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wintermute
07-01-2011, 05:19 AM
A pretty straightforward account of the status of negotiations between players and owners, their motivations, and what's likely to happen next, i.e. nothing.

http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/news?slug=aw-wojnarowski_nba_lockout_players_063011

NBA lockout threatens entire season
Adrian Wojnarowski
Yahoo! Sports

NEW YORK – The final word of the first hours of the lockout belonged to the great manipulator of the basketball masses. Once again, David Stern beat Billy Hunter on the way out the door Thursday. In his manufactured, grim disposition, the NBA’s commissioner proclaimed the union had made an 11th-hour counter proposal that would call for the average salary to rise $2 million over the length of the agreement.

It was a contorting of the numbers, but details don’t matter in this dispute. The public’s never going to side with the players, and that’s been as constant a fact of a quarter-century on the job as the emperor’s temper and his belief that the commissioner’s chair brings the privileges of a dictatorship.

This time, the owners have delivered Stern an unmistakable marching order: Break these players; crush them once and for all.

The union walked into the meeting with Stern on Thursday at the Berkshire Omni Hotel on the Manhattan’s eastside, and offered $600 million in givebacks over a six-year deal, a league source told Yahoo! Sports. And yet before Stern left the hotel, he had called a news conference and turned those concessions into a money grab from the players. Hunter had left the building, and left behind his chance to spin the story.

So the NBA leveled the lockout at midnight on Thursday, and there’s a real chance the NBA is gone for a full year now. This has the makings of the NHL’s labor war of 2004-05, where the cost of instituting a hard salary cap cost the sport a complete season. The union elders don’t want to give into that, nor do the agents who could be rendered far less relevant in an NBA world where there’s no middle class of players. Stars will get paid, and everyone else will fight for the scraps left under a hard cap.

“The key for this comes from, say, Sept. 1 to Sept. 15,” says a source involved in the talks. “The owners have always been willing to blow off July and August, but once they cancel the first part of the season, that’s when we find out if they have the stomach to go the distance.”

For now, Hunter has the support of the players, but the agents could eventually erode it. Mostly, the agents don’t see a way out here. They don’t see a chance for Hunter to negotiate them out of harm’s way. “I honestly have no idea what our strategy is here,” one prominent agent said this week. “Do we have one?”

Privately, the agents will keep pushing for union decertification. They’ll push for the courts, for chaos, and pray the threat will get the owners to back away from their nuclear demands. The union still hopes those less adamant over the hard cap – the Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat, for example – will wrest control from the hardliners, including the Phoenix Suns, Boston Celtics and Cleveland Cavaliers.

The union wishes the owners would solve their competitive-balance issues with revenue sharing, but why should they? They want to make the players do it, and who’s to stop them now? The players also have never been so prepared for a work stoppage, so educated on the issues, the ramifications and that’s a testament to Hunter, Derek Fisher(notes) and the information age.

Nevertheless, it won’t matter. This isn’t right or wrong. This isn’t fair and unfair.

These fights are always about one thing: pain tolerance.

The owners believe they have more tolerance than the players, believe that pain comes with missed checks in November and December and perhaps, finally, a complete cave with time to rush a shortened 50-game regular season and playoffs. Back in the labor talks of 2005, Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck would say over and over in the negotiating sessions: The lockout is an investment.

Grousbeck smartened up, kept that thought to himself, but rest assured the mindset hasn’t changed. He’s one of the owners believed to be willing to lose the next season, along with Phoenix’s Robert Sarver. The list goes on and on. The NBA goes away for the summer now, and nothing will get serious again until September when Stern will have to start cancelling games in the 2011-12 season.

These are his marching orders, his call to arms for the owners. Stern cares deeply about his legacy, far more than most of these brash, younger owners who’d probably prefer a different commissioner anyway. They didn’t hire him, and he didn’t help them make fortunes owning teams like the Pollins and Davidsons did under Stern’s watch.

The NBA’s old dictatorship is getting dictated to now, and everything changes with this lockout. There’s a compromise somewhere between the extremes of the owners and players, and the burden belongs to the commissioner to sell the hardliners on reaching out and making that deal. Unless Stern gets them to back down, unless the players cave come autumn, say goodbye to the NBA for a full year. And say goodbye to David Stern’s legacy, which will look like that of one more star player who stayed too long in the game, who was the last to know when it all passed him by.

wintermute
07-01-2011, 05:25 AM
Another lockout article. Teams are forbidden (on the pain of fines) from having any contact at all with players, their families, agents, and any other sort of representative. I hope this puts to bed that fantasy that Vogel will be running informal workouts for the players during the workout.

http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/news?slug=mc-spears_nba_players_lockout_impact_063011

NBA draws lines of battle for players
By Marc J. Spears, Yahoo! Sports 6 hours, 35 minutes ago

NEW ORLEANS – Chris Paul(notes) stood on the Tulane University track Thursday morning underneath a rainbow arch made of teal and yellow balloons in the New Orleans Hornets’ colors. Paul was there to host a youth fitness event, and Dennis Rogers, the Hornets’ director of basketball communication, was helping coordinate. Hugo, the Hornets’ mascot, entertained the children while Randy Greenup, the Hornets’ security guard and a close friend of Paul’s, also worked the event.

And by the end of the day, Paul wouldn’t be allowed to speak with any of them.

With the NBA deciding to implement a lockout after failing to negotiate a new collective bargaining agreement with the Players Association, teams are now forbidden from having any contact with players. That’s why Paul planned to spend Thursday afternoon playing golf with Greenup. Paul has planned for Greenup to be in his wedding in September, but if the lockout hasn’t been lifted, Greenup will need special permission from the league to even attend.

“The past three or four days we’ve been together all day every day because starting tomorrow I can’t talk to one of my closest friends,” Paul said.

Life promises to be awkward for Paul and most other players during the NBA’s first work stoppage since the 1998-99 lockout. The league gave team officials a long list of people connected to players that they can’t communicate with, including agents, family members, personal staff, workout guys and shoe representatives. Several sources said the league office is intent on cracking down on any violations, proposing hefty fines to teams and individuals and possibly even firings. If team officials have a chance encounter with players, they are ordered to record details of the meeting and report it.

NBA.com and team websites can’t program pictures or video of players. Employees in team ticket offices can’t mention players’ names when trying to sell season-ticket packages. One assistant coach has asked for permission for a player to be in his wedding.

“It’s crazy,” Paul said.

League and team officials can’t call, text, email or tweet players. Facebook is out, too. The league might even check phone records of team employees to ensure no contact is taking place. Spouses of team employees also have been instructed not to speak with players’ wives or girlfriends, one source said. Nor can teams help players purchase tickets to events in their arenas – like concerts – during the work stoppage.

“I told one of my coworkers that you know this is serious when we are getting briefed about it with all the vice presidents of the team in the room,” one team official said.

Many teams spent the past week working out their draft picks and free agents in anticipation of the lockout. Players aren’t allowed in team facilities during the lockout. Golden State Warriors rookies Klay Thompson(notes) and Jeremy Tyler(notes) said they planned on grabbing as much gear as possible prior to leaving.

“I’m taking everything they put in my locker,” Tyler said.

Older veteran players like Grant Hill(notes) and Jason Kidd(notes) have expressed concern about a lengthy lockout threatening the possible final seasons of their careers. But of all the players, rookies might be hurt the most. They won’t have a summer league and some of them could decide to go overseas to ensure they’re getting a check. Enes Kanter(notes) and Jonas Valanciunas(notes), who were taken by the Utah Jazz and Toronto Raptors with the third and fifth picks, respectively, have said they will consider playing overseas in a lockout.

“I’m worried about the lockout, but not to the extent where it’s overbearing and it’s weighing down on me,” said Kyrie Irving(notes), the No. 1 pick by the Cleveland Cavaliers. “I really don’t think the lockout will extend to a year. I don’t think the fans could take it. The players can’t take it. The media can’t take it. Everyone can’t take such a big hit.

“The NBA is built on tradition and that’s something that they want to hold for a while. I’m hoping that they come to an agreement soon and it doesn’t cut into my contract at all.”

Longtime NBA agent Bill Duffy said he has been telling players for 2½ years to save their money and prepare for a lockout. Duffy believes the union and players are better equipped to handle a lengthy lockout after their experience in 1998-99, when the season was shortened to 50 games. Still, Duffy also expressed concern about the hard-line stance of some owners.

“There is a new set of owners,” Duffy said. “They are more zealous in their convictions.

“The league is flourishing. It would be absurd and foolish for a long lockout.”

Paul is a member of the Players Association’s executive committee along with fellow Derek Fisher(notes) (president), Keyon Dooling(notes), Theo Ratliff(notes) and Maurice Evans(notes). He’s also the only All-Star in the group and the only player on the committee making superstar money ($16.3 million).

With endorsements from Jordan Brand and Right Guard – along with the money he’s already saved – Paul is much better positioned than most of his peers to survive a long lockout financially. Despite the financial disparity from the stars and role players, Paul said they’re still united.

“My role is very important because I give a different perspective,” Paul said. “By being the only [maximum-salaried] guy on the executive committee, I can give a perspective for Carmelo Anthony(notes), D-Wade [Dwayne Wade], LeBron [James] and stuff like that. But at the end of the day, our executive committee is a whole.”

Prior to the lockout, teams reached out to some of the noted trainers across the country like former NBA coach and player John Lucas(notes) in Houston, Chicago-based Tim Grover, Las Vegas-based Joe Abunassar and several in the Los Angeles area like Rob McClanaghan and Tony Falce. One NBA general manager said information was passed on to players about where to work out during the lockout. Lucas said about 30 players – about twice as many as usual – will work with him and other former NBA and college coaches and trainers at three sites in Houston.

“Half the league has called me asking, ‘What do you have to offer? What do you do? What players will be there?’ ” Lucas said.

Said Falce: “I’m available eight days a week out of seven.”

Some players also plan to play in pro-am leagues, including three prominent ones in Los Angeles. The Drew League in South Central L.A. currently includes Kevin Durant(notes), Ron Artest(notes), Michael Beasley(notes) and J.R. Smith(notes) among others. Rapper Snoop Dogg sometimes attends the free games at Washington Park. While the Drew League finishes play Aug. 13, commissioner Dino Smiley is considering adding a second league if the lockout hasn’t been lifted. Two other L.A. pro-am leagues (Nike Real Run and HAX Summer League) begin in mid-August. Several NBA players also play at UCLA. NBA team personnel, however, can’t attend games.

“We’re getting people cramped in the stands,” Smiley said. “Dwight Howard(notes), Zach Randolph(notes) and O.J. Mayo(notes) are supposed to play this weekend.”

One NBA GM said he spent much of Thursday speaking to his team’s players for the final time before the lockout started. He doesn’t know when he’ll talk to them again.

If the lockout lasts long, Paul plans to spend a lot of time in his hometown of Winston Salem, N.C., with his fiancé, Jada Crawley, and their young son. He might even return to Wake Forest to take some more classes toward his degree.

“It’s not just about [the owners] standing firm,” Paul said. “We’re just as firm. We’re standing together. We’re strong. We’re unified. We all talk. As long as we stay on the same page like we are right now, I think everything will work out fine.”

