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First Cup: Friday

  • Frank Isola of the New York Daily News: "NBA owners and players will eventually come to an agreement on how to split billions of dollars in revenue. Keith Glass, an agent for more than 25 years, is positive that day is coming sooner rather than later. And Glass is also quite sure, as both sides work to hammer out a new collective bargaining agreement, that real issues jeopardizing the future of the sport he loves will never even be addressed. 'We're in tough economic times, isn't that the owners' argument?' Glass says. "Okay, so where is the rollback for the fans? Where is the rollback for ticket prices, hot dogs, beer and parking? Where is the union and where is the league on this? Shouldn't they be worried about the people that actually pay the freight? But fans are in the middle of this, too. If you keep bitching about this I don't want to see you in February paying $140 for a ticket. It is across-the-board insanity.' The NBA lockout has already cost the league the entire preseason and if progress on a new deal isn't made by Monday, commissioner David Stern has said he will cancel the first two weeks of the regular season, set to begin Nov. 1."

  • Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel: "Go ahead, NBA, and cancel the first few weeks of the regular season. Better yet, go ahead and cancel the whole damn thing. Knock yourselves out. Lock yourselves out. Do us a favor. Do yourselves a favor. Take the year off so you will comprehend what everyone on God's green earth should comprehend at one time or another: That in the grand scheme of things, we just aren't that important. David Stern and LeBron James and the rest of the smug, arrogant, rich, pampered, greedy, spoiled, self-indulgent NBA needs to learn its lesson. And the lesson is this: America has had it with sports leagues and their so-called fiscal problems. In this economic climate, the NBA labor dispute is a disgusting affront to those who have real jobs or, worse, have lost real jobs. The owners and players can take their hard salary cap and luxury tax and revenue sharing and decertification and Gilbert Arenas' $20 million-a-year contract and shove 'em all where the sun in South Beach don't shine."

  • Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel: "The rosters for Saturday's NBA lockout all-star game at Florida International University have been released. While rosters for such exhibitions tend to remain in flux due last-minute changes of plans, the initial teamswere released Thursday by the school. Team Wade: Carmelo Anthony, Caron Butler, Mario Chalmers, Eddy Curry, Wesley Matthews, Chris Paul, Amare Stoudemire, Dwyane Wade, John Wall and Dorell Wright. Team LeBron: Chris Bosh, Jamal Crawford, Kevin Durant, Jonny Flynn, Rudy Gay, LeBron James, Damon Jones, Rajon Rondo, Russell Westbrook and Lou Williams. The game, which sold out Monday, is scheduled to tip-off at 7:30 p.m., to be televised in Miami by WBFS-33 and streamed online at CBSMiami.com. The game originally had been scheduled as a 7 p.m. start."

  • Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Times: "After spending all summer undergoing numerous procedures to repair his ailing body, Lakers guard Kobe Bryant will now work on fixing ailing homes. According to a post on the UC Irvine athletic department's Facebook site, Bryant plans to appear on an episode of ABC's Extreme Makeover Home Edition, during which he will help coordinate rebuilding efforts for residents in the Joplin, Mo., area. A reported 160 people died from a tornado that swept through that region on May 22 and has been considered the seventh deadliest in U.S. history. It remains unclear when filming will take place."

  • Tim Tucker of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution: "Two months after Los Angeles businessman Alex Meruelo’s deal to buy the Hawks was announced, he continues to await the NBA’s decision on whether to approve the transaction. The NBA approval process, which typically moves slowly, might be further decelerated in this case by the league’s more pressing business: a labor dispute that threatens the start of the season. A 75-percent vote of the league’s Board of Governors is required to ratify a team sale, but the vote — not yet scheduled — comes at the end of a lengthy process. The league declined to say how far along the Hawks matter has gotten. 'All I would say to this is that the review process is ongoing,' NBA senior vice president of communications Tim Frank said. Meruelo declined comment on the approval process through a spokesman, citing NBA rules. ... If the sale is approved, Meruelo would become the first Hispanic majority owner of an NBA franchise. "

  • Joe Freeman of The Oregonian: "After more than four months of research and interviews, the Trail Blazers' ongoing search for a new general manager has come to this: The team is starting over. A league source said the Blazers have decided against hiring any of the candidates they have interviewed to date and that Blazers president Larry Miller spent Thursday calling them to relay the news they were no longer being considered for the job. The Blazers have compiled a new list of candidates, with a strong emphasis on people with extensive general manager experience, and will, essentially, restart the search. 'I don't want to get into specific details, but what I will say is that we are expanding our search,' Miller said. 'We're going to expand our candidate pool.' Miller refused to divulge the people he has interviewed. He also would not detail any of the names on his new, expanded list. But The Oregonian has learned that former New Orleans Hornets GM Jeff Bower and Philadelphia 76ers GM Ed Stefanski will be among the targets."

