Duncan ranked 8th among 50 Greatest of All Time

With the NBA lockout still unresolved, the guys at Bleacher Report made an updated list of the 50 Greatest NBA Players of All Time.

San Antonio Spurs forward Tim Duncan was ranked 8th in the list, a notch ahead of another great big man Hakeem Olajuwon (9th) and a step behind Shaquille O’Neal (7th).

Here’s the take on Duncan:

Tim Duncan has remarkably been one of the most consistent players in NBA history. By sticking to smart fundamental moves (hence, his nickname “The Big Fundamental”), Duncan became the first player to make the All-NBA and All-Defensive Team in each of his first 13 seasons in the league.

With his superb post footwork and signature bank shot, Duncan has continually been one of the best scorers in the NBA. While teaming with David Robinson, the 13-time All-Star led the Spurs to the first of four titles in just his second season. That historic run was capped by the first of three Finals MVP awards.

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Sources: NBA 2011-12 season hangs in balance

As reported by ESPN’s Marc Stein, NBA commissioner David Stern is planning to threaten players with the cancellation of the entire 2011-12 season if the sides haven’t made major progress toward a deal by the end of the weekend when NBA labor talks resume on Friday according to sources close to the talks.

Although sources said the union views such an extreme stance as more of a negotiating tactic than a legitimate threat, Stern went almost that far in his comments to reporters in New York on Wednesday after a second straight day of negotiations.

Referring to meetings scheduled Friday that are expected to attract as many as 15 owners and star players such as the Heat’s LeBron James, Stern said: “I’m focused on let’s get the two committees in and see whether they can either have a season or not have a season, and that’s what’s at risk this weekend.”

In 1998-99, the only season in NBA history in which regular-season games were lost to a work stoppage, no deal was reached until Jan. 6, 1999, with a 50-game season finally starting on Feb. 6, 1999.

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NBA stars to play Entertainers Basketball Classic – Goodman game

New York natives and NBA players Metta World Peace (formerly Ron Artest), Joakim Noah and Kemba Walker will headline the Entertainers Basketball Classic (EBC) squad when they face the Goodman League in a streetball game Sept. 30 at Long Island University in Brooklyn, according to EBC chief executive officer and founder Greg Marius. (via Matt Ehalt, ESPN New York)

San Antonio Spurs guard and Baltimore native Gary Neal, could represent the Goodman league in this summer spectacle.

Marius said EBC’s roster will also include Dallas Mavericks forward Corey Brewer and there’s interest in adding Milwaukee Bucks guard Brandon Jennings and Detroit Pistons guard and Mount Vernon native Ben Gordon to the roster. Arrangements need to be made so Washington Wizards rookie Chris Singleton and Portland Trail Blazers guard Wesley Matthews can join the team in Brooklyn.

“Everybody is definitely excited about this game,” Marius said. “It’s a lot of star power and it’s for charity for both of the leagues. Both of us depend on sponsorship dollars and want to be able to create some other revenues and this is (a) great avenue with the lockout and players are willing to lend their support.”

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NBA players mulling overseas option amid lockout; league’s reputation stained

NBA training camps had been expected to open on October 3 with the regular season beginning in early November, but that could be in jeopardy with the sides still bickering over the salary cap structure.

With the lockout still in place, a bevy of NBA players have opted to take their talents overseas.

With the lockout issue likely not to be resolve soon, NBA players have been mulling offers from overseas.

Kenyon Martin is the latest from a long list of players who left the league during the lockout, and is the sixth Denver Nuggets player to do  so.

Before him, Ty Lawson signed in Lithuania with Zalgiris Kaunas, Timofey Mozgov signed in Russia with Khimki Moscow, Danilo Gallinari returned to Olimpia Milano, Wilson Chandler and JR Smith signed in China.

While Lawson, Mozgov and Gallinari can return if there indeed is a 2011-12 season, Martin won’t be able to leave his Chinese Basketball Association squad until the season ends in March.

Smith and Chandler have also elected to play in China, which won’t allow NBA players to opt out of their one-year contracts should the lockout end.

