Blog Entry

Barkley: NBA needs 'miracle' to avoid lockout

Posted on: June 27, 2011 2:58 pm
Edited on: August 20, 2011 11:08 am
Charles Barkley says it will take a "miracle" to avoid an NBA lockout. Posted by Ben Golliver charles-barkley

The latest dispatch on the NBA's labor negotiations from's Ken Berger doesn't sound particularly promising. Berger writes that the two sides will need to feel "the pain of a work stoppage" before negotiations pick up and notes that a source involved in previous NBA labor negotiations says, "It's going to be ugly." One person who would co-sign all of that: television commentator and Naismith Hall of Famer Charles Barkley. In an interview with ESPN Radio New York, transcribed by Sports Radio Interviews, Barkley forecasts doom and gloom, and blames the Miami Heat.
"I’m not saying this because I’m in the NBA, if you go back and look, David Stern has been the best commissioner in sports the last 25 years. It would take a miracle on his part not to have a lockout and I truly believe that. I think there’s going to be a lockout, I think the owners are dug in, I think they want to send a message to these players.

"I think they’re really upset by this LeBron James / Chris Bosh situation, because their teams don’t have to be really good, but I feel like if they have a star in their market they can make some money. And if all the stars want to play together… we’re almost becoming like baseball where you’ve got a few good teams and the rest of them stink."
It's difficult to buy everything that Barkley is selling here.

There's no question that limiting or restricting star player movement is a top priority for the owners. If a few more major free agency classes go the way of the 2010 class, the NBA could really be staring at a monumental divide between the haves and have nots.

But we're not there yet. We just wrapped up the most exciting playoffs in ages, when upstarts like the Memphis Grizzlies arrived on the scene, young, small-market teams like the Oklahoma City Thunder did major damage, and a carefully constructed roster of veterans, the Dallas Mavericks, took home the crown. The star-swamped New York Knicks were swept out of the first round, the Heat collapsed in the Finals and the Los Angeles Lakers embarrassed themselves after getting eliminated in the second round. A huge number of teams (Chicago, Boston, Miami, Dallas, Oklahoma City, San Antonio, Los Angeles, maybe even Orlando) entered the playoffs feeling as if they had a legit shot to win a title. Prognosticating for next season, it's similarly wide open. At least seven or eight teams have a decent shot at winning it all.  

To summarize: player movement isn't yet at a crisis point, but it's smart for Barkley and others to look further into the future. The NBA, like most professional sports leagues, is a copycat league. The Heat's blueprint worked flawlessly right up until they choked two games short of the title. They'll be in the championship mix for at least the next five years. That's a plan worth emulating. Establishing some stiffer checks and balances, given that set of circumstances, is logical and prudent.

Since: Jan 6, 2008
Posted on: July 7, 2011 1:35 am

Barkley: NBA needs 'miracle' to avoid lockout

  The 2010 NBA playoffs were very exciting and displayed the progress that a number of teams ( Chicago, Oklahoma City, Memphis ) have achieved to gain competitive balance with the established power teams ( Boston, Los Angeles, San Antonio ). The desire and athleticism was evident throughout the playoffs. The timing was unfortunate in that the current collective bargaining agreement expired on June 30, 2011. This provided the owners with the window of opportunity to regain power and control over the player salary scale, free agency and team revenues. The owners are pulling the strings on Commissioner David Stern and Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver, who are merely puppets for the owners' demands. I'm sure the owners resented the collusive efforts of Wade, James and Bosh to bring a championship to Miami and will take steps to try and restrict the movement of superstars to maintain competitive balance. There most certainly will be a lockout before all is said and done, and the negotiations will get ugly as the owners try to break the will and morale of the players' union. On the court of public opinion, this will rank as a long-remembered turnover.

Since: Mar 21, 2009
Posted on: June 30, 2011 1:46 pm

Barkley: NBA needs 'miracle' to avoid lockout

Does this mean Barkley would be out of a job.... strike baby strike.....

Since: Aug 4, 2008
Posted on: June 30, 2011 12:22 pm

Barkley: NBA needs 'miracle' to avoid lockout

We very seldom watch basketball in our household any longer. We made that decision when one of our grandsons made a statement that he wanted tats like a certain player on one of the teams. So we watch a few games but not each time there is a game on.

I look at some of the things that are happening in basketball as well as other sports. I am not impressed with the direction the sport leagues are taking.

A lock out would not be as harmful to our household as it once might have been. I am not even sitting on the fence. They might do as they like a lockout or not.

The fans are the key to this and any sport. If the fan would stick together for a month or two or even two weeks by not going to a pro sporting event the leagues would be brought to their knees. But alas sports fans are like junkies. Everyone has to have their weekend fix for football and then whenever basketball is on.
Man years a few guys had the idea of forming a fan union to boycott the pro sporting events after a lockout of MLB. A few signed on, but when the season resumed the following year the fans were back in the ball park as if the teams were offering life supporting air for free.

We do watch the college sports as that is the next level for one or two of our grandchildren that play sports.   

@ leon8848

Even though James and Bosh were almost free agents, both did a sign and trade to get to Miami. Miami offered draft picks to the respective team for the services of these players.

The LeBron James trade was part of a sign-and-trade deal that the Cleveland Cavaliers and Miami Heat agreed to put in place.  Miami send their first round pick in the 2013 and 2015 NBA Draft as well as the option for Cleveland to swap their first round pick in 2012 for Cleveland's should they wish.  

In exchange for Chris Bosh, the Miami Heat is sending two first-round draft picks to the Toronto Raptors. Included in the deal is the first round pick that Toronto had traded to Miami as part of the Shawn Marion trade in 2009, so they re-acquire their own 2011 NBA Draft first round pick. The second pick that they added is the 2011 first round pick of the Miami Heat, giving them two first round picks in the 2011 NBA Draft.


