Hey, at least theyre trying, right?NBA owners and players were back at the negotiating tablethis morning, trying to hammer out a labor deal that would end a lockout thatis nearing four months.Commissioner David Stern, deputy commissioner Adam Silver,union chief executive Billy Hunter, union president Derek Fisher and otherswere joined for a second day by federal mediator George Cohen.The sides met for 16 hours on Tuesday, a session thateventually leaked into Wednesday morning. Both sides were back at thebargaining table just eight hours after the marathon session ended.Both sides refused comment at the request of Cohen afterTuesdays session. It is unlikely the sides will meet for as long a time onWednesday because the NBAs board of governors are scheduled for meetings inNew York today and Thursday.Stern indicated last week that if the sides werent able toreach a deal by Oct. 18, then he would have to consider the possibility ofcanceling NBA regular-season games through Christmas.Stern already has canceled all of training camp and thepreseason as well as the first two weeks of the regular season.
Warriors guard Stephen Curry has been voted to start the NBA All-Star Game for the fourth consecutive season, and this time there was a measure of suspense.
Curry will join Rockets guard James Harden in the backcourt for the Western Conference squad, as voters snubbed MVP candidate and triple-double specialist Russell Westbrook of Oklahoma City.
Joining Curry and Harden in the starting lineup for the West will be Warriors forward Kevin Durant, Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard and Pelicans forward/center Anthony Davis.
A combination of fan balloting (50 percent), player balloting (25 percent) and media balloting (25 percent) comprises the overall vote.
Curry’s selection is sure to generate considerable debate, as Westbrook leads the league in scoring (30.6 points per game), is second in assists and 11th (10.4) in rebounding (10.6). Westbrook also leads the league in PER at 29.56.
Moreover, he is bidding to become the first player since Oscar Robertson in 1961-62 to average a triple-double over the course of a full season.
Coming off back-to-back MVP seasons, Curry ranks 12th in scoring (24.6 points per game), 15th in assists (6.1), second in 3-pointers made (158) and eighth in steals (1.81). His 92.6-percent shooting from the line ranks second in the NBA.
He is the first Warrior since Wilt Chamberlain to start four straight All-Star games.
Durant, in his first season with the Warriors, leads the team in scoring (26.2) and blocks (1.71) and double-doubles (16). He’s second in rebounding (8.6) and third in assists (4.7). His 54.4-percent shooting from the field is 10th in the league and tops among perimeter players.
Durant will be making his eighth appearance, and his fifth as a starter.
The Eastern Conference starters are as follows: guards Kyrie Irving of the Cavaliers and DeMar DeRozan of the Raptors, with frontcourt players LeBron James of the Cavs, Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Bucks and Jimmy Butler of the Bulls.
All-Star reserves, which are chosen by NBA coaches, will be announced on Jan. 26.
With the salary cap rising , Kevin Durant is expected to opt out of the second-year of his two-year contract with Golden State and become a free agent again this summer.
But don't plan on him signing with another team.
“I’m liking it here,” Durant told Sam Amick of USA Today Sports at the Warriors' groundbreaking ceremony. “I’m liking everything that’s going on. I know what my contract says, but I didn’t plan on coming here for just a year. I’m in it right now, and I’m also just focusing on day by day.
“I know it’s cliché, and you hear that all the time, but I’m seriously just not thinking about it because I’m like – I’m just in it for the long haul.”
Warriors owner and CEO Joe Lacob is not concerned about losing Durant.
He also fully anticipates re-signing free-agent-to-be Stephen Curry.
“I have no angst whatsoever," Lacob told Amick. "I totally am positive (that) I think those guys are going to sign. They’re both free agents. They have a right to do whatever they want. They’ve earned it, and I respect that.
"If they don’t sign with us for some reason, then shame on me and us. I take responsibility for that. But I don’t see that happening.”