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Would this 50/50 split solve the NBA lockout? 09.22.11 at 2:55 pm ET
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While NBA owners and players continue the debate on Thursday over a collective bargaining agreement to end the league’s lockout, let’s offer the two sides a fairly simple solution that took only a couple of hours to calculate.

Based on figures published by Forbes, teams raked in $3.8 billion in revenue during the 2009-10 NBA season — 57 percent (or $2.2 billion) of which went to the league’s players — yet 17-of-30 clubs managed to lose money that year. That’s not what Wyc Grousbeck & Co. are looking for, obviously.

But what if the players agreed to split that $3.8 billion in revenue down the middle, giving seven percent (or $154 million) in total salaries back to the owners? Such a 50-50 split would increase each of the 30 team’s operating income by $5.1 million — instantly chopping the number of squads losing money from 17 to 12. Not a bad start.

Too much of a concession on the player’s behalf, you say? Well, according to Adrian Wojnarowski‘s  latest report, such a reduction appears not only possible but likely. Besides, a 50-50 divide is still better than the 53-47 split that favored NFL owners in their recent deal. Now, what to do about the 12 teams still losing money?

Let’s say the 18 NBA owners who are profiting agree to place 50 percent of their operating income into a revenue sharing system. That’s a grand total of $202.5 million. Divided up evenly, each of the 30 teams gets $6.75 million from that pool. Based on those 2009-10 numbers, only three teams would be left in the red: the Magic (-$11.3 million, because they stupidly paid Rashard Lewis and Vince Carter a combined $34.1 million), the Bobcats (-$8.2 million, because the league granted a new team to a city that failed to support the Hornets) and the Pacers (-$5.1 million, partly for overpaying Troy Murphy, Mike Dunleavy and T.J. Ford).

Still, based on the 2009-10 numbers, 27-of-30 NBA teams would be profiting from that system — in one of the worst economic downturns in the country’s history. That’s about as foolproof as you can get, right?

Sure, this hypothetical system means less money for the 11 most profitable teams — the Knicks, Bulls, Rockets, Lakers, Pistons, Raptors, Thunder, Suns, Warriors, Clippers and Blazers — but all of those teams benefited from either their location (a top-12 media market or Canada) and/or spending significantly less on player salaries.

In fact, the NBA could withhold all or a portion of a team’s $6.75 million in revenue sharing for failure to spend to the luxury tax threshold. That would provide an incentive for owners to put as much money back into their teams as possible — a spending floor, if you will — something that would surely please the players at the bargaining table. Such a concession might even open the door for players to consider the hard salary cap that the owners are so hell bent on securing during these negotiations.

Obviously, I understand that there are intricacies of a collective bargaining agreement that I’m never going to understand, but a 50-50 split of total revenue between the players and owners as well as a 50-50 split of total operating income between the owners and themselves seems like a pretty fair deal to me.

Discussions about owners and players dividing up millions and billions of dollars are understandably both confusing for those following them and infuriating for fans who just want to watch professional basketball again, so I offer this chart of the hypothetical revenue sharing system to benefit all parties involved …

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Read More: Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Lakers, NBA lockout, New York Knicks
Kevin Garnett: ‘You trust no one’ in NBA lockout 09.01.11 at 12:41 pm ET
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Celtics all-star forward Kevin Garnett joined The Dan Patrick Show on Thursday morning to promote the video game “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.” He discussed everything from not trusting the NBA owners, to the possibility of an extension with the Celtics, to how close he was to joining the Lakers, toShaquille O’Neal hitting a softball over the Green Monster at Fenway Park.

Here are the highlights from my transcription of Patrick’s interview with Garnett. Enjoy what was a great conversation …

Dan Patrick: Do you trust the owners?

Kevin Garnett: You trust no one in this, to be honest. You trust the players, because we are all communicating, and it is negotiating, but you never trust the other side, you know? Because you don’t know what they’re thinking, and you don’t want them to know what you’re thinking. You try to come to some common ground that makes sense going forward.

DP: Do you think the owners want a season?

KG: I don’t know. I’m not on the owners’ side. I don’t know what they want.

DP: But you have to understand your opponent, I guess, if you go into a business agreement. I just get the feeling that they’re willing to sacrifice a season.

KG: Naw. You say that, and you hear that, but you don’t understand some of the motives of some of this. We have a take, and we have a stand that we’re going to take on some issues. I think at the end of the day common ground will be found. I just think that this game is too beautiful, with everything that’s going on and all the story lines that surround our game, I can’t see just blowing away the season. But I think if we did, both sides are prepared for that.

DP: You’ve got a year left on your contract. Have you talked about an extension?

