Friday Bullets

  • David Berri on Huffington Post: "One might suspect that the NBA has been impacted by the recent recession. But the NBA claims it is not just the recession. The NBA claims the league has lost money in every year of the just expired CBA. One should note why this claim is necessary. If the NBA only lost money in the past few seasons then the players could argue that these losses were due to a temporary economic condition (the recession -- despite what some people in the media seems to suggest -- is not permanent). And therefore, the league does not need a permanent change to the percentage of revenues going to the players. By claiming the losses have existed since 2005, though, the NBA runs into another problem. Are we to believe that the NBA signed an agreement that immediately led to losses? Certainly it is possible that in 2005 the NBA did not know revenues and costs in 2010-11. But shouldn't the NBA have known what revenues and costs were likely to be in 2005-06 and 2006-07? It is not unreasonable to expect that the NBA should be able to project revenues and costs for one or two years. And therefore -- if the NBA's claims are to be believed -- we must believe that the NBA made an agreement knowing the league would lose money. Oddly enough, at the time the CBA was renewed in 2005, the NBA did not announce that losses were going to soon follow."

  • Shane Battier tells Jonathan Abrams of Grantland about taking charges: "The toughest guy is probably Dwyane Wade because he probably has the best Euro-step, so he can avoid contact pretty well to avoid the charge and make it a blocking call. But the most painful is probably LeBron in the open court, which I don’t try to do too often. I think I’m the only person -- and this is a badge of honor or a sign of stupidity, I don’t know which one -- to take a charge from Yao Ming and Shaq in the open court and live to tell about it. A charge from Shaq on a fast break my rookie year and it was the dumbest thing I ever did in my entire life."

  • Canada is out of contention for the Olympics, and it's all Steve Nash's fault, for not playing. Or, that's one way of looking at it. Here's the other.

  • David Thorpe (Insider) on the Raptors' top pick Jonas Valanciunas: "Valanciunas might have the most upside of any draft pick in this year's class. Who doesn't need a scoring machine who can rebound, run and defend? He's also a high-motor player. Put it this way: If he was coming out of college after a year at UNC, he'd have gone No. 1 overall. At worst Valanciunas looks to be a solid big man with starting potential, thanks to his willingness to rebound and defend, and his ability to make perimeter shots. But he's a scorer as well, with post moves and a knack for getting good looks. If he can provide a go-to scoring option and all the benefits that come with it -- drawing double-teams, getting lots of free throws, etc. -- that will take him to another level."

  • This is an innocent looking little story with shocking implications.

  • If things get heavy in the CBA talks, they should take two minutes to watch this.

  • More than you want to see about Kyrylo Fesenko's injury. Poor guy is a free agent right now, too.

  • An amazing video of what it's like to attend a football game at Ole Miss. It would be hilarious to mock up a version of this documenting going to a Timberwolves' game.

  • Justin Verrier: "While staring at a blazing North Tower through the chain-link fence that surrounds the water's edge just miles from where 'Postcard' would eventually be erected, a deafening roar surged overhead. 'We looked up and it seemed like [the plane] was only 20, 30 feet above us,' Connolly said. 'We followed it, and as it was going over the water, I remember one of my friends saying, 'What the hell is going on?' I can remember before it hit the second tower, it made a little turn,' he said, slowly titling his hand 45 degrees. 'With that, we saw it crash into the World Trade Center.' As those around him gasped in horror, Connolly's mind could think of only one thing. 'I turned to my good friend Danny Newman and said, 'Danny, my brother Jackie is dead.'"

  • Zen Wisdom of the autobahn.