Shade
07-01-2011, 07:16 AM
I'm pretty sure the NBA cannot fine Vogel as he is not technically under contract with the Pacers.

wintermute
07-01-2011, 08:05 AM
http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2011/writers/sam_amick/06/30/lockout/index.html

Players lose luxuries, teams lose contact with strict lockout rules
Sam Amick, SI

When the last NBA lockout was finally lifted in 1999, Larry Brown was among the lucky ones.

The then-Philadelphia coach had veterans like Matt Geiger and Eric Snow to help in the most unusual of offseasons, imploring young players to stay in shape while they were unable to communicate with the coaches and trainers who would typically keep them on task. Not every coach was so lucky.

Then-Cleveland coach Mike Fratello said goodbye to one version of Shawn Kemp in the summertime and said hello to a much-bigger version six months later, when the then-29-year-old who had signed a seven-year, $98 million deal in 1997 reportedly arrived at training camp weighing more than 300 pounds and was never the same in the years to come. With Thursday's news that a lockout is about to begin, Kemp is officially the cautionary tale that is now a concern for executives and coaches around the league in this restrictive and unforgiving labor landscape.

"If you don't have veteran guys, the rookies are going to struggle [in a lockout]," said Brown, whose team improved in the lockout-shortened season and survived until the second round of the playoffs. "You have to have leadership that has everyone ready to go when the time comes because you can't afford to have guys playing into shape in training camp."

It's one of the many challenges of life in a lockout, with the players forced to forgo the luxuries they've grown so accustomed to while team officials wait and wonder what kind of shape their investments will be in when they return. The rules of this game are strict on the part of the NBA. Significant fines are assessed to any team employees who dare disobey, with one GM estimating the monetary punishment at $1 million.

Team employees are not permitted to have even remote contact with players, their agents or even their friends or family members, meaning the lines of communication between the two sides are completely cut off. Players, meanwhile, can't use team facilities or enjoy the many perks that come with the NBA lifestyle.

"It's kind of like sending your kids off to summer camp," one general manager said this week. "You want to make sure they have all the stuff they need, all the clothes they need, and all the tools they need, all the money they need and everything they need. But then it's out of your control. Some kids come home crying and some kids have the best experience of their lives. That's really what this is.

"You can't talk to their agent, to their uncle, their brother, some buddy of theirs. Nothing. I think the commissioner [David Stern] is going to threaten people with such an incredible amount of money or draft picks that people will obey."

The awkward exchanges will ensue in the coming weeks, as players are sure to bend the rules if only because of habit. As a result, executives and coaches will find themselves hitting "ignore" on any and all cellphone calls that aren't identifiable while others will have to hang up quickly for fear that their phone records might become evidence.

The list of off-court deeds that are done for players is often long, with team officials collaborating with agents to provide a support system that will no longer be in place. No more free carwashes or help with that speeding ticket you forgot to handle. No more free lunch -- both literally and figuratively. And as noted by veteran center Brad Miller recently when he revealed that he recently had microfracture surgery on his left knee, even rehabilitation must be handled elsewhere.

"At the end of the day, the league wants it to be difficult [for the players]," one executive said. "It's like getting kicked out of a club."

Exceptions on contact will be made only with the approval of the league office. Players with upcoming weddings, for example, must submit a list of names of attendees who work for the NBA in order to help their guests avoid reprimand. But there will be no forgiveness for seemingly innocent mistakes. The onus is on team employees to avoid putting themselves in the same locale as players or communicate with them in any way.

"What it amounts to," another GM said, "is that before you go do anything [involving a player], you'd better check with the league office."

Friendships can and will be tested during these times, too. One executive expressed concern that a player who isn't educated on these rules might take it personally when a team employee essentially pretends he doesn't exist.

"Eighty percent of the league doesn't know what they're facing right now," one of the GMs said regarding the players.

Teams have been preparing for this day for months, many of them issuing a script of sorts that details the preferred offseason training program and desired goals to achieve for that particular player and some making last-minute trips to check in with players around the country. In truth, the training and how it is handled is less of a concern for teams now than it will be later.

"[Players] aren't going to adjust what they would normally do in July and August," one of the GMs said. "Where it really gets tricky is when October has come and gone, and then it's a matter of 'How hard do I push it? Am I going to do two-a-days in October when we might not start until January? Do I take my foot off the gas, then I get a phone call and camp starts in a week and I'm not where I needed to be?'"

The players' inability to use team facilities is likely to be a boon for business at places like Impact Academy in Las Vegas, where trainer Joe Abunassar has already seen an increase in NBA clientele in recent months as the looming lockout neared. It's on the shortlist of hoops hubs that will now be called home for so many players, joining Tim Grover's facility in Chicago and the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla.

Some agents with a longer list of clients have partnerships that will come in handy now, such as Mark Bartelstein with trainer Don Maclean at the 360 Health Club outside Los Angeles and Arn Tellem with trainer Rob McClanahan in Santa Monica. But numerous front-office sources who spoke to SI.com for this story were skeptical that players would be disciplined enough to stay in shape throughout a prolonged lockout.

"We're making sure our guys are set up in their workout programs, that they're prepared to be working on their games and improving their bodies," Bartelstein said. "And then we'll look at other opportunities that we think could come up for players, whether it's playing in exhibition games, traveling abroad. There are all kinds of things that could be coming down the road."

There will be plenty of time to pursue such ideas -- especially considering the monumental gap that must be bridged between the two sides. Most players don't start missing checks until November because of the pay schedule, leading to an assumption that the pressure to get a deal done won't truly increase until then.

"If the league is going to take the position that they're currently taking, it's going to be a long [lockout]," Bartelstein said. "It's very Draconian. That's the only way to describe it. When you're doing a deal, you know when someone wants to make a deal or doesn't want to make a deal. And it's hard to feel any comfort that the league is really interested in making a deal at this point.

"The players' association made a heck of a move to go from 57 to 54 percent [on basketball-related income being paid to players in a recent proposal]. That was an unbelievable gesture that actually surprised me. And for the league to say that they made a modest proposal tells you everything you need to know right there."

wintermute
07-01-2011, 08:11 AM
http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/more_sports/locked_bloated_tnJiWe7JToKhQ2WDY6s87K

Let inactivity begin for NBA fat cats
By PETER VECSEY
Last Updated: 4:54 AM, June 28, 2011
Posted: 1:21 AM, June 28, 2011

If you successfully surmised two rounds of the draft were internationally interminable, stay tuned for the rounds and rounds of ridiculousness we're in store for in the coming months (years?) after the NBA's owners unanimously vote today in Dallas to lock out the players on July 1.

More of the same squealing silliness, in other words, that some outlets got suckered into comprehensively covering for much of 2011.

Chalk me up as being utterly apathetic in the past and in the future. What's more, my living will explicitly forbids exhumation should the new Collective Bargaining Agreement ever be resolved.

I'm guessing the 12th of Never rolls around first.

How are the league and the Player's Association expected to reach a equitable compromise when the horde of freshly-minted militant owners demand David Stern repossess a load of luxury bartered away previously . . . a treaty the commissioner had happily pronounced as mutually beneficial?

Every indicator points to the owners wanting nothing less than $900 million in revenue retuned. That's the root of the non-negotiation. Stern has demanded that from day one, starting two years ago when he told executive director Billy Hunter as much at a meeting in Cleveland, and hasn't flinched. Each owner wants to be assured of a $30 million annual profit.

The pressure is definitely on Stern to make the players "give" and they definitely feel his fangs. In most negotiations one side opens up by insisting on the sun, the other side counters with an equally outer space offer, and they end up meeting near the moon.

While the league recently backed off a couple zany demands, nothing of consequence (see above) has happened to convince the union there's any middle ground to be found, maybe ever.

And, so, the NBA will shut down operations for the second time in 14 seasons. That costs money. But it also means teams can't lose as much by staying open for business; many employees, the ones not already laid off, will get paid less, half salary in innumerable cases, and there's no summer leagues, or rookie camps, etc., to bankroll.

As for the players, the free agents are the biggest losers; management's financial flexibility to make monumental mistakes evidently is ending. Contracted union workers are not expected to panic until they miss at least one pay check . . . although, I'm told, supposedly players are much more psychologically and economically prepared this time.

Will the players remain united or turn on the negotiating committee as they did during the last lockout, a revolt Stern privately celebrated but obviously greatly laments today? Thirty-two games of the 1998-99 season were wiped out.

Back then, Stern's "Drop Dead" date was Jan. 7. If an arrangement couldn't be arrived at by then, he threatened to cancel the entire season. By Jan. 20, the league was back in action.

July 1 is a "Play Dead" date, it says here. Closing down the league is not going to sweat the players or soften the stance of hardcore owners. In fact, once they walk away in a huff, count on positions to remain intransigently unchanged come early October when players normally report to training camp . . . when the season usually starts several weeks later and, as paralleled, right into early January . . . and beyond.

Until that blood bath is drawn, don't expect either side to budge. Why would the owners or the union make their best offer yesterday, today or six months from now when there's still plenty of time to bargain in bad faith?

"No, we have not made our best offer," recently said an official whose affiliation, in all fairness, I opt to protect. "If we made our best offer now they wouldn't believe it was our best offer the next time we negotiated."

Meaning, you can't get ahead of yourself in negations. Best offers are held in reserve for a Drop Dead date not a Play Dead date.

Is it any wonder I'm so unsympathetic? Why get bent out of shape or passionately involved in either side's cause when, the end of the day, the players are still going to be multi-millionaires and the owners are still going to be billionaires?

What's the worst that can happen to the guys in the used-to-be shorts? Smaller posse? Fewer baby mamas? Drive domestic?

As for the owners, they can inject all the fuzzy math they want into the equation about how many teams are losing money and how much, but humor me for a second while I get rhapsodize rhetorical:

1. How many of these billionaires actually rely on their teams to make ends meet?

2. How is it that every time a team gets sold, it fetches more folding money than the last time it was up for bids?

Stern orates about wanting the owners and players to be equal partners. I assume that means losses and profits. Fine, so fix it that the players get half the profit when the franchise is sold and half the annual write-offs.

You know who really deserves a seat at the table? No, not paying customers; they apparently enjoy having their pockets picked, no matter how deep.

It's the arena ancillaries, especially in smaller markets -- from team game-days to vendors to parking lot attendants, all whom badly need those 41-plus dates to help balance their own books -- in addition to neighborhood restaurant owners, whose existence might not totally depend on pre-and-post-game traffic, but get to maintain/increase staffs because of it.

These are the only people I'm really concerned about.

Don't make me pretend I care what happens to the owners or the players.

*

pacer4ever
07-01-2011, 08:32 AM
If this does happen it would allow Deron Williams to leave the nets after only playing 12 games with them via espn radio. Would give a much better FA class for the Pacers i think a season long lockout is a strong possibility and will ensure the pacers wont leave Indy any time soon. I hope the owners play hard ball and they get a good deal so the Pacers can stay in Indy.

Unclebuck
07-01-2011, 08:36 AM
http://www.sportsmediawatch.com/2011/06/nba-lockout-begins-thursday-night/

Of note, the NBA did not cancel the first two weeks of the 1998-99 NBA season until October 13, 1998, 22 days before the scheduled November 3 start of the season. The league canceled NBC’s Christmas Day doubleheader on November 23, and the 1999 NBA All-Star Game from Philadelphia on December 8.

