Podkast w/Sam Amick: Labor negotiations, Derek Fisher, Nicolas Cage and Fudgesicles

You want your lockout update? We got your lockout update! SI.com scribe Sam Amick has provided some of the best CBA coverage around this offseason, and was kind enough to spare us some time. Among the talking points:

- Despite the recent rhetoric painting a picture of sides moving further apart, Amick is reasonably confident progress has continued. Not that we're anywhere close to being out of the woods, but as long as backward steps are avoided, that's a positive. At the very least, Amick remains hopeful a 2012 season will take place.

- Amick explains why, as a general rule of thumb, the less forthcoming either side is with specifics from meetings, the better talks are likely going.

- Is the impetus among owners for a hard cap a desire for more parity, a monetarily-driven sticking point, or a little bit of both?

- Amick isn't entirely sure why some powerful agents are pushing for decertification, but if he had to guess, it's a power play. The agents feel more confident in their negotiating skills than Billy Hunter's, and are looking to usurp his power. What Amick does know, however, is decertificaton basically guarantees a large chunk of the season lost, if not the whole kit and kaboodle. It's a nuclear option guaranteeing paperwork, court rooms and tons of red tape, none of which fares well for basketball fans.

- The importance of Derek Fisher as president of the Players Association, in terms of his relationship with players and stature around the league. Amick lays out the praise and criticism commonly lobbed at Fish. For that matter, where does Dr. Jerry Buss fit in as the league's future is being decided?

- Is it problematic role players have been the most prominent faces at the meetings, rather than stars?

- Regular podkast listeners are aware of the K Bros' penchant for anything weird involving Nicolas Cage. Thus, it would be impossible for Brian and I not to explore this recent revelation: Cage once woke up to the startling visual of an intruder wearing nothing but one of his leather jackets and eating a Fudgesicle. The tale is every bit as bizarre as it sounds.