Archive for October, 2011

No Games Until December

Saturday, October 29th, 2011

From ESPN.com:

As NBA players and owners wait to see who will blink first, fans are stuck staring at a blank calendar.

NBA commissioner David Stern canceled the rest of the November games Friday, saying there will not be a full NBA season “under any circumstances.”

The move came about after labor negotiations broke down again when both sides refused to budge on how to split the league’s revenues, the same issue that derailed talks last week.

No one’s surprised, really. Hopefully we’ll have basketball by Christmas. That quintupleheader of games is, like, the best thing ever.

NBA and Players Union Meet, Make Actual Progress

Thursday, October 27th, 2011

From WFNY:

According to most NBA writers, there was some real progress in that meeting. Enough so that the league and the players are planning to meet again Thursday to pick up where they left off. There’s no mediator this time, and no instigators on either side. Just David Stern, Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver, Union boss Billy Hunter, and Players Association President Derek Fisher.

If more progress can be made Thursday, then talks could continue into the weekend. There is guarded optimism in some circles that a framework for an agreement could actually be close by the weekend. If that’s the case, expect the season to start by December 1, thus ensuring a full 82 games schedule.

I’m optimistic! Actually optimistic! I’m not being sarcastic! These exclamation points are genuine!

Drawings From the Notebook of Chris Grant (episode 19)

Wednesday, October 26th, 2011

Unlike the NBA, CFAAP on is back on Cavs: the Blog, baby!

And – I think to prove a point? – I’ve decided to do my part in ending the lockout by posting a union and/or league executive on the cover of an ESPN: the Body Issue every week until this unseemliness is resolved. Because no executive wants to be caught with his pants down. Or completely naked.

Here is…

Billy Hunter’s ESPN: the Body Issue (located, while I continue pushing the envelope of appropriateness, at CFAAP.com—where standards are low to non-existant.)

If you’re keeping score, we now have:

David Stern.
Billy Hunter.

Okay, moving on:

Just to see if we can’t begin a little debate here to keep ourselves entertained…let me start throwing some hypotheticals at you. (Along with drawings of naked old men, hypotheticals are my specialty.)

HYPOTHETICAL ONE:

Assuming the Cavs team stays as presently constructed, and knowing what you know now…

What would you rather come out of the 2012 NBA Draft with?

A) Any one of Anthony Davis, Andre Drummond, or Harrison Barnes…

or

B) Any two of Michael Gilchrist, Quincy Miller, Perry Jones, Bradley Beal, Austin Rivers, James McAdoo or Jared Sullinger.

I lean strongly toward “A,” but I’d be curious to hear an argument to the contrary.

Happy lockout everyone — keep the faith that old men and hypotheticals will break the curse.

NBA Cancels Two More Weeks of Games

Monday, October 24th, 2011

From ESPN.com:

The NBA plans to cancel two more weeks of its regular season, a source told the New York Daily News.

This would be the third time commissioner David Stern has postponed games as the league’s lockout of the players continues. The NBA had previously canceled the preseason and the first two weeks of its regular season which was set to begin on Nov. 1.

It’s barely news at this point, but as the labor talks continue and an agreement isn’t reached, the season will continue to erode in two-week chunks. I’m sure most of you know this, but the owners in recent weeks have allegedly taken a hard line on their position that BRI must be split 50-50; their insistence of a 50-50 split is making it difficult to negotiate anything else in the new CBA. And Dan Gilbert is supposedly one of the leaders of this “the players must agree to a 50-50 split or we won’t discuss anything with them” strategy. Do with that information what you will.

NBA and Players Meet For 16 Hours, Make “Progress”

Wednesday, October 19th, 2011

The story from ESPN.com:

NBA players and owners spent a marathon 16 hours meeting with a federal mediator and planned to return early Wednesday to continue the talks.

They didn’t emerge with the deal commissioner David Stern wanted Tuesday, but things went well enough that owners decided to alter their plans after previously saying they weren’t available Wednesday.

More details if you click the link. I, for one, am cautiously opti–nope, still cynical. But, I mean, they’re talking. And that’s something, even if it’s probably nothing.

Players, Owners to Meet with Mediator

Monday, October 17th, 2011

WFNY’s Andrew Schnitkey has more:

As the NBA lockout continues and heads to mediation this week, there remains few signs of hope for a season. Chris Sheridan links to aprofile of George Cohen, the man who will be mediating this mess. Cohen’s agency, the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) boasts an 86% success rate in mediation. So there is hope.

I really hope George Cohen has the power to control minds. Or maybe just mitigate idiocy.

Drawings from the Notebook of Chris Grant (episode 18)

Sunday, October 9th, 2011

Well, I’ve done it this time.

For the 18th installment of the arguably popular series, Drawings from the Notebook of Chris Grant, I made a cartoon that is not exactly ESPN appropriate.

It is CFAAP.com appropriate though – our standards are significantly lower – and you can check it out here (carefully though, as while it’s not horrible horrible, it may be a touch NSFW):

David Stern’s “ESPN: the body issue” cover.

I’m trying to end the lockout.

Also, just for the sake of providing some on-site entertainment in this post, here are the notable lockout updates:

Remember two entries ago when I wrote that the beginning of the season would be cancelled if the framework for an agreement wasn’t in place by October 3rd? Well, it seems as though that deadline has been extended until tomorrow.

Here’s a pretty nice “State of the Union” article from the mother ship, basically reiterating that one way or another we’ll know something new within the next 24 hours.

