This summer has been a drastic difference for San Antonio Spurs guard Gary Neal compared to last year.
Last summer, Neal was on his way to earning a multi-year contract after summer league and in the gym regularly to workout with other Spurs players.
This summer, that gym is off limits, and he's left playing in pro-am leagues. Neal has played with the Goodman League and is now playing with Carmelo Anthony's team of Baltimore natives and other NBA superstars.
One thing hasn't changed for Neal. Before summer league started, his future was an uncertainty, and the same rings true when it comes to the NBA during a lockout that has been at a standstill for the last few months.
According to ESPN, Neal and Anthony's team will continue to play all takers.
After playing in Philadelphia last night, the team will play at Chris Paul's charity game in North Carolina and a game in Miami could be soon to follow.
While not the ideal situation, at least Neal continues to play and the games give him an opportunity to stay in game shape for whenever the season finally comes around.
This summer has been a drastic difference for San Antonio Spurs guard Gary Neal compared to last year.
As if losing to Arcade Fire's Win Butler in a three-point shooting contest wasn't embarrassing enough, it seem San Antonio Spurs' Matt Bonner met more embarrassment at the hands of Butler yet again.
Bonner took part in the Pop vs. Jock game for Pop Montreal 2011 where Butler put Bonner on the spot. Butler handed handed the microphone to Bonner and got him to sing the children's lullaby "I'm a little teapot."
So if you have children, gather them around your computer so they can enjoy Bonner's rendition of the classic lullaby. Then again, maybe they might think you are punishing them.
Skip to the 1:12 point of the video below.
According to the French site Catch-and-shoot.com, San Antonio Spurs' Tony Parker is willing to pay for his own insurance to play with his French basketball club ASVEL.
"My desire to play ASVEL is real. Now I must see with insurance. I had good meetings lately, it's positive. In a few days I will meet everyone and do with my lawyers if possible. I hope we can negotiate a good price. It would be an ill timing to be right after the nearly five major Euro in France (Parker, Batum, Diaw .. .)! Of course I want. If I come play in France, it will be for the minimum wage and it is I who paieraimapropre insurance. I'm not going to charge My Club and, anyway, do ASVEL could not! "
With the NBA announcing cancellations for the early part of the preseason, Parker's only option of playing competitive basketball may be to play with ASVEL for a minimum salary.
In other Spurs news, Italian owner Claudio Sabatini is still trying to find (Sportando.net) a way to get Manu Ginobili and Kobe Bryant together on his ball club, Virtus Bologna.
Sabatini has had a meeting with Bryant's agent, but he says both sides are still very far away from getting a deal done. He's also put a call in with Ginobili's agent, though he hasn't heard back from him.
"About Ginobili we are waiting for an answer by Luciano Capicchioni, player's agent"-Sabatini
Now that the lockout has officially eaten into the preseason, one familiar face to San Antonio Spurs fans is hoping a deal will be resolved soon.
Zach Randolph is a household name in the city of San Antonio as he led the Memphis Grizzlies to one of the biggest upsets in NBA history as his eighth seeded team took down the number one seeded Spurs in the playoffs.
And after a recent radio interview, Randolph says the thrill of defeating a top team and going to seven games in the second round has only fueled him more in the offseason.
“It was a great feeling. The feeling was unbelievable. You could feel it. You can still feel it. Winning a playoff, going to the second round, game seven, it just got us hungry. We want to win a championship and to tell you the truth we are really ready to compete. That’s why I say the lockout happens when things are turning around, but once we get back in place we’re gonna be a team to be reckoned with.”
Randolph has a good point. The Grizzlies will definitely be a team that can contend if the 2011-12' season ever begins. With Randolph and Marc Gasol (if Memphis can resign him) controlling the paint in Memphis, they're one of the few post-heavy teams that still exist in the league. The other team is the Los Angeles Lakers who have Gasol's brother Pau and big man Andrew Bynum.
San Antonio Spurs' Kawhi Leonard has been maximizing this NBA offseason and lockout.
He has been displaying a tremendous work ethic, working on his shot to the point of bringing in his own lamps to the gym, and played in the Las Vegas Impact League. All of which can only help his transition into the NBA and the Spurs.
But it also seems he has been hitting the weight room and added 15 pounds of muscle to his 6 foot 7 frame.
Add all this up and any defender next season (if there is a next season) will have his hands full with Kawhi.
And this hard work has seemed to pay off. In an exhibition game last night he scored 24 points, and grabbed 10 rebounds.
Looks like the Spurs have their hands on a special player and knew what he can bring to the court when they traded for him on draft night. Now if only the CBA negotiations can come to an end so Spurs fans can see Leonard on the court.
I don't know if former NBA great and Minnesota Timberwolves GM Kevin McHale was serious or just joking when he made a remark to Dwayne Casey in 2007.
Here, I'll let you read what he said first.