Also of note the regular season is set to start Tuesday November 1st. Training camp 4 weeks prior to that which is October 4th

TMJ31
07-01-2011, 10:12 AM
Man, this is really going to suck...

naptownmenace
07-01-2011, 11:00 AM
http://www.sportsmediawatch.com/2011/06/nba-lockout-begins-thursday-night/

Of note, the NBA did not cancel the first two weeks of the 1998-99 NBA season until October 13, 1998, 22 days before the scheduled November 3 start of the season. The league canceled NBC’s Christmas Day doubleheader on November 23, and the 1999 NBA All-Star Game from Philadelphia on December 8.

I think Reggie got screwed out of what would've been a 6th All-Star game appearance because of the lockout. It also lessened his point total and total 3-pointers made. If he had those additional 32 games he could probably still be the leader in 3-pointers made by the time his nomination to the Hall of Fame came around. That might've made a difference.

A lost season will hurt certain player's legacies. The last lockout killed Shawn Kemp and Vin Baker's careers. Players like Kobe Bryant and Jason Kidd who are lock HOFers still might miss out on climbing up the All-Time leaders list in scoring and assists respectively if they miss games.

I think it's possible that an entire season will be missed. I didn't think that a couple of days ago but after reading how far apart the two sides are I think this upcoming season is in serious jeopardy.

Unlike the NFL, NBA players can easily go overseas and play exhibition games or even join a professional squad on a limited contracted basis. They actually have several money-making opportunities.

You can't tell me that an All-Star squad of players wouldn't be a big hit in London, Barcelona, or Shanghai. They could organize a global tour with set teams and play a 16 team tournament. Sponsors would line up to endorse it.

wintermute
07-01-2011, 11:09 AM
The Lockout FAQ

http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/columns/story?columnist=coon_larry&page=lockoutFAQ-110701

Lockout FAQ: Uncertain future ahead
By Larry Coon
Special to ESPN.com

It's here. For two years we've had July 1, 2011, circled on our calendars, and a small shiver went down our spines every time we looked ahead to that date. Or we went through some ritual akin to whistling in a graveyard, trying to purge the lingering thought from our heads.

But now it's here. There's no avoiding it and no denying it. We just have to face it. The NBA's collective bargaining agreement has expired. The league has locked out its players. And it may be a long time before any of us sees NBA basketball played again.

Since the lockout will be occupying every NBA fan's mind for the foreseeable future, it's time to answer some of the more commonly asked questions about the work stoppage. I won't bother with elementary questions like "What's a lockout?" If you're taking the time to read an NBA labor article in July, you already know what a lockout is. And if you didn't know a week ago, you've now had it explained to you on every website, radio show, podcast, newspaper and TV show that covers the NBA.

So let's concentrate on the questions to which you may not already know the answer. We'll also mix in questions about what life might be like in a post-lockout NBA.

If the owners get a hard cap, how will teams like the Lakers and Magic get under it?
The league's previous soft cap was really more of a suggestion than an actual spending limit. Teams were free to operate above the cap so long as they used certain mechanisms called exceptions, and few teams were ever below the cap during an NBA season. The owners' original proposal sought to change all that, and called for a $45 million hard cap.

A true hard cap is a different animal altogether -- teams are required to be below a hard cap at all times. If a $45 million hard cap were to be imposed starting with the 2011-12 season, a number of teams would be in trouble. For example, the Lakers have already committed to over $91 million in salaries for 2011-12, and the Magic aren't far behind, at just over $76 million.

But teams likely wouldn't be forced to jettison half their rosters should a hard cap be imposed. The same proposal that included a hard cap also included salary rollbacks (reductions in existing salaries of 15 to 25 percent) and an amnesty provision, which would allow teams to waive one player without cap consequences. These provisions would have softened the blow of a hard cap, and additional rules likely would have accommodated teams in other ways.

Also keep in mind that the league's proposal for a $45 million hard cap was just that -- one proposal. Their next proposal kept the hard cap, but gave teams a three-year grace period before it would be imposed. They further softened their stance in later proposals, adopting what they called a "flex cap," which is a hybrid between a soft cap and a hard cap. It is possible that as negotiations continue, the proposals will become less and less stringent, and the final agreement won't force teams to make tough decisions regarding their core players.

If there is a hard cap, will the league provide teams with an amnesty clause? How would it work?
The 2005 CBA included a clause referred to as the "Luxury Tax Amnesty Provision." It allowed teams to waive one player whose salary would then be excluded from the team's luxury tax calculations. This clause was added because the league changed its luxury tax system in the 2005 agreement. Teams made their roster decisions based on the terms of the 1999 agreement, and might have planned differently had the 2005 rules been in place at the time. The provision was seen as a way of accommodating teams that may have been impacted by these rule changes.

This year the league wants to change more than just the luxury tax system -- it wants to make fundamental changes to the salary-cap system itself. Depending on how the negotiations turn out, these changes could be as severe as implementing a hard cap with which teams must immediately comply.

If the league makes a fundamental change to the salary-cap rules, it is expected to follow suit with another amnesty provision to accommodate the impacted teams. Such a provision would likely allow teams to waive one player, whose salary would then be excluded from the team's salary-cap calculations. The player would still be paid in full -- for example, Orlando couldn't use such a provision to escape its commitment to pay Gilbert Arenas the $62.3 million he is owed over the next three seasons.

The owners' proposal which included a $45 million hard cap reportedly also included such a provision. But the final determination won't be made until the two sides actually come to terms on a new agreement. The specific workings of an amnesty provision -- or whether a provision is included at all -- ultimately will depend on the changes that are made to the salary-cap system. It's possible that the next agreement will include an amnesty provision that can be used on more than one player, or can be used more than once during the lifetime of the agreement.

Can players have any contact with teams, coaches or trainers during the lockout?
No, and in fact according to ESPN.com's Ric Bucher, teams will be fined $1 million for any contact. This would presumably extend to player agents, but as of this writing one agent says he hasn't heard anything official on this yet.

When do players start missing paychecks?
The regular NBA pay schedule has 12 biweekly paydays, starting Nov. 15 and ending May 1. But some players are paid over 12 months, and will continue to be paid their 2010-11 salaries through Dec. 1.

Teams are only required to pay 20 percent of a player's salary on regular league paydays. The remaining 80 percent can be paid according to whatever schedule the team and player agree to. A few players receive a large lump-sum payment July 1, the first allowable date.

So some players will miss their first paycheck July 1. All players will miss their first paycheck no later than Nov. 15.

What is union decertification?
Decertification occurs when the players effectively dissolve the union. It's a tactic that clears the way for the players to sue the league for antitrust violation. Many league practices, such as the draft and salary restraints, are exempted from federal antitrust laws because they are part of a collective bargaining agreement. This protection extends past the expiration of the agreement so long as a labor relationship continues to exist between the two sides.

By decertifying their union, the players would end that labor relationship and, in theory, also end the league's exemption from antitrust laws. This would clear the way for a lawsuit against the league.

How would union decertification affect the labor dispute? Would the NBA players actually decertify their union?
A union decertification would do nothing to hasten a solution to the labor dispute. It would put a stop to the negotiations and open the door to an extended legal battle. It's more like a nuclear option -- its mere threat could motivate the league to negotiate in earnest, but it also comes with consequences that no one wants to contemplate.

Union president Derek Fisher understands the potential consequences of decertification, and has said it represents more of a last resort than a first choice. "For us, decertification is never something that you want to do -- it's not a strategy like that," he said. "It's more a decision you make when your hand is forced and there isn't another option to try to save the season."

David Stern said that if the players decertify their union, all contracts would become null and void. What did he mean? None of the legal experts I consulted are entirely sure what he meant. The act of locking out the players means the players won't be paid until the labor dispute ends and a new agreement is in place. Once that happens, the players' paychecks resume.

So Stern had to have meant that if the players decertify the union during the lockout, then their contracts become unenforceable, even after the dispute is settled. According to everyone I've talked to, this simply is not true. Perhaps Stern was speaking metaphorically, as if to say that if the players decertify their union, it will be a long, long time before the dispute is settled -- so the contracts will have expired before the players actually return to work.

Can NBA players play overseas during a lockout?
The answer to this one is "It's complicated." Stern said as far as he's concerned, the players can do what they want to do. But keep in mind, he's going to say that regardless -- he doesn't want to appear in any way to be trying to prevent the players from earning a living. Labor laws don't allow an employer to lock out its employees and prevent them from earning a living elsewhere.

Ultimately, it doesn't matter what Stern says or does -- the decision isn't up to him.

In order to play professionally overseas, FIBA (the organizing body for international basketball) requires a Letter of Clearance from the player's national organizing body. In the case of players from the United States, that's USA Basketball. The Letter of Clearance certifies that the player is free to sign a contract -- i.e., he has no other contractual obligations that would get in the way. An NBA contract is such a contractual obligation. Lockout or not, it's still an existing contract. So on the surface, an NBA player who's under contract would not be allowed to sign in any FIBA league. NBA free agents, on the other hand, can sign wherever they'd like.

But here's the rub -- we're getting into uncharted territory. FIBA has never found itself in this position before. FIBA could decide to alter or suspend its rule requiring a Letter of Clearance, or allow contracts to be signed so long as they contain language that says the contract becomes null and void immediately if the NBA lockout ends.

More likely, FIBA simply would stick to its existing rule, essentially punting the problem to the national organizing bodies. These bodies (such as USA Basketball) could decide to issue a Letter of Clearance notwithstanding the NBA lockout. Or they could issue a Letter of Clearance with a specific notation about the lockout -- essentially punting the problem right back to FIBA.

Finally, the NBA players could take FIBA and/or the national organizing bodies to court. The ability to block players in a lockout has never been tested through litigation, and once they're there, anything can happen.

If players under contract are cleared to play in Europe, will there be a mass exodus?
It's doubtful. For one thing, there simply aren't enough teams with enough open roster spots to accommodate 400-plus NBA players. And the ones who do sign overseas will likely make only a fraction of what they earned in the NBA. The Euroleague and other FIBA leagues simply can't afford to pay NBA players commensurate with the salaries to which they've grown accustomed.

So we will probably see a few head overseas, but certainly not a Who's Who of NBA players.

If the lockout lasts an entire season, what will happen with the 2012 draft? How will the draft order be determined?
If the season is canceled and the sides come to an agreement by next June, the 2012 draft should go on as planned. The draft order will be a little tricky. There will be no season upon which to determine the order, and they can't just repeat the 2011 draft order -- that would "reward" teams twice for the same bad season in 2010-11.

The NHL was faced with this dilemma when it lost its 2004-05 season to a lockout. The league settled on a weighted lottery that included all 30 teams. The weighting was based on playoff appearances over the previous three seasons and first overall picks over the previous four seasons.

The NBA would likely adopt a similar system should the 2011-12 season be canceled. It would be a one-time occurrence -- the league would revert to its usual system the following year.

If the lockout lasts an entire year, what happens to contracts that expire following the 2011-12 season? Do they expire anyway, or does the contract extend through 2012-13?
A contract that is scheduled to expire following the 2011-12 season should expire on June 30, 2012, whether or not the season is played. This means it's possible that 2012 free agents -- like Dwight Howard -- may have already played their last game for their current teams. Nervous teams had the opportunity to make a trade by June 30 to avoid the risk of losing these players without compensation. However, no such trade was completed, which may indicate either some faith in their ability to hang on to their potential free agents, or in the league's ability to resolve the labor dispute before the season is lost. (Sacramento and Cleveland swapped Omri Casspi and J.J. Hickson on Thursday, but neither player's contract ends in 2012.)

