The lockout is in full swing and many of us are already missing some NBA action, nonetheless for die-hard basketball fans, here are some news around the web.
- Tim Griffin of Spurs Nation reported that NBA commissioner David Stern remains optimistic that a deal between the players and owners can be hammered out before the season is cancelled.
Even after the league filed an unfair labor practice charge with the National Labor Relations Board last week to prevent a decertification, Stern told the Boston Globe he is hopeful a deal can be negotiated.
“I expect that we’ll make a deal because the alternative is very destructive,” Stern told the Globe. “It’s destructive of $2 billion worth of player salaries and it’s destructive most important to our fans of the game. And if it spirals badly everyone gets hurt. But in some ways I worry because the players have more to lose, especially those in the later stages of their career. So we’re going to do everything we can when the rhetoric slows down to get this thing back on track.”
Stern’s words are a contrast from Players Association president Billy Hunter, who said that he expects the upcoming season will be lost.
- Andy Bailey of Bleacher Report listed San Antonio Spurs rookie Kawhi Leonard among the rookies to watch in the 2011-12 season, if and when the NBA season resumes.
“Kawhi Leonard seems like a perfect fit with Gregg Popovich and the Spurs’ organization.
He’s a tough rebounder who works hard on both ends of the floor. If Richard Jefferson can’t pick up his production, Leonard may find himself starting as a rookie.”
- And Brandy Simms of SevernPatch.com reported about a 7-foot basketball star from Old Mill, that has caught the attention of the Spurs
Travis Hyman, a rising senior, helped lead Bowie State to a 23-6 record last season including a 16-2 conference mark. The Bulldogs finished the 2010-2011 campaign unbeaten at home with a 13-0 record.
“I don’t think that there’s another big man who can guard him one-on-one when he bangs and plays up to his potential,” said Jay Gavin, a rising senior guard at Bowie State.
In a game against Lincoln University, Hyman recorded 32 points, 16 rebounds and seven blocked shots to lead Bowie State to an 83-62 win over the Pennsylvania school.
“When he plays like that,” added Gavin, “there are not many teams that are going to beat us because we have a collection of guards that can also play really well too. We have an inside presence like that it makes it so much easier for us to go inside-out.”
As a sophomore during the 2009-2010 campaign, Hyman earned the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) Defensive Player of the Year honor.
Hyman has been honing his skills this summer by playing in the Nike Pro City League against the area’s top competition. The league formerly known as the Jabbo Kenner League is held annually at McDonough Gymnasium on the Georgetown University campus and attracts local professional and major college players including NBA types.
Brandon Jennings (Milwaukee Bucks), Greg Monroe (Detroit Pistons), Jeff Green (Boston Celtics), Greivis Vasquez (Memphis Grizzlies) and Ty Lawson (Denver Nuggets) were among the players who competed in the Nike Pro City League this year.
“I just want to play against a higher level to make me better,” said Hyman who helped lead Team Takeover to the division title with a 6-2 record during the regular season.
Hyman competed on a team with Division I players such as Chris Wright (Georgetown), Lasan Kromah (George Washington), Chris Braswell (Charlotte) and DeWayne Jackson (Morgan State).
“A lot of people are really surprised that [Hyman] plays at Bowie State but he’s a force,” said Team Takeover Coach Butch Hazel. “He’s going to surprise some people on the national level I think.”