We are so tired of writing words like “lockout” and “canceled” and “meetings” and “George Cohen” and “decertification” that we can’t imagine how y’all feel reading it. It all makes us want to run up in the meetings shouting and screaming, slapping people across the face. The bad news never seems to stop. No matter if he’s playing or in a suit, Michael Jordan is always in between the lines. Amazingly, even nearly a decade after he officially retired for the final time, MJ’s influence can still be felt across the league, from the owners to the players and onto the fans. People still love him. His sneakers still sell. And the players still respect him. Tomorrow will represent some of the most important meetings yet, and the two sides are basically fighting to save the season at this point. There’s a slight chance they could come to some agreement on a few things. And yet all of that might be taken off the table before it’s even time to negotiate. There is a faction of owners – numbering 10-14 and led by none other than Michael Jordan – who are staunch in their support of the BRI not exceeding 47 percent for the players. NYTimes.com reports these owners were actually pissed when the NBA proposed a 50/50 split. They plan to vote against a 50/50 split if it ever gets that far. Wow… great. So Michael Jordan, the same guy who once flipped out on Abe Pollin during the last lockout – saying if he can’t make money off his team then he should sell it – is now trying to draw a line in the sand to make sure that no matter what, his team can make a profit? Hypocrisy all the way. We knew he was selfish. But damn, he switched sides pretty quick … The players are having their own troubles. Twice this week, a group of at least 50 NBA players converged on conference calls with an antitrust lawyer to discuss the process of decertification of the union. Sources say the player who was talking the most in these calls was Paul Pierce, while Dwyane Wade, Dwight Howard and Ray Allen were all very vocal in the Thursday call. Players are frustrated, they’re pissed off and if things don’t move forward in negotiations this weekend, some sources say the players will push for change starting next week. The players are holding strong, saying the call was merely to check out their options. Billy Hunter knew about at least one of the calls, but isn’t all that concerned either way despite a gathering of players behind him who are dissatisfied. Although this move could signify a huge change on the players’ side, not everyone on that call was in favor of decertification … One team we wish we could’ve seen but never got the chance to was the 2001 Toronto Raptors IF Tracy McGrady had stayed. They were one shot from the East Finals where they would’ve matched up with the Milwaukee Bucks and their three-headed monster of Ray Allen, Sam Cassell and Big Dog Robinson. But if you add McGrady into the equation – remember this was when he was first starting to blow up in Orlando – the East would’ve been a wrap. Kobe vs. VC and T-Mac in the Finals would’ve been unreal. They were recently on OTR – Carter, McGrady and Charles Oakley – talking about the good old days for the first time since 2000. A lot of great stuff in there. We just wish the interview was longer. We’ve heard some reactions from a few of our close Raptor fans. They aren’t sure whether to reminisce and love what VC And McGrady did or if they’re supposed to still hate them … Tony Allen will always be one of our favorite players, but c’mon man, what he did on Halloween night was just terrible. He says he doesn’t have any money because of the lockout, so he was handing out beef and chicken Ramen noodles instead of candy. He knows these are kids and not college students right? We can only imagine their faces when they pulled up to his house looking for Butterfingers or M&M’s. Either way, Allen probably just forgot about the candy and had nothing else to give out. And are we the only ones who think those Ramen noodles are disgusting? Never liked them. Never will … Sounds like J.J. Hickson was released from the club Bnei Hasharon in Israel because he was late to two straight practices. Dude signed, played one game where they lost by basically 40 points and is now being released. Awesome season right there … And Jamaal Tinsley was drafted first overall by the L.A. D-Fenders in the NBA D-League draft. Being that he’s pretty much been in the doghouse – or maybe blacklisted is a better word – of the NBA for the past few seasons, he probably thought his days of being picked first in anything were over … We’re out like Ramen noodles.
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