NBA Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver refuted a claim in CBS Sports that the NBA and the National Basketball Player's Association have a long way to go before reliable testing for human growth hormone (HGH) can be achieved, but acknowledged there were still significant hurdles to overcome before anything can be put into practice.
Silver says there's two primary factors holding back the testing. Former executive director of the NBPA Billy Hunter was placed on "indefinite leave" back in February following numerous accusations of illicit behavior, including nepotism, and NBPA attorney Ron Klempner has acted as interim executive director in his place until the NBPA can find a proper director. The NBPA also just recently hired Los Angeles Clippers guard Chris Paul as their union president.
The NBPA recently retained a firm to help with their search, but while Klempner is acting on an interim basis, it's hard for anything to get done, Silver alleges.The second issue is that the NFL has yet to come to an agreement on their testing methods, something that Silver sees as a benchmark for other sports. "Because they haven't reached their agreement on HGH, it would've been easier for us, especially with an interim executive director, to fall in line behind them. So I don't think we're that far apart."
"I think there's a philosophical understanding, an agreement between the two parties, that it's necessary," Silver added. "(The players) want a level playing field as well. It's just we've got to come together and figure out the right way to ensure the sanctity of the testing."
Paul reportedly is ready to fight any league proposal that includes HGH testing. At least one Nets player has said privately that he's willing to take any and all testing necessary.
Silver understands that the issue is a significant one for the Player's Association. "It's taking blood from players as part of a testing process, and ensuring that the testing is state-of-the-art and is done in all the appropriate ways."
Mark your calendars, folks. The NBA will unveil the complete schedule Tuesday at 3pm on NBATV.
We already know some tentative games, like Nets in Cleveland to open the season and Nets vs. Heat for the home opener, but nothing else is official.
That, of course, will change on Tuesday. And I'm excited.
The NBA introduced the Twyman-Stokes "Teammate of the Year" Award today, an annual award recognizing the league’s “ideal teammate," and Brooklyn Nets guard Jerry Stackhouse is a finalist for the first-ever winner.
Stackhouse joins finalists Luke Walton (Cleveland Cavaliers), Andre Iguodala (Denver Nuggets), Jarrett Jack (Golden State Warriors), Roy Hibbert (Indiana Pacers), Chauncey Billups (Los Angeles Clippers), Shane Battier (Miami Heat), Roger Mason, Jr. (New Orleans Hornets), Jason Kidd (New York Knicks), Serge Ibaka (Oklahoma City Thunder), Manu Ginobili (San Antonio Spurs), and Emeka Okafor (Washington Wizards).
The award is voted on by NBA players and nominees were chosen for their "selfless play, on- and off-court leadership as a mentor and role model to other NBA players and his commitment and dedication to his team."
Players were not allowed to vote for their own teammates, which is a weird way to decide what player is the best teammate.
The award is named after Jack Twyman and Maurice Stokes:
the Royals were wrapping up a 33-39 season when Stokes fell during a game in Minneapolis. His head injury (post-traumatic encephalopathy) caused him to lapse into a coma days later and left him permanently paralyzed.
Stokes’ family couldn’t provide the care or money he needed, so Twyman took over as his legal guardian. It was Twyman who argued successfully for work-injury compensation to cover some of Stokes’ initial medical bills.
It was Twyman, too, with the assistance of a Kutsher’s hotel and resort in the Catskills (N.Y.), who organized a charity basketball event in his friend’s name, raising $10,000 for more of Stokes’ expenses. He lobbied the league’s biggest stars — Wilt Chamberlain, Oscar Robertson, Elgin Baylor — to play in the annual exhibitions. Funds raised after Stokes’ death in 1970 at age 36 were used to help other players in need.
Twyman, while attending to his own family, spent hundreds of hours with Stokes, helping him regain small bits of his speech and limited mobility. Later, he took Stokes, in a wheelchair, to some of the benefit games. In 2004, after years of lobbying by Twyman, Stokes gained his enshrinement in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass. Twyman, who was enshrined in 1983, died in 2012 at age 78.
The trophy, which depicts Twyman helping up Stokes, was sculpted by Marc Mellon, who also crafted the NBA’s Maurice Podoloff Trophy award to the league’s Most Valuable Player.
NBA Hangtime Blog -- NBA To Unveil Twyman-Stokes Teammate Of Year Award, Announce Winner Sunday
Deron Williams's jersey is sixth among all NBA players in sales.
Despite playing in a league with only 30 teams, the Nets were 31st in merchandise sales in their final year in New Jersey. They trailed all 29 other NBA teams, plus the now-defunct Seattle Supersonics. Modell's, the Nets' official sporting goods retailer, sold more Nets merchandise during the first day of the new branding than all of last season.
New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony's jersey topped the NBA in sales in the most recent sales period.
Read More: New York Post -- Melo's jersey named top-seller on NBA list
In a preview for the next episode of NBA's "The Association," covering the Brooklyn Nets this year, the Nets are at a Minnesota restaurant sharing a team dinner and some jokes: Kris Humphries (who organized the dinner) starts off by cracking on Jerry Stackhouse's age, and the 38-year-old Stackhouse hits back by reminding everyone that he's got one more dunk this year than at least two Nets players. Watch the video after the jump... MORE →