Boston Celtics

NBA city mayors push for new CBA

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NBA city mayors push for new CBA

NEW YORK We have heard from many of the NBA players. We have heard NBA Commissioner David Stern speak on behalf of the NBA's owners.

But the voices of those who will arguably suffer the most due to the lockout, has been relatively silent . . . until now.

On Tuesday, news broke that the City of Memphis plans to "explore all options" in recovering the money the city may have lost due to the NBA lockout, which has already wiped out the entire preseason and the first two weeks of the regular season.

And now less than 24 hours later, a letter signed by 14 mayors in NBA cities - including Sacramento's Kevin Johnson, a former NBA player - urges the NBA and the players to broker a deal quickly.

"We know the issues being discussed between NBA owners and players are complex and need to be addressed to ensure the long-term well being of the league," the letter reads. "We are not interested in taking a side. Rather, we respectfully ask that you consider the consequences to our cities should the lockout continue. We ask that you work quickly to find a way to compromise so that we might salvage the upcoming season."

Those two developments, maybe more than anything else happening in New York, may become factors that can accelerate a new CBA being hammered out soon.

With the entire preseason and the first two weeks of the regular season already canceled, Stern hinted last week that games scheduled for Christmas might not be played if an agreement were not in place by Tuesday.

On Tuesday, Stern was part of a bargaining session with the union that lasted more than 16 hours, easily the longest session thus far during the lockout.

But when it was over, Stern and NBAPA Executive Director Billy Hunter declined to comment, citing a gag order placed on everyone in the meeting by federal mediator George Cohen.

Both sides as well as Cohen were back at it Wednesday, hoping to continue pushing towards a new CBA. After TuesdayMonday morning's 16-hour marathon session, both sides returned to the table on Wednesday for another round of talks that lasted more than eight hours. Cohen said the two sides would meet again on Thursday afternoon, marking the first time both sides have met for three consecutive days.

After the meeting, Cohen told reporters that both sides were "extremely focused" on the issues, and added that the meetings had been "direct and constructive."

But meeting on Wednesday was a bit tricky because of the league's Board of Governors meeting, which began on Wednesday.

At one point, Stern, as well as some of the league's owners - among them was Boston's Wyc Grousbeck, who is also the Chair of the NBA's Planning Committee - had to leave the bargaining session with the players to attend to another meeting among the Board of Governors.

Among the topics discussed among the owners was revenue-sharing.

It's especially important to small-market teams like Memphis, whose ability to repay the bonds used to build the FedEx Forum, depend heavily on games being played.

"If it gets to be half a season, that's a big problem," Allan Wade, the council's attorney, told BusinessWeek.

No longer the little team that could, Celtics may need time to jell

No longer the little team that could, Celtics may need time to jell

Fireworks have been ablaze in the NBA all summer long, with the latest electrifying salvo being tossed by the Boston Celtics in trading for Kyrie Irving from Cleveland in exchange for a package of playerscentered around Isaiah Thomas and a first-round pick centered around Isaiah Thomas. Without question the Celtics were among the biggest winners this offseason as they went about transforming their roster significantly despite having the best record in the East while advancing to the conference finals. But good wasn’t good enough, a similar mantra by a number of teams in the NBA. We’ll take a look at all 30 teams in the next 30 days as they prepare for the 2017-2018 regular season, which is when the real fireworks begin!

BOSTON – Expectations for the Celtics this season are the highest they've been in the Brad Stevens Era.
 
The past couple of years, Stevens’ crew was seen as a scrappy bunch.
 
That all changed Tuesday night when the Celtics pulled off a blockbuster trade in acquiring Kyrie Irving from Cleveland for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and the rights to the Brooklyn Nets’ 2018 first-round pick.

MORE ON THE KYRIE IRVING BLOCKBUSTER:

 
Acquiring the four-time All-Star would have made this offseason one of the best ever for the Celtics. But prior to landing the 25-year-old point guard, Boston was able to sign Gordon Hayward to a four-year, $127.8 million contract after he spent his first seven seasons in the NBA with the Utah Jazz.
 
The new guys join a Celtics team that returns just four starters, a group led by Al Horford, who stands as the lone returning starter from last season’s squad which finished with the best record in the East (53-29) while advancing to the Eastern Conference finals before losing in five games to Cleveland.
 
Adding a pair of All-Stars to the mix will certainly benefit the Celtics for this upcoming season. But for their continued growth, they will also need to get more from their youngsters.
 
Second-year forward Jaylen Brown had a strong offseason and is poised to build off of a rookie season in which he was named to the All-Rookie second team. Boston will also look to get quality play from rookie Jayson Tatum who was selected by Boston with the third overall pick in the NBA draft.  
 
For Boston, the biggest concern has to be chemistry.
 
There’s no question there’s more talent on this roster from top to bottom.
 
But with this being the first go-around for most of the players, it remains to be seen just how long it will take for all of the core players to get on the same page and find success.
 
That challenge won’t be easy, especially with the Celtics opening with seven of their first 11 games on the road.

Even with all the new faces and a challenging schedule out the gates, that won’t diminish the heightened level of expectations for a team that will surely have a bull’s-eye on its back all season for a journey that should result in yet another deep playoff run.
 
Key free agent/trade additions: Kyrie Irving (from Cleveland); Gordon Hayward (from Utah); Aron Baynes (from Detroit); Marcus Morris (from Detroit).
 
Key losses:
Avery Bradley (traded to Detroit); Amir Johnson (Philadelphia); Jonas Jerebko (Utah).
 
Rookies of note:
Jayson Tatum; Semi Ojeleye.
 
Expectations:
60-22 (First in the Atlantic Division, first in the East)

CSNNE SCHEDULE

BST PODCAST: What grade would you give the Celtics trade for Kyrie Irving?

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BST PODCAST: What grade would you give the Celtics trade for Kyrie Irving?

0:41 - What grade would you give the Celtics for their trade for Kyrie Irving? Michael Holley, Kayce Smith, Tom Curran, break it down and give their grades.

4:32 - Kyle Draper and A. Sherrod Blakley discuss how Kyrie Irving will fit in the Celtics system and how Brad Stevens will handle the roster with new egos.

8:50 - We take a look back at the Pierce and Garnett trade to the Nets that landed the Celtics multiple 1st round picks. Are you pleased with how the Celtics used those picks? Is Danny Ainge a Hall of Fame executive? Michael Holley, A. Sherrod Blakely, and Tom Giles discuss.

14:30 - Our BST crew talk about the Red Sox getting the win over the Indians, Eduardo Nunez being hit intentionally by Corey Kluber, and if Chris Sale will retaliate.