“I was jumping into a situation where the charge at the time was to win the conference,” Casey told Sporting News. “Kevin McHale felt like we should have won the conference, we should have beaten San Antonio and Dallas. Expectations—right, wrong or indifferent—were a little out of whack with the team that we had. I think everything happened for a reason. I thought we were on the right path in the second season, we were knocking on the door of the playoffs.”
Should have beaten Dallas and San Antonio in 2007? Yes, you read that correctly.
First, the Mavericks led the league that year almost winning 70 regular season games at 67-15 only to have the worst round one upset at the hands of the Golden State Warriors. Spurs fans went on to laugh at them for the next four years until it wasn't funny anymore because this past season, the Spurs were also knocked out of the playoffs as the one seed to an eight seed.
Second, the 2007 San Antonio Spurs went on to win the NBA championship that year. Their toughest series was with the Phoenix Suns. They ended up sweeping their Eastern Conference foe in the NBA Finals.
How did the T'Wolves do in 2007?
Remember Major League 2? Remember how Ricky "Wild Thing" Vaughn played by Charlie Sheen showed up to training camp wearing a suit, a hot blond agent/trophy girlfriend and an arsenal of awful pitches he had given names to as some sort of attempt at branding. I mean who could forget Jack Parkman naming one of the pitches the master-baiter, (OK go ahead and laugh at that word) later changed to the humiliator? Eventually, Vaughn went back to "Wild Thing", striking out Parkman with good ol' number 1, the Terminator. The same thing happened to Willy Mays Hays, who tried to become a power hitter and it of course failed, leading Hays, played brilliantly by Pittsburgh Steelers Head Coach Mike Tomlin, to revert to his old base stealing ways. The moral of Major League 2 is that change isn't always a good thing.
You could say the same thing about portions about the Miami Heat's first season. I'm not going to write the same tired essay about what went wrong and pee all over what ended up being one of the most eventful and entertaining season for any team in NBA history. I'm a solutions based guy. I will say though, Chris Bosh's season specifically has some Wild Thing Vaughn & Willie Mays Hays to it. There's a guy who was told by everyone that he had to become a tough post players who rebounded and blocked shots and everything else that wasn't his strong suit (though his rebounding number in Toronto were awesome). But being a low post threat hasn't ever been Bosh's strong suit, like power hitting was never Willie Mays Hays' strong suit or like the master-baiter er... the humiliator was Wild Thing's strong suit.
It was bad enough the lockout postponed training camps for the upcoming season but now it seems a week of preseason games have been canceled as well.
NEW YORK, September 23, 2011--The NBA announced today that player training camps for the 2011-12 season have been postponed indefinitely because a new collective bargaining agreement has not been reached with the National Basketball Players Association. Training camps were scheduled to open on October 3.
In addition, the league canceled all preseason games scheduled from October 9 through October 15.
“We have regretfully reached the point on the calendar where we are not able to open training camps on time and need to cancel the first week of preseason games,” said NBA Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver. “We will make further decisions as warranted.”
This means the following San Antonio Spurs preseason games have been canceled:
- October 9: Spurs vs. Hornets in San Antonio at 7:30PM
- October 11: Spurs at Kings in Sacramento at 7:00PM
- October 15: Spurs vs. Kings in San Antonio at 7:30PM
What do you have to say Spurs fans? Do you see this season being saved or are you thinking the season will be lost?
(h/t Surya Hot Hot Hoops)
Well San Antonio Spurs fans, it seems the NBA lockout will officially begin to effect the 2011-12' NBA season.
According to Ric Bucher of ESPN.com, the NBA is expected to announce today it will postpone training camps and exhibition games. After the NBA and the Players Association worked for five hours to get a deal done Thursday, there was very little progress in the negotiations.
Stern acknowledged Thursday that "the calendar is not our friend" when it comes to keeping the NBA season intact.
Both sides have agreed to meet again sometime next week as they're both hoping to save the start date (November 1) of the regular season. The negotiations went sour Thursday when the owners wanted the players to take a -11 percent revenue sharing cut from their original 57 percent revenue sharing agreement. The new cut would have left the players with only 46 percent of the revenue sharing cut. The owners also still wanted a very hard salary cap. The players couldn't give in to both demands.
It was supposed to be Jimmer's All-Stars, but San Antonio Spurs draftee Kawhi Leonard and Team Leonard gave Kings draftee and host Jimmer Fredette a 140-126 beating in Fredette's return to the Marriott Center in front of a crowd of Jimmer Nation loyalists.
Leonard was the captain of his team, and started with Kemba Walker, Tobias Harris, Malcolm Lee and Bismack Biyombo, while Fredette started on his team with Kaneth Faried, Nolan Smith, Jackson Emery and Chirs Singleton.
Leonard scored the first points of the game, using his quickness to get to the basket and lay it up off the glass. While he missed his next few shots, he scored twice more to end the first quarter with six points and a one-point lead in the game.
Leonard was back to business once again at the start of the second quarter, showing off surprisingly good handles as he went coast-to-coast and took on about three players before finishing with some flair.