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.
OAKLAND -- Easing into a seat for an interview a half hour after the Warriors finished practice Monday, Draymond Green responded to the first six questions at decibels barely above a whisper.
There was candor on basketball matters, because there always is with Green, but the power forward’s tone was relatively relaxed.
Not until the next several questions, all related to America’s polarizing sociopolitical climate, did Green’s heart and mind lock into rhythm. Asked if he believes the current wave of protests against inequality will go away soon, his voice picked up volume and conviction.
“I hope not,” Green said. “If it goes away, then we still have a problem. So I hope it’s not going away in a few weeks. Then we’ve missed the message again.
“So, no, I don’t think it’ll be gone away in a few weeks. And I pray that it’s not, because it’s not a problem that can be fixed in a few weeks. So, no, it shouldn’t be gone in a few weeks.”
Green acknowledged that he did not see the demonstrations that were spread across the NFL landscape on Sunday. He was, he said, out shopping and enjoying the day with his children.
He was aware that some teams stayed in the locker room during the anthem, that others knelt on the sidelines and that some linked arms. Being aware was not enough for Green to feel comfortable addressing that aspect.
But he’s very familiar with the subject matter.
“You just have to stand for what you believe in,” Green said during an answer than lasted more than two full minutes. “What everyone else may believe in, you may not believe in.”
Articulating the difference between the life of the athlete and that of a soldier, Green explaining that he has the “utmost respect” for those in the military.
“I just hope that there can be an understanding that this isn’t against the military,” he said. “It’s not to disrespect anything they do. Because I think everyone respects what they do . . . I appreciate everything they do.”
It was evident, however, that Green is on the same page as those pushing for the progress that would make America great, allowing the country to live up to its pledges stated in the constitution and elsewhere.
That’s why he hopes this activism is not a trend but a movement.
“I’m not saying kneeling shouldn’t be gone,” Green said. “But this conversation, trying to make these changes, absolutely not. If it’s gone in a few weeks, we’re screwed.”
Do you remember Game 1 of the 2017 Western Conference Finals?
A refresher: The Spurs led by 21 with about eight minutes remaining in the third quarter and Zaza Pachulia fouled Kawhi Leonard on a jump shot.
Leonard landed on Pachulia's foot, rolled his ankle (for the second time in a matter of minutes) and did not play again during the series (Leonard made both free throws and then left the game for good).
At media day on Monday, Leonard was asked about the NBA's new rule for the 2017-18 season.
"Think it's good to protect the player from getting hurt," Leonard told reporters. "I think it's a good rule just for the defender to be cautious."
Months later, does Leonard believe Pachulia's play was dirty?
"It's over with now. Would just rather talk about the new season. If it was dirty, or if it wasn't, it's not gonna help anything right now."
What new rule?
"NBA referees will be able to call flagrant or technical fouls on defenders who dangerously close on jump shooters without allowing them space to land, as Zaza Pachulia did on the play that injured Spurs star Kawhi Leonard in last season’s playoffs.
After calling a foul, officials will now be able to look at replay to determine if the defender recklessly positioned his foot in an unnatural way, which could trigger an upgrade to a flagrant, or a technical if there was no contact but an apparent attempt to injure."
When many in the basketball world called Pachulia's play dirty, the Warriors big man said: "That's really stupid."
The Warriors and Spurs meet for the first time this season on Nov. 2 in San Antonio.
Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders and a Web Producer at NBC Sports Bay Area. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller