A work stoppage cost two months of the season the last time players and owners negotiated a new collective bargaining agreement, but union executive director Michele Roberts wants to avoid a repeat come 2017, as she tells Michael Lee of The Washington Post.
“I don’t want a lockout. I don’t want a strike. What I want is anything any reasonable person would want — and that is labor peace,” Roberts said. “That’s what I hope for, but I’ve got to be prepared for a lockout.”
The specter of the next labor negotiations will continue to grow as they creep closer and as Roberts continues to settle into her role. However, with Roberts and Adam Silver replacing Billy Hunter and David Stern in their respective roles on opposite sides, there’s reason to expect the talks will proceed differently this time around. Here’s more from around the NBA:
- Kobe Bryant reiterated to USA Today’s Sam Amick that he can’t envision playing past the end of his contract in 2015/16, and he was even more definitive in his declaration that he won’t ask for a trade, no matter how often the Lakers lose this season. “It’s not going to happen,” Bryant said. “It’s not going to happen. You go through the good times, you’ve got to go through the bad times.”
- Timberwolves executive/coach Flip Saunders has no plans to add another point guard in absence of Ricky Rubio, who’s out up to eight weeks with a sprained left ankle, writes Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune. Rookie Zach LaVine is starting in Rubio’s place while Mo Williams remains on the bench.
- Saunders and Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau are among many who believe the league should have an earlier deadline for rookie scale extensions so that negotiations don’t spill into the season, observes Jon Krawczynski of The Associated Press.
- Mike D’Antoni has been hanging around Hornets practices and games and giving feedback to Charlotte coach Steve Clifford, notes Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times. “I know this: He was in Charlotte for three days, and we had a great time. We talked basketball, like, two or three hours a day,” Clifford said. “He still has a real passion for coaching. I know that.”
- The Grizzlies have recalled rookies Jordan Adams and Jarnell Stokes from the D-League, the team announced via press release. Memphis assigned the pair on Saturday, in time for Adams to score 20 and Stokes to put up 13 points and 13 rebounds in a preseason game for the Iowa Energy.