First Cup: Friday

  • Mike Ganter of the Toronto Sun: "As is his custom, the flamboyant Dennis Rodman didn’t leave quietly suggesting to reporters, when asked about the current NBA lockout, that NBA players should just take whatever the owners offer and get back to work. 'I just think that ... the players should bow down,' Rodman said. 'They should bow down. In 1999 we (were locked out) and we missed half the season. The owners bowed down then. They gave the players everything. I think the players should do the same thing for the owners because today most of these teams are losing money. It’s not the players’ fault. It’s the owners’ fault. I think they should give a little bit and move on.' Rodman insists he’s not taking the owners’ side in all of this but it’s apparent he doesn’t believe today’s NBA player deserves the kind of money he is getting. 'I don’t think they work that hard because most of the players don’t give a damn about the game. They want the money. I’m not taking the owners’ side, I just think the players should look at themselves. ‘OK, I’m making $16-million or $17-million a year but what have I accomplished?’ Most of the players haven’t accomplished anything. That’s what you have to look at.' All that said, it’s a pretty safe bet Rodman won’t be receiving Christmas cards from Billy Hunter or any other current NBA players. But that is Rodman in a nutshell: No filter, no regrets, no disguised agenda."

  • Berry Tramel of The Oklahoman: "Hey, I'm a huge NBA fan. Love at first bite. I want the lockout over. But if the owners are determined to push the players to the brink of a canceled season, we'll adjust. We'll move on. We'll find something else to occupy our time. NBA seasons are long. For ticket-buyers, NBA seasons are a huge financial and time commitment. For the crowd that is Thunder-crazy via television only, still a big time commitment. Eighty-two games spread over 5 1/2 months. The games are great, the action suspenseful, the talent amazing, the entertainment supreme. The NBA has spent five years in Oklahoma City teaching us we can't live without the game. But give us another dark season, and maybe we learn that we can."

  • Mitch Lawrence of the New York Daily News: "Locked-out NBA players believe they scored a major victory Wednesday when the National Labor Relations Board denied David Stern's request to have the union's chargeof an unfair labor practice dismissed, although the players are a long way from seeing this tactic get them back onto the basketball court. The NBA commissioner went before the NLRB on Wednesday seeking the dismissal, as first reported by the Daily News, but the NLRB decided to continue with the case, which the players union hopes will lead to the league being forced to restart operations and open the season under the previous collective bargaining rules. 'That is what Stern and his owners are worried about,' insisted a union legal source. Perhaps, but first, the players' case has several more steps to go, and it's being viewed by legal experts as a long shot to help them break the 106-day-old lockout."

  • Ethan J. Skolnick of the Palm Beach Post: "So the players can't win. They certainly can't win by whining, by pounding the door after Stern sends them to their rooms, by making empty threats. Overseas defections were supposed to create leverage, but only a few mid-level players have gone without opt-outs that would allow them to return when the NBA season starts. Amare Stoudemire is musing about starting a rival league, without understanding all that would entail. And LeBron James is joking about playing football, which provides a cute distraction - and even got Pete Carroll to commission a 'James' jersey. Yet the chances of James suiting up for the Seahawks are as slim as the players beating these suits in a spin game. Thursday, on WFAN in New York, Stern said it 'was time to make a deal. If we don't make it Tuesday, my gut is that we won't be playing on Christmas Day.' The players would be wise to take the deal, because it won't get better."

  • John DeShazier of The Times-Picayune: "If you love the NBA you don’t care who’s at fault, owners or players. You only care about the game. And every week it isn’t played, the owners and players give you a little more reason to care less."

  • Kate Fagan of The Philadelphia Inquirer: "Comcast-Spectacor's sale of the 76ers to a group of investors led by New York billionaire Joshua Harris is expected to close early next week, according to a source close to the situation. Terms of the sale were agreed upon in July, but the deal has been pending approval of the NBA's board of governors for more than two months. The NBA has been mired in a lockout since July 1. On Monday, the league canceled the first two weeks of the 2011-12 regular season. The new ownership group is expected to speak publicly for the first time next week, assuming the sale is officially approved, as expected. The deal is for 100 percent of the Sixers for approximately $280 million. The deal does not include the NHL's Flyers, also owned by Comcast-Spectacor, or the Wells Fargo Center, which houses both professional franchises."

  • Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press: "Tom Gores and his private equity firm Platinum Equity completed the purchase of the Pistons and PS&E for $325 million this year. Platinum Equity officials are reluctant to discuss financial matters, but the Sports Business Journal reported last month that NBA teams can lose up to $1.5 million in gate revenue each home game. And the Pistons are losing two premium dates -- the first game of the Gores era and a game against a team featuring stars Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire and a former Pistons hero in Chauncey Billups. The Palace still would have a home opener, but premium nights against teams like the Knicks are hard to duplicate. There were reports of teams instituting pay cuts and considering layoffs or furloughs because of the ongoing lockout, but Platinum Equity said it is not considering those austerity measures right now. But as the lockout lingers, employees rightfully are concerned about their future."

  • Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle: "Overall, the impact on the city is not expected to be too significant. Despite the lockout, the Rockets still must pay their rent. Though many NBA teams pay a percentage of gate receipts and would not have gate receipts at all during the work stoppage, the Rockets' lease agreement calls for two payments of $4.25 million a year, one on Aug. 1 and another on Feb. 1. Those payments include $2.6 million as Residual Arena Rent, $100,000 as the Naming Rights Portion, $750,000 as a Maintenance Fund Deposit and $800,000 as a Capital Fund Deposit. Most players do not begin missing paychecks until Nov. 15 and long have been told by union leaders to prepare for a protracted labor fight. The Rockets have not had any layoffs, pay cuts or furloughs, but there are an additional 700 security, concessions, custodial and other employees who work during Rockets home games who have had work nights taken away, with many more expected to be lost. ... The pain does not seem likely to end soon. No talks are scheduled until the sides meet with a federal mediator on Tuesday. 'They need to do something, damn it,' Chris Filby said. 'This is really hurting us.' "

  • Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune: "NBA superstar and childhood pal Kevin Durant has been added to Michael Beasley's All-Star Classic next week at Osseo High School, organizers say. The two have known each other since grade school and have played in exhibition games together all over the country during this locked-out off season. Durant joins a list of players expected for that Oct. 21 game that also includes Beasley, Kevin Love, John Wall, Joakim Noah, DeMarcus Cousins, Derrick Williams, Wes Johnson, Jeff Green, DeAndre Jordan, Sam Young, Greg Monroe and Martell Webster."

  • Paul Coro of The Arizona Republic: "When and if the Suns hold a training camp for the 2011-12 season, they will be getting away for their building and bonding to west Phoenix. After spending recent training camps in San Diego, Tucson and Italy, the Suns are planning to hold their preseason training camp at the new Grand Canyon University Arena. The dynamics of the lockout dictate that the Suns have a plan that can work on the fly for whenever a collective-bargaining agreement is reached. The camp/preseason timetable could be crunched but the Suns still like the idea of leaving their usual confines at US Airways Center for a camp, even if it is only 14 miles away in this case. Training camp normally lasts about a week and includes some two-a-day workouts."

  • Bob Finnan of The News-Herald: "There’s a new kid in town. And, finally, he has a name. The Cavaliers announced at an afternoon news conference their new National Basketball Association Development League team will be named the Canton Charge. They have adopted their NBA parent club’s wine-and-gold color scheme, in addition to a logo that boasts a Cavalier holding a sword. 'We didn’t want to do a literal interpretation of the Cleveland Cavaliers (logo) because the fans wanted something different and unique,' Cavs chief marketing officer Tracy Marek said. '(They wanted) something that stood on its own two feet in the community. A big part of what you see in this logo is that he is literally lunging forward and he is charging. That’s very purposeful. We were looking for an aggressive movement forward. He’s on his way somewhere.' Marek said the logo was a collaboration between the Cavs and design company Cenergy of Amherst, N.Y."