It has come to this. LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Paul have made up their minds: we will lose the season if the owners try to force them to make any more concessions. They won’t mind the missed games; they’re refusing to budge anymore. Of course, they aren’t worried. Those stars will be fine either way. But what about everyone else? They’ve made the stance that they won’t go lower than the 53 percent (down from 57 percent in the last CBA) of the share on the basketball related income and that the owners need to come meet them. How much blame should David Stern get in this? Depends. While most contend he desperately wants to avoid any missed games, Stern also got into a shouting match with Wade during one of the meetings because of his bullying tactics and the way he was speaking to the players. Reportedly, Stern was talking down to many of the players in the room, and pointed directly at Wade multiple times. So Wade – taking that as a sign of disrespect – got into it with the commissioner. Of course, this isn’t the first time this sort of tussle has happened. Back in 1998 during the last lockout, Michael Jordan and Wizards owner Abe Pollin got into a shouting match that was much more heated than this one. But Wade’s outburst, and the presence of many of the NBA’s biggest stars, reportedly earned them a great deal of respect from the rest of the NBPA … Which owner is most firmly entrenched in getting what he wants? You wouldn’t believe this, but it’s Phoenix’ Robert Sarver. Remember? The penny-pincher who was the major reason behind the Nash/Amar’e/Matrix Phoenix teams never reaching their potential. He wants a hard cap and he wants it bad and reportedly said that his wife “had asked him to bring back the middle level exception in a designer bag” … Of course, it was still Derek Fisher who was the most vocal player during the meetings as well as the calming voice during the heated moments … After converging in New York all day on Friday, many of the stars weren’t around for yesterday’s meetings. They were all busy shutting the gym down in Chris Paul’s celebrity game, a game where the final score ended up 175-146. The Dwyane Wade/LeBron James team lost to a crew featuring Kevin Durant – who again went off for 48 points – and CP. Besides Wade (32 points) and James (30… and a couple of attempts at breaking rims), Rudy Gay went off for 38, a great sign for Memphis fans. John Wall dropped 34, and also had two of the sickest highlights we’ve ever seen. Seriously, these two dunks might be the two best highlights of the whole summer … It’s been a summer of repping your city for many of the league’s players, but one city we never seem to mention is Atlanta. The ATL has produced some serious talent, and it now seems like they want to put together a team to take on all challengers. Some of the names who are said to be eligible include Josh Smith, Dwight Howard, Jarrett Jack, Anthony Morrow, Lou Williams, J.J. Hickson and Derrick Favors. Their backcourt might be average on the streetball circuit, but imagine a frontline of Dwight, Smith & Hickson, with Favors on the squad as well? No one would score on them … We’ve had some great basketball prodigies over the years. But check out this 11-year-old football player who’s so good that they’ve actually implemented a rule to stop the kid from scoring touchdowns … Magic Johnson and Best Buy will host a NBA 2K12 launch event tomorrow night at the West L.A. Best Buy from 8 p.m. to midnight PST time. There, you’ll have the chance to meet Magic and the first 200 fans will get autographs from the Laker legend and a few of the Laker Girls who will be in attendance. There will also be opportunities to get involved in gameplay tournaments and have the chance to get your photo put on the cover of the game … And the schedule for the 2011 2K Sports Classic has been finalized on November 17-18 in Madison Square Garden. The headline semifinal games on the 17th will be Texas A&M vs. Mississippi State and then St. John’s vs. Arizona. Both games will be televised on ESPN2. The finals will be aired the following day at 4:30 p.m. … We’re out like Sarver.
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