I eagerly look forward to the day when PodKasts aren't focused on the lockout or lockout-related developments. Sadly, that day remains on the distant horizon. Still, a conversation with ESPN The Magazine's Chris Broussard is always enjoyable, and we fired up the "Sasha Vujacic in the South Bay" clip, which never gets old. Never accuse the K Brothers of not trying to make NBA limbo as much fun as possible.
Click this tab to hear the show, and below is the rundown:
-- Kobe Bryant reportedly has an offer from Virtus Bologna in Italy to join their squad. Is this good idea? For all the reasons Brian listed and more, I agree it's an opportunity (of sorts) Bryant should decline. Granted, I think the odds of him actually taking the offer are slim to begin with.
-- Speaking of Lakers with outside-the-box athletic opportunities, Metta World Peace stunk up the joint on "Dancing With The Stars." In our conversation before a recent practice, he seemed much more confident and, quite frankly, competent in his dancing skills. But just like Vujacic was an "11 a.m. shooter," MWP is apparently an "11 a.m. dancer."
-- With those matters chopped up, we got an update from Broussard on the labor negotiations. As he shares, aside from the basketball related income percentages, the question of a hard or soft cap, and revenue sharing among owners, all the loose ends have been tied up. In other words, the scheduled Nov. 1 start to the regular season is in serious jeopardy.
-- On a positive note, Broussard thinks decertification remains a decided last option for the players' union, despite a handful of powerful agents pushing hard.
-- It's important to remember the recently canceled preseason games and delayed training camps were expected developments on both sides. And in terms of the bigger picture, willingly accepted. Not that either situation is ideal, but as Broussard confirms, neither points to the entire season potentially lost. (For those keeping score, Chris thinks we'll eventually end up with a 50-ish game season.)
-- In discussing Bryant and Italy, Broussard raises an excellent point. Virtus Bologna makes a big splash just by having their team associated with Kobe, much less signing him. Similar to the Besiktas hoopla, this is as much about publicity as earnest hope to land The Mamba. The offer may be legitimately on the table, but we're a long way from Kobe donning a Virtus jersey.
-- Like me, Broussard took issue with the question examined in a recent Triangle (whether the NBA now "belongs to" Kevin Durant). From Chris' perspective, the league has never in its entire history belonged to any one player other than during Michael Jordan's prime.