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Read More: Boston Celtics, Kevin Garnett, Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers
Tracy McGrady doesn’t seem to like Boston too much 07.19.11 at 10:57 am ET
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A couple weeks ago, we discussed why the Celtics could and should offer 32-year-old free-agent shooting guard Tracy McGrady a contract. Well, based on his recent Twitter activity, McGrady probably won’t be landing in Boston anytime soon. Well, at least not for the $1-point-something million veteran minimum.

First, McGrady tweeted the accompanying Photoshopped photo of himself in a Lakers uniform, wearing the legendary Smush Parker‘s No. 1 jersey, accompanied by the caption: “Yes or No?.” T-Mac also expressed his desire to sign in Los Angeles last summer.

Of course, McGrady later tweeted, “let me clarify: the pic of me in a Lakers uni is just a repost from a follower that sent it to me, along w/ caption yes or no. #ingoodfun”

Hmm, I wonder if his agent got to him: “Ahhh, Tracy, you might not want to tip your hand about where you want to sign before teams are even able to offer you a contract. I mean, you’re a seven-time NBA All-Star who played in Detroit for an awful Pistons team last season for the veteran minimum. Just a suggestion, buddy.”

Then, as if McGrady hadn’t shunned Boston sports fans enough, he went on a Twitter rant about how the Yankees are better than the Red Sox

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Read More: Boston Celtics, Boston Red Sox, Los Angeles Lakers, New York Yankees
Kevin Garnett proves he is the modern-day Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 05.08.11 at 1:00 am ET
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The doubters were out in force following Game 2 against the Heat when Kevin Garnett was held to six points and eight rebounds in over 37 minutes in a loss that put Boston in a 2-0 hole. This came after a fairly pedestrian 16 points and six rebounds in 37 minutes in a Game 1 loss.

Miami coach Erik Spoelstra knew it was just a matter of time before Garnett exploded. Saturday night was that time – and specifically the third quarter. KG hit seven-of-eight shots from the field in scoring 14 of his game-high 28 in a 97-81 Game 3 win over the Heat.

‘€œKareem Abdul-Jabbar. That’€™s what it reminds me of,” Spoelstra beamed afterward. “He’€™s too proud of a player, talk about an MVP, one of the best players in this league, as soon as he stepped on the court as a rookie 14 years ago.”

Garnett added 18 rebounds to go with his 28 points on 13-of-20 shooting in 38 minutes.

‘€œI thought tonight I was just a lot more poised,” Garnett said. “Just as a unit, as a team we had a lot more energy. I felt like I’€™ve been nonexistent pretty much offensively in this series. Tonight was a little more focused on offense versus defense. I thought I did a good job of balancing out to be honest. I looked for my shot to be honest. They weren’€™t bringing a double team so I just took my opportunities and I was aggressive. That’€™s what I’€™ve got to be like for the rest of these series if not the whole playoffs.’€

Still – to Spoelstra – he couldn’t help but think of Kareem when he saw KG Saturday night dismantle his team.

“For the revisionist out there, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar when everyone threw dirt on him in the finals against Boston, he came out the next night and had 37 [points] and 15 [rebounds],” Spoelstra said of Kareem’s 1985 Game 2 performance that helped the Lakers beat the Celtics in six. For the record, Kareem had 30 points, 17 rebounds, eight assists, one steal and three blocks in a 109-102 win at Boston Garden.

“And while all this fuel was going on the last three days, I was cringing because you know this is a proud group, and you knew they would have a response which is fine. If we’€™re going to go where we want to go to, we have to outplay them when they are at their best. They’€™re going to be at their best, and we feel that our best game is good enough, and we were not at our best game tonight certainly, you have to give them credit.’€ Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: 2011 NBA Playoffs, Boston Celtics, Erik Spoelstra, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Irish Coffee: Early Celtics blow could stun Heat 04.27.11 at 12:33 pm ET
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Wake up with the Celtics and your daily dose of Irish Coffee ‘€¦

The more I hear from the Heat locker room and see from them on the court, the more confidence I have that they’ll cave the first opportunity they get. If the Celtics throw the first punch, it could be a knockout.

I fully expect the Heat to advance to Round 2, whether or not they blow another close-out opportunity on Wednesday night. Beyond that? I just can’t see them winning four times in a seven-game series against the Celtics.

Why? Listen to the types of statements the Heat’s stars have made in the last few days alone …

There’s this from Dwyane Wade: “The starting unit is not that [high energy] kind of lineup, and we understand that. But we do have to start off better, so we’ve got to do different things, myself and LeBron. We’ve got to be the ones to put the effort in those guys.”

I didn’t realize you could just put effort in people. I wish they did that at City Hall, so I didn’t have to wait in lines all day there. News flash Dwyane: It’s not that your other teammates aren’t trying — they’re just not that good.