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Drew vs. Goodman League rematch set

San Antonio Spurs' Gary Neal drives to the basket against Austin Daye and Jarret Jack in a Summer League game last month. (Photo via USA Today)

After much waiting and anticipation, there will finally be a rematch between the Los Angeles based Drew League and the Goodman League of Washington D.C. (via Andrew Kamenetzky, ESPNLosAngeles)

The game will take place on Oct. 9 in Los Angeles at Cal State Dominguez Hills. The time is tentatively set for 5:30 p.m. PT. Longtime Drew League commissioner Dino Smiley confirmed the news and date to ESPNLosAngeles.com.

The first meeting on Aug. 21 in D.C. saw the Goodman League squad, fueled by 44 points and a pair of clutch free throws from Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant, eke out a 135-134 victory, San Antonio  Spurs Gary Neal scored six points in that win.

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Could Manu and Kobe become teammates in Virtus Bologna?

According to sportando.net, Claudio Sabatini the owner of Virtus Bologna, talked again to Resto del Carlino, about Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant and San Antonio Spurs’ Manu Ginobili.

Could Manu and Kobe become teammates in Virtus Bologna?

“I can risk by my own the 50% of the total amount of money needed. For the other half, I need the help of private companies, professional associations and the municipality. We have three opportunities: the arrival of Kobe Bryant, the return of Manu Ginobili and the organization of FIBA World Championship Under 19 in 2013.

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Tony Parker to play in China?

Earlier this month, there have been reports that Los Angeles Lakers super star Kobe Bryant is considering to play in China during the NBA lockout.

Now, according to Yahoo! Sports, San Antonio Spurs’ Tony Parker is also in serious talks to play in China:

“Bryant is the biggest star deep in negotiations with China, but he isn’t alone. San Antonio Spurs point guard Tony Parker has been engaged in serious talks, too, sources tell Yahoo! Sports, but it won’t matter if China lays down legislation that could be crippling to the signing of NBA stars.”

Interesting, but this is contrary to what Parker has said about playing overseas during the lockout.

Parker has said that he would likely play in France preferably for ASVEL should the lockout drags on.

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Bryant considers China a likely option

As reported by Yahoo Sports, Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant is engaged in a more serious contract talks with teams in China than he is with Turkish team Besiktas.

Should the lockout drags on, Lakers' Kobe Bryant could play in China.

ESPN reported that Bryant was supposed to have a meeting last Saturday with the Turkish team to sort out contract issues.

However, a source close to Bryant said he hasn’t had conversations with the Turkish team in two weeks, and labeled Bryant’s chances of playing with Besiktas at “zero percent.”

Bryant, sources said, is still listening to offers to play overseas during the NBA’s lockout, and considers China a more likely option.

He has exchanged proposals with Chinese teams, and one source said it’s unlikely Bryant would accept any deal that pays him less than $1.5 million per month. Bryant would be free to rejoin the Lakers as soon as the lockout ends.

Bryant, a source close to him said, also has become irritated with Besiktas officials making public proclamations on that status of talks with him.

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Ginobili ranked among the NBA’s most underrated shooting guards

Tim Griffin of Spurs Nation wrote this piece about Manu Ginobili as being one of the NBA’s most underrated shooting guards.

Manu Ginobili has earned three NBA championship rings, an Olympic gold medal and likely is headed to the Basketball Hall of Fame after his career ends as one of the greatest players in history.

Despite all that acclaim, Ginobili still might be one of the more underrated players in NBA history.

Playing in the shadow of Tim Duncan and Tony Parker will do that. But the wise observers at ESPN.com’s 5-on-5 roundtable aren’t discounting Ginobili.

Chris Palmer ranks Ginobili as the league’s fourth-best shooting guard, ranking only behind Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade and Monta Ellis.

Here’s what he had to say about Ginobili in his summation:

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ESPN: Bryant, Rose, Paul, Durant to come to Manila for exhibition games

With a lockout in effect and NBA players talking about playing in Europe next season, some big stars are getting a taste of basketball overseas.

According to ESPN, league MVP Derrick Rose of the Chicago Bulls, the Los Angeles Lakers’ Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder and New Orleans Hornets guard Chris Paul are among those who will be playing exhibition games in the Philippines this weekend, according to multiple media reports.

With the NBA lockout in place, Kobe Bryant, Chris Paul, Kevin Durant and Derrick Rose will go to Manila for exhibition games.

The games benefit the MVP Sports Foundation, which helps youth sports programs.

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