens. He was definitely looking forward to helping the team reach their goals and leading the way, but sometimes things happen. Its part of the business and now he just needs to move on and try to look forward to Milwaukee."
Hunt: Let's give Bucks another shot to get it right
Michael Hunt is evidently reconsidering the whole "Bucks spinning their wheels" thing.
Jackson probably won't average 15 points. He won't have to if Jennings, Andrew Bogut, Carlos Delfino, Beno Udrih, Shaun Livingston and Drew Gooden remain healthy. What the Bucks really need is for someone with Jackson's credibility - the guy graduated from the CBA and Europe to win a championship ring - to righteously get up in some faces and change that static, directionless locker-room mood.