T Nation

NBA Lockout


Anyone been following this? It's looking highly likely there will be no NBA season. The "greedy" players have made virtually every concession imaginable, the owners will not give on a single issue, and I want to cry.

Millionaires arguing with Billionairs is going to cancel a season one year after the most successful season in NBA history (via TV ratings and basketball-related income). They will destroy the good faith they engendered from so many fair weather fans who were finally soming around to liking the NBA because of the insane abundance of talent. There might be 10 guys in the league right now who could've won NBA MVP the year after Jordan retired.

I'm not really pro-owner or pro-player. The owners have been complete jackasses unwilling to negotiate in good faith or give up even a SINGLE thing to have a season. Players have gone from 57% of Basketball-Related Income (BRI) last agreement down to 50% in this one - basically giving up a couple BILLION dollars over the course of the agreement - and owners still won't give on ANY of the minor fucking issues (sign and trades, midlevel exceptions, and the monumentally idiotic D-League clause, to name a few).

But the players are idiots too. They had zero leverage from the beginning and waited until mid-November to decertify (use the ONLY point of leverage they had). They entered the negotiations immediately giving up 4% of BRI (starting out wanting 53%) and expecting the owners to give something just because they did. That's a concession, not a negotiation. They didn't accept the owners last offer PURELY OUT OF SPITE (they know they won't get any more money than was already offered)... more egregiously, they didn't even counter offer. If they return with "fine, we'll give you the money if you agree to these last 3 minor points", they put a huge pressure on the owners to sign the deal at the risk of huge public outrage against the owners.

But no they cry and run into a corner by decertifying. The average NBA career is like 3 years and they are willing to give up a full year of earning just because their pride hurts so much from being whupped in negotiations. Give me a fuckin break.

Don't even get me started on Stern (commissioner and head of the owners) and Hunter (head of NBA Player's Association). Stern has intentionally misled media and players... made a bunch of false "deadlines" and "ultimatums" that ended up having no value, just to appear tough... and has completely lost the faith of the owners. Hunter has fucked over the players to save his own job (by waiting till November to decertify instead of doing it in July/August), and generally been unable to accomplish even a single minor win on any negotiated issue.

I read an article that had an awesome quote about the owners. "This is a negotiation between Godzilla and the buildings in downtown Tokyo". http://www.sbnation.com/nba/2011/11/18/2570545/nba-lockout-2011-winners-losers-michael-jordan-david-stern

I really wish I could say I won't watch in 2012-2013, but I know I will. I'll attend less games, which is a puny boycott but better than nothing.



I think the NBA should have a 30 or 40 game season and single elimination playoffs.

Basketball sucks because its always on...gets boring.

A break from one of the pro sports is good I think. NCAA is still playing


Shit, at this point I'd be down with no season and a 30-team playoffs.

Watching NCAA bball just makes me miss the NBA


I lost hope a while ago.

With the amount of concessions the league is asking the players to concede, it reminds me of the 2004 NHL lockout


Yeah... I never believed the owners were really losing all that money until I began to see how OK they are with missing an entire season.

Another interesting facet is the divide between the owners themselves. The small market teams are against every deal and the big market guys just want to start the season. Makes sense given the lack of revenue sharing.


I agree it's millionaires against billionaires and both are out of touch, but I side with the players. I think that Stern is a complete ass wipe and that there is no basketball with out the players. So I am glad they are taking the owners to court. See long after the players retire the owners will still be making a couple billion per year. The players won't unless they were elite.

But both sides need to take a look at what happened in hockey. They never, ever recovered from the lost year. If the NBA goes out for the season, it will be deadly for both sides. There's going to be much less revenue to argue about.


^agreed but the players are losing out on a substantial portion of their life's income to debate a few minor issues out of pride. I don't totally blame Stern for his demands because he's an employee of the owners and is just reflecting what they want. The way he's gone about sending his message though has been awful.


I'm not trying to pick a side here, just looking at it objectively.

The players have ZERO leverage. They are refusing these deals based on pride and their egos.

It's pretty fucking simple. We all know that playing overseas was a bluff. The players don't have the capital necessary to start their own league. At this point the players are hoping the NBA owners lose enough money that they decide agree to better terms. WAKE UP! They are billionaires. You don't earn a billion dollars without being a sharp businessman. If they are losing money because they have to pay their employees too much money, THEY AREN'T GOING TO CONTINUE INVESTING! You might make them bleed for a while, but they have enough money to bleed for the rest of their lives and it wouldn't make a significant dent in their net worth.

I understand that you can't make a movie without the actors, but you also need the sets, the director, the cameramen, the special effects guys etc etc etc. If all the actors in the world got together and decided they deserved to be paid an unprofitable wage and refused to budge on it, we wouldn't have any more movies.


I played.

And my response to the OP?

Who cares.

Too bad for the NBA AND the players that there isn't that outpouring of emotion from fans seen when the NFL was locked out and the season (or any part thereof) was threatened. They, together, are starving the golden goose. Dumb.


Good post.

I will say this. The NBA has engaged in much brinksmanship during negotiations. I have negotiated high profile lawsuits for 23 years. Brinksmanship is very dangerous and not a tactic I recommend.

Even viewed in a light most favorable to the NBA (that they never intended to have a season to get everything they want), they (and the players) are losing in the court of public opinion - their fan base.

I think it was mishanlded on all sides. And these guys get paid damn good money to fuck this up lol.


I also think that this "plantation slave/player v. master/owners" analogy espoused by Bryant Gumbel and picked up and parroted by others is low, shameful and pandering to the race card. As if this dispute is about race and not revenue/business. Gumbelfuck should be called to the carpet for his irresponsible remarks the same as any white talking head if he dared say something as outlandish.


That's oversimplifying a bit. Why should the players subsidize the fact that someone thinks they should be making money running an NBA franchise in fucking Charlotte? They have given up enough money that all NBA owners could be profitable if they had a revenue sharing agreement (NFL and MLB both do, by the way). The lack of such an agreement is why big market owners want games and small market ones do not.

If it was a universal money problem, the owners would be united.


Oh really? Which league?


No argument here. This thread was just to vent... and see if anyone else was pissed. I don't think either side has done well at all.


tried out for the then hornets. play overseas in s. america. turned down cba. turned down usbl. passed on resurrected aba. played in nba la summer pro league. played in atlanta summer pro league. played in charles baker philadelphia summer pro league...

to name a few...


I'm not pissed...and that's kinda my point. Absent is the public outcry that was attached to the NFL lockout as it came closer to endangering the season. I don't think the public cares that much except for the hardcore fan which is apparently a small group.

They need to make a deal and have a season.


NBA is my favorite always will be, but all I feel is APATHTY....

I liken this to the NHL Lockout, the NBA will be better for losing a season eventually


Not sure I agree. It will take a long time to win back casual fans they won the past couple years/postseasons


Agreed... The MLB strike devistated baseball for a long time and the NBA had a lot of momentum last year with the Knicks finally becoming relevant again, the emergence of the "bad guy" Miami Heat and Dallas/Dirk finally winning it. It'll be a pretty big set back for the league to take a year off


The NHL has flourished since their lockout, while I agree it will take time for the league to regain their momentum, in the long run I think it may be for the better. I still would love to see a season Im a Knick fan and have been all my life I was truly looking forward to a complete season of my beloved knicks being a playoff contending team. However some of these ridiculous max contracts on players that don't deserve it is killing the league (i.e. Kenyon Martin)

I guess football has sort of lessened the pain for me, however when February rolls around and their ain shit for me to watch possibly my apathy will turn into anger...