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Guess Who's Back? Nobody, Just The NBA Lockout - The Downbeat - #589

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On a day when a plethora of news is supposed to be filling up my twitter timeline from beat writers and the like and we receive a "how I spent my summer vacation"-type report from the players, the next phase of lockout acceptance kicks in and I begin to wonder when we will actually see players again.

By now, we should have had rookies signed, two-three free agents signed, and be talking about how this team is going to develop this season. Instead, we have players and owners hunkering down in NYC right now, trying to come together in a last-ditch effort to save some of, if not the entire, season. Ken Berger of CBS Sports gives it 48 hours before we'll know what the fate of regular season games will be. It seems as if cancelling the rest of the pre-season is inevitable at this point.

And in the meantime, the fans have had, and will have no say in any of this. There will be casual lost and even some die-hards that have had enough. When the league finally does resume, the NBA and its owners will send out cookie-cutter forms to season ticket holders and the like thanking them for sticking with them, how we're the best fans, and how the league couldn't exist without our support.

I wish I could say I would I'll just take the year off -- if doesn't happen involuntarily anyway -- and boycott the Jazz and the NBA this season. But I won't. I'll come running back faster than Lorraine does to Biff.

When play does resume, remember who caused this problem. The league has been functioning under the current model in some form for the past 25 years and yet the owners have said its broken. This includes two major revisions in the past 12 years at the owners behest to "fix the problem" yet they continue to say that it's broken.

There are no doubt teams that are losing money and there are players making more money than they should. Remember though that this is a lockout and not a strike. There will be repercussions in the form of lost revenue and a PR hit, but it feels like they should be punished more.

Anyone want to start up a fans' union and the negotiate some inclusion into the current CBA?

Paul Millsap wwas finally inducted into the Louisiana Tech Hall of Famee over the weekend. His basketball accomplishments with the university were listed as follows:

Paul Millsap (2003-06). 3-time NCAA Rebounding Champion (only person in Division I history to accomplish this), became only the second freshman in NCAA Division I history to lead the country in rebounding, 3-time All-WAC (2004, 2005, 2006), WAC and State Freshman of the Year (2004), 3-time first team all-Louisiana (by the LSWA), 2-time WAC All-Defensive team, 68 career double doubles in 92 college games, averaged 18.6 points and 12.7 rebounds in his Tech career, selected in the second round of the 2006 NBA Draft by the Utah Jazz, Scored a career-high 46 points last year against LeBron James, Dwayne Wade and the Miami Heat.

These two quotes to me show how Millsap is almost a combination of Stockton and Malone,

"The first season he didn't say a word. His sophomore season he said two words. And by his junior year, we got a whole sentence out of him."

...

"It's tough to say what it is; I think natural instinct does play a part," Millsap said. "But my knack of going to and finding the ball is a result of hard work in practice and determination. I work hard to get better in all phases of the game. Rebounding is just what came more naturally, but it's still hard work that makes it happen."

You have the demeanor of Stockton and the work-ethic and determination of Malone. That's not to say that Stockton didn't work his tail off.

Also, his nickname was Mr. Clean with some people because he could clean the glass. The story references a monster game that he had against Texas Tech. In that game, he put up 29 & 14 and had the game-winning three-pointer. Maybe we all shouldn't have laughed when his agent said he was a legitimate three-point threat?

Take a look at his numbers in his last season at La. Tech.

We know that O'Connor is a shrewd negotiator. It appears that his new hire Rich Sheubrooks is as well. I wonder who blinked first? From Brian T. Smith,

O'Connor called Sheubrooks this summer with the intention of vetting a possible hire, wanting to get Sheubrooks' opinion about a job candidate. Sheubrooks responded with a minor revelation: the Bobcats were making alterations, and he might be looking for a change. Neither O'Connor nor Sheubrooks bit at first, feeling each other out as they discussed the possibilities of Utah's undefined position.

We know that KOC called Billy King dangling AK as a trade bait but with his eye on trading Deron Williams. Perhaps O'Connor did the same thing with Sheubrooks?

SLAM ONLINE | " Top 50: Al Jefferson, no. 33
While Howard may have more fame and notoriety to go along with slightly better numbers statistically, Jefferson has much better low-post moves and footwork and Big Al has quietly been putting in the same, if not similar work as Dwight throughout his career. And you know what he gets as a reward? He gets to lead the pack as one of the most underrated players in the NBA today.

Monday poll...