Smack / Aug 3, 2011 / 12:18 am

Kevin Durant Shuts NYC Down For The Second Consecutive Night

Kevin Durant

Kevin Durant (photo. Rob Hammer)

The NBA has beaten its players. To court that is. As we wrote yesterday, David Stern and his associates have filed a lawsuit against the NBPA after long negotiations took place earlier this week in New York. The league is calling the players uncooperative, claiming they have threatened the league with decertification threats and lawsuits. Unlike the NFL, which coolly resolved all differences last week, the owners have put the smackdown on the players. The longer this goes, the harder it seems that an agreement will come to pass. The players are profiting 56 percent of league revenue and two thirds of NBA teams are reporting profits below the bottom line. The owners want money back and are talking crazy measures, while the players still want more dough. They sound like a bickering divorced couple … What’s a sure way to get yourself either A) kicked out of the league or B) a hard spanking? Criticize David Stern. But Spencer Hawes isn’t having it, snapping at the commish on Twitter. He tweeted: 23 million a year for stern huh. Weird no rumblings about a pay cut for the commish while he asks every single player to do so. Then, followed that up with a tweet at Hoopshype: @hoopshype commish wants his annual compensation to trump new max salary by nearly double. Interesting thought. … Players though are still living life outside the NBA. Kevin Durant and Nick Young both dropped 60 plus this week in summer league games. Even people in Siberia must’ve seen the KD tape by now. “I’ve always wanted to play at Rucker Park all my life,” Durant told one of the league’s emcees after his DC Power team beat the Sean Bell All-Stars, which featured Chicago Bulls’ guard John Lucas III. Durant joins a host of names to play at the famed Rucker Park, including Wilt, Dr. J, AI and Kobe. We think he enjoyed himself, exclaiming, No lie, jus had one of the best times of my life at Rucker park..wow! I love NY…Harlem waddup. So what did he do last night for an encore at Nike Pro City League at Baruch College? Only dropped 41 this time. Off night. Check this out though: apparently John Lucas III dropped 60 … Young, who also reached a high mark of 60, did his at the Drew League. Rocking a slightly puffier ‘fro than usual, Young was straight killing, and yet somehow, his squad still lost. Maybe the Wizards will see some of that the next time the NBA suits up? The scoring numbers we mean … Still, that wasn’t even the weirdest story involving the Washington Wizard. Young is now calling himself the best dressed man in the NBA after a photoshoot that saw him wear both a leopard-skin tank top, and then no shirt at all … In other news, Bruce Pearl has been targeted by the NBA D-League’s Texas Legends to replace Nancy Lieberman as head coach. Seems like a slight fall for Pearl, but hey, the Legends are an affiliate of the NBA Champion Dallas Mavericks. When asked about the opportunity, Pearl said, “When the world champions call you have to listen” … And even though this is a compilation of missed dunks, Kenneth Faried is not human. He was doing chin ups on the rim … We’re out like Young’s “best dressed.”

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  • drew

    while the owners are certainly taking a rigid approach regarding negotiations and could use more transparency when trying to prove that some owners are losing money, the player themselves are really pushing the envelope when it comes to contracts as a whole, especially for middle of the pack players who arent superstars, but are being paid like one.

  • JBaller

    Xillionaires don’t get rich by backing down in negotiations.

  • yoda

    so players are saying every day that they are going to go over seas to play and owners should sit and say nothing? fight fire with fire. plus, contracts are mess nowdays. why would you have to pay jerome james millions a year so he could eat all day?

  • ab40

    spencer hawes haha dude just retire. Damn redneck

  • http://www.cracked.com/funny-353-kobe-bryant/ Atom

    I think Hawes makes some great points. Why should stern be able to earn twice as much as a max player? You seriously believe he is twice as valuable as Kobe or Lebron to the league? Get out of here with that noise.

