Perhaps it’s not saying much in a league in which Al Harrington can go for 46 and 12, but Jared Dudley put up some nice all-around numbers during the first week of the Impact Competitive Training Series.
Dudley filled up the stat sheet with games of 24 points, nine rebounds and eight assists on Tuesday, 17-7-4 on Wednesday and then 18 points, nine boards and six assists Thursday in a game in which teammate Kyle Lowry exploded for 49.
Dudley is the only Sun to get some run in the Impact league with Hakim Warrick opting not to play.
Impact does not post league standings, but according to his Twitter account Dudley’s team has at least a couple victories.
When I first heard about the Impact games I questioned why a “league” like this does not present insurance issues while EuroBasket provided so much insurance drama. Dudley answered just that question for Slam Online.
“We’re trying to stay under the love-of-the-game clause, so no one’s contract can get voided,” he said. “We’re doing all the right procedures. We’re consulting with Billy Hunter, Mark Bartelstein, Jeff Schwartz, [Arn] Tellem.
“They’ll be no coaches, but there will be refs and scoreboards. Anything we need to twist and turn — maybe one free throw instead of two — that help us stay in the conduct rules, we’ll do. If we have to have the refs not wear uniforms, then they’ll be regular people who are really refs just not wearing uniforms. It’s gonna be legit, in the sense of NBA players going after it.”
I still maintain my stance that a team would not void a perfectly good contract unless he suffered a Shaun Livingston-esque injury, but I understand why players must take every precaution not to potentially cost themselves millions of dollars.
In any case, all NBA fans hope the Impact “league” isn’t the only place to find NBA players competing together before 2012 and Suns fans sure hope this competitive series is allowing JMZ to continue to work on his pull-up jumper and left hand in live game action.
Dudley on lockout issues
The Salt Lake Tribune transcribed an interview with Dudley in which he goes into depth on his thoughts about decertification, the revenue split, and the NBPA’s frustration level. I highly recommend the entire interview.
Perhaps his most interesting answer centered around the owners’ insistence on a hard cap:
“It has to come down. No, we won’t start the season. I say that for me, my vote. And I say that, just in talking to Derek Fisher, talking to Billy Hunter. I mean, to not have guaranteed deals. We’re not saying we’ll give it back. I think [the NBPA] even went down, to be honest with you, to 53 [percent]. I talked to Roger Mason — 53 percent. And you know what, let’s say they went down to 52, 51. If that gets the season done, I guarantee you we would have the season if that’s what it takes. But it’s not just that, it’s a lot. And right now, the owners want a lot and they’re willing to sit out. Some are losing money, some are making money.”
TrueHoop’s Henry Abbott further explains why a soft cap and the guaranteed contracts that go with it is such an important issue to the players.
Warrick’s Philly battle set for Sunday
Meanwhile in Philadelphia, Hakim Warrick’s Team Philly is set to take on Team Melo next Sunday at The Palestra. Ticket prices range from $35-$50, according to Philly.com.
Warrick will be joined on Team Philly by Suns rookie Markieff Morris as well as his twin Marcus and Lou Williams, Jason Thompson, John Salmons and Wayne Ellington.
Melo’s team will inclue Eric Bledsoe, Gary Neal, Josh Selby and Donte Greene.
Nash tweet ultimately meaningless
There’s been much ado made about the fact that Steve Nash recommended a vitriolic anti-Sarver Twitter rant by ESPN’s Bill Simmons that included this tweet after an ESPN report cited Sarver and Cavs owner Dan Gilbert as having “expressed their dissatisfaction” that “owners were seriously considering coming off of their demand for a salary freeze and would allow players’ future earnings to be tied into the league’s revenue growth.”
When later asked on Twitter if we can suppose his days as a Sun are over in light of that recommendation, Nash tweeted, “Nah. I’m a SUN but NBAPA 1st.”
As is often the case on Twitter where it’s so easy for things to be taken out of context, not much should be read into Nash endorsing a series of tweets that criticized more than just Sarver.
Pacific Division 5-on-5 on ESPN.com
I took part in today’s 5-on-5, which features over/under debates concerning the Pacific Division, including a question on how long Nash will stay with the Suns. Perhaps not surprisingly, I’m the only panelist who took the over on an over/under set at one more year in Phoenix for Two Time.