It is also possible for the two sides to mutually agree that 2011-12 "didn't happen," so all contracts will simply be pushed back by one year. Therefore this is all subject to negotiation.

After the labor dispute is settled, will my team be able to ….
We're a long way away from knowing how the rules will work in the next agreement. At this point it's unknown whether there will be a hard cap or a soft cap, how much room teams will have to sign free agents, what the trade rules might be or whether exceptions will continue to exist. So it's pointless to ask right now if the Knicks will be able to sign a third star to go with Amare Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony, if Orlando will need to trade Dwight Howard, if New Jersey will need to trade Deron Williams, if Miami can add a point guard and a center to complement the Big Three, if the Bulls can add a shooting guard, if the Clippers can add a small forward or if the Lakers can add a point guard who's not an AARP member. These questions will just have to wait.

The only hope is that we won't have to wait too long.

wintermute
07-01-2011, 11:13 AM
Unlike the NFL, NBA players can easily go overseas and play exhibition games or even join a professional squad on a limited contracted basis. They actually have several money-making opportunities.

You can't tell me that an All-Star squad of players wouldn't be a big hit in London, Barcelona, or Shanghai. They could organize a global tour with set teams and play a 16 team tournament. Sponsors would line up to endorse it.

NBA players who are currently under contract probably won't have that option (see the Lockout FAQ I just posted).

It's exhibition games though, nothing stops the players from organizing games in the US. In fact, didn't they organize at least one exhibition match during the last lockout?

Unclebuck
07-01-2011, 11:20 AM
I was running the numbers. Players get paid every other week during the season - 12 checks.

if a player makes: then their checks are?
2M - 166,666
3M - 250,000
5M - 416,666
6M - 500,000
8M - 666,666
9m - 750,000
10M - 833,333
12m - 1,000,000
15M - 1,250,000


Wow those are some pretty big checks coming every two weeks

I wonder who gets paid throughout the entire year? would those be the superstars?

Trader Joe
07-01-2011, 11:21 AM
I think my bank would laugh at me if I tried to deposit a 1.25 million dollar check.

naptownmenace
07-01-2011, 11:35 AM
NBA players who are currently under contract probably won't have that option (see the Lockout FAQ I just posted).

It's exhibition games though, nothing stops the players from organizing games in the US. In fact, didn't they organize at least one exhibition match during the last lockout?

The FAQ said that FIBA could waive the need to get clearance from USA Basketball and the player could sign limited contracts. It's probably not likely unless the Players Union threatens to sue FIBA. FIBA might cave to avoid getting dragged into a legal battle and paying attorneys to defend them.

Unclebuck
07-01-2011, 11:38 AM
I think my bank would laugh at me if I tried to deposit a 1.25 million dollar check.


yeah, I assume they all have direct deposit

vapacersfan
07-01-2011, 11:40 AM
I think my bank would laugh at me if I tried to deposit a 1.25 million dollar check.

Keep in mind they dont put all that money in their account, they owe agents a percentage, plus taxes among other things

BoomBaby33
07-01-2011, 11:41 AM
I was wondering about the NBA and owners using "scrubs" as the NFL did back in the day? Can they potentially do that, thus bypassing the CBA and players union? I would bet there would be some fringe players from NBA-DL or overseas players willing to do that.

Anybody know?

vapacersfan
07-01-2011, 11:41 AM
yeah, I assume they all have direct deposit

I know of two Redskins players who actually got paper checks for quite some time. I thought it was hilarious when I saw a check for something like 1,300,000.00 at 18 years old

vapacersfan
07-01-2011, 11:43 AM
I was running the numbers. Players get paid every other week during the season - 12 checks.

if a player makes: then their checks are?
2M - 166,666
3M - 250,000
5M - 416,666
6M - 500,000
8M - 666,666
9m - 750,000
10M - 833,333
12m - 1,000,000
15M - 1,250,000


Wow those are some pretty big checks coming every two weeks

I wonder who gets paid throughout the entire year? would those be the superstars?

I remember hearing the players had a choice, get paid during the season or get either one or two payments at the start and end of the season.

Not sure if that is still accurate, but I remember a former Pacers (Artest?) said he got paid once per year in a interview he did

Reginald
07-01-2011, 11:44 AM
I would hope it threatens the entire season. The NBA has had 16 teams sold to new owners since the last CBA was negotiated in 1999. Why? Because that deal was horrible and the owners cut their losses and ran.

There's a whole lot of gray area with the players and owners in NFL lockout, but there's none with the NBA lockout. The players are in the wrong. Their 57% cut of league revenues is criminal. Their guaranteed contracts are a joke.

Speed
07-01-2011, 11:45 AM
I wonder who gets paid throughout the entire year? would those be the superstars?

I heard on a recent podcast its like 40 to 50 players only who get paid like this, they didn't say who they were though. Sorry no direct reference, I've heard so many podcasts the last month or so.

wintermute
07-01-2011, 11:48 AM
I was wondering about the NBA and owners using "scrubs" as the NFL did back in the day? Can they potentially do that, thus bypassing the CBA and players union? I would bet there would be some fringe players from NBA-DL or overseas players willing to do that.

Anybody know?

Yes.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/gabriel-a-feldman/the-legal-issues-behind-t_1_b_881409.html


In the event of a lockout, can the owners hire replacement players?

Yes, employers may hire temporary employees during a lockout where the harm to the locked out employees is "comparatively slight" and the decision to hire is motivated by a legitimate business reason. The NBA has not used replacement players in the past and are unlikely to do so this time around, because sponsors, fans, and networks simply do not want to see (or pay to see) Shane Falco playing for the Lakers instead of Kobe Bryant.

vapacersfan
07-01-2011, 11:51 AM
I'm pretty sure the NBA cannot fine Vogel as he is not technically under contract with the Pacers.

While true, they could certainilly fine the Pacers

wintermute
07-01-2011, 12:01 PM
I'm pretty sure the NBA cannot fine Vogel as he is not technically under contract with the Pacers.

http://twitter.com/#!/MikeWellsNBA/status/86825114359967744

@MikeWellsNBA
For those who have asked, Vogel can NOT lead any type of workout with the players even though he's officially not under contract with Pacers

wintermute
07-01-2011, 12:14 PM
http://blogs.forbes.com/sportsmoney/2011/07/01/nba-owners-are-inflating-loss-estimates-but-theyre-likely-to-win-labor-battle/

NBA Owners Are Inflating Loss Estimates, But They’re Likely To Win Labor Battle
Posted by Patrick Rishe

Though NBA franchises’ reported losses are being grossly overstated in part due to commonly accepted accounting rules, expect NBA owners to eventually win this labor dispute versus NBA players, though it may ultimately cost both sides lost games, revenues, and momentum in league-wide interest.

How much money are owners really losing?

The short answer is that no one really knows without having access to each team’s books.

The league contends that 22 of the 30 teams lost money in the 2010-11 season, to the tune of about $370 million per season collectively.

At the beginning of the 2010-11 season I conducted a review of Forbes NBA financials from the last several years and found:

1) In 2008-09, 23 teams’ operating incomes fell by an average of $4 M relative to their 2007-08 position (a cumulative reduction of $85 M). However, aggregate team profits were a $232 M surplus for the 2008-09 season (or $6.3 M per team).

2) Looking at Forbes NBA franchise valuations for the 2009-10 season, aggregate team operating incomes did slip relative to 2008-09 but were still a $183 M surplus (or $6.1 M per team). 17 of 30 teams were losing money, but 11 of the 17 losing money were losing less than $8 M annually.

So though this data does show a recent trend of reduced profitability, it seems like “negotiation grandstanding” on behalf of the owners to suggest that in one season teams collectively went from a $183 M. surplus to a $370 M. loss.

Could creative yet legal accounting methods explain this differential?

In a word, hell yes it could.

Forbes calculates operating income before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization. In short, they measure an “operating profit” rather than a “book profit.”

Dating back to the days of eccentric baseball general manager Bill Veeck who introduced the practice, professional sports teams have been allowed under IRS rules to reduce their tax obligation under something called a roster depreciation allowance (RDAs). These RDAs allow pro sports teams to count players as both “direct labor costs” (i.e. team payroll) and depreciable assets. This “double-counting” of players on the expense side of the ledger can turn an “operating profit” into a “book loss.”

Why would teams want to do this? Well, if owners are set up like a partnership or Subchapter S corporation, then the team’s profits or losses are passed onto the owner’s individual income tax returns. So if the RDA accounting practice turns operating profits into book losses, then this can reduce the owner’s personal income tax liability.

This story from Deadspin.com shows financial records for the New Jersey Nets and how teams have used RDAs in the past to legally “cook their books.”

And as wild as this legal accounting practice sounds, this sweetheart deal realized by owners of pro sports teams has actually improved in recent times. Between 1977 and 2004, owners could write off half the team’s purchase price over five years. After tax law revisions were made in 2004, now owners can write off 100 percent of their team’s purchase price over 15 years.

This in mind, this seems the most likely explanation between the aggregate profitability gap between the Forbes estimates and David Stern’s rhetoric. Granted, the NBA at $4 B in revenues per year is nowhere near the financial health of the NFL’s $9 B annually, but the “gloom and doom” battle cry is more reflective of an uneasiness of seeing profits dwindle rather than a fear that half the league is about to go belly-up.

Why NBA owners will win the NBA labor dispute…eventually.

Despite what appears to be an attempt to deceive the player’s association and the public with the true collective profitability of their franchises, NBA owners are likely to be triumphant in the labor dispute that officially began at the stroke of midnight on July 1.

First, the owners have evidence – presumably – that league-wide profits are on the decline…despite the fact that interest in the NBA has skyrocketed since the 2007-08 season which culminated in the Boston Celtics beating the Los Angeles Lakers. When your league has seen declining profits despite amazing increases in ratings and interest, then this isn’t good for the financial health of your league. And it certainly isn’t good information for the players at the bargaining tables.

Second, NBA players relative to NFL players have very little “sympathy factor”. NBA players are the highest paid athletes on average in team sports in the United States, and their contracts are guaranteed. A stark contrast to the non-guaranteed contracts of a football player, as well as lower annual salaries and shorter careers.

Third, similarities with the NHL lockout which cancelled the 2004-05 season entirely. The NHL had no salary cap and poor revenue sharing. Now the NHL is on much more solid financial footing with an improved degree of revenue sharing and a hard salary cap. Additionally, a handful of NHL owners who lived through that lockout have seen the merits of “short-term pain for long-term gain.” Hence, there are some NBA owners that look back to the NHL lockout and think to themselves “Hey, a long lockout eventually corrected the financial model of hockey. Why can’t we stand tall and miss a whole NBA season if push came to shove?”

Fourth, there is no way that NBA players will be able to command anything north of 50% of league revenues when their NFL brethren are likely to only get 48-50% of their league revenues. We cannot ignore the idea that the NFL’s negotiations may shape the tenor of the NBA’s negotiations.

How does the NBA lockout get resolved, and will we miss games?