    Also, nobody is forcing the teams to make ridiculous contracts with scrubs like jerome james and Villanueva. That’s on the owners for not peppering thoir deals with incentives. I know how much tickets alone cost and have a hard time believing so many teams are losing money. Obviously some are, but that is on them and they should just move to a city that would appreciates them more, there are plenty out there clamoring for NBA ball. That seems like a more legitimate alternative than making the players give up money because some teams are in crappy markets or got stuck playing for owners who dont know how to run a team or only see the bottom line. Dont mean to rant but am not stoked on the idea missing any ball this season because of this crap. The players and owners are acting like the democrats and republicans and it is making them both look bad.

  • bdownunder

    players do need to give more $$$ back. whats wrong with a 50/50 split? when the rest of the US economy is struggling and ppl losing jobs and taking paycuts – it comes across as selfish for the players not to.

    on the flip side, the owners asking for 60-40 is a bit much. seems everyone is being greedy in the process.

    whilst i don’t thinks its alright, sterns sallary is somewhat inline with what CEO’s of mega corporations earn easily.

    someone get it done – don’t let the season be cancelled!

  • First & Foremost

    Why shouldn’t David Stern make more than the players. Yes the players are the point of contact to the general public and personally deliver fans what they want to see, but how many industries operate with the lowest in the heierarchy making the most money?

    I love me some popeyes chicken but I don’t expec thte person who cooks it and hands it to me to make CEO money. Yes it is a harsh comparison but Mr. Stern has the responsibility to guide the business to greater heights. If the league fails, who takes all the blame? If the league suceeds, who gets all the glory? If popeyes goes out of business, who do you blame? If popeyes gives you an extra biscuit, who do you have to credit for you returning to the store?

  • doc

    NBA TV need to just play a lot of old school games.

  • doc

    Then we can really see how shitty some of them 1960’s players was.

  • Skeeter McGee

    @ First

    I can see what you are saying with the comparison to Popeyes’ chicken. Other than making me really hungry, I think, in general, it is crazy how the working class (aka the class that makes things happen for huge corporations) gets overlooked all the time in light of the executives who might have the “braintrust” and ideas for the company. Like you say, should the CEO make the same as the people doing the work? No, because, in essence, the CEO has brought all aspects of the business to fruition, therefore his tasks in overseeing the whole operations of the business and appointing worthy people to run certain departments are more important than those who only cook the chicken (for our example’s purpose).

    With the NBA, though, it seems that since it is not the average company/business, it will never be that way. I liken it more to the Hollywood industry, where the producer or director of a major movie probably made around the same as top-notch actors/actresses, because they know without the appeal and pull of having a Will Smith or Matt Damon in your movie, there will be no audience and no revenue generated. This is how the owners should look at their business. If they did not have a LeBron, a Kobe, a Dirk, a KD, then what the hell would they sell to the fans? “Come see our team full of mediocre, yet solid role players that play well together!” No, they’d rather have one big billboard of LeBron or their star to sell tickets.

    But it really is boggling that people look at the commissioner and say “oh, he’s evil.” He’s just doing what every person on this site would do: he got to a position of power, probably worked his ass off to get there, and now wields his power that he’s earned and isn’t willing to take a paycut. Is that really so far off what any one of you all would do in his position? Remember, he does need to make sure the players are happy from this deal, but at the very same time, he has obligations to make sure the owners don’t lose money because after all, this is a BUSINESS, not solely fun and entertainment.

  • First & Foremost

    ^ I’m sorry they didn’t revolutionize the game sooner ^ Not like most of the country was off fighting wars or for civil rights. They just had excess time on their hands to sit around thinking about how can they possibly make a sport that doesn’t even have a TV deal more exciting.

    Think of them as old muscle cars. They were the shit back in the day. Your dad or grandfather still remembers the first time he saw/drove/or lost to one. Yet all you can think about is how it doesn’t have a cupholder. It was great for what it had to work with at the time.

