Tag:2011 NBA lockout
Posted on: July 12, 2011 2:56 pm
Edited on: July 13, 2011 3:29 pm
 

NLRB investigating NBPA's claim

Posted by Matt Moore

Back in late May, the NBPA got out in front of things and filed with the National Labor Relations Board, charging that the NBA failed to bargain in good faith. That was two months ago, and since then we haven't heard a thing about it, distracted with the Finals, the Draft, and oh, yeah, this lockout we've got on our hands. 

But Sports Business Journal reports that the NLRB is still very much investigating the union's claim. From the SBJ on Twitter; 
SBJ: In recent weeks an NLRB investigator has interviewed 7-10 witnesses in @TheNBPA's unfair labor practices charge against the NBA.
via Twitter / @SBJLizMullen: SBJ: In recent weeks an NL ....

So the charges are still out there. If the players' perception that the owners have stonewalled them by barely negotiating (i.e. sending a counterproposal only after a prolonged delay, etc.) carries with the board, there may be some fire with the smoke. But the owners likely have a similar feeling about how the players have approached discussions. It's also not clear yet how a ruling would affect the lockout or negotiation process, but you can be sure it would be somewhere between "really bad" and "a disaster" for the owners.
Posted on: July 12, 2011 11:14 am
Edited on: July 12, 2011 11:36 am
 

Players organizing televised exhibition game?

Posted by Matt Moore

Sports Illustrated's Sam Amick was at the Compton-based Drew League this week, a summer league that features players every year, but is studded this year with no other summer leagues and no league-sponsored events due to the lockout. Plus, there's no team officials telling them they shouldn't play. Convenient. Amick spoke with what seems like everyone short of the maintenance guys and I'm sure those were just off the record conversations he didn't use. In a wide-ranging piece that lists half a dozen players who say they're considering Europe (at this point, pretty much every NBA player is "considering" Europe), Amick also discovered that Kevin Durant and his agency are working to set up an exhibition game between the Drew League and the D.C.-based Goodman League. There are so many star players involved, reportedly, that television is actually getting into the talks. From SI:
In other words, the Plan Bs and Plan Cs are quickly becoming Plan As. The perceived hopelessness of the labor situation is at the root of these ruminations, with players eager to find alternate outlets for their competitive juices. Durant did just that this week, when his plan to create an East vs. West streetball championship came to fruition in the form of an Aug. 20 faceoff between the Drew League and the D.C.-based Goodman League.

...

Los Angeles natives Wright and Baron Davis are handling the logistics. Wright says he wants to make it a "huge, huge, huge deal," and the game is expected to take place on the court where the likes of Durant, John Wall, Michael Beasley and DeMarcus Cousins so often play in the inner-city D.C. neighborhood known as Barry Farm. Smiley said ESPN has shown some interest in airing the game. The best NBA players from both leagues are expected to team up with some non-NBA players. The trash talk already has begun.
via Kevin Durant, other NBA stars busy playing during lockout - Sam Amick - SI.com.

It's a genius idea. Every summer there are players constantly playing in pickup summer league games but the television rights can't be had due to the players' contractual obligations with their teams who are part of the league's negotiated television rights. Plus teams would freak out over the possibility of their players getting injured in such a game. 

But with the league having locked the players out, which very much is a slap in the face, this allows the players to do what they want, when they want, how they want. The players can set up this exhibition, sell the television rights for a one-off, star-studded event, and make a little lockout cash. It's yet another in a series of initiatives from the players to prove to the owners they can survive without them, which is what this whole thing comes down to.

Plus, we'll get to see dunks like this.  

One side note to these things, or rather a question. Would a player getting hurt really be the worst thing for the union's efforts? First and foremost, there's the pain, which everyone always seems to overlook when discussing a player. Getting injured in any form sucks. And these are often severe. Then there's the treatment, which would have to come out of the players' own pocket, and would be expenesive. And then there's the impact on his career, which could be damaged without constant professional treatment like he'd receive from his team.

But beyond that, wouldn't a severe injury be the best thing for the union? The owners can't void his contract. They can't sue, they're the ones who locked him out in the first place. If the players make it clear that they're going to keep doing things which endanger their ability to play under the lucrative contracts the teams have signed them to, and which they'll still have to pay them, as a response to the owners' approach, isn't that a huge gun put to the head of the owners? It's basically asking, "Do you really want to risk losing a Kevin Durant or a John Wall for a whole year and possible damage the rest of his career after all you've invested in him for merchandise and the hope of the franchise to win this lockout?" Most owners will say yes. But planting those seeds would help the union. I'm not saying anyone should get injured on purpose or that it would be worth it. Neither of those things are true. But it's something to think about it as this chess match continues.
Posted on: July 11, 2011 2:08 pm
Edited on: July 11, 2011 2:19 pm
 

KFC offers Dwyane Wade a job during NBA lockout

Kentucky Fried Chicken has reportedly offered Miami Heat All-Star guard Dwyane Wade a job during the NBA lockout. Posted by Ben Golliver. dwyane-wade

Back on June 30, when the NBA Lockout went from dreaded future event to reality, Miami Heat All-Star guard Dwyane Wade posted some messages on Twitter that he thought were pretty clever.

