Blog Entry

What we know and don't know about the lockout

Posted on: October 21, 2011 4:44 pm
Edited on: October 21, 2011 7:40 pm

By Matt Moore

As the dust settles after the detonation following yesterday's breakdown in negotiations between the NBA and the NBPA, nothing has really changed. Further games haven't been canceled. Some things were solved but the two sides remain apart on both systematic issues and BRI. The players are still trying to hold out for some level of legitimate compromise on the part of the owners. The owners are still being lead by extremist positions inside their collective. There's still a lockout. The season is still in peril.

So why do things feel so much worse this morning? Why does everything seem so much darker and more bitter? Where did Paul Allen come from? And who in God's name is running this thing?

To try and sort things out, here's a list of what we do and don't know after Thursday's breakdown.

We know more games are going to be canceled.

The NBA declined to make any sort of announcement following talks yesterday, but that's probably more to do with the absence of David Stern than any sort of hope for a delay. Stern had previously said if a deal wasn't done by last Tuesday, Christmas would be in danger. So with it now being Friday, you can bet that Monday there will be at least some segment of games in November and possibly December scratched. Logistically, there are reasons to cancel the next two gamesweeks of the season, and from a bargaining standpoint, the owners have made it pretty clear that there's a benefit from showing the players their paychecks being burned before their eyes. One report Thursday night indicated that Peter Holt, formerly regarded as a moderate of moderates in the talk, told the union, "You haven't felt enough pain yet." That pain only comes with one thing, lost paychecks, which means pain for the fans in lost games.

We don't know what happened at the Board of Governors meeting.

Something happened. Thursday was the latest and most extreme example of a disturbing trend. Tuesday and Wednesday, the owners' and players' influence is minimal, the negotiating is done by the heads of both sides. Progress is made. Then either Kevin Garnett, Robert Sarver, Paul Allen, or Dan Gilbert decide to open their mouths and everything goes to hell in a handcart. But the players painted a pretty convincing picture given the circumstantial evidence that things were on track before the Board of Governors meeting and then the meeting happened and the train went off the rails and crashed into a mountain and now everything's on fire, oh, God, the horror, the horror. Hunter intimated that Paul Allen was brought in due to a concern from some of the owners that the league had already given up too much in the talks.

Given up too much? They didn't have anything! They barely put together a formal proposal. If you want to allege that the players' claim to 57 percent is based on a previous agreement that doesn't exist, you can't then turn around and say that your imaginary footholds on a non-existent deal are something that can be surrendered. Or maybe you can, because you're the owners and have apparently gone completely insane with power.

Whatever happened at Board of Governors lead to a dramatic change in the tone and direction of the talks.

It went from "slow and reluctant progress, but progress" to "Hey, look, the Parthenon's on fire, let's get marshmallows!" And where did that come from? That leads us to another question.

We don't know what happened with David Stern.

As Ken Berger of noted
while slowly losing his mind, union advisor Jeffrey Kessler suggested without stating it that someone other than Stern was running things. Billy Hunter said at the podium that the players never heard Stern's voice on the call yesterday. Obviously he was contacted during negotiations when the owners huddled, but not even having him on the conference call during negotiating sessions just to listen in while he sipped chicken soup and recuperated?

There's no doubt Stern's ill. To suggest that this was all a ruse for benching him would be too much of a conspiracy theory. But with Stern out for the day, Dan Gilbert, Peter Holt, and Paul Allen became significantly bigger players. Is that a coincidence? Why wasn't Adam Silver, who has been primary point on these negotiations from the beginning, the one in charge, making statements and handling things? How did things get so far out of hand so quickly once Stern headed home to watch old movies and groan?

We know that the hard liners are still in control.

There was some hope with the progress that had been made that maybe cooler heads were back in the control room. James Dolan, Micky Arison, Jerry Buss, all were in attendance at this week's meetings. Mark Cuban flipped from being a hawk to helping to broker compromise on the BRI deal, according to reports. If enough of the owners with their heads on their shoulders could band together and pull in the undecideds...

Nope. Thursday's meetings made one thing clearer than anything else. The Loony Tunes are still running the show. Starring in this week's episode, Gilbert, Allen and Holt, who surprised nearly everyone after being considered a moderate. This lockout has been, and always will be about a four-way power struggle. Rich and mid-level players and moderate and extremist owners. The lines for the owners seem based on market lines, but pay close attention and you're going to see a few large market owners aligned with the hard-liners. Ted Leonsis was mentioned yesterday by Billy Hunter, and all that talk of the NHL system from yesterday? That's all tied directly back to Leonsis, owner of the Capitals.

As long as this thing is in the hands of unreasonable owners like Gilbert and Sarver, with shrewd new owners like Leonsis pulling weight, we're not headed for anything but more missed games and more rhetoric.

Trust my gut.

We don't know why the owners wouldn't listen to the players' proposal.

The union said yesterday it proposed a 50-53 band on BRI, the primary issue still left to be decided (but not the solitary one). Ken Berger of has reported several times since October 4th that the owners' proposal is a 49-51 band, that's what's called the 50/50 split. It's an average of 50, with the players' average 52.5, according to a statement from Adam Silver.

But Billy Hunter said that the league wouldn't even listen to the union's proposal about the 50-53 band, that they would only hear proposals on 50/50. "Take it or leave it" was the sentiment issued. But wait a second. If the league is struggling like the league is claiming, the revenues wouldn't be high enough and they'd reach the bottom end of that 50-53 band.

Let me state this is obviously as I can.

The owners refused to hear an offer in which they could conceivably pull 50 percent of the revenue, because they will only listen to offers in which they pull 50 percent of the revenue.

There is no clearer indication of how nonsensical this thing has become, regarding the owners' position.

Let's say that the players' proposal called for thresholds in which the owners would never see 50/50 unless it was the most dire circumstances in terms of revenue. That's not the point. The point is that by putting that deal on the table, the owners would have locked the players into an offer where it was possible for them to get 50/50. All they have to do then is negotiate down on the thresholds. It gets them in the door on 50/50. Yes, they know they can wait and bust down the door to the 50/50 palace and loot it for all its charms, but this is a solution in which all the money of a lost season gets saved, they get the concessions they want, and the figure they want.

And they wouldn't even put it on the table to look at.

We don't know when they'll meet again.

It could be today, with David Stern pulling a Jordan flu-game and saving the day. It could be this weekend, in small groups now that the owners have gnashed their teeth and rabble-roused like South Park villagers screaming about jobs. It could be next week, next month, next year.

Or, the union could finally throw its hands up and say, "We did all we could. Now the agents get their way. We'll unleash the courts and let God sort them out. " If that happens, you can kiss the season goodbye. Speaking of...

The one thing we know, more than anything, is that the possibility of losing a season is more likely than ever.

How u?

We n trouble.

Since: Jan 27, 2007
Posted on: October 24, 2011 9:29 pm

What we know and don't know about the lockout

Hey players you want a great PR move, then play these game you talk about and donate all proceeds to the "help the little people fund", which is made of ushers, vendors, parking attendance and anybody else effected by this lockout. You know the more I think about it the more the answers come to me, hey corp America you know with these games getting cancelled take the money your saving from the cost of them salty suites you have and guess what, donate it to the "help the little people fund".

Since: Oct 24, 2011
Posted on: October 24, 2011 5:03 pm

What we know and don't know about the lockout

I think the whole thing is idiotic!! All the owners are doing is losing more money then they have too. Pro althetes are greedy but they are the ones we take out the loans to watch play. If the owners never started paying these rediculous salaries in the first place we wouldn't have to pay $12 for a small bag of peanuts at the game. When this lockout ends they will have to spend millions in marketing just to get back the fans that they have already lost. Many of the season ticket holders are corprate acounts, most of wich have budgets to spend on sporting events and entertainment for potential clients. I am sure these ticket holders already spent there budgets on another sports team and will not be heard from until next season if ever. They are biting off there noses to spite there faces!! Bottom line here is both the owners and players are making more money then we could ever dream of and the fans are the ones that are always getteng screwed!! Family of 4 to go to a Heat game is like a week's salary for most of us with decent jobs and impossible for those of you who don't have good paying jobs.. Make me sick to here that they are laying off all these LOWER PAID employees of the NBA while these rich greedy fools argue over how to split the billions.

Since: Dec 3, 2006
Posted on: October 24, 2011 10:54 am

What we know and don't know about the lockout

While i agree with most of what u guys are saying, i don't think pay for play would be a good option.  If you think these guys are lazy on defense now what do you think would happen if paid them based on how many points and rebounds they have.  Plus how are you going to pay the guys who don't get in the games?   

Personally, i can do without the NBA.  I love basketball, to play it and to watch it.  These idiots are not only ruining the NBA but are also affecting college basketball as well.  Although this year they had a positive affect because kids stayed in school due to the lockout.  

It's pretty sad that these greedy fools can't be happy when the average salary is $5mil a yr and the min is over 1 million.   Who wouldn't want that kind of salary?   I'm pretty sure i could scrape by on that.   Lord knows i've been doing OK and making a lot less than that.  The thing is these guys say well our window of opportunity is limited because the average career lasts 3years.   Ok so you made $3 million minnimum.  I'm pretty sure i could live comfortably on that for the rest of my life.   Not to mention the fact that you could go out and get another job.  

I have zero sympathy for these guys.  I hope they lose everything.   I'd like to see these clowns have to get up early and go to a real job where you only make $20hr and see what they think about that.    I bet they'd be thinking $1 million a year to play basketball is a pretty good racket.    Yeah the owners make a ton of money.   Theyre the owners, that's the way it is in any business.    The guy who owns the company i work for makes a lot more than i ever will but he's the one who started the company who took the chances to get where he's at.  

The way things are nowadays i'm pretty thankful to have the job i have.  Would i like to make more...of course.  Do i go around complaining and whining about what i'm not  I'm glad i have a job that affords me to live a decent life.  i'm never going to get rich but i have money in my pocket.  I have food in the fridge.  I drive a 2002 explorer but it runs and i can buy gas for it.  These guys are crying and they've got the world by the balls.  

Since: Sep 1, 2006
Posted on: October 24, 2011 10:44 am

What we know and don't know about the lockout

If it weren't for the hardworking, everyday folks who'll lose their jobs at the various NBA venues I'd say cancel the darn season . . . who cares!  I'm so sick of pro athletes . . . who make more in one season than the majority of us will make in our entire lives . . . whining and crying about how bad they're treated.  What a bunch of spoiled brats!  Do they really . . . really . . . think that those of us who struggle to make ends meet and take care of our families are going to sympathize with them and their whining?  They are over grown children getting paid millions of dollars to play a child's game . . . and they aren't happy!  Well boo hoo . . . maybe if they weren't so greedy the average family could afford to go see a game without taking out a bank loan.  They have the lives that the rest of us can only dream about . . . but for them it still isn't enough! 

Since: Apr 12, 2011
Posted on: October 24, 2011 10:43 am

What we know and don't know about the lockout

This is a strike against the owners who put winning titles over making money. The guys who are in it to make money want to stop owners like Cuban and Buss from spending to win titles.

That drives their costs up and cuts away at their bottom line profits. So, they want the players to give them rules that they can use to limit salary spending by the bigger spending teams.

Kind of ironic.

Should be interesting to see who crumbles first. The cheaper owners, or the players who have less money in the bank.

Since: May 10, 2011
Posted on: October 24, 2011 9:16 am

What we know and don't know about the lockout

In answer to your question Redwings, I can think of a couple.  You wouldn't happen to be a teacher or a UAW worker would you? 

Since: Aug 3, 2011
Posted on: October 24, 2011 12:29 am
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Jun 25, 2009
Posted on: October 24, 2011 12:15 am

What we know and don't know about the lockout

Guess what retards? Agree to the 50/50 split and then haggle over the small stuff. Your fans are unemployed! I am never watching the NBA on youtube. Get over yourselves!

I will satisfy myself with NFL, NBA, English Premiership Soccer and whatever else is on. You are all retards if you think you can start some league of your own. I am for the owners. I hate the RETARDED PLAYERS!!! 

Funny isn't it?  More of their fans are unemployed today then almost ever before, people are losing their homes, cars, etc  yet these players believe they are worth an average of 5 million dollars per season.... unreal.   As a matter of fact that 5 million dollar average doesn't even tell the whole story.  There are 120 NBA players making anywhere from 5 to 20 plus million dollars per season.  There are only 150 starters in the NBA for God sakes... that's 80 percent of that number making 5 million or more, guaranteed money every season.   Can anybody on these boards actually say they believe 80 percent of NBA starters are worth 5 million dollars?

At least we know the owners have money because they have been successful in their lives running outside businesses that made them rich and keep them filthy rich, they deserve every penny they make.  But here's the thing, the owners even if they are billionaires aren't guaranteed squat year to year.... if their companies suddenly or eventually fail, they don't get paid.  On the other hand NBA players are guaranteed to profit sick amounts of money every single season, even if they fail.  Can anybody give me one example in the real world where an employee can SUCK or get hurt or sick but still be guaranteed their salary regardless of their situation?

Stop thinking.... there is no such thing in the real world.  Yet these players, uneducated players for the most part that can hardly speak proper english are demanding guaranteed money in the millions and refuse to take a 10 or 15 percent pay cut when the owners have been losing money for years?

Give me a break..... 

Since: Jan 27, 2007
Posted on: October 23, 2011 11:26 pm

What we know and don't know about the lockout

With only a small % of Americans talking about the NBA and all this nonsense....seems to me, the players should get off their butts and play "A GAME" before they realize their own irrelevance. This nation has much more to worry about than whether a player gets X amount in a contract to play "A GAME". Get over yourselves and play "A GAME" while the rest of America tries to pay their bills. Sheesh, what A-holes.

Since: May 29, 2011
Posted on: October 23, 2011 11:08 pm

What we know and don't know about the lockout

Somebody step up and make something happen. I agree with those who posted about the NBA getting a deal done. It would be foolish to loose the whole 2011-2012 NBA season.

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