Personally, I really want to see some basketball before Christmas.

This whole process has already cost us Yi.

How much more are we expected to take?

……………………

UPDATE (10/10/11): Apparently, quite a bit. Today, David Stern announced he’s cancelled the first two weeks of the season.

…………………….

The picture at CFAAP was done by me and AJS.

Thanks for reading!

Drawings from the Notebook of Chris Grant (the potpourri/interlude edition)

Monday, October 3rd, 2011

Happy Sunday night/Monday morning Cavs fans!

I had a little bit of a busy week (translation: After September’s tense negotiations, I’ve had a little bit of trouble playing my way into shape), but I promise by next Sunday I’ll be back on schedule and come equipped with a killer entry to make up for falling behind.

In the meantime, I’ve prepared for you a potpourri of lockout-flavored peruseables.

First, a picture:

I realize it’s borderline sacrilege to stray from the Cavs toward “he who shall not be named,” but if it helps at all…I drew this a while ago. In fact, I drew it back when Green Lantern came out, and let me assure you, I think as much of LeBron as I did of that movie.

Okay, let’s get this entry back on the Cavalier track.

LeBron “Worst Green Lantern in the history of the World” James has done us one favor of late—that being it looks like he’s trying to get our rooks on the court for the second time in a week.

LBJ and his super-friends are hosting a charity game this Saturday, October 8th, and while I could have sworn it was going to be on TV (or at least streamed), I haven’t been able to find a link yet, so maybe not… But it’s looking like Kyrie and Tristan will be involved.

Here’s a link.

The afore-referenced first game for Kyrie and Tristan took place on Saturday night in North Carolina, and while footage was tough to come by, I did manage to find this Bob Leverone shot…

…which I think clearly demonstrates that Kyrie has a higher vertical than Chris Paul, and only that.

Okay, actually I found a bit more.

Here are two videos should you be interested:

  1. LeBron vs. John Wall dunkathon.
  2. Full highlights (this video essentially plays out in similar fashion to the dunkathon, but also has a few Kyrie clips included).

Kyrie scored 21 points on 9 on 17 shooting, while Tristan added 4 points and 4 rebounds. (Inconsequential side note: Jonas Valanciunas had 44 and 30. Just kidding.)

And, just for the sake of it…

Couple thoughts on a game I didn’t see and probably shouldn’t be analyzing:

  • First off, obviously no one is playing defense. That and the “out of bounds” rule seems to be selectively enforced.
  • I think I like that Kyrie had the chutzpa to put up 17 shots in such a star-studded game. That’s provided the LBJs and Chris Pauls of the world didn’t take 40, but still…I like that Kyrie sees himself as a viable option in what I’m pretty sure is certifiably an All-Star game.
  • My analysis on Tristan’s 4 and 4? Well, I’m just assuming he played some hellacious defense. (I think he was the only guy to call “out of bounds” when John Wall threw the ball against the backstop.)
  • Kyrie’s clip is brief (starts at 1:47 in video 2), but you can see just the slightest glimpse of that shiftiness (on his second highlight) I think will make him really hard to deal with in a league that doesn’t allow hand checking. An awfully optimistic view of a clip that lasts about half a second, but hey… Actually, I have nothing. It’s an awfully optimistic view of a clip that lasts a half a second.
  • John Wall is insane. There’s a 85% chance he explodes onto the scene this year with something like a 23, 12, and 5 line. It’s easy to forget just how “above and beyond” athletic this guy is…and more than that, it’s easy to forget that he was pretty solid last year while playing hobbled. In terms of the league’s premier athletes—there’s Dwight, there’s LeBron, and then there’s probably Wall. Even over Blake Griffin, I’d say, in terms of athleticism. All of that mentioned, I’m not sure he’s good enough to make Washington significantly better by himself.
  • LBJ can still get up, even with the weight of the world on his shoulders. I sometimes wonder if he’s paying attention.
  • I know we’re all waiting for Dwayne Wade’s legs to deteriorate. It’s not happened yet.
  • I’m not buying into the whole summer-league MVP thing, but regardless, Durant is probably the one guy in the NBA who’s going to have a legitimate chance to wrestle away the bulk of LeBron’s prime. But to do it, he’s got to get stronger. The good news is I think he wants to be better than LBJ, and I think he wants to be the guy that beats the Heat. The bad, on the other hand, is that he’s one year removed from essentially failing a very potent Thunder team in the playoffs—not because he wasn’t trying hard enough, but because he was unable to dictate where he caught the ball against the more physical and disciplined defenses. It happened on occasion in the regular season too, but the sample size then was too small to acknowledge the problem as a consistent reality. Durant’s looking good this summer—his ball handling looks like it’s improved—but more than anything, KD needs to further learn to use his body before he makes the catch. It’s the most important thing missing from his game, and it’s not going to be tested on the All-Star circuit. I’m pretty sure we’re all hoping he figures this out, spiteful bunch that we are.

Okay, I think that’s it, but before I hit the road—because I’m having quite a bit of fun with this post—how about a Kyrie high school mixtape? It’ll brighten up your Monday.

Kyrie Irving.

Check out CFAAP.com (the website I shamelessly promote all the time and am trying to make huge), though be aware, the top picture on there at current is very NSFW. And not even sports-related.

Go Cavs! (And keep crossing your fingers that we have the opportunity to cheer them on at all this year.)