Countdown to (Financial) Doomsday: Stern Issues Ultimatum

Countdown to (Financial) Doomsday: Stern Issues Ultimatum

If there was any remaining optimism that owners and players were going to be able to get their act together, it's probably dead now.

Unless David Stern is telling "untruths," it may be time to begin bracing for the serious possibility that the NBA will not be playing basketball any time in the near future. Bad has a chance to meet Good sometime within the next four days; otherwise, it might joining in a long-time partnership with Worse.

What are we talking about? Call it basketball oblivion. Call its starting point this coming Wednesday.

Derek Fisher, Billy Hunter and company are set to reject the owners' latest proposal that would grant the players a 51% share of the league's basketball related income (BRI). Under the previous model, the players enjoyed a 57% share of the figure. Throughout the negotiations, they've claimed willing to come down to a 52-48 split. That extra one percent—from 51 to 52, a figure allegedly estimated to be somewhere in the ballpark of $40 million—could wind up costing them four-times its own amount.

If the players do not accept the owner's proposal by Wednesday—a proposal they've called "unfit" and "unfair" to vote on in conference—David Stern has guaranteed that the next deal offered will swing the balance of BRI power, with the players receiving just 47% of revenues. Stern has made mention that the shift in tactics is motivated by a league effort to recoup lockout-related losses. Accordingly, the longer this mess goes on, the worse—Stern claims—it will get for the players.

If 51% really is unacceptable and the offers really are only going to get worse because the owners will not accept loss, unless those losses are on the backs of the players, then you better get seriously invested in hockey or college basketball. If it wasn't already ugly, it's about to get ugly.

If you want basketball, and the players want as much money as possible, it's come time to sign a deal. Otherwise, neither you nor they will be getting any getting any of either.

Carson Wentz named Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Week

Carson Wentz named Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Week

As Carson Wentz rolls out of bed, he wins an award. Brushes his teeth, wins an award. Eats breakfast, award.

This time, the Eagles' rookie quarterback has been named the Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Week for his performance against the Steelers in a 34-3 Week 3 win.

Against the Steelers, Wentz completed 23 of 31 passes for 301 yards, two touchdowns and a 125.9 passer rating. He beat out Cowboys QB Dak Prescott, Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott, Browns CB Briean Boddy-Calhoun and teammate Wendell Smallwood.

This is the second time in three weeks that Wentz has been named the NFL Rookie of the Week.

Here are the awards Wentz has won so far this season:

- NFL Rookie of the Week for Week 1
- NFC Offensive Player of Week 3
- NFC Offensive Rookie of the Month for September
- NFL Rookie of the Week for Week 3

Wentz won't have any chances to win more awards this weekend as the Eagles are on their bye. They'll play again on Oct. 9 in Detroit.

Tonight's lineup: Howard batting 5th with Herrera batting 3rd

Tonight's lineup: Howard batting 5th with Herrera batting 3rd

Ryan Howard is batting fifth to begin his final series with the Phillies.

The 36-year-old first baseman, who has donned red pinstripes for 13 seasons, did not play in Thursday's 5-2 loss to the Braves, but he is expected to start all three games against the Mets this weekend.

The Phillies have a lot of speed at the top of the lineup, even with Roman Quinn likely done for the season. Cesar Hernandez leads off with Freddy Galvis and Odubel Herrera right behind him. The trio lead the Phillies in steals with a total of 59 this year. Herrera has 25 while Hernandez and Galvis each have 17.

If you're wondering, Howard has not stolen a base this season, but he was caught stealing once. He hasn't stolen a base since June 26, 2011, before his Achilles injury. He only stole more than one base in a season in 2008, when he swiped eight bases.

Cameron Rupp returns to the lineup at catcher. He'll bat right behind Howard, followed by Jimmy Paredes and Aaron Altherr in the corner outfield.

Here's the Phillies' full lineup:

1. Cesar Hernandez, 2B
2. Freddy Galvis, SS
3. Odubel Herrera, CF
4. Maikel Franco, 3B
5. Ryan Howard, 1B
6. Cameron Rupp, C
7. Jimmy Paredes, LF
8. Aaron Altherr, RF
9. Alec Asher, P

And the Mets lineup:
1. Jose Reyes, 3B
2. Asdrubal Cabrera, SS
3. Yoenis Cespedes, LF
4. Curtis Granderson, CF
5. Jay Bruce, RF
6. T.J. Rivera, 2B
7. Lucas Duda, 1B
8. Rene Rivera, C
9. Robert Gsellman, RHP