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 5, 2007
Posted on: June 28, 2011 6:42 am

Barkley: NBA needs 'miracle' to avoid lockout

And we will only find out who the Cavs/Raptors will draft or maybe even trade those picks for.  Time will tell. 

Since: Jan 5, 2007
Posted on: June 28, 2011 6:35 am

Barkley: NBA needs 'miracle' to avoid lockout


Yes, Barkley was past his prime BUT he was trying to win a TITLE.    

significant point:  James was moved to Miami via sign and trade.  The Cavs received DRAFT PICKS.

significant point:  Bosh was moved to Miami via sign and trade.  The Raptors received DRAFT PICKS.

Cavs also received MONEY.  

Cavs also had "huge holes" due to other players going to other teams and injuries. 

Since: Jun 8, 2011
Posted on: June 28, 2011 5:26 am

Barkley: NBA needs 'miracle' to avoid lockout

That's a very difficult comparison.

Barkley was traded to Houston ( doesn't matter if he had a hand in it).

- Phoenix got some players back in the deal
( yes, he moved to Houston via TRADE )

- Barkley was definitely past his prime by then ( with back injury ), he
  would have been far less helpful staying with the Suns at that point.
  in fact, the trade may have been more helpful for the suns, since
  it helped facilitate their acquisition of a young Jason Kidd.
  he was past 30 by that time.

significant point : Barkley moved to Houston via trade.

Lebron James and Chris Bosh opted out of their teams via free 
agency, thereby leaving huge holes in their respective former
teams rosters.  That's a HUGE difference


Since: Jan 5, 2007
Posted on: June 28, 2011 5:15 am

Barkley: NBA needs 'miracle' to avoid lockout

Charles Barkley is a HYPOCRITE.  In the 96-97 season he was traded to the Houston Rockets.  He played along side of two of the 50 Greatest Players in Olajuwon and Drexler.  So during that season the Rockets had 3 of the named "50 Greatest Players" on the same team at one time.   Looking to win the title. 

LeBron joined two of the best players in the NBA.  Barkley joined two of the best of all time.  Sure the list needs to be updated.  But Barkley did the same thing joined two great players to try and win a title.    

Since: Jun 8, 2011
Posted on: June 28, 2011 5:03 am

Barkley: NBA needs 'miracle' to avoid lockout

valid point, small market owner A, having bought the team for 300+ M
needs a return of investment.  But if star players can collaborate to 
unite in bigger market teams like LA / Miami, some problems occur :

 - owner A has difficulty building a team based on draft picks,  since
they'll sign elsewhere anyway.  less competitive team, less profit ( or perhaps a loss).

 - owner A can take risks and shell out more money, to sign big name
players ( but this can be counter-productive, the owner ends up spending
more cash, and if the system does not work, it becomes a bigger loss )

point to consider : the dallas / new york / la lakers type franchises can always pay
over soft salary cap, hence, it's increasingly difficult to compete with
these teams in signing good players.

point to consider : a franchise like the hornets are 
having a hard time finding ownership.  ( and this is an increasing
trend for a lot of lottery teams/losing teams.

point to consider : revenue sharing is a tough sell.  big market teams
make big investments to make big profits.  

bottomline: the current nba system is not attractive enough for
the sub .500 teams to compete both on court and off court( financially).

therefore, player movement is definitely a huge crisis point.  it 
affects investor perception.  at the end of the day, it all comes down to
business and economics.  why would anyone put his 200M to 500M 
on a losing business?

Since: Apr 15, 2008
Posted on: June 28, 2011 4:11 am

Barkley: NBA needs 'miracle' to avoid lockout

"Barkley: NBA needs 'miracle' to avoid lockout"

Charles Barkely needs a miracle to stay sober for a day.

Since: Oct 20, 2006
Posted on: June 28, 2011 1:56 am

Barkley: NBA needs 'miracle' to avoid lockout

cjs  You are 100% spot on!!!  Here Here!

Since: Jun 26, 2011
Posted on: June 28, 2011 12:27 am

Barkley: NBA needs 'miracle' to avoid lockout

Both players and owners would be foolish to not get a deal done and go into a lockout.

Since: Aug 19, 2006
Posted on: June 28, 2011 12:00 am

Barkley: NBA needs 'miracle' to avoid lockout

Looks like Charles is Kissing some bent over Sterns Booty! Look, the LockOut will happen and if they can't Break the NBA Players Union quickly this will be even Uglier than the NFL's LockOut. The NFL's LockOut is totally about Money and Greed, that will be resolved because Owners like Jerry"I Own The World"Jones don't want to see empty Stadiums. But as for the NBA, Sterns has mismanaged the League by letting rouge Owners buy Teams, Refuse to Clean Up Officiating, and not being capable of securing the Financial Future of the NBA while being Pro-Fan. The Commish job is to make sure that Both the Players and Owners do buisness within the NBA guidelines and keep the NBA logo respectable. Goodell job is the same. But these 2 Errand Boys work and scheme soley for the Owners which is why both Sports are in an ILL state. Past Commish mainly in the NFL, ruled over both the Owners and Players with an Iron Fist, those days are gone. But Charles is Charles and he will always say Stupid things that are not well thought out. But the NBA could be a long Brutal Process that may take longer to fix and agree upon.

Since: Sep 7, 2009
Posted on: June 27, 2011 9:52 pm

Barkley: NBA needs 'miracle' to avoid lockout

A. The reason for the haves and have-nots situation in the NBA is because of the lack of real revenue sharing. The NFL revenue sharing model gives every team a chance to win and be profitable. The NBA model allows teams like the Lakers and the Knicks to use their much larger local broadcast revenues to outspend their smaller market rivals. Other teams like Dallas and Portland have owners with very deep pockets to keep up with the Lakers and Knicks.

B. They also need to get rid of the draft lottery. I understand the tanking concerns, but the drafts works much better in the NFL because the worst teams actually have a chance to improve by drafting first. Nobody ever accused the Lions or Raiders of tanking year after year. The sole purpose of the lottery is to increase the chances of Patrick Ewing ending up in New York and LeBron James in Cleveland. Go back to the old system.

C. Blaming Miami for the overspending problem is simple-minded. The Heat were 19th out of 30 in payroll, just barely over the luxury tax threshhold. The Lakers (1st) and Mavs (4th) were the ones who "bought" championships by grossly outspending their opponents. If Portland and New York had put their excess spending to better use, they might have won championships too. By the way, Bosh and James actually took LESS money than they were offered by their old teams to sign with Miami. So the real issue there wasn't the money.

D. You can't keep giving out bad contracts to marginally good players and then turn around and blame the players for your own overspending. Bidding against yourself for the services of Alan Houston or Gilbert Arenas isn't good negotiating.

E. A max contract player has to be able to have a huge impact on his team BY HIMSELF. Shaq, Kobe, DWade, LeBron, and DHoward. Maybe Rose and Durant. That's it. You can't keep offering max contracts to "very good" but not "most valuable" players. Carmello, Amare, Bosh, Paul, and DWilliams should all get tons of money, but not max money.

F. You can't keep firing coaches to cover up bad management decisions and keep paying them not to coach, Clippers, Pistons, TWolves,
Warriors, etc. You can't keep making bad basketball decisions and keep blaming your players, MJ. And you can't fire your GM just because he doesn't chit-chat with you like a girl, PAllen.

G. If defense wins championships, then good defense-first role players need to be paid better than one-dimensional offensive players like Carlos Boozer. Only Tyson Chandler makes that kind of money -- and until a few weeks ago, everyone thought HE was overpaid.

And Charles Barkley needs to stop trying to make as big a spectacle of himself as the guy he keeps criticizing for making a spectacle of himself.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or