"Any1 hiring?," Wade asked his 1.4 million followers. "My strengths: work well with others..My weakness: I sometime get fatigue... I'm available for all bar and bat mitzvah and weddings..but my specialty is balloon animals."

TMZ.com notes that Kentucky Fried Chicken, the fast food chain, replied to Wade's open Twitter question with a formal letter dated July 11 and signed by John Cywinski, General Manager. The letter notes that Wade was an employee of the company prior to joining the NBA and offers to donate $250,000 to charity if he agrees to work for the company during the lockout.

Here's an excerpt of the letter.
Dear Dwyane Wade,

We couldn't help but notice your recent tweet about looking for a new line of work in light of the lockout. We're always looking for folks with precisely your qualifications -- initiative, teamwork and the ability to make buckets in a hurry.

We've always been proud to call you a former KFC employee and, it goes without saying we'd love to have you back on our team dishing out the World's Best Chicken, like you dish out assists on the court.

Our offer: Come serve as an honorary captain at a local KFC drive-thru window. And, while we can't match your most recent salary, we'll honor your KFC service by making a donation in your name to Colonel's Scholars, a charity providing young people with much needed college scholarships, if you accept. How's that for a slam dunk?
Those references to basketball were worked into the letter so smoothly, like Wade finishing a fast break.

Blatant publicity stunt or not, Wade pretty much has to do this now. The joke is on him and the charity stuff only makes it that much harder to refuse. The Players Association should find a way to turn this into a "We're still giving back!" marketing campaign and then everyone wins.
Posted on: July 9, 2011 3:43 pm
Edited on: July 10, 2011 1:39 pm
 

What teams risk in a lockout: Central Division

A look at what is at stake for the NBA's Central Division if a whole season was lost due to the lockout. Posted by Ben Golliver.

derrick-rose-dunk

Talk of losing an entire NBA season is a bit ridiculous. But it's a possibility. And with all this hardline talk going on, it seems like neither the players nor the owners are wanting to budge. There's incentive for teams to get a deal done and not just for the money, but because a year without basketball and more importantly, basketball operations, could greatly affect each and every NBA franchise.

Earlier this week, we took a look at the Southeast Division and the Atlantic Division. Let's continue this series with the Central Division.  

CHICAGO Bulls


The Bulls won the Central by a preposterous margin in 2010-2011, stacking up a league-high 62 wins and burying their division mates by a ridiculous 25 games, by far the biggest margin of any division winner. Nothing has happened yet this offseason which suggests next year's results will be any different. Even if the Milwaukee Bucks return to full health or the Indiana Pacers make a key free agent addition or the Detroit Pistons finally emerge from their slog or the Cleveland Cavaliers successfully start the Kyrie Irving era, the only thing stopping the Bulls from running away from the competition again is an injury to Derrick Rose. The Bulls are, by far, the most talented and deepest team in the division. They have the reigning MVP, Coach of the Year and Executive of the Year. They're poised to be championship title contenders for the next five years.

With so much going for them, the Bulls clearly have the most to lose in a lockout. If a season is lost, that's a title chase that evaporates. Perhaps most important, the Bulls would lose that visceral desire for redemption that comes with the ugly end to their season. It was a disappointing, frustrating loss to their new archrivals, the Miami Heat, in the Eastern Conference Finals. The pain of that loss subsides with time. It's ability to serve as unifying inspiration will fade too. The Bulls want revenge and they want rings. The pieces are in place. Besides aging teams like the Los Angeles Lakers and San Antonio Spurs, who face the possibility of their championship window closing, the Bulls don't want to sit around and wait. They created some amazing chemistry last season, built strong trust bonds. Losing a season risks all of that.

INDIANA PACERS

The upstart Pacers are up to something: they finally committed to Frank Vogel as their coach, they brought on former Blazers GM Kevin Pritchard to serve as Director of Player Personnel, they made a solid draft day trade to acquire point guard George Hill and they sit on a mound of cap space ready to make a splash in free agency. The Pacers risk two things if a season is lost. First, a critical development year to see how their young pieces are able to gel together. Second, A feeling of certainty in terms of team expectations.

Indiana has assembled some nice, young talent: Roy Hibbert, Darren Collison, Paul George, Tyler Hansbrough and Hill are all 25 or younger. Depending on how they use their cap space and whether they decide to move Danny Granger, that has all the makings of a promising core that could reliably make playoff runs for the foreseeable future. But the group needs time to spend together, reps to get things right and an evaluation period to see whether all four belong long-term. They look great on paper but more data -- playing together -- is needed. A lost season risks that and potentially stalls the development of those younger guys.

