Hoop Updates: Stern Threatening to Cancel Season, Sixers Make New Hire, Philly-DC Rematch Set

Hoop Updates: Stern Threatening to Cancel Season, Sixers Make New Hire, Philly-DC Rematch Set

We have an update on the NBA Lockout! And it's, uh, well…well it's not great.

After months of little to no progress, league commissioner David Stern may be at his wits end. Those of you watching the Rays-Yankees game last evening more than likely saw on the bottom of your sports ticker that Stern was threatening to cancel the 2011-2012 season if the owners and players could not make "major progress" on a deal by Monday.

In the intervening hours, the story has been largely squashed by a number of outlets as either a fabrication, misquote, or even your basic empty negotiating threat. Head on over to NBC Sports for a detailed wrap-up of of how this apparent "non-story" has unfolded.

Though its true that there's probably plenty of time to save at least part of the season—the drop-dead date often thrown around for that scenario is something like early January—the window is certainly closing on the idea of a full season. Piecing together the reports that have surfaced, it certainly sounds as though the two sides remain so far apart on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement that hope is running out to complete an 82-game schedule without moving the season passed its usual dates or trying to compress that season into a smaller time frame.

Negotiations are scheduled to resume this Friday in New York.

Sixers' Hire
Once the league is back in business, the Philadelphia 76ers will have a new assistant coach. Following the loss of Quin Snyder to Mike Brown's new staff in Los Angeles, coach Doug Collins has hired former Charlotte assistant Jeff Capel II to fill the void.

Prior to his time in Charlotte, Capel spent time at the college level coaching Old Dominion, North Carolina A&T and Fayetteville State. He has also spent time as a head coach in the D-League, returning to Fayetteville to oversee the developmental "Patriots."

In her report on the signing, CSN's Dei Lynam adds that the opening of NBA training camps has been pushed back until October 16th at the earliest. This date is obviously subject to further postponement given the success or failure of the league's on-going negotiations.

Battle for I-95 Rematch
And so, as long the players are locked out, they might as well do something, right?

Word is that the D.C. guys are a little salty about dropping that pick-up game to Team Philly last Sunday and are looking for a rematch in their hometown. Part II has been scheduled for October 15th from inside Coolidge High School in downtown D.C.

Rosters have not been finalized, but "some possible players for the Goodman League could include Kevin Durant, John Wall, Jeff Green, Michael Beasley and DeMarcus Cousins."

Former Temple Owl and Philadelphia's own Mark Tyndale announced on his Facebook page earlier this week that he has received an invitation to represent Team Philly just as he did with other former Owls Dionte Christmas and Mardy Collins at the Palestra.

In case you missed it, check out highlights from the "Battle for I-95" below.

I guess we're supposed to be arguing over which stretch of road is worse for traffic or something, as if its a sort of badge of honor that "it takes us longer to get home than it does for you—WE WIN!" Frankly, I don't think it's all that hard to agree that the highway can be a hellhole in and around both metropolitan areas and don't need to fight over whose construction patterns are worse.

But, if we agreed to that...then we'd get fewer 'oops. And then everyone loses.

Mike Tomlin: Antonio Brown 'foolish, selfish' for locker room live stream

Mike Tomlin: Antonio Brown 'foolish, selfish' for locker room live stream

PITTSBURGH — The father in Mike Tomlin regrets the language he used to describe the New England Patriots during the postgame speech Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown's opted to livestream on social media after a taut playoff victory over Kansas City.

The coach in Tomlin has just as big an issue with one of his team's biggest stars forcing the Steelers to talk about something other than trying to find a way to finally beat Tom Brady when it counts.

A characteristically blunt Tomlin called Brown's decision to broadcast more than 17 minutes of Pittsburgh's giddy locker room to the world -- a move that caught Tomlin using a handful of profanities -- over Kansas City "foolish," "selfish" and "inconsiderate."

"Not only is it a violation of our policy, it's a violation of league policy, both of which he knows," Tomlin said Tuesday.

"So there are consequences to be dealt with from his perspective. We will punish him. We won't punish us."

Tomlin took responsibility for his choice of words, though he was unaware of being filmed as he spoke.

During Tomlin's brief remarks he attached an expletive to the Patriots, who earned a full day's head start on the Steelers by virtue of beating Houston on Saturday night, 24 hours before Pittsburgh outlasted Kansas City 18-16.