  • Charles F. Gardner of the Journal Sentinel: "Milwaukee Bucks center Andrew Bogut will not play for the Sydney Kings or any other Australian team due to insurance issues, Bogut's agent, David Bauman, confirmed Thursday. ... Bauman said he had calls from many insurance carriers, but the coverage could have cost as much as $1 million to cover Bogut's deal with the Bucks. 'The teams in Australia were great and the NBA players union was very supportive,' Bauman said. 'They bent over backwards to try to help. But it's just too big of a nut. That's why you won't see Kobe (Bryant) or LeBron (James) or KG (Kevin Garnett) playing overseas. This is the undercurrent of the business we do.' "

  • Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times: "Mike Brown coached the Cleveland Cavaliers for five seasons and won't really change his defensive philosophy with the Lakers because he believes it should be similar for any team — less about tactics and strategies, more about 'want, willpower, communication, help and trust,' he said. Offense, however, will require some fresh work. ... 'Here, when you look at the team, we have obviously a great player [Kobe Bryant] that can score almost anywhere, especially between the elbows [of the key]. Just as important, we have a couple of bigs that are very talented in that painted area that remind me of my days in San Antonio when we had the two prolific low-post scorers there.' Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum should take note. Their new coach just compared them to Tim Duncan and David Robinson. Brown envisions an offense called 'strong corner.' 'At the start of the shot clock, it will be 'four out, one in,' meaning that if we get the ball down the floor quick enough, we'll have four guys along the perimeter and one of our bigs in the low post,' he said. 'If the ball does go in at an early point in the shot clock, hopefully that big will have a chance to go to work without the double team.' It certainly isn't Jackson's triangle offense."

  • Charley Walters of the Pioneer Press: "The Timberwolves won't be hiring any of new coach Rick Adelman's assistants until the NBA lockout is resolved. But when it is, former Wolves guard Terry Porter will be among them. Porter, 48, who coached the Milwaukee Bucks and Phoenix Suns, played for Adelman for six seasons with the Portland Trail Blazers. He also interviewed for the Wolves' head coaching job."

  • Bob Finnan of The News-Herald: "Pressure? There's no pressure. He's just replacing an icon in the broadcasting world. After an exhaustive five-month search in which they sorted through almost 200 résumés, the Cavaliers have hired up-and-comer John Michael on Thursday to be their radio play-by-play announcer. Michael, 39, will be replacing Joe Tait as the Cavs' radio announcer. The latter retired after 39 years behind the microphone after the 2010-11 season. Tait, 73, missed 77 games last season after getting a heart-valve replacement. 'I wouldn't call it pressure,' Michael said. 'Want to talk about a motivator? If you can't get excited about following a legend like Joe, you're in the wrong profession.' One of the first things he did was call Tait, whom he had met when he served as the radio/TV broadcaster with the Lake Erie Monsters for their first two seasons in the AHL. 'I told him it was a privilege to follow him,' Michael said."

  • Vincent Goodwill of The Detroit News: "Another longtime member of Palace Sports and Entertainment has parted ways with the new regime. Pete Skorich, executive vice president of broadcasting/brand marketing, will not return for his 31st season, he said. Skorich managed The Palace Television Centers, in-game presentation and oversaw the production of Pistons television shows. Led by Skorich, his department won a total of 29 Michigan Emmys. When reached by The News, Skorich was upbeat about his future and had nothing bad to say about the new guard, led by Palace Sports and Entertainment president Dennis Mannion. ... Skorich, a Dearborn native and University of Detroit graduate who started with the team at 18, thinks the franchise is simply moving in another direction."

  • Kyle Veazey of The Commercial-Appeal: "The University of Memphis' disgraced 2007-08 basketball season prompted three local attorneys who claimed to represent unnamed season ticket holders to threaten a lawsuit against former coach John Calipari, former guard Derrick Rose and current athletic director R.C. Johnson before reaching a lucrative out-of-court settlement. Calipari and Rose, according to the settlement agreement obtained Thursday by The Commercial Appeal, agreed on May 28, 2010, to pay a total of $100,000 to the three attorneys -- Martin Zummach, Frank L. Watson III and William Burns -- who were representing, in the agreement's words, 'certain ticket holders." The amount was to be disbursed "as they agree among themselves.' Calipari, who left Memphis after the 2008-09 season for the University of Kentucky, also agreed to donate his bonus to the U of M scholarship fund. The agreement approximated the value of the bonus at $232,000. Rose, who has starred the last three seasons for the NBA's Chicago Bulls, was also to 'consider ... making a suitable donation' to the scholarship fund sometime before 2015. The agreement said the unnamed season ticket holders believed that Calipari, Johnson and Rose were responsible for making their 2009-10 season tickets and future season tickets 'potentially' worth less than they had anticipated."