I’d like to think that NBA Commissioner David Stern and president of the player’s association Billy Hunter have worked long enough together and are bright enough to see that they don’t want to lose the momentum and increased demand for their product created over the last few years where we’ve seen great drama and story lines unfold in the NBA.

But when two sides are this far apart, anything is possible.

Where will the NBA negotiations finally end up?

- Players will agree eventually to a hard cap pegged at 45-48% of basketball-related revenue. Using this logic, teams would face a $64 M salary cap if the league makes $4 B per year and takes 48% of the revenue;

- To resolve the schism between large and small market owners, we’ll see a gradually implemented “revenue sharing plan” that will lend support to “net receivers”…though at the same time making them accountable for spending “shared money” on payroll through a mandated payroll floor to start at $50 M per season. A revenue-sharing system similar to baseball’s 31% of local revenues could be employed eventually, where perhaps in 2012 each team puts 15% of “local revenues” into the pot to be redistributed, followed by 22% in 2013, 28% in 2014, and lastly 31% in 2015;

- To start things off on good negotiating terms, the owners need to back off their current stance and repay current players for the money held in escrow for this past off-season.

Though basketball fans hope and pray that a full-slate of games will kick-off the NBA’s 2011-12 season in the fall, the tenor between the two sides has not been favorable. And the court of public opinion has far less sympathy for NBA players who enjoy guaranteed contracts and who make between twice and three times as much as their NFL compatriots.

If the players aren’t willing to back down in this soon-to-be street fight with NBA owners, expect at best another “lockout shortened” season like the 1998-99 season.

And at worst, the 2011-12 NBA season could join the 2004-05 NHL season in infamy as the only 2 North American sports seasons completed erased by a work stoppage.

The inflated loss estimates make NBA owners look less wealthy than they really are, and serve a dual purpose as a bargaining strategy and public relations ploy.

But even using Forbes estimates (which though not perfect are at least unbiased), collective league profitability has fallen over the last 3-4 seasons.

And when league profitability falls while ratings, interest, and fan momentum are on the rise, this should be a clear signal to players that they have to make major concessions if they wish to be playing the game they love in late October/early November 2011.

************************************************** *********

Dr. Rishe is an Associate Professor of Economics at the Walker School of Business at Webster University in St Louis, as well as Director of Sportsimpacts.

Shade
07-01-2011, 01:18 PM
http://twitter.com/#!/MikeWellsNBA/status/86825114359967744 (http://twitter.com/#%21/MikeWellsNBA/status/86825114359967744)

@MikeWellsNBA
For those who have asked, Vogel can NOT lead any type of workout with the players even though he's officially not under contract with Pacers

This doesn't seem legal to me. How is this any different from the players working out with anyone else who is not employed by the Pacers?

wintermute
07-01-2011, 01:26 PM
This doesn't seem legal to me. How is this any different from the players working out with anyone else who is not employed by the Pacers?

I think it would be pretty transparent to everyone that Vogel isn't some unaffiliated 3rd party trainer, but instead is the likely future head coach of the Pacers.

I suppose you could make that argument fly if the Pacers eventually DON'T hire Vogel, but in that case why would Vogel put himself on the line? And if the Pacers DO hire Vogel, then it's a sure thing that a fine will follow.

Shade
07-01-2011, 01:35 PM
I think it would be pretty transparent to everyone that Vogel isn't some unaffiliated 3rd party trainer, but instead is the likely future head coach of the Pacers.

I suppose you could make that argument fly if the Pacers eventually DON'T hire Vogel, but in that case why would Vogel put himself on the line? And if the Pacers DO hire Vogel, then it's a sure thing that a fine will follow.

Perhaps. But, technically, I don't see how the NBA could get a fine to stick, should the situation come about.

Since86
07-01-2011, 01:40 PM
I didn't know what thread to put this in, so this is best as any.

@RichBucher tweeeted that coaches with AAU/college playing sons can ONLY watch their son's games, but not practices. He also tweeted that if NBA GMs/coaches can still follow players on twitter, but if they mention them or even re-tweet them, it's a $1mil fine and might even lose a draft pick on top of it.

Anyone else think this is going a little TOO far?

Shade
07-01-2011, 01:44 PM
I didn't know what thread to put this in, so this is best as any.

@RichBucher tweeeted that coaches with AAU/college playing sons can ONLY watch their son's games, but not practices. He also tweeted that if NBA GMs/coaches can still follow players on twitter, but if they mention them or even re-tweet them, it's a $1mil fine and might even lose a draft pick on top of it.

Anyone else think this is going a little TOO far?

Of course it's going too far. That's David Stern's m.o. It was a unanimous, 1-0 vote.

Trophy
07-01-2011, 01:47 PM
If this does happen it would allow Deron Williams to leave the nets after only playing 12 games with them via espn radio. Would give a much better FA class for the Pacers i think a season long lockout is a strong possibility and will ensure the pacers wont leave Indy any time soon. I hope the owners play hard ball and they get a good deal so the Pacers can stay in Indy.

I was thinking the same thing as far as a more broad FA class and more options for us.

Yeah a season long lockout sounds terrible and we won't have basketball for a whole year, but looking into the future, the FA class would be much bigger due to the possible hard cap and more teams being able to act on getting a guy like Deron Williams who I would love to sign.

The owners are definitely prepared and will play hard ball to get what is right and make it fair in the end for all 30 teams.

Scot Pollard
07-01-2011, 01:59 PM
If this does happen it would allow Deron Williams to leave the nets after only playing 12 games with them via espn radio. Would give a much better FA class for the Pacers i think a season long lockout is a strong possibility and will ensure the pacers wont leave Indy any time soon. I hope the owners play hard ball and they get a good deal so the Pacers can stay in Indy.

I definitely don't think anyone will be moving. At least definitely not us. Simon is prepared. He has billions to keep the franchise stable during any kind of lockout and we have aid from the CIB as do the Colts if the NFL lockout may extend.

However, a team like the Hornets who are owned by the NBA may be forced to move somewhere else IF there's a season long lockout. That franchise doesn't have much money to begin with and they had Chris Paul which I don't get they couldn't at least fill 85% of their arena. I will say this, if we had Chris Paul, we'd be nearly selling out. Probably 95% of the Fieldhouse packed. Heck, Deron Williams would lure people in and we'd be winning.

A lockout might cause owners to sell, but I don't think anyone is in bad shape to move.

wintermute
07-01-2011, 02:06 PM
Anyone else think this is going a little TOO far?

I don't really understand the motivation. I mean, I do get why the league wants to ban players from team facilities, and the like (i.e. put pressure on players), but to ban all communication? Is Stern afraid that teams and players will cut side deals? As far as I know this isn't some requirement of labor law.

Pulling all player content from the league and team websites also doesn't make sense. As Chad Ford tweeted (http://twitter.com/#!/chadfordinsider/status/86853405603139584), that just underlines how much of the NBA's "product" are the players.

Trophy
07-01-2011, 02:12 PM
I don't know what to say about the NFL either. They still have games/a season missed as a strong possibility. It's leveled off as it's entered past the 100th day so I think after a while, people will be optimistic about the NBA starting on time.

Indianapolis could actually benefit if there is no Super Bowl and they can sue.

wintermute
07-01-2011, 03:26 PM
Gilbert Arenas explains the NBA lockout. He actually shows a pretty good grasp of the issues.

http://www.sbnation.com/nba/2011/7/1/2254117/2011-nba-lockout-explained-gilbert-arenas

The NBA Lockout, Explained By Gilbert Arenas (Again)
by Andrew Sharp • Jul 1, 2011 11:54 AM EDT

Late Thursday afternoon, Gilbert Arenas explained the NBA lockout in terms that Twitter could understand. Turns out, he was just getting started. What follows is pieced together from his tweets Thursday night, including some grammar corrections for clarity. Via @Agentzeroshow...



For the people who don't know why the'yre lockin out... I'll explain it in real people terms. Lakers, Dallas, Miami, Knicks, Magic, Bulls, Boston, and a few others always have the best chance at the top free agents due to city and money. So the smaller cities team can't compete. So they can never get better and they're always losing money. So since they cant control each other spending money on players, they want us to do it for them by signing a new deal. It's that simple.


But wait, there's so much more.



All the older owners have made their money and selling to new buyers, and the new buyers are getting killed in these small cities. But no matter what deal gets done, free agents are gonna go to the same cities ANYWAY. That's why the same teams stay good and the same teams stay bad. The owners with the most money will try to buy the best players.

So like the Lakers just signed a 175 million dollar TV deal. But they don't want to share that with the rest, they want US to do it. I know people are like, "You make 20 [million] and are not worth it..." TRUE. But the man who paid me thought I was too him. You're worth what someone gives you.

I haven't been to one meeting but I know when unrealistic people are trying to make a statement they're gonna do it. It's like me saying I wanna play 52 minutes-a-game every night. "Well there's only 48." WELL find me four more minutes then. If not, LOCKOUT. Lmaooooooo.

So when you hear your team say we're REBUILDING all they're saying is buy our tickets, watch us lose. The Clippers have been rebuilding for 20+ years and made one playoff series. You can be like Oklahoma City and have young talent but eventually you're gonna have to pay all those players and you can't. And then what happens? Umm the famous REBUILDING.

Lol it's a rat race they're tryin to get out of, and they need us to do it for them. SMH.

I see people saying teams like Spurs and Detroit did it. Well, the Spurs had a great team that got hit buy the injury bug and got the number 1 pick and got Duncan. So from there they just built around him. The Pistons got lucky. All the free agents they got was very cheap but good players. And that's why they broke up. They were worth more then they were before.

So I don't see it ending sooner. Trust me, they're gonna sit back and let us kill ourselves like last time. So I'm gonna tell y'all the truth, but no disrespecting anybody. There's no need for all that. If you're boss wants to pay you less he has a right to try and do so. [But] even if they have pay cuts then what? Are they gonna give out free food with all the extra money they're gettng? Ummmm no. They're gonna get a new 20 million dollar scoreboards and still scream we're losing money...


The reasoning's a little questionable in places, but on the whole, a lot of what he's saying makes sense. In any case, it seems like a pretty raw distillation of the players' perspective in the lockout.

As for the owners' side of the story? Well, one more note from Gilbert.



Did the owners address the media?

They will never talk about it because 22 out of the 30 have no idea about basketball.


Just sayin... The man makes some good points.

pacer4ever
07-01-2011, 05:32 PM
I was thinking the same thing as far as a more broad FA class and more options for us.

Yeah a season long lockout sounds terrible and we won't have basketball for a whole year, but looking into the future, the FA class would be much bigger due to the possible hard cap and more teams being able to act on getting a guy like Deron Williams who I would love to sign.

The owners are definitely prepared and will play hard ball to get what is right and make it fair in the end for all 30 teams.

I will look on the bright side i still have Euro league and college basketball. I will be still watching tons of ball.

Trophy
07-01-2011, 05:51 PM
I will look on the bright side i still have Euro league and college basketball. I will be still watching tons of ball.

Yeah. I'll probably go to more UNC games to see Harrison Barnes.

I need any kind of basketball next year if it's not the Pacers or NBA.

Sollozzo
07-01-2011, 05:56 PM
I don't know what to say about the NFL either. They still have games/a season missed as a strong possibility. It's leveled off as it's entered past the 100th day so I think after a while, people will be optimistic about the NBA starting on time.

