Dave Checketts Rumors

No one ever played harder at the Garden, not even Oakley. Really, he is an essential, indelible part of the memories his Knicks teams made for us, whether they played a style that sometimes seemed more fit for a game in an alley behind a saloon. “He was a nasty character on the court who was capable of being an extraordinary gentleman away from it,” Dave Checketts said on Saturday morning. “We would make school visits or even hospital visits, and you’d look over, and Mase would always find the kid in the corner. I always believed it was because he had grown up being that kid himself.”
The only time the Knicks didn’t make it past the first round of the playoffs was Van Gundy’s last full season coaching, in 2000-01. Marcus Camby’s sister was abducted in the middle of the first round against the Raptors, Camby was never the same once he returned to the team, and the Knicks lost in five. James L. Dolan asked Checketts to leave after that season, Van Gundy resigned 19 games into the next season, feeling he would be asked to leave when the season was over. For those 10 years, with Checketts in charge of basketball at the Garden and Riley and Van Gundy coaching (with a 34-25 stint by Don Nelson in between), the Knicks had a regular season record of 495-293, which is 202 games over .500. They went to the Finals twice, the conference finals two more times, and the conference semifinals five other times. And you know that for so much of it they were going up against Michael Jordan in his prime. You know what has happened since.
From his vantage point, RSL owner and pro sports mogul Dave Checketts can’t envision the Miller family selling the Jazz. He doesn’t view their commitment as conditional. “I think the Jazz have a tremendous, tremendous fan following. I think teams like that will always exist in the markets they’re in,” said Checketts, whose resume includes time spent as the Jazz’s president and general manager. “I don’t think the Jazz are an endangered species.”
ESPN 700 said that National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) spokesman Dan Wasserman called after Checketts’ interview to say reports about a deal are false. “I guess I have to say I’m a little more unclear than when I started this interview 20 minutes ago, where people saying to me we had a deal and it’s just a matter of ironing things out and an announcement could be made any minute,” Checkets. “I think it looks like perhaps they’ve taken step back; it’s not as close as I thought, and such is the matter when it comes to these negotiations.” He added: “But I think good things are happening.”
Checketts said he’s been informed the new CBA is a 10-year deal based around a 50-50 split of basketball-related income. “I’ve received a couple of phone calls from friends who are very close to the process who say, ‘We have a deal, and now it’s a matter of getting everything straightened out,’ ” Checketts said on ESPN 700. He added: “I think there’s going to be a deal within the next few hours or days.”
League sources told The Salt Lake Tribune on Wednesday they were cautiously optimistic about the latest meeting between sides. One high-ranking source said a deal to end the lockout appeared to be in sight for the first time since the work stoppage began July 1, as the National Basketball Players Association appeared to have realized this was likely its best chance to end a damaging 133-day lockout that has already resulted in missed games and lost revenue.