Tony Allen Says He Gave Out Ramen Noodles on Halloween Because of Lockout

The lockout may be tougher for some players than it is for others, but if the rest of us can afford to give out candy on Halloween I think professional athletes should be able to.  Players are certainly missing out on a few bucks now that games have officially been cancelled, but I wouldn’t exactly say David Stern is the Grinch who stole Halloween.  According to Tony Allen and his collection of Ramen Noodles, the lockout put a damper on trick-or-treating.

As Funny Athlete Tweets pointed out, the following picture accompanied tweets that read “Sorry kids its a lockout no candy!!…” and “Its the thought that count!!” on Halloween from Allen’s account.

If college kids were trick-or-treating in Tony’s neighborhood, his house would probably be a top priority.  We won’t call handing out Ramen Noodles to kids on Halloween cruel, simply because we don’t believe he actually did it.  The lockout may have people moving back home to live with their parents or getting a job at a furniture store, but it can’t be this bad.  Allen has to be joking, right?  Assuming he was, he must eat a lot of Ramen Noodles.

H/T to SI Hot Clicks for the story.

Andy Rautins Staying at Parents’ House During NBA Lockout to Save Money

While NBA fans sit and stew about basketball games being cancelled and having nothing to watch, players not only have to find stuff to do to keep busy, but they also have to figure out ways to manage their finances.  For someone like LeBron James, missing out on paychecks isn’t even among the top 10 reasons why the lockout is a nuisance.  For players like Knicks guard Andy Rautins who are supposed to be entering the second year of a two-year, $1.39 million deal, the money is considerably more important.

According to an article on ESPNNewYork.com, Rautins has been staying at his parents’ house right outside Syracuse during the lockout and sleeping in the bedroom he grew up in.  While it gives him an opportunity to catch up with his family, it also beats paying bills at an expensive apartment in New York City.

“It’s nice to get some home cooked meals up here,” Rautins said. “It’s nice because it’s a rare opportunity to spend time with family and friends. Normally, you’d been in a busy season by this time. But I’ve been trying to see the positives in [staying home] and there’s a bunch so far. It’s saving me a lot of money right now and I think that’s a big concern for a lot of players.”

We tend to think of all professional athletes as set for life financially, but that is not the case at all for many players across the league.  Rautins made $600,000 playing for the Knicks last season, which is a salary any 24-year-old would kill for.  However, he isn’t exactly a superstar who is destined to be given a major payday over the next couple years.  If Rautins never emerges as a viable NBA player, the $1.39 million he made will mean very little for a person who is only in their mid-20s.

Rautins probably isn’t lying to get out of paying child support like this millionaire. A career in the NBA offers a tremendous salary, but as we’ve seen with players who apply for jobs at the Home Depot it can be lacking in the job security category.

Chest bump to Ball Don’t Lie for passing along the story.

Kevin Durant Plays IM Flag Football Game, Gets Challenged by LeBron

Kevin Durant continued to make awesome use of his time off during the lockout by playing in an intramural flag football game at Oklahoma State University Monday. He talked about having such a good time, that LeBron James was jealous and challenged him to a game.

Durant said he was bored and looking to play in a flag football game in Oklahoma City Monday. He was invited to a game in Stillwater and actually showed up to play in a game at Oklahoma State University. Durant bragged about throwing for four touchdowns and grabbing three interceptions on defense. Here’s a video of Durant playing, along with the story of how it unfolded:

[Read more...]

NBA Lockout Is Much Worse than the NFL Lockout

Lockout. It’s a noun quickly gaining in popularity in the English dictionary, along with “Kardashian.” Just when you thought it was safe to come out from the heap of collective bargaining rhetoric from the NFL, now basketball is knee-deep in revenue sharing problems. If you need a refresher, the month is October: usually the time when the NBA’s highlights involve Brian Scalabrine posterizing — hitting a jump shot in his case — some poor schlub from East Central University State A&M. The only question usually being, who will be NBA-bound and who will be sent to Europe, balling on the Baltic come basketball season? This year has been vastly — no, slightly — different. Replace Scalabrine with a paperweight sitting on David Stern’s desk, a pretty equitable trade, and you pretty much have October 2011 in the NBA.

