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: Dec 4, 2010
Posted on: June 28, 2011 10:04 am

Barkley: NBA needs 'miracle' to avoid lockout

"The NBA could be staring at a monumental divide..."   COULD BE?  They are already there.  Barkley is correct.  The NBA/MLB's on the same path. Especially when it comes to what teams you see on National TV (where the real money is) during the regular season.  The same seven or eight teams that have a legit shot. And over exposure to the Yanks/BoSox/Heat/Lakers.  But I could be wrong.  Maybe we will see the Bobcats vs Wolves on Christmas Day.

Since: Jan 17, 2007
Posted on: June 28, 2011 9:21 am

Barkley: NBA needs 'miracle' to avoid lockout

Barkley sounds like a scorned lover. He blames everything on the Miami Heat, yet he conveniently forgets that the leagues ratings have increased dramatically this past year due to the Miami Heat. This past draft that was said to have the worst talent in the history of the NBA somehow had the highest TV ratings ever.

Since: Oct 27, 2008
Posted on: June 28, 2011 9:05 am

Barkley: NBA needs 'miracle' to avoid lockout

I have a couple of problems witht the comments that I'm reading.

1) The NFL business model has been successful, but does have it's flaws.  There are teams that are financially struggling just like the NBA, MLB and NHL. 

2) The NFL gives the appearance of competitiveness.  The reality is that over the history of the NFL (Super Bowl era)  there have only been a handful of Champions.  The Packers, Steelers, Cowboys own a mosjority of those titles.  MLB has the Yankees.  Both leagues, not much different than the NBA

2.5) The NBA was not a more competitive team 10-15 years ago.   Every decade in every sport has it's dominant team.  The Lakers and the Celtics in the 80's.  The Bulls and well the Bulls in the 90's.  The Lakers and the Spurs in the 2000's.   The NFL is not much different here either.

3) Why are people still blaming the athletes when it's the owners that have the spending problem?  Is it the casino's fault that you have a gambling problem?????  If the owners simply stop paying the money there would be no over paid players or rediculous contracts.  What the owners want is a way for the less profitable owner to be able to compete for the services of a potentially over valued player??? How does this make sense.  They consider the contracts too high and they last for too long.  Those bad contracts were paid to players that most critics already thought were underachievers to begin with.  If you don't want to over pay for underachievement then DON'T PAY FOR UNDERACHIEVING PLAYERS.  The owners act like they have been duped.  You don't need a CBA to police this for you.  Is anyone surprised that Rashard Lewis is over paid??  He was never that good to begin with.  It's not the players fault that you gave him $123 Million dollars, when he never averaged more than 25 points or led a team in any direction, but downward.

4) If you don't like the NBA that's you business.  But the NFL, MLB and NHL are not much different.  They all have variying degrees of financial issues and teams that are less than successful.  They are all flawed for one reason.  Not all owners care about winning games as much as making their franchise financially viable.  You always need to have a quality product to make money.  Every league has it's "Pet Rock" team.  The team that is terrible.  Never makes an effort to put a truly quality product on the field or court. But that team is still making the owners tons of profit.  Until those owners go away (which they never will) they will make things difficult by driving up player values and signing rediculously terrible players to inflated contracts.

The problems with any league is almost always the fault of the owners, not the players.  The owners have not scruples even amongst themselves.  They need a CBA to police their negotiations and make sure that they cannot create rediculous bidding wars for the services of an athlete.  The players can make demands and negotiate, but the reality is the owners will be able to outlast the players every time.  Their money is deep.  The players can not pay themselves.

Since: Feb 15, 2008
Posted on: June 28, 2011 7:48 am

Barkley: NBA needs 'miracle' to avoid lockout

Barkley moved to Houston in the twilight of his career. Not like LeBron who was like 25 & in his prime.   Big difference.  Barkleys best years were in Pheonix.
I guess the Philadelphia years never existed for Charles Barkley. Don't you remember him forcing his way out of Philly by being a giant problem child. He started doing crap on the court, like throwing up halfcourt three pointers with 18 seconds left on the shot clock and other nonsensical bs until the 76ers finally had to cave and trade him to Phoenix (in his prime) where he had his first oppotunity at a title. When he FAILED there, he chased down another opportunity in Houston. He's got nerve calling other people "title chasers" or "punks". Methinks it's time for ol' fat ass to takes a look in the mirror.

Since: Feb 15, 2008
Posted on: June 28, 2011 7:33 am
This comment has been removed.

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Since: Mar 15, 2011
Posted on: June 28, 2011 7:32 am

pay up

the greedy owners need to quit holding back and pay the players all the money they are demanding.  The owners are billionaires and have plenty of money to pay a lot more to the players, who are the game. 

Since: Jan 5, 2007
Posted on: June 28, 2011 7:26 am

Barkley: NBA needs 'miracle' to avoid lockout

MLB has been around a lot longer than the NBA.  Odds that the Lakers make the finals are GREATER than the Yankees making the World Series. 

Since: Jan 5, 2007
Posted on: June 28, 2011 7:20 am

Barkley: NBA needs 'miracle' to avoid lockout

It's funny that Barkley was in the "twilight" of his career when Jordan was still in the prime of his career.  When Jordan is only 3 days older than Barkley.  It's also funny that Barkley was traded to the team that won the title twice when Jordan was retired the first time.  Yeah he wasn't trying to win a title or anything.  


Since: May 7, 2011
Posted on: June 28, 2011 6:50 am

Barkley: NBA needs 'miracle' to avoid lockout

Barkley moved to Houston in the twilight of his career. Not like LeBron who was like 25 & in his prime.   Big difference.  Barkleys best years were in Pheonix.  

Since: May 7, 2011
Posted on: June 28, 2011 6:47 am

Barkley: NBA needs 'miracle' to avoid lockout

I listen to Barkley on TNT and his predictions are almost always true.  No reason to doubt him here.  I agree, it's coming like baseball, Lakers became the Yankees.  Who wants that?  Only Lakers fans. 

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