Tag:2011 Lockout
Posted on: October 9, 2011 2:23 am
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Players meet Saturday to confirm position

By Matt Moore

In another event in a sequence throughout the lockout that sounds like one thing and is really another, the NBPA canceled a Sunday regional meeting in Los Angeles. Immediately the questions began. "Does this mean they're meeting with the league? Is it a last-minute hail mary? Is there hope?" 

No, not so much, it was just more convenient for them to get their rabble rousing out of the way early.

Yahoo! Sports reports that the meeting was rescheduled because it was more convenient for the players already in Miami to hold it Saturday night.  After the meeting, Carmelo Anthony slammed the door shut on any sort of hopefulness that might have been brewing. From the AP: 
 
The way Anthony put it Saturday night, it almost seems inevitable."Theyre going to cancel the first two weeks of the season," Anthony said. "Well see what happens then. If they want to lock us out, lock us out. Were going to stick together."

The New York Knicks forward played in the South Florida All-Star Classic hosted by Heat stars LeBron James and Dwyane Wade in Miami, the latest - and most competitive - of the many exhibitions players have participated in during this lockout that reached the 100-day mark Saturday. NBA Commissioner David Stern has said that the first two weeks of the regular season could be canceled as early as Monday if a deal is not struck.

Anthony says it would not be "realistic" for the sides to agree on anything before then.
via Now what? After Miami game, players wait and see - NBA - CBSSports.com Basketball.

Yahoo! also reports that at the meeting, the players stuck to their guns regarding 53 percent of BRI being the lowest their willing to go, while no meetings were scheduled due to the league's insistence on a 50-50 split being a precursor to any further talks.  

So here we are. The trenches have been dug, both sides are settled in for the shelling, and Stern's finger is on the trigger. Barring a miracle, the first two weeks of the 2011-2012 NBA season will be canceled on Monday, costing the league, players, team cities, employees, local businesses and supporting industries millions of dollars, because the two sides won't even get in a room to discuss it.

Everyone's stopped trying to make sense out of the lockout, because you can't make sense out of something that's not driven by reasonable people. From the owners' childish insistences to the players' hyper-reactive defensiveness and clownish pouting, both sides have revealed themselves as more dedicated to "winning" this fight than getting a deal done. It's a business negotiation, and so it's cutthroat. But too often this has taken on the feel of the inmates running the asylum. The dogs are playing poker, and we hit the river.
 
If any meetings pop up in the next 24 hours we'll keep you updated and once the axe falls, we'll have complete reaction to that, too. The lockout drags on. 
Posted on: June 30, 2011 2:11 pm
Edited on: June 30, 2011 2:13 pm
 

NBA LOCKOUT: Countdown to nuclear winter

Posted by Matt Moore

Our eve of destruction is upon us. Now is the summer of our discontent. Other cliches and references. The owners are about to cry havoc and let slip the dogs of "letting the players run out of money because most of them are not used to having to manage their time, let alone their finances in any rational fashion." The lockout is a coming. So we thought we'd give you the opportunity to enjoy these last few precious hours with a nice countdown to keep you company. We'll be providing updates from the fruitless labor session throughout the day and more analysis. In the meantime, check out the Berger Plan for what should, but won't, happen.

Hold us, we're afraid.

 
Posted on: June 30, 2011 10:47 am
Edited on: June 30, 2011 11:35 am
 

The NBA Lockout: Idiocy in design



Posted by Matt Moore

It's just about over now. The respiration machines are slowing, the room has gone still, and everyone's trying to make peace with it. NBA momentum is almost dead. And the players and ownership are still haggling with one another over its possessions. 

It's grotesque how everything has happened that has led to this point. From the owners' scorched earth policy to avoiding any move toward real compromise or negotiation, their refusal to offer counterproposals over a period that lasted longer than six months, the players' desperate moves to maintain their footing, and most of all to the fact that both sides only really started negotiating within the last month. They knew this was coming. They knew what was at stake. And their pride kept them out of the board room. This is not how business should be conducted, not how men should decide the fate of the league at its most important time. 

There should have been dialogue the whole way through. It should have started last year and continued as often as possible. Both sides should have offered alternatives outside the box (the players have provided some ideas, but they were mostly regarding tertiary issues and didn't address the primary concerns). Both sides should have recognized that total victory is not obtained through negotiation. But maybe the owners knew that. Perhaps they understood the only way they were going to get their way was to force a siege and then choke off the supply lines. Maybe this was the plan from the start. If so, they're even dumber than the contracts they gave that put themselves into this position would show. But either way, there should have been efforts made to avoid this at all costs. This should have been the absolute last option, not the starting point to try and avoid. That would have been reasonable, that would have been intelligent, that would have been good business. 

Instead, we've got this, the height of success for the league since Michael Jordan left being set aflame because of principled stances and juvenile dramatic positioning.

We've got a lockout.

The NBA and ownership meets Thursday for the final time at noon eastern (high noon, as the drama continues) to try and resolve this. Or at least to look as if they're trying to resolve this. If you have a key negotiation that's being done to avoid shutting down your business entirely, do you wait until the absolute last minute? Is that how things are done? Absolutely not, but that's what's going on here. Instead we have one more chance for each side to try and position themselves as the compromisers, as the ones trying to get a deal, to try and create a crack in the other side. It won't work, of course. What would work is a group of smart people in a room trying to find solutions to the problems both sides face. Instead, we get two sides providing lip service by showing up for a meeting neither of them expect to actually do anything. 

