Today's a crucial day for the NBA: key representatives from the player's union and the ownership group will be meeting in New York. This will be only the second meeting since the lockout began on July 1. Because training camps are/should be only a month away, it's imperative that progress is made at this meeting if there's any chance of not missing a chunk of the season. Most in the league already feel at least some time will be missed, but if the sides can move closer together today, then maybe there's hope for only a small amount of missed time. We'll be following today's events in New York and will update later with word once the meeting adjourns.
Yesterday, we caught up with 76ers' swingman Andre Iguodala, who spent the weekend in Los Angeles with seven of his teammates. That full story will run in Thursday's (tomorrow's) edition of the Inquirer, but here's some of what Iguodala had to say. After battling injuries for much of the 2010-11 season, Iguodala said he took off more time than ever in his career (six or seven weeks) after last season. Iguodala also created a smidge of controversy by missing his exit interview, although he did have a doctor's appointment, also, so the whole thing sort of seemed like a bad miscommunication. Before the NBA locked out, Iguodala was being considered in a trade to the Golden State Warriors for guard Monta Ellis. Given his current situation with the team (read: they're open to trading him), it's a mature sign that Iguodala re-arranged a planned trip to Paris in order to make it out to L.A. to train with seven of his teammates: Elton Brand, Jrue Holiday, Lou Williams, Jodie Meeks, Spencer Hawes, Evan Turner, and Craig Brackins.
Iguodala said that, while he thinks it's a longshot that he'd play overseas this coming season (assuming the lockout drags on), he'd listen to any offers. Considering the bulk of his remaining contract, and the cost of insuring that contract against injury, it's unlikely we'll see Iguodala playing overseas if the NBA remains locked out. He's spending most of his off season in Chicago, although he's already made trips to China, Paris, L.A., etc. He doesn't have any remaining big trips planned, but the team is expected to hold a similar gathering/team workout session in Atlanta at the end of September (which might give you an indication of the likelihood that training camp starts on time).
Iguodala on organizing the weekend in Los Angeles: "We were always talking about it during the summer, but we couldn’t figure out where. Lou, Elton, and I pretty much knew we were going to do it. Elton said, ‘Well the times are looking like this.’ And I was supposed to go to Paris last week, but I switched my dates around so I could be in L.A. I went to Paris earlier because that was the weekend everyone could go to L.A."
On the team's communication on defense, even in pick-up games: "It was funny because we were actually rotating, using our rotations, playing help-side defense and executing pick and roll defense. Guys were like, ‘Wow, you guys are really talking on defense.’ It was still there. That was funny to me."
On taking so much time off after the team's playoff loss to the Miami Heat: "It’s kind of tough, but I actually took off the longest I’ve ever taken off in six or seven years. I was just beat up, playing so many minutes. So I actually got to rest. I was cautious of not trying to kill myself, pacing."
On his meeting with coach Doug Collins just before the lockout began: "We spoke, it was really brief. It was about 10 minutes, it wasn’t long: "What we can do to improve, what our plans are going forward. It wasn’t too much. But, I’ve never had a problem with Doug, so we made that clear that we never had issues. So we were good."
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