The gloomy commentary on Tuesday obscured the fact that the parties are inching toward each other on the financial component of a new labor deal. Each side put a new proposal on the board last week, when the top negotiators met in a smaller group, according to a league official. A significant gap remains in dollars, but it is gradually shrinking, the official said.
Stern referred multiple times Tuesday to the prospect of an agreement on the financial parameters.
“We have a sense that, within a certain tolerances, there’s a potential economic deal that may be within view,” Stern said.
Ignore all the doom-and-gloom headlines. The owners and union are headed in the same direction. Chris Sheridan expects the big moves to come in a few weeks.
I will remain a pillar of positivity.
On Page 2, Jermaine O'Neal says his ball is going flat.
Jermaine O'Neal told CSNNE.com that, barring an unexpected change of heart, which he says is unlikely, this will be his last season.
"I'm going into my 16th year, so I know my time is near," O'Neal said. "I know someday the ball is going to go flat; you have to plan for life after basketball and that's what I have been doing."
But if the NBA owners and players union can't reach an agreement on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement and the 2011-2012 season is lost, O'Neal said playing overseas will not be an option.
"I have a 5-year-old son and a 12-year-old girl," he said. "They want to spend a lot of time with Daddy. At this point in my career, it doesn't make sense to go overseas and play for half-a-season. I want to be able to be ready and be fully prepared mentally and physically for what may be my last season."
After an injury-plagued 2011 season, there's evidence Jermaine should hang up the sneakers now. But I think he can contribute 15 decent minutes per game. What I don't want is Jermaine being the Celtics top big man going into the season.
The rest of the links: