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: May 17, 2009
Posted on: June 27, 2011 7:06 pm

Barkley: NBA needs 'miracle' to avoid lockout

NBA has been trash for the last ten years. I am tired of all the tatooed idiots. It was nice to see Dirk school the homies. The NBA needs to clean up their act or down the stool they will go. Go ahead and lock-out. I will not miss it. I can watch NHL full time. I'll just have to flip over to the History channel during commericals. 

Since: Aug 30, 2006
Posted on: June 27, 2011 6:18 pm

Barkley: NBA needs 'miracle' to avoid lockout

We just wrapped up the most exciting playoffs in ages, when upstarts like the Memphis arrived on the scene, young, small-market teams like the Oklahoma City did major damage, and a carefully constructed roster of veterans, the Dallas , took home the crown.

I don't buy the excitement theory. This sounds like Stern-speak to me, footnoting something somewhat surprising and calling it exciting is just sensationalizing what is a very boring league. The Heat rolled through the Eastern Conference playoffs, not surprising, nor exciting. Older, slower teams in the Western Conference getting schooled by younger squads..marginally interesting, but the star-power was missing and the game is SSSSLLLLOOOOWWW....exciting, no, BORING! What is it going to take to get these guys to hustle on the court? A 12-second shot clock? Sorry, this sport in trouble, it doesn't even marginally resemble the game when Magic, Larry and MJ played it... and the change is for the worse. Sure the homers will love it when their team is making a playoff run, but everyone else is checking the scores, then switching back to a baseball game. Basketball season ends with the NCAA tournament.

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