Sports Outside the Beltway

NBA suspends training camps indefinitely

File this under not surprising news-

NEW YORK — The lockout has started doing real damage to the NBA’s calendar.

Players won’t report at the usual time. The preseason won’t start as scheduled.

And more cancellations could be necessary without a new labor deal soon.

Out of time to keep everything intact, the NBA postponed training camps indefinitely and canceled 43 preseason games Friday because it has not reached an agreement with players.

All games from Oct. 9-15 are off, the league said. Camps were expected to open Oct. 3.

“We have regretfully reached the point on the calendar where we are not able to open training camps on time and need to cancel the first week of preseason games,” deputy commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement. “We will make further decisions as warranted.”

The players’ association did not comment.

I don’t expect their to be another NBA game this year. This kind of labor conflict is usually protracted and nothing will get done till the season is on the verge of being lost. As NHL fans know from 2004-2005, even then the dispute can go over the cliff taking a whole season with it.

I have no sympathy for either owners or players. The players are rich and overindulged, the owners of small market NBA teams had to know when going in that they had little chance of making the franchise they were purchasing into NBA Championship contenders/moneymakers.


Streaks- Oklahoma City beats New Jersey 105-89

The Thunder have a three-game winning streak, their longest this season. From AP-

The Oklahoma City Thunder seemingly have found a winning formula — Kevin Durant and a lot of defense.

Durant matched his season high with 40 points and the Thunder defeated New Jersey 105-89 Monday night, sending the Nets to their 10th straight loss — their second double-digit losing streak of the season.

The key for the Thunder was the final 17 minutes when they limited New Jersey to 17 points, including 13 in the final quarter.


The win was a season-high third straight for the Thunder (16-14).

“We have a long ways to go,” Durant said. “We still have a lot of slip-ups in games, but we are getting better. Hopefully, we peak at the right time.”

Former Net Nenad Krstic added 19 points and Russell Westbrook had 16 points and 10 assists. Reserve Nick Collison added 11 points and 10 rebounds.

Last night’s defeat was the 10th in a row for the Nets and the second time this season(in just 31 games) that New Jersey has put together a double digit losing streak. They opened the 2009-10 NBA season with 10 straight losses.

Up next for New Jersey are New York, Cleveland, and Milwaukee. The Knicks and Bucks are each playing about .400 basketball. So there is a fair chance the Nets latest losing streak will end soon.

While New Jersey’s disastrous season has drawn lots of attention, the Thunder’s good year(16-14) has gone relatively unnoticed. I did note their victory over Miami last month.

Oklahoma City plays 7 of their next games against losing teams. The team formerly known as the Seattle Supersonics could be playoff bound.


Rolling Thunder- Oklahoma City beats Miami 100-87

The Heat’s Dwyane Wade was just 6 of 19 shooting the basketball. From AP-

With plenty of good seats still available around the end of the first quarter, the Miami Heat gave some upper-deck fans a rare chance to move into the lower level.Thunder Heat Basketball

If nothing else, they got a better look at Kevin Durant and the much-improved Oklahoma City Thunder.

Durant had 32 points, nine rebounds and five assists, Russell Westbrook finished with 24 points and seven assists and the Thunder added to their surprising start by beating the Heat 100-87 on Tuesday night. An early 20-1 run put the Thunder in control, and a 14-2 burst in the third quarter helped seal it for Oklahoma City.

OKC has begun the year 6-5 and is one of the NBA’s biggest surprises so far. Last year the Thunder only won 6 of its first 38 games.

Pro franchises once upon a time, would let cheap seat ticket buyers fill the more expensive areas of a stadium or arena after say a certain amount of the game was played. My late father used to tell stories of exactly that happening at the old Polo Grounds.


Oklahoma City Thunder rescind Tyson Chandler trade

A bad big left toe means he will have to return to New Orleans. From ESPN-

Tyson Chandler missed the New Orleans Hornets’ last 12 games before the All-Star break with a sprained left ankle. But that had nothing to do with why he failed his physical with the Oklahoma City Thunder and was thus sent back to the Hornets on Wednesday.

After examining Chandler’s left big toe, Dr. Carlan Yates, Oklahoma City’s team physician, determined that the risk of re-injury was too great to give Chandler a clean bill of health. He therefore advised the Thunder to rescind Tuesday’s trade that landed them Chandler for Joe Smith, Chris Wilcox and the rights to Devon Hardin.

“This is absolutely crazy,” Chandler said in a telephone conversation Wednesday night. “I’m super shocked. This is nuts.”

Chandler, 26, was baffled by Yates’ ruling in part because Yates performed surgery on Chandler’s big left toe in April of 2007 when the Hornets were playing in Oklahoma City. Chandler played 79 games the following season and while he’s missed 19 games this season, none have been because of his toe.

“He said he doesn’t know how long I’ll last,” Chandler said in reference to Yates. “He told me, ‘I have no doubt you can play on it. I’m just saying it could take a turn for the worse if you come down on somebody’s foot or hyperextend it or something.’”

Chandler was bothered by the toe in last season’s playoffs and withdrew from Team USA over the summer.

It sounds to me if Chandler has a nagging injury. At over 12 million dollars a year salary,if I were Oklahoma City management I wouldn’t want to pay for Tyson Chandler either.

Henry Abbott at ESPN writes-

Now we know the Hornets — a team on delicate financial footing — are likely to be spending more than they think they should, and a lot of that will be going to a big man who has some kind of long-term health concerns.

And they were ready to hoist damaged goods off on another team. Would that make future potential trading partners leery of working with New Orleans in the future? Time will only tell about that, and whether Chandler can become 100% healthy again.


Oklahoma City Thunder fire coach P.J. Carlesimo

It didn’t take long for the recently moved NBA franchise to fire its first ever coach.

The Oklahoma City Thunder, off to a league-worst 1-12 start in their new home town, have fired coach P.J. Carlesimo.

Assistant coach Scott Brooks has been named interim coach.

The Thunder dropped their 10th straight game on Friday night, a 105-80 home loss to the New Orleans Hornets. Sources told that Carlesimo was fired before the team boarded a flight to New Orleans for Saturday’s game against the Hornets.

I can’t fault Thunder management for blaming Carlesimo after a 1-12 start. Brooks will certainly improve on that record, but it won’t take much to do it.


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