  • JAY

    @ Atom: “I know how much tickets alone cost and have a hard time believing so many teams are losing money. Obviously some are, but that is on them and they should just move to a city that would appreciates them more”

    And how do you propose they move if they aren’t making enough money?? I think it’s time to drink a nice tall glass of reality. The only choice most owners have is to sell the team. It’s too expensive to just pick up a team and move it.

  • First & Foremost

    Both sides really need each other like actors/directors. Without the NBA how many of those players can make a comparable salary elsewhere? All endorsement deals would be gone. I’m not buying Sundiata Gaines’ book about his journey to the NBA after reading Grant Hill’s trials and tribulations autobiography narrated by Tamia. Yes there can be other leagues but unless they play in multiple leagues they can’t make nearly as much money.

    I feel you on the “without superstars”, look at Dan Gilbert, he can’t even say the word ‘decision’. He uses ‘choice’ all the time. The logical option would be to have a 50/50 split. I’m sure they can think of a system that is fair enough to both sides.

    Make financials transparent, adjust the hard cap every 3 years based on revenue.

  • Utah Matt

    loving the summer hoops they got a lot of clips here


  • Skeeter McGee

    Very true that these players could not make nearly what they do in the NBA elsewhere. And someone brought up the point in one of the recent SMACKs about how overseas leagues practices are no joke and half the superstars that claim they would play abroad probably would not last the grueling workouts and conditioning exercises.

    I was debating First & Foremost about how playing overseas wouldn’t be too bad of an idea but the reality is far and few players are actually cut out to last over there. That’s why this would be ideal because I don’t think (or at least I am hoping not) the whole NBA season will be lost, and therefore players can get opt-out clauses hopefully and see how great they have it in the NBA. Not just in basketball, but even in all aspects of life, going abroad opened my eyes to how great a life even the average and worse-than-average American has it. This, above all, would be the best reason for overseas opportunities for ball players.

    Because when they come back they will realize how much of a PRIVILEGE, not RIGHT, it is to be in the League. Or at least those that choose to go haha.

  • jzsmoove

    Stern has the right to earn that much. When a man saves an entire league from self destruction (80s)and makes it profitable ( for yesteryears before current), then pay him up!

    PS. Dear First & Foremost, oh no yu didnt! You cant bring up Popeyes and not expect our balls to go marching to the nearest chain for it. Unfortunately, I do not have the luxury of a Popeyes to deliver in my area and its just, JUST outside the delivery boundary line. But I will go. Thank you for your kind consideration. Jzsmoove.

  • http://deleted dagwaller

    I think the concept of a straight up “split” is a little archaic.

    I read somewhere that the NFL has a soft split, where the piece of pie each side gets can grow. For instance, in the NBA, the players could get some of jersey sales as part of their pie.

  • First & Foremost

    From that point of view, yes players can go overseas for the personal life experience. Is it a threat to NBA owners, not at all.

    Hold up, wait one cotton pickin minute – You have a Popeyes that delivers? 1/2 the ones near me don’t even have drive-thrus.

  • Skeeter McGee

    Man where I’m at there’s not a popeyes for like a 20 minute drive, so complaining about being just outside of the DELIVERY area? That’s the worst of your problems, you’re doing alright hahaha.

  • Skeeter McGee

    Okay, I was debating this with one of my boys the other day:

    When it’s all said and done, who will be known as the better scorer: AI or Durant?

    I said with how young Durant is, and the way his build is for a SF/SG, he will be and my boy took AI (cause he’s a die-hard Sixers fan, a little biased).


  • JAY

    Better scorer?? Iverson, hands down.

    Better shooter?? Durant, hands down.

  • Big Island

    jzsmoove – I am with F&F, you just glossed over the fact that you have a Popeye’s that delivers?!?!? Really? There used to be one about a mile away from me, but now it’s a damn falafel place. I have to go like 4 or 5 miles now AND make it past a Cupid’s to get Popeye’s.