This from LeBron James: “Throughout me and D-Wade’s career, we have always been kind of feel out the game first and then go from there. The both of us are going to play with more effort, more aggression and not feel the game out as much to start the game and see how that works, because our first quarters haven’t been the best.”

James hasn’t been putting forth his best effort? Forgive me for being naive, but don’t most guys play full-tilt at all times in the playoffs? Do you think Kevin Garnett has to say, “Maybe I should start playing with more effort”?

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Read More: Boston Celtics, Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat
NBA Power Rankings 4/15 04.14.11 at 7:30 pm ET
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1. Chicago (62-20): Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau told ESPN.com Derrick Rose “will continue to get better throughout his career.” That’s a ridiculously scary thought, considering he’s a lock for the NBA’s Most Valuable Player. But the real question remains, Can Rose capture NBA Finals MVP? Only five other guys under 6-foot-4 have captured that honor in NBA history: Tony Parker (2007), Chauncey Billups (’04), Isiah Thomas (’90), Joe Dumars (’89) and Jerry West (’69).

2. San Antonio (61-21): I’m not sure if Dr. Jack Ramsay prescribed himself some medical marijuana or what, but he picked Spurs guard Manu Ginobili as his MVP. I’d be surprised if Ginobili is named First Team All-NBA. Take nothing away from what the Spurs have accomplished, including a 2-1 record against the Lakers with Ginobili, Parker and Tim Duncan in the lineup.

3. LA Lakers (57-25): After losing five straight games, the Lakers got a bit of their swagger back. If you think about it, all signs point to the fact that they’re already in playoff form: They beat the Spurs in the penultimate game of the regular season, Phil Jackson is getting fined for his comments, Andrew Bynum‘s health is in question, Kobe Bryant is screaming homophobic slurs at referees and Lamar Odom wants to quit.

4. Miami (58-24): Just as Gloria James may not have thrown the first punch at a Florida valet, LeBron James & Co. didn’t deliver the first, second or third blow against the Celtics. But the Heat landed the biggest punch in the fight on Sunday, handing the Celtics their worst loss of the year during a game in which Mike Bibby actually played Rajon Rondo to a standstill.

5. Boston (56-26): Who holds the key to the Celtics’ figurative playoff switch? I’m guessing it’s not Danny Ainge. And they better hope it’s not Shaquille O’Neal. Is it Rondo? Kevin Garnett? Maybe it’s Paul Pierce, who told Mut & Merloni on Thursday, “I flipped the switch when I woke up this morning.” Whoever it is, Doc Rivers should remind him to keep it on Sunday.

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Read More: Boston Celtics, Chicago Bulls, Los Angeles Lakers, NBA
NBA Power Rankings, 4/8 04.08.11 at 6:41 pm ET
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1. Chicago (58-20): The good news: With their 16-point victory against the Celtics on Thursday night, the Bulls emphatically proved they have the best player in the NBA, the best coach in the NBA and, most importantly, the best team in the NBA. The bad news: They also ensured that Chicago fans will be forced to awkwardly walk past a weird half-bust/half-statue thing of Scottie Pippen.

2. LA Lakers (55-23): In a fantastic profile of Lakers coach Phil Jackson, we learned three important facts: 1) He really is retiring at season’s end; 2) Upon meeting Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant told his idol, “I can take you 1-on-1″; and 3) A full-bearded man should never wear shorts this short. If two three-peats with Kobe and the Lakers to go along with the six titles with Jordan and the Bulls would be a perfect symmetry to Jackson’s career, how much sweeter would a Celtics title be for Boston fans?

3. Boston (54-24): The Bulls embarrassed the Celtics Thursday night, but the C’s are still 8-3 against the top-five NBA teams, 6-1 against their potential first-round opponents (76ers and Knicks) and 3-0 against their probable second-round opponent (Heat). As Paul Flannery noted, the Celtics also lost to the Cavaliers by 29 in the home stretch of the 2009-10 regular season. If that’s not cause for optimism, then maybe Rick Pitino was right about the negativity in this town.

4. San Antonio (60-19): Are the Spurs the team that started the season 57-13 or the squad that lost six straight from March 25 to Arpil 1? Does anybody still have confidence that San Antonio can knock off the Lakers in the Western Conference finals? Will Eva Longoria get a cut of Tony Parker‘s playoff share as part of their divorce? So many questions still for this team.

5. Miami (54-24): After Derrick Rose and the Bulls obliterated the Celtics for their 17th victory in 19 games and the Heat lost to the Cavaliers and Bucks in a span of eight days, don’t hold your breath for a response from anyone who believed LeBron James deserved this season’s MVP honor.

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Read More: Boston Celtics, Chicago Bulls, Los Angeles Lakers, NBA
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