The real risk is free agency. Indiana has just $36 million committed in salary next season, meaning they have one of the smallest payrolls in the league. They also have an expiring contract in James Posey to move and potentially could move Granter if they were looking to make a major splash. Their combination of flexibility and talent on-hand is near the tops in the league when it comes to rebuilding teams. A delayed season pushes that promise back and while teams with space are definitely sitting in a better position than teams without space, it's unclear what additional rules might be in place that inhibit free agent movement. If you're the Pacers you'd prefer to be able to chase a guy like David West now without any messy collective bargaining negotiations getting in the way. Put simply, the Pacers are a team on the rise, but a lot has to go right for young teams to reach their potential. Even minor things can throw a team off course. The less variables, the better. Unfortunately, the CBA is a major, major variable.

MILWAUKEE BUCKS

lockoutThis team is just confusing. The Stephen Jackson trade made a bit of sense, given that the Bucks needed a serviceable alternative to Brandon Jennings at point guard and got one in Beno Udrih, but this group isn't going anywhere meaningful, not even if Jennings and center Andrew Bogut are fully healthy. 

About the only thing lost in a lockout for the Bucks is another year for Jennings to bloom. His sophomore years was sidetracked by injuries and poor outside shooting, and he questioned his teammates' desire to win at the end of the regular season. Other than Jennings, Larry Sanders and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute could use more developmental minutes but the rest of the roster is essentially veterans who have reached their potential. 

From a cynical standpoint, Bucks ownership could be cheering a lost season because it would mean cash savings on ugly deals for Jackson and big man Drew Gooden. Is it worth saving the combined $15 million that will go to Jackson and Gooden in 2011-2012 to lose a year of floor leadership training for Jennings? 

DETROIT PISTONS

The Pistons are another confounding mess, but at least it feels like they've turned a corner thanks to the sale of the team, the departure of reviled coach John Kuester and the drafting of point guard Brandon Knight and wing Kyle Singler. Last year was one, long, ugly grind. 2011-2012 figures to be a step in the right direction.

Knight slipped out of the top five of the 2011 NBA Draft because of questions about his position. Is he a pure point guard? Can he run an NBA offense? Will he be able to execute something besides the pick-and-roll game? His future is incredibly bright but as a one-and-done player he absolutely needs as much playing time as possible to get a feel for the NBA style and to get comfortable with the ball in his hands and a team of professionals that look to him first. There's no other way to learn the point guard position than by on-the-job training, and recent success stories like Rose and Russell Westbrook only reinforce that idea. A year away from the game at this stage would be a critical loss for Knight and the Pistons, and that's a major risk.

The same is true, to a lesser degree, for big man Greg Monroe, who came on strong in the second half of his rookie season and appears to be a potential core piece going forward. 2011-2012 is all about letting Knight and Monroe build up a chemistry together 

A lost season would certainly be welcomed by ownership here too because Richard Hamilton, Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva all failed to live up to their big-dollar contract figures last season. Hamilton and Villanueva, in particular, seem like lost causes. Weighing the savings from these deals versus the lost development of Knight, the Pistons should probably be pretty close to indifferent when it comes to losing a season. They need work, they know they need work and the rebuild can only come as these big contracts get closer to their conclusion and become more tradeable. Still, it would seem to be better to continue that journey with Knight getting more familiar and comfortable day-by-day, month-by-month than it would having him workout solo in a gym somewhere. If you've committed to a rebuild, start it immediately.
 
CLEVELAND CAVALIERS

Last but not least, we have the Cavaliers, the NBA's second-worst team from last season, who endured an embarrasing 26 game losing streak to set an NBA record for consecutive futility. There's significant light at the end of the tunnel for the Cavaliers, as they have an owner committed to spending money to win, the 2011 NBA Draft's No. 1 overall pick, Kyrie Irving, and Tristan Thompson, who was taken No. 4 overall. 

Cleveland is in much the same position as the Pistons: the biggest risk from losing a season is the lost reps that Irving won't get running the show. There are always some bumps and bruises for a young point guard transitioning from college to the NBA, and the potential for struggles is even more pronounced in Irving's case because he missed much of last season, his freshman year at Duke University, with a foot injury. Time away from the game is not good. The shorter, the better. Irving was clearly the most NBA-ready point guard in this year's draft crop and the Cavaliers would be smart to turn the keys over to him from Day 1, even with veterans Baron Davis, Daniel Gibson and Ramon Sessions on the roster as well. 

That raises a secondary risk of the lockout season for the Cavaliers: losing positional clarity. Cleveland clearly needs to move one, if not two, of their point guards to clear the deck for Irving and surround him with some solid complementary pieces. A lost season just delays that process. Saving the money from Davis' contract is tempting, but it's a non-factor for owner Dan Gilbert who would just as soon pay that tax to watch his young team start the rebuild. Along those same lines, an entire season lost could mean the Cavaliers aren't able to move Antawn Jamison's $15 million expiring contract, a nice trade asset that could potentially bring a rotation player in return.

Posted on: July 9, 2011 12:17 am
Edited on: July 10, 2011 10:21 pm
 

What teams risk in a lockout: Atlantic Division

Posted by Matt Moore



Talk of losing an entire season is a bit ridiculous to us. There's just way too much at stake. Money, momentum, fan support, money, loyalty, money -- it's just hard to imagine