    Stern deserves that money. These last playoffs alone was worth that money. And don’t forget that Stern works for the owners, not the players. I think Simmons had an analogy comparing players to actors, and that the NBA has a bunch of supporting actors getting paid like leads but I am too lazy to go copying and pasting.

    And honest to God, I could not shoot 40 times in a game like Lucas did. I took 18 shots in a game one time and thought I was going to die. And I don’t think one was further than 10 feet. Looking back, it was probably better that I got my legs taken out on a dunk and popped my elbow out because there were like 8 minutes left in the game. I think if I would’ve reached 20 shots my shoulder would’ve turned to dust.

  • Sean Sweeney

    KD is gonna set all types of scoring records by the time he’s done. Iverson was unreal because he was so unique, but KD’s potential as a scorer is limitless.

    At 22, the man just dropped nearly 28 a night…and that was a slight step back. Let’s not even get into the shooting percentages, where KD might one day get close to 50/40/90 while still getting to the line as often as anyone. Iverson for his career is 42.5/31/78. KD will never fall that low.

  • deeds

    Stern absolutely deserves to make that much money. I mean, the figure could change a little bit….but in comparison to the players he AT LEAST should be making twice as much.

    Players are really starting to piss me off, and some of them just come off like selfish little 5 year olds who want more toys or something

  • First & Foremost

    IMO, KD doesn’t get any better as a scorer. Thinking is as follows:
    Msot of it depends on his team. He can score from anywhere but his team doesn’t need him to. OKC doesn’t have him playing the 2/4 when they go big/small. So the areas in which he gets the ball don’t change. KD ISO-wing. In order for him to put up Wilt like numbers or a Kareem like tenure, the situation would have to call for him to expand his game.

    In all honesty, KD either catches and shoots, retreats and shoots, or dunks in transition. Everything else is a free throw. Excellent shooter!!! Can’t argue with that.

    AI was the better scorer. He could create a shot at any time (good or bad) vs anyone. He would toy with a double team, look off the open man, resplit the double, drift in the lane for an uncontested shot.

  • JAY

    @Sweeney: “KD will never fall that low.”

    Yeah, he’ll never fall that low because KD’s a pure shooter. Iverson isn’t. Other than the post, Iverson could get to any spot on the floor. He did what he wanted. Didn’t he average like 11 FTs a game for a season? KD, as a jump shooter, ain’t doing that.

  • JAY

    Shit… I just looked up Durant’s stats, he got to the line +10 per in 2010. I’ll bite my tongue now.

  • jzsmoove

    Thats right, East York. 20 minutes east of Downtown Toronto has a Popeyes that delivers! theres a catch, they dont deliver b4 5PM. but it dont matter cuz i aint part of their gameplan i guess. so i march my ass over there instead.

  • First & Foremost

    @Jay – Wait until the league changes the rules on his rip through move.

    I feel it should be looked at the same way as a charge. If the defender is stationary and an offensive players throws his body into him, if it an offensive foul.

    If a defender is in a defensive stance and is slapped with the arms of the offensive player, how is the defender at fault? He probably gets away with it twice per game for about 5 of his free throws. All in all it probably won’t change his scoring numbers that much. It will just cut down his free throws, but he still shoots the ball pretty well.

    Even if KD and AI played 1 on 1, KD would win because he can just shoot over him. AI would never get his shot blocked either because even with the height difference, Ai is crafty enough that he can create space. Or he’ll just do this:


  • Big Island

    I am still having trouble with this whole Popeye’s delivery thing. My g/f is Canadian, from Vancouver though, and she has never mentioned that. I am lazy enough to travel from Los Angeles to Toronto just have Popeye’s delivered. Damn..

    Huh? Oh, KD is a better scorer. Not knocking AI, because what he did was more impressive, but KD is too big and smooth. It’s like he isn’t even trying.

  • First & Foremost

    @30 – EXACTLY, America needs to step their chicken delivery game up. I don’t think I can consider the United States as a world superpower if most US popeyes don’t deliver.