Indianapolis could actually benefit if there is no Super Bowl and they can sue.


What could they possibly sue for? Surely it's in small print somewhere that you are "deciding to host this Super Bowl at your own risk and that if for unexpected reasons, there is no season or an unexpected event happens that cancels the Super Bowl, you have no remedy."

I would be absolutely stunned if a city could get away with suing because there was no Super Bowl. The NFL isn't foolish enough to leave a loophole that would allow a city to sue. It has to be in the contract somewhere that the NFL is not liable if something cancels it. Even if it's somehow not, I doubt any court would give Indy anything. They would say you took it at your own risk. Heck, Ir$ay and those lobbying for Indy three years ago KNEW that this labor deal was looming and KNEW that it would like be a bitter, prolonged dispute.

Trophy
07-01-2011, 06:18 PM
What could they possibly sue for? Surely it's in small print somewhere that you are "deciding to host this Super Bowl at your own risk and that if for unexpected reasons, there is no season or an unexpected event happens that cancels the Super Bowl, you have no remedy."

I would be absolutely stunned if a city could get away with suing because there was no Super Bowl. The NFL isn't foolish enough to leave a loophole that would allow a city to sue. It has to be in the contract somewhere that the NFL is not liable if something cancels it. Even if it's somehow not, I doubt any court would give Indy anything. They would say you took it at your own risk. Heck, Ir$ay and those lobbying for Indy three years ago KNEW that this labor deal was looming and KNEW that it would like be a bitter, prolonged dispute.

That's what I've read.

With how much a city and an owner put into preparing for a Super Bowl or any type of major event expecting to occur, I thought it was a possibility to sue.

Based on articles I've seen in the past, it might make sense and it's possible.

wintermute
07-02-2011, 02:47 AM
http://www.adweek.com/news/television/nba-lockout-will-cost-networks-billions-133145

NBA Lockout Will Cost Networks Billions
Pro hoops debacle could be a disaster for ESPN, TNT
By Anthony Crupi

ESPN/ABC Sports and TNT stand to lose as much as $1.25 billion in ad sales revenue if the labor dispute negates the entire 2011-12 NBA campaign. Indeed, the NBA audience has become so valuable that the postseason inventory alone accounts for nearly a fifth of the full-season take.

According to Kantar Media, ESPN/ABC and TNT took in $417.7 million in total ad sales revenue over the course of the 2010 NBA playoffs and finals. The going rate for a 30-second spot in the Celtics-Lakers series: $402,000 a pop.

If the networks stand to lose a fortune in ad dollars, the league itself risks billions in media rights, ticket sales, and merchandising. ESPN/ABC pays $485 million per year for the rights to air NBA games while TNT forks over $445 million.

Adding up to a cool $930 million per season, both TV contracts expire in 2016.

With ad sales brokered by Turner Sports, the league-owned NBA TV platform takes in approximately $50 million in sponsor dollars. Also at risk are the regional sports networks that carry NBA action, including the Fox Sports Nets and New York powerhouses YES Network (home to the New Jersey Nets) and MSG (Knicks).

League sponsors will need to scramble to make up for the diminished brand exposure. Last year, the Spanish financial giant BBVA Group signed a four-year, $100 million deal with the league, making it the official bank of the NBA. Bacardi, State Farm, and American Express are also marquee NBA sponsors.

As is the case with the NFL, the pro hoops dustup is largely about money. In April, NBA commissioner David Stern claims the league was on track to lose $300 million this season; as such, the owners want to reapportion the split of revenue between the franchises and players.

“The expiring collective bargaining agreement created a broken system that produced huge financial losses for our teams,” said NBA deputy commissioner Adam Silver. “We need a sustainable business model that allows all 30 teams to be able to compete for a championship, fairly compensates our players, and provides teams, if well-managed, with an opportunity to be profitable.”

The NBA has locked out players before, most recently during the 1998-99 season. That dispute cleaved the schedule to 50 games and soured millions of fans. It took three years before TV ratings returned to prelockout levels.

Sandman21
07-02-2011, 07:46 PM
Gilbert Arenas explains the NBA lockout. He actually shows a pretty good grasp of the issues.

http://www.sbnation.com/nba/2011/7/1/2254117/2011-nba-lockout-explained-gilbert-arenas

The NBA Lockout, Explained By Gilbert Arenas (Again)
by Andrew Sharp • Jul 1, 2011 11:54 AM EDT

Late Thursday afternoon, Gilbert Arenas explained the NBA lockout in terms that Twitter could understand. Turns out, he was just getting started. What follows is pieced together from his tweets Thursday night, including some grammar corrections for clarity. Via @Agentzeroshow...



But wait, there's so much more.



The reasoning's a little questionable in places, but on the whole, a lot of what he's saying makes sense. In any case, it seems like a pretty raw distillation of the players' perspective in the lockout.

As for the owners' side of the story? Well, one more note from Gilbert.



Just sayin... The man makes some good points.
Maybe Gilbert should work with getting a Players Association executive who gets it and isn't a money grubbing lawyer who doesn't care for the game. He really did a good job explaining it in normal people (read: NON-lawyer types) terms.

wintermute
07-03-2011, 04:02 AM
Interesting story on the lockout's effect on other team personnel. There are varying reports on how teams treat their staff during the lockout. The Lakers seem to be one of the worst (despite being hugely profitable).

Ronnie Lester's 24-year run ending
The Lakers' assistant GM is one of more than 20 personnel let go by the team
By Ramona Shelburne
ESPNLosAngeles.com
Updated: July 2, 2011, 3:00 PM ET

LOS ANGELES -- He was on his way to a storage unit when I called. That's the only destination in front of him that's certain at the moment.

The storage unit, then Chicago at the end of the summer. Maybe.

This hasn't been a good year so far. Already he's lost his job, gotten divorced and sold his house. The team he helped assemble underachieved and got swept out of the second round of the playoffs.

And yet Los Angeles Lakers assistant general manager Ronnie Lester considers himself one of the lucky ones.

All day Thursday, you heard about how the NBA lockout will affect millionaire players and billionaire owners. But the real casualties of the lockout are far less wealthy and well-known.

Barring a last-minute change of heart, Lester's 24-year run with the Lakers will end when his contract expires this month.

By then, at least 20 other Lakers staffers, including almost all of the scouts who work under Lester in the basketball operations department, will have already packed their belongings and headed home.

They've been told little by the team, except that employees whose contracts expire on or after June 30 would not have their contracts renewed, and their jobs may or may not open up again down the line.

"I'm not worried about myself, I'm worried about the other people on our staff that are really good and have young families and mortgages," Lester said. "I'll land on my feet, but those guys who aren't as established, I think they're in a little trouble."

Lester has worked with these men for the past three decades. He's trusted them. Before the NBA draft, he had to say goodbye.

"I feel bad because they're great guys, they love the Lakers, they love working for the Lakers," Lester said. "They work really hard and they're really good at their jobs and now they're being thrown out in the cold with mortgages and kids to support, so it's not a comforting thought.

"I know from 10 years of being around those guys, they know what they're talking about and when you lose guys like that, who know your culture, how you do things, it's not going to be easy to bring someone else in here, or for whoever else is going to do the scouting, you're losing great experience with those guys."

He made me promise to publish a few of their names.

"Irving Thomas, who lives down in Miami. Adam Filippi, our European scout. Those two guys are invaluable," Lester said. "Gene Tormohlen, he's been with the Lakers for at least the last 20 years.

"I learned so much as a young scout just talking with [Gene], going to games, talking through things with him. That's what the Lakers are going to miss. Having those guys who have been around, those old hands who have seen everything and can tell you what they do in all those different situations. The Lakers are going to miss that."

It's still weird for him to speak about the Lakers in the past tense. He's been a Laker nearly half of his 52 years. In another month he'll start figuring out what he'll be next.

He's grateful to the Lakers for hiring him as a scout back in 1987 and for everything that came after. But he's confused about why it's ending this way.

"It's awful funny that the Lakers, one of the highest grossing teams in the league, could do this to their employees, just throw them out in the cold," he said.

I ask if there's any chance there has been a misunderstanding about what comes next. Teams have to tread carefully on any matter related to the lockout or risk huge fines from the NBA.

Lester said he thinks something else is going on.

"The Lakers have not done a good job in communicating that to anybody whose contract has ended," he said. "Obviously the Lakers don't want these guys back, don't want the scouts back, or they would've said something in that regard.

"So I don't think anybody is coming back. They've not treated people well in that regard."

Lester wasn't fired or laid off. By all accounts, he's still greatly respected within the organization and around the league. Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak considers him both a friend and one of the best assistant GMs in the league.

He just didn't protect himself well enough last summer when the Lakers gave him the option of signing a one-year contract for the same pay as before, or a three-year deal at a 30 percent pay cut.

"I guess I'm just a little disappointed how it all has come to an end," he explained. "I'm not angry at anyone. Probably disappointed more than anything.

"Anytime you move on from something you've been there a long time, there's some sadness to it. But they say change is good too, so we'll see what comes of it."

Lester won a title as a player for the Lakers. He's been a part of seven more as part of the front office.

"Look, bad things happen all the time," Lester said. "It's how you react that matters. That's how I have to look at it. I'm trying to see it as an opportunity."

But right now there is only loss. The Lakers' loss.

wintermute
07-05-2011, 06:55 AM
No link!
(link added in)
http://www.nba.com/2011/news/features/david_aldridge/07/04/morning-tip-labor-update/?ls=iref:nbahpt1

An open letter to NBA's players and owners
by David Aldridge, NBA.com
Posted Jul 4 2011 6:19AM - Updated Jul 5 2011 7:19AM

Now comes the dark, the black sky, one system of hot air colliding violently with another of cold rhetoric, producing softball-sized incredulity for fans who just enjoyed the best 12-month stretch of pro basketball in a generation, and only want to see that continue.

Now comes the silence, the awful silence of indifference and anger, when the hope and hubbub ceases in Miami, and people find other things to do in L.A. than obsess about the Lakers, when the lawyers swoop in to fill the void, and the nation turns the channel.

The lockout. The damned lockout.

It is here and it is not going anywhere for a while, like a stalled front over the Ohio Valley. The league's owners have made this happen -- and, if you understand nothing else about this dispute, understand that it is the owners who have brought it about -- unwilling to accept anything less than an overhaul of the current system that they claim is unsustainable. The question is how far are they willing to go to ensure that change. Are they willing to lose an entire season and gamble that the modest signs of recovery in the league will be lost for the foreseeable future? (Incredible how the NBA's plight parallels the country's economic plight, with progressives and conservatives arguing about how best to get the country out of recession.)

The owners say they cannot make money with this system, which they agreed to just six years ago.The reason they cite is ... themselves. Though they would not characterize it that way, of course.

"We had predicted that the (luxury) tax would be more of a drag on salaries than it's turned out to be," deputy commissioner Adam Silver said Thursday, referring to the dollar-for-dollar penalty teams have to pay when they exceed the luxury tax threshold. This year seven teams are projected to spend more than the $70.3 million limit, itself $12 million above the $58.044 million salary cap limit.
"It became business as usual to pay the tax," Silver said. "And therefore it created a league of haves and have nots, where you have the Lakers at $110 million (in salaries and luxury tax payments) and Sacramento at $45 million."