Lockouts are interesting phenomena, since they’re the only area in sports where no news actually is news apparently. During the NFL lockout, the American sports-viewing public was nearly duped into thinking that the NFL preseason had become a glorified advertisement for Men’s Warehouse. Fortunately for the league, the sports cash cow was not taken to the slaughter but an agreement was made. However, that the two sides waited so long to run out the clock and take a knee on the labor impasse might be the reason why that there have so many knees injured in the early season.

In keeping with an American tradition of learning absolutely nothing from the mistakes of others, the NBA and team owners decided to lock out the players over a dispute on the details of the collective bargaining agreement. Note that any nine-syllable word is anathema to the excitement of sports (ironically, so is the usage of “anathema”). Unlike the NFL’s labor situation, where guaranteed contracts are reserved for the elite few who do commercials with Hulk Hogan and pitch electronics equipment, and a significant number of players make a fraction of basketball’s league minimum, NBA players have been able to play exhibition games in various parts of the country or even other countries to support their fur coat habit.

[Read more...]

Bryant Gumbel: David Stern Is Eager to be Viewed as a ‘Plantation Overseer’

Bryant Gumbel received attention five years ago when he suggested NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue had players association leader Gene Upshaw on a leash. Now he’s going after another leader in a sports labor debate: NBA commissioner David Stern.

In his closing monologue on HBO Real Sports Tuesday, Gumbel charged Stern with holding up progress in NBA labor talks. He also said Stern views himself as a plantation owner who presides over the players like they’re hired help.

Here is his entire monologue, as transcribed by Ben Golliver at Eye on Basketball (with video below).

[Read more...]

Italian Team Owner Asks Barack Obama to Help Recruit Kobe Bryant

Never could we have imagined that Kobe Bryant would mean more to a team than he does to the Los Angeles Lakers, but now one has to wonder.  If Claudio Sabatini is any indication, Kobe is more important to Italian club team Virtus Bologna than he is to Jack Nicholson.

There have already been insane rumors floating around that Sabatini is willing to offer Bryant $2 million to play a single game in Italy.  Imagine if the Lakers paid him $2 million per game?  For those of you who hate math, that would be a yearly salary of around $160 million, which would put Tiger Woods and Money Mayweather to shame. Considering Kobe might be giving players loans during the lockout, money is obviously not an issue for him.  If you thought a $2 million, one-game offer spelled desperation, check out this letter Sabatini wrote to Barack Obama on his team’s website.

Dear Mr. President,

We have a dream: to see Kobe Bryant playing for our Team Virtus Pallacanestro Bologna, the Italian town well known in the world as basket City.

According to your wishes we hope that the NBA lockout will shortly stop but in the meanwhile let us have the chance to see at least for one game the great Kobe Bryant playing with our black and white jersey and be part of our history.

Obama may be able to get inside an NBA player’s head with a wise crack here and there, but I doubt there is much he could do to convince Kobe to play a game in Italy.  Not to mention, basketball in America is pretty good for America.  If Obama had any influence at all, it would be in his best interest to use it toward ending the lockout.  But…he doesn’t.

Two NBA Cameramen Fight Outside Lockout Negotiations (Video)

The biggest fight in the NBA Monday did not involve the owners and players; it involved two cameramen who brawled over a petty issue. Apparently the two men were jostling for position to film a Derek Fisher press conference when they began fighting. They were told to take their fight down the street, and they complied. The following minute and a half of pitiful hand jabbing ensued:

Sadly, that had as much action as most NBA fights. Pathetic display, guys. If you’re going to drop gloves, really go after it. Don’t just slap at the air like you’re trying to knock a mosquito out of the way — actually throw a punch.

Chest bump to Ball Don’t Lie, Ken Berger