Since: Mar 25, 2011
Posted on: June 30, 2011 3:32 am

Barkley: NBA needs 'miracle' to avoid lockout

Dear Chuck:

1. No one cares what you think.

2. Have another donut.

3. It's pronounced "terrible" not "turrible"

4. If Dwayne Wade played during your day, he would have dunked it on your fat ass!

Since: Oct 19, 2007
Posted on: June 28, 2011 7:53 pm

Barkley: NBA needs 'miracle' to avoid lockout

Astro,brother.So let me get this straight.Throwing over to 1st 4 times,with a slow overweight guy on base, manager coming to the mound,batter stepping out for 10 secs.after every pitch.Then we have the NCAA tnmt. with guys who can't shoot,35 sec.shot clock, 30 T/O's a game and an endless parade to the  freethrow line with a team up 15 with 30 play.They're are so many young exciting players, talented experienced veterans, and this year,their were at least 6-7 teams who could of won it all.I'm not sure what league you're talking about,I know it doesn't resemble the NBA.Oh,gotta go,their's a pitcher coming up to bat.Don't want to miss that.

Since: Sep 7, 2009
Posted on: June 28, 2011 6:14 pm

Barkley: NBA needs 'miracle' to avoid lockout

The first owner will NOT miss out by not overpaying for underachieving players. If they're underachieving players, then, by definition, they won't be contributing to wins in a big way. But that's not really the point.

Guys like Joe Johnson, Andrei Kirilenko, Tyson Chandler, Emeka Okafor, and Juwon Howard did NOT underachieve. They all played well enough for the duration of their contracts. But it was impossible for them to ever play up to max contract standards because they're not max contract players. They weren't going to turn their teams around all by themselves. They were never stars. They're role players. Very good role players. But not stars.

Guys like Vince Carter, Tracy McGrady, Amare Stoudamire, Gilbert Arenas, etc. are not franchise saving stars either. Their highlight reel stars. You don't pay for flash. You pay for substance. You overpay only for game-changers -- Shaq, Kobe, etc.

Same thing with draft picks. Picking Greg Oden wasn't a bad decision. EVERYONE thought he was the No. 1 choice. Unfortunately, he's had one freak injury after another. You can put Andrew Bogut and Andrew Bynum in that category too, although we've actually see what they can do when they're healthy. On the other hand, nobody put a gun to MJ's head and forced him to take Kwame Brown No. 1. He's got small hands and short arms and he's not very athletic. That wasn't a secret before the draft. More than that, aAs I recall, that was the first year all the team went bonkers over high school players picking Brown, Curry, and Chandler 1-2-3.

Similarly, if Cleveland had picked Kanter No. 1, they probably could have still gotten Irving (or at least Knight) at No. 4. The TWolves were set on picking Williams (Kahn wasn't going to pick another PG even if Irving was on the board) and Utah would've picked Knight or Irving -- probably Knight because he fits their system better. Then, instead of having Thompson and Irving, they'd be looking at Kanter and Irving (or Knight). Maybe Kanter isn't a sure thing, but Thompson is definitely a reach. Kanter was rated in the top 3 overall and the top C in a draft full of PGs. The smart choice would be to take Kanter first. That's what the Jazz did -- took Kanter at No. 3 and the best available PG later. Not coincidentally, the Jazz are consistently in playoffs (and in the black) and the Cavs -- outside of the LeBron years -- are not.

The system isn't broken. What's broken are the front office decision makers.

Since: Feb 15, 2008
Posted on: June 28, 2011 1:16 pm

Barkley: NBA needs 'miracle' to avoid lockout

These owners can be quite deceiving, because some of them actually base their "losses" on what their projected profit goals are. They may want to make $50 million but turn around and make $30 million and then tell everyone that they lost $20 million .

Since: Apr 27, 2009
Posted on: June 28, 2011 12:40 pm

Barkley: NBA needs 'miracle' to avoid lockout

It is easy to say "Don't pay for underachieving players" but in reality, if an owner doesn't overpay to get free agents, then some other owner will and the first owner will miss out and never win.

If ALL of the owners show that restraint, they will get sued for collusion.


Since: Feb 11, 2009
Posted on: June 28, 2011 11:00 am

Barkley: NBA needs 'miracle' to avoid lockout

Chuck is usually half right and half wrong, but here, he is correct.  The owners were quite upset with Miami having those 3 guys and a bunch of used parts.   If the owners can control the players longer, the player become dependent on the team thus keeping the player there.  In the cases of Bosh and LeBron, their former teams were willing to make trades to help out the Heat plus they got something for the guy leaving.  This also killed the other owners. Money is also the problem here.  I know you are shocked, but it is not what we think really.  IT is about their money they are worried about.  I heard John Ireland talk about the owner of Memphis.  He asked every call about them.  He said they did everything right, made the playoffs, got far in the playoffs, and lost a bunch of money.  How do you prevent that?  His point is well taken.  It is not the fact that the player make a lot of money, it is the fact that the player make money and they do not.  Or at least, claim to not make.  The owners want to players to insure that the owners also make money.  This is the problem here.  The only way the owners can get this is a hard cap and that will not happen any time soon since there is no proof by the owners to the players that the owners are losing money.  Once the books are opened and we all find out the truth, ok, we can talk.  I expect a long long time without hoops. Or pro hoops.  Kind of sad. Great finals, no season.  Sucks....

Since: Dec 4, 2010
Posted on: June 28, 2011 10:06 am

Barkley: NBA needs 'miracle' to avoid lockout

Pay up?  The Dodgers did and.................

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