Owners want the players' union to agree to a new system where the players give back hundreds of millions of dollars in projected salary over the next decade in order to ensure that teams keep salaries in line and have a chance to make a profit. Players balk at this, saying the owners have to take more responsibility for the business decisions that they make via their general managers and basketball people.

We're caught in the middle here at NBA.com. You have no doubt noticed the scrubbing of both this website and those of the league's teams of all images and videos of the players. This was done, we were told, not to try and make people "forget" the players during the lockout, but because -- and I am quoting league spokesman Mike Bass here -- "We do not think it is appropriate to be using video and photography of current players at this time."

(The NFL, apparently, has a different philosophy, which is why you still see videos and highlights of current players on the NFL Network and NFL.com.) But we can show and write about players who are directly involved in the labor talks, like NBPA union president Derek Fisher.
What the Tip will evolve into -- whether there will be one at all, at least weekly -- is under consideration as you read. I can't write about the lockout every week; I'll get as bored writing about it as you are reading about it.

A "pox on both their houses" columns during such times are facile manipulations, designed to get you, the fan, to make an easy choice. The truth is, the owners are right, and the players are right. There wouldn't be an NBA without owners fronting the payrolls of 30 teams, covering players' salaries, assuming all of the financial risks, often going into debt. And there wouldn't be an NBA without the players, whose amazing athletic feats, and emotional and intellectual endurance, compel you every night -- compel you to buy tickets and swag, and watch on TV, and give a damn about the sport.

Having said that, both sides could stand to remember some things as the lockout commences.

Dear Owners ...

Stop whining about how you have to have a system that guarantees profitability. You are the winners.

Income disparity has increased dramatically in the United States in the last 30 years, and you all were the beneficiaries. You got corporate tax breaks and personal tax writeoffs, and are doing better economically, even after this killer recession, than 99.9 percent of all people. Most people in this country make a lot less than they did 30 years ago, adjusted for inflation, while costs have gone up. You haven't made quite as much in the last few years, but you're still taking home a huge check.

Yes, you've taken great financial risks in your businesses, and you've probably taken a big hit in them over the years, just as you have in the NBA. But you weren't guaranteed profits in any of those endeavors. Nothing is guaranteed -- even the Maloof Family, whom I love, couldn't assume the money would keep rolling in owning the Palms Casino in Vegas.

Nobody guaranteed you a profit when you got in the movie business (2020 Films), Mavs owner Mark Cuban. Nobody guaranteed you a profit investing in airlines (Mesa Airlines), Suns owner Robert Sarver. Nobody guaranteed you a profit in the home loan business (Quicken Loans), Cavs owner Dan Gilbert. You pays your money, you takes your chances.

When MCI (now Verizon) Center opened in D.C. in 1996, I had a little money saved up and I thought about trying to open up a bar nearby. It seemed like a logical extension of my job -- go to the games there, walk across the street, have a few drinks with my buddies, have players and fans come by. (I even had a name thought out -- The Fifth Quarter. Get it?) I started checking out potential locations and who owned them, and I asked people who'd invested in bars whether I should go forward. They all told me the same thing: don't do it. The bartenders gave away free drinks; the waitresses always called in sick; you could always count on local inspectors to have their hands out for bribes. Do. Not. Do. It.

At that point, I had two choices. I could stay away and keep my money safe, or I could ignore the advice of people who'd gone before and found the bar business a terrible investment. In the end I bagged the idea and kept my money. But if I had taken the leap and failed, the fault would have been no one's but my own.

NBA owners know the risks before they buy in. They know that players expect to keep making more and more, that the players' agents will always be agitating for max contracts, that great coaches like Phil Jackson and Gregg Popovich don't come cheap, that you have to go into massive debt to build new arenas today even with some public financing. They know this because they're not stupid. They got rich because they were smart, asked the right questions, and in the end, made more right choices than wrong ones. Nobody dragged them kicking and screaming into this particular business.

And in the last 15 years, almost all of the concessions have come your way. There are maximum contracts for superstars where there weren't before. (What do you think Miami's SuperFriends would have gotten in a true open market without any limitations? About $125 million each? Or maybe $150 million? Maybe even $175 million?). There's a rookie scale that ended the kind of contracts the Bucks had to give Glenn Robinson ($68 million in 1994). Contract lengths are shorter. Players can't come straight out of high school anymore, and it takes them five years of their career before they get their first crack at unrestricted free agency. You have gotten more than a billion dollars back in rebates from players in the form of escrow payments in the last decade.

And, yes, while the Bobcats sold to Michael Jordan for less than what Bob Johnson paid for them, the overwhelming majority of franchises have increased significantly in value. Don Gaston's group bought the Celtics in 1983 from Harry Mangurian for $17 million. Gaston's son, Paul, sold it to the Wyc Grousbeck-Steve Pagliuca led group in 2003 for $360 million. Even adjusting for inflation, the Gastons made a killing (there are a lot of inflation adjustment sites out there; I used this one to calculate the 2003 cost of buying the Cs). And when the current group sells, it will make a killing.
And do you think you're the only group of owners who've had it rough at times? Do you know what Walter Brown had to do in the 1950s and '60s just to keep the Celtics afloat?

No, I do not say 'if you can't afford it, sell it.' That's ridiculous. I do say, 'you knew what you were getting into.'

Dear Players ...

Stop whining about how you can't possibly agree to a 50-50 split of revenues.

No group of professional athletes has ever, collectively, made as much money as you're making today. You made the last of this money in the midst of the worst economic downturn in eight decades. Nobody wants to take a pay cut. But you have jobs, and tens of millions of Americans do not. They would kill to be able to take a pay cut to keep what they once had. Yes, owners have to be responsible for the decisions they make. But if they chose not to make them, to save their money and go the cheap route, you would be on the first microphone available screaming collusion.

You are the game, no question. People pay money to see you play. But the owners are the ones that take the financial risk. They pay not only your salaries, but the salaries of the coaches, the trainers, the scouts, the front office, the vendors, the janitors and the pilots of the charters you fly so you don't have to be cramped going commercial. They pay for the gas that flies those planes and for the swank hotels you stay in. (Very few Marriotts and Sheratons anymore on team itineraries.) They pay for the health insurance you and your family receive and build the arenas in which you play. And all of those costs go up, year after year.

You know better than anyone who's stealing money, and you know some of your teammates and opponents are stealing. You know that many -- not all -- of those who've gotten the mid-level exception over the years haven't played up to those contracts, and while it's noble to fight for the "middle class" in your ranks, and that no team can win without a deep roster and good bench players, the reality is people come to see the stars. The stars will be paid in any system. It is the middle class that will have to adjust and sacrifice, to accept the fact that taking a few million less on a contract is still better than, as my friend Tony Kornheiser says, slicing meat at a deli.

In 1995-96, after 11 years in the league -- during which time he'd won three championships, redefined the game on and off the court, taken the mantle from Larry Bird, Magic Johnson and Isiah Thomas and been the catalyst for an explosion of interest in the NBA, sold a billion or so pairs of sneakers, been on the Dream Team, retired from the game and returned with a simple, declarative, two-word sentence: "I'm back" -- Michael Jordan made $3.8 million playing for the Bulls.

A lot of money, to be sure. But not close to the $5.7 million average salary today's NBA player makes. And ain't none of y'all Michael Jordan. But many of you are getting paid more money than he was until his last two seasons in Chicago, when Jerry Reinsdorf agreed to two "balloon payments" of $30 and $33 million.

The union has already proposed a reduction from its current 57 percent of Basketball Related Income to 54.3 percent. If the players accepted a 50-50 split of future revenues, as I've written before, it would not only prove their seriousness of purpose in doing their part to restore fiscal balance to the league -- based on $4 billion in yearly revenues, the union going from its current 57 percent down to 50 percent would be a $280 million annual giveback by the players, covering almost all of the $300 million the owners say they lost last year -- it would give players a moral high ground. They would no longer lose the public relations battle that they lose time after time. No one could seriously argue that the players aren't doing their part to save and grow the game.

And, as I've written before, that 50-50 split could be revisited in three years; if revenues increase above $4 billion after year three, the players could and should receive a larger split in the remaining years of the new CBA to help recoup some of their financial sacrifice. They would, literally, be partners with the owners.

And even after taking such draconian salary cuts, you'd still be doing better financially than 99.5 percent of all people in the history of the earth. (That remaining five-tenths being the owners, of course.)

When can we expect this to end?

Of course, neither side is going to change much off of its current position. Silver will speak with some of the union's lawyers this week, and the hope is that a full-blown negotiating session will take place the following week. That would be a vast improvement over 1999, when the two sides went five weeks between the imposition of the lockout and their next meeting.

Repeating that delay would be catastrophic. There would be no way to avoid missing games if there were no meaningful talks between now and mid-August. The NFL, which locked out its players four months ago, is finally back on track in negotiations with the NFLPA. Yet they could take the rest of July to iron out all the details -- if they get that far. If the NBA and the NBPA waste five weeks not talking, there's no way we could get a new deal done before Christmas.
Which is exactly when I expect the season to start.

I wish I could be more optimistic. But there are too many owners who have been itching to have this fight once and for all for too long, who see this as their last and best opportunity to, if not break the union, permanently alter its power. (Along those lines, the only reason I don't see a lockout lasting even longer is because of the job Billy Hunter and his group have done preparing the players for an extended work stoppage. Players are much more unified this time around than in '99, in no small part because Hunter has neutered the influence of powerful player agents like Arn Tellem, Mark Bartlestein and Bill Duffy, with an executive committee comprised mainly of middle-class players like Roger Mason, Jr. and Keyon Dooling.)

Both sides will drag their heels until there's a final resolution of the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling on whether the NFL lockout can continue. A Minnesota judge temporarily ended the NFL lockout in April, ruling for the players in a lawsuit filed to force owners to lift the lockout. But the 8th Circuit overturned that decision in May, allowing the lockout to continue while it put off a final decision on whether the lockout itself was legal. That matter will be decided later this month. If the 8th Circuit rules again for the owners, it will be next-to-impossible for the NBA players to then look to decertify, as the NFLPA did before the NFL lockout began, in order to seek financial damages with an antitrust suit.

"When the 8th Circuit rules, there will be a lot more information for everybody," said Jeffrey Kessler, the longtime union lawyer who is advising both the basketball and football players.
Until then, there won't be any real negotiating. And there remains the question of what would happen if the NFL and NFLPA reach a settlement before the 8th Circuit rules on the legality of the NFL lockout.

So the likelihood is that nothing of substance is going to be accomplished on the NBA front this month. August is never a good month for negotiating, with vacations and other obligations taking key players out of the mix for weeks at a time. And the pessimist/cynic in me believes September won't be much good either, because each side wants to test the will of the other.

The vast majority of players begin getting paid in October, so that's when they'll start missing checks. And while owners will continue to get money from their TV partners during the lockout, the vast majority of revenue generated by NBA teams still comes from ticket sales. And October is when they start playing games. (Owners are already losing money as people hold back from renewing season tickets and companies hold back from renewing sponsorships, suite sales and the like.)

The guess here is that talks will continue sporadically during the summer as both sides await the 8th Circuit ruling. But that will become moot when the NFL and NFLPA settle in early August and play an abbreviated (two-game) exhibition season, starting the regular season two weeks late, in mid-September. The NBA and NBPA will really get down to it in early October, after the Commish cancels the NBA preseason. There will follow six weeks of public posturing as the deal slowly gets hammered out in private, with the help of bigfoots who will stay in the background (I sense a Jerry Colangelo sighting in the offing, and would it shock me if a B.H. Obama makes a phone call or two to both sides? No, it would not).

Then comes a settlement in mid-November, a frantic two-week free agency period, a week and a half of training camp, another week and a half of exhibition games, and -- voila -- Opening Day on December 25, with a octupleheader on ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, TNT, TBS, TruTV, NBA-TV and The Travel Channel. Samantha Brown and Adam Richman will co-host the pregame show.

Actually, I would take a 65-game regular season right now, given the alternatives.

Kegboy
07-05-2011, 07:21 AM
You know, if I saw David Aldridge on the street, I would have a really hard time keeping myself from just hugging the man.

Speed
07-05-2011, 08:03 AM
Sadly, this may be an optimistic view by DA.

able
07-05-2011, 08:18 AM
the thought you'd recognize him has me more worried than you hugging him

pacer4ever
07-05-2011, 08:34 AM
U19 Usa v Lithuania is a better game this time

USA is getting pay back on Jonas and Lithuania


halftime USA is winning by 10

making the best of the lockout!!


Jermany Lamb is legit he is suppose to be a top 20 pick next year he already has 19 points. Should be interesting to see how he plays now that he will be "the man" at Uconn. I expect his draft stock to sky rocket during next college season.

Shade
07-05-2011, 08:54 AM
What Gilbert fails to grasp is that a hard cap, while not being a fix-all, will at least help put teams on an even playing ground.

Yes, if money is equal, most players will choose the teams with the best locations/best chance to win. However, there will only be so much money to go around under a hard cap, so eventually, the big market teams will not be able to sign guys. Right now, teams like Dallas, the Lakers, etc. are just disregarding the luxury tax and buying championships, which they can afford to do due to the luxury of location (big market TV contracts). It's horribly unfair, and it needs to change.

ballism
07-05-2011, 08:56 AM
It's still a fail though, noone on Lithuania can take a charge. No team is really playing any good.
Want to buy some real basketball.

pacer4ever
07-05-2011, 09:05 AM
It's still a fail though, noone on Lithuania can take a charge. No team is really playing any good.
Want to buy some real basketball.

smhh basketball is basketball. It hasn't been great but Jonas is playing pretty good. He should be a good NBA player. I really like watching him play but playing verus these small college kids is tough to judge. He played great for his club team he reminds me of Demarcus Cousins combo of size and mobility

im watching a ****** stream it is a bit annoying


EDIT now it is getting good Lithuania is making a come back

pacer4ever
07-05-2011, 09:21 AM
It's still a fail though, noone on Lithuania can take a charge. No team is really playing any good.
Want to buy some real basketball.

EAT CROW! WHAT A FINISH AND IT ISN'T OVER YET!

EDIT if USA gets beat Joe Jackson' better hide he was making a bunch of stupid plays. Patric Young = choke how can he miss those free throws

ballism
07-05-2011, 09:26 AM
it's a bunch of stupid plays by everyone tbh. if not for this finish, i'd be sorry to have wasted the time.

idk, what's the problem with rebounding on Lithuanian side? No help rebounders whatsoever, Valanciunas is 1 vs 3 all the time. I've never seen something like this. D is ridiculously bad. You can tell these are teenagers.

and i hate to say this, but many of these guys think they are Kobes.

Ohh well, EuroBasket is incoming.

pacer4ever
07-05-2011, 09:29 AM
it's a bunch of stupid plays by everyone tbh. if not for this finish, i'd be sorry to have wasted the time.

idk, what's the problem with rebounding on Lithuanian side? No help rebounders whatsoever, Valanciunas is 1 vs 3 all the time. I've never seen something like this. D is ridiculously bad. You can tell these are teenagers.

and i hate to say this, but many of these guys think they are Kobes.

Ohh well, EuroBasket is incoming.

I do agree it was hard to watch prior to the end. AAU is killing American b ball all AAU is 1v1 and not very much fundamental b ball.



Not blocking Jonas out on the final play in regulation is inexcusable that was just lack of concentration.




Valancuinas finished with 30 pts, 15 rebs, 4 blocks. 11/20 FG, 8/10 FT. Lamb 35 pts 5/7 3P. Joe Jackson 19 pts, 6 ***, 7 turnovers. 8/22 FG.

wintermute
07-05-2011, 09:52 AM
Yes, if money is equal, most players will choose the teams with the best locations/best chance to win. However, there will only be so much money to go around under a hard cap, so eventually, the big market teams will not be able to sign guys.

I've seen this reasoning posted a few times, but I'm not sure if I agree with it. This may be true if the number of true superstars is much greater than the number of big market teams, which I'm not sure is the case. Would depend on your definition of who's a "true superstar" I suppose.

To me, a true superstar is one of the handful of difference makers who could (poptentially) lead his team to a championship. So to me, last season that would be James, Wade, Howard, Nowitzki, Paul, Randolph, Durant, Bryant. Maybe Duncan and Garnett still, but certainly not for long. Maybe a couple more are debatable.

That's still not enough difference makers for every team in the league. And even under a restrictive $45m hard cap, a big market team would still be able to afford two of those guys (sacrificing depth in the process perhaps, but hey we've seen players take paycuts to play in their desired locations). That leaves teams like Indiana exactly where they've always been, i.e. paying top money for second tier talent. Or in the best case scenario, paying moderate money for second tier talent.

What would change with a true hard cap IMO is a small market team's ability to keep their superstar. If we were ever lucky enough to draft a Chris Paul or Kevin Durant, what's to prevent them leaving for a better location for equal money? Bird rights (i.e. the ability to exceed the cap) are so crucial for small market teams in this regard.

Speed
07-05-2011, 09:58 AM
One idea that I think DA continues to state is 50/50 split, I think that may be the magic number in all of this.

It speaks to the common player and fan, it permits the teams to profit and the players to not feel like they broke and can save face.

The thing will be if the teams will accept this number, its not the full blown 'break the union'/completely change the balance of power that I think they are looking for. The teams also have to be willing to use the same formula to get to the 50/50, not take more pre calc money off the top, in the process.

I think thats where it ends up, if the teams are really wanting to have a season.

Only other issue is length of CBA, players need to be open to more than 5 years, teams less than 10.

Oversimplifying it, but that would or at least should get a deal done, I think DA is 100% right. It just depends on how many games we have to lose to get there and if you can get there before on of the sides gets their feelings hurt and dig in.

I hope they get an arbitrator sooner rather than later.

BillS
07-05-2011, 10:12 AM
I've seen this reasoning posted a few times, but I'm not sure if I agree with it. This may be true if the number of true superstars is much greater than the number of big market teams, which I'm not sure is the case. Would depend on your definition of who's a "true superstar" I suppose.

I'd modify this to "number of true superstars not willing to take major pay cuts".

The point is not just the team cap but how many max-pay stars will fit under that cap.

The players want to be able to have a team have as many max salary players as possible, and to have it not negatively affect the salaries of any other players for that (or other) teams. I can't blame them, I just don't understand why that model could ever be sustainable and why many of them don't understand that it isn't sustainable.

The problem with the whole "the owners do it to themselves" argument for letting the chips fall where they may is that NBA owners are in an odd dichotomy - they are not just running a business, they should also be running in competition with one another. The teams who have money can hurt their competition not just by getting the best players but by overpaying their role players, which forces other teams to overpay their role players or be stuck with poorer players.

Arenas seems to think the overpayment issue is on the shoulders of the owners to decide and enforce between themselves without player involvement, but he is wrong. The only way it could work for the owners to enforce discipline would be to have a hard salary scale negotiated between them as to how much a player is worth based on stats, contribution, whatever. I need not mention that this would be entirely, utterly, and totally illegal unless it was part of the CBA. Which is why it is in the negotiation - not because the owners want to put it all on the backs of the poor players, but because they HAVE to.

wintermute
07-05-2011, 10:36 AM
I'd modify this to "number of true superstars not willing to take major pay cuts".

The point is not just the team cap but how many max-pay stars will fit under that cap.

The players want to be able to have a team have as many max salary players as possible, and to have it not negatively affect the salaries of any other players for that (or other) teams. I can't blame them, I just don't understand why that model could ever be sustainable and why many of them don't understand that it isn't sustainable.



Bill, I'm not sure we're talking about the same point. What I'm saying is that I don't think a hard cap will deter a team from collecting 2 max-pay stars (or for 2 max-pay stars to agree to join forces, depending on your view).

Part of that is because max player contracts have a limit - right now it's a quarter of the cap number. With some sacrifice, a team like Miami can keep their 2 stars, and still have half the cap to fill the roster with (admittedly it would depend on veteran role players accepting paycuts, but we've seen that happen). If the limit on max contracts were raised, say to half the cap number, then I would agree that teams would no longer be able to keep 2 such players.

Sandman21
07-05-2011, 11:33 AM
Sadly, this may be an optimistic view by DA.

But he's not the only one I've seen or heard who is thinking we'll see NBA basketball.....

Shade
07-05-2011, 11:47 AM
I've seen this reasoning posted a few times, but I'm not sure if I agree with it. This may be true if the number of true superstars is much greater than the number of big market teams, which I'm not sure is the case. Would depend on your definition of who's a "true superstar" I suppose.

To me, a true superstar is one of the handful of difference makers who could (poptentially) lead his team to a championship. So to me, last season that would be James, Wade, Howard, Nowitzki, Paul, Randolph, Durant, Bryant. Maybe Duncan and Garnett still, but certainly not for long. Maybe a couple more are debatable.

That's still not enough difference makers for every team in the league. And even under a restrictive $45m hard cap, a big market team would still be able to afford two of those guys (sacrificing depth in the process perhaps, but hey we've seen players take paycuts to play in their desired locations). That leaves teams like Indiana exactly where they've always been, i.e. paying top money for second tier talent. Or in the best case scenario, paying moderate money for second tier talent.

What would change with a true hard cap IMO is a small market team's ability to keep their superstar. If we were ever lucky enough to draft a Chris Paul or Kevin Durant, what's to prevent them leaving for a better location for equal money? Bird rights (i.e. the ability to exceed the cap) are so crucial for small market teams in this regard.

A team would not be able to afford two superstars under a $45M hard cap unless salaries are rolled way back. Hell, Kobe and Pau alone would put the Lakers at the cap.

ballism
07-05-2011, 11:49 AM
There's no way in hell there will be a 45 mil hard cap right away without any other changes. That would break half the NBA teams, and it's not anything like what the owners are proposing.

Sandman21
07-05-2011, 11:53 AM
The only reason Stern would want a 45 million dollar cap would be to screw us over. :D

wintermute
07-05-2011, 12:15 PM
A team would not be able to afford two superstars under a $45M hard cap unless salaries are rolled way back. Hell, Kobe and Pau alone would put the Lakers at the cap.

That's because Kobe and Pau's contracts are under the old system, and would have to be grandfathered in.

There's no way that the league will allow its top teams to be boxed in by a change of rules. Amnesty, grace period, etc, there will be provisions to help teams conform to any new system.

Currently, a max contract starts at 25% of the cap. For a $45m cap, that's a $11.25m "max" contract.