"The responsibility associated with being in this thing, just from a role model standpoint, it's something that I personally embrace," Tomlin said.

"It's something that we as a team and organization embrace. So that's why the language, specifically, in terms of the content, is regrettable."

So too is the action of the talented if sporadically diva-like Brown. The former sixth-round pick has evolved from raw project into one of the NFL's best wide receivers.

This season he became only the second player in league history to post four consecutive 100-catch seasons.

His work ethic is universally lauded even as his Q-rating has skyrocketed. Brown can be found on TV pitching everything from soda to credit cards to video games.

The player who -- for reasons he hasn't yet disclosed -- occasionally refers to himself as "Ronald " also has a devoted social media presence, with more than 1.5 million following on Instagram and another 650,000 on Facebook, many of whom got an eyeful and an earful as the Steelers celebrated their first trip to the AFC title game in six years.

While Tomlin has "very little concern" about the content of the video, he has plenty of concern over Brown's lack of judgment.

"You wear on your teammates when they routinely have to answer questions about things that aren't preparation or football-related," Tomlin said.

"It's our desire for him and for everyone to be great teammates, as well as great players. He is a great player. He is a hardworking player. He is respected, largely, in the locker room for those things. But incidences such as this, don't help him in that regard."

The Steelers have grown accustomed to Brown's flights of fancy, whether it's posing for the Mannequin challenge while meeting with reporters, wearing eye-opening (and fine threatening) cleats or his over-the-top touchdown celebrations.

The fallout this time around has been mixed. Long snapper Greg Warren said Monday "AB is AB, he can do what he wants to do."

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger expressed disappointment in Brown during Roethlisberger's weekly appearance on 93.7 The Fan.

Either way, the fact they were forced to respond to questions about Brown before the biggest game of the season only reinforces Tomlin's point, though Tomlin stressed Brown is hardly the only athlete capable of becoming a distraction.

"Those things don't apply exclusively to Antonio," Tomlin said. "It's a global thing in regards to professional sports. I think that's why oftentimes you see great players move around from team to team.

"And I definitely don't want that to be his story. I am sure he doesn't want that to be his story. So, he has to address these things that put him and us in positions from time to time, in settings such as this, where it needs to be addressed."

Tomlin didn't outline the internal discipline Brown faces other than to say it will not affect his availability this weekend.

New England (15-2) pulled away from the Steelers (13-5) in the second half of a 27-16 victory in Pittsburgh on Oct. 23, a game Roethlisberger missed while recovering from surgery on his left knee.

Roethlisberger will be around this time. And so will Brown, who will almost certainly have his phone turned off late Sunday evening regardless of the outcome.

"He has to grow from this," Tomlin said. "He has to."

Notes
LB James Harrison is dealing with shoulder and triceps injuries and could be limited early in the week. ... TE Ladarius Green remains in the concussion protocol more than three weeks after taking a helmet-to-helmet hit against Cincinnati.

Union draft Chris Nanco, Jack Elliott in third and fourth rounds

Union draft Chris Nanco, Jack Elliott in third and fourth rounds

With an eye on potential, the Union selected two forwards and a defender as they wrapped up the third and fourth rounds of the 2017 MLS draft on Tuesday.

With the 55th overall selection, the Union grabbed Chris Nanco, a Canadian-born forward out of Syracuse. The 5-foot-6 speedster, who led his club with 15 points over his senior season, was listed as a second-round talent on some draft boards.

Moving into the fourth and final round, the Union selected West Virginia defender Jack Elliott with the 77th overall pick. Opposite of the diminutive Nanco, Elliott, out of London, stands at a hulking 6-foot-5. Also listed as a defensive midfielder, Elliott showed a twinge of offense and started all 16 games for the Mountaineers in his senior season, playing a part in eight shutouts over that span.

Back in 2015, the Union moved defender Ethan White to New York City FC for the 82nd overall pick in 2017. That trade finalized on Tuesday when the Union selected productive Spanish forward Santi Moar out of Pfeiffer University. Moar scored 14 goals and 19 assists in 20 games with Pfeiffer as a sophomore in 2016.

Although these picks aren’t guaranteed to be with the club by the end of training camp, the Union will heavily utilize USL affiliate Bethlehem Steel to assist in the development of prospects who do make it.

Without a first-round pick, the Union traded up to select Marcus Epps, an attacking midfielder in the early second round. They also added depth at right back Aaron Jones with the 33rd overall pick.