If ownership is largely responsible for the injuries sustained to NBA momentum with its refusal to offer counterproposals, ridiculously hard line, constant scare tactics, and unrealistic expectations to completely revolutionize the sport in one renegotiation versus aiming to make changes over several, the players pulled the plug by refusing to offer a counterproposal to the owners' last effort. Was the owners' last design a series of false admissions of compromise wrapped in a deceptively hard stance? Absolutely. But there was no reason to cut off the talks, to stop the process of offering alternatives. That's negotiation. Instead, as the players elected for at All-Star Weekend in 2010, they pulled off dramatics that seem more like the work of dress-code-protesting teenagers than an organized collection of professionals. T-shirts that read "STAND," the brainchild of the ultimate NBA drama queen, Kevin Garnett along with Paul Pierce (you thought I was going to say LeBron, didn't you?). Walkouts of practice at All-Star Weekend. The players are one-step shy of stomping and screaming "It's not fair!"

Meanwhile, the owners are harboring delusions of grandeur of their own, wanting to "win" a negotiation outright. The CBA is an agreement. It takes two sides to tango. And while their money is what creates the backbone of the league, and it is their teams that form its foundation, they cannot exist without the players, without these players, without the best players. Yet the owners think it better to create nuclear winter and then wait for their opponent to buckle. 

You know why neither the United States nor the Soviet Union elected to use nuclear weaponry in the cold war? Because killing all of the citizens you're fighting for in an effort to protect them doesn't make any sense. Putting the league into a lockout, killing all the momentum and shutting off revenue streams in order to make more money isn't just cutting your nose to spite your face, it's drowning yourself to make sure you don't run out of air. It's madness. 

The league is at its best point since Jordan left. Ratings are up, league interest is sky-high. The internet has allowed fans to follow their teams in a way they have never been able to. All the games are broadcast on League Pass. Trades provide constant speculation and fans huddled around screens waiting to see what happens next (and will become remarkably difficult in a hard cap, hope the owners are remembering). The draft got crazy ratings, for crying out loud, and it was a horribly weak draft! China is a still-emerging market, the game has never been more globally recognized,  revenues have come back up, and yet here we are. Wasting all this is borderline criminal. Depriving the fans, who, if we're being totally honest, are the ones who actually drive revenue, of this sport wastes everything that has been built over the past five years. We're talking about incredible amounts of money, in the billions. The money is there. We're just going to shut everything down over how we're going to split it up? Really? This is the big strategic design?

Getting hurt by your long-term contracts to wasteful players? Don't offer them. Don't think you should lose money in the biggest economic downturn since the Great Depression? Grow up, everyone's tightening his belts, even the owners. Want to guarantee profitability? Open up conversations about revenue sharing and we'll believe you. Want to protect future players' earning potential? Give them a league to play in.

There are alternatives being looked at. Ken Berger's got a plan. Other smart people have a plan. The players and owners? They've just got the body of NBA momentum, dying in front of them while they fight over the silverware. 

The NBA lockout is upon us. And every inch of it should be something both sides should recognize is wholly and entirely stupid.
Posted on: June 29, 2011 5:55 pm
Edited on: June 29, 2011 6:04 pm
 

Report: Owners will take hard line in a lockout

Posted by Matt Moore

The owners made what they felt was a concilliatory, compromising offer last week in the NBA labor negotiations. That offer was met with derision from the players' union that felt it was essentially offering to them what they already own while still asking for far too much in the way of compromises.  So now we have one more shot before the lockout we all knew was coming anyway starts Friday. 

But a report from the San Antonio Express News makes the lockout sound even more frightening, because it alleges that if there is a lockout, and there will be (no way this gets done in a day), the owners will take all the small consolations and compromises they've offered off the table, and will opt instead for the NBA negotiating equivalent of a nuclear winter. 

From the Express News
According to NBA executives familiar with the league’s strategies, once the lockout is in place, the owners will push for a hard salary cap of $45 million, the elimination of guaranteed contracts and ask that the players swallow a 33 percent salary cut. The concessions made in recent weeks, including the “flex cap” of $62 million and a guarantee of $2 billion in annual player payroll, will be off the table.

If this seems certain to guarantee the loss of the entire 2011-12 season, it is because there are owners who think it is necessary for the long-term viability of the league. The players likely know this is coming because hints have been leaked for weeks. How they react to the old, hard line once the anticipated stoppage begins will determine the prospects for next season.
via Spurs Nation » Mike Monroe: It only gets harder for owners, players.

Ye Gods.

A move back to the hard line for the owners would force the players into a fight-or-flight response. They'd have no option to digging a trench for the long haul other than complete surrender. And given that they feel this fight is not just about themselves and their money, but about the future earning potential of professional basketball players (it's a brotherhood, if you haven't heard), they would get the shovels and sink in. We could lose the entirety of next season, if this report is accurate.

For everyone's sake, the fans, the owners, the players, the league personnel, and the business owners who profit in the communities, let's hope the owners recognize that there's a reason the Cold War remained cold. No one wins in the other scenario, except rival sports.
 
 
 
 
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