In L.A., Helene Elliott wrote two weeks of NBA training camp and two exhibition games “weren't enough to produce a decent caliber of play.” The rush to begin the season on Christmas Day “kept camps short, leading to ragged performances league-wide and players who are pushed to the limit in a compressed schedule.” ESPN’s Jeff Van Gundy said, "The regular season, there's going to be a lot of disappointing nights for a lot of teams and most of it is unavoidable because of the schedule plus lack of preparation in the preseason.” Elliott wrote what is “out there now is bad enough.” Elias Sports Bureau reported the overall league shooting percentage “was .441 through the first 109 games, down from .459 for the complete 2010-11 season and .453 through 106 games at the most comparable stage last season.” Van Gundy: "They could have eliminated that All-Star break to spread out the schedule a little bit more but again, that's another money grab. But the players agreed to it. So you can't just fault the NBA office or owners. The players agreed to the same thing, to put their own health at risk” (L.A. TIMES, 1/8). In San Antonio, Mike Monroe wrote this season there “has been a lot of very bad basketball” (SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS, 1/8).
HANGING IT UP? In N.Y., Bill Madden noted Bud Selig’s contract as MLB Commissioner expires at the end of this season and despite his “avowed intention” to retire, there “isn’t a single person in baseball who believes Selig, who turns 78 in July, is going anywhere any time soon.” Even Selig’s “closest friends find laughable the notion of him walking away from a job that pays upwards of $20 million per year, along with the perks of a private jet, to teach sports history” at his alma mater, the Univ. of Wisconsin. A source said, “The fact is, even if Bud really wanted to retire, he can’t. Right now, there isn’t anyone out there who could get the votes (necessary three-quarters of the owners). That’s the situation Bud has created” (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 1/8).
LIFE'S A BEACH: In Indianapolis, Curt Cavin noted IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard is “growing confident this year's IndyCar season will conclude in South Florida.” Bernard last week said that the proposed street circuit race in Fort Lauderdale “can become a reality.” Bernard, "I'm pretty sure it's going to happen." Bernard did not give details of the new event “except to say it would be Sept. 28-30 on a beachside circuit.” He said that a decision “will be made next month.” He added that “plans to utilize a street circuit in Las Vegas are on hold for at least another season because of the costs involved” (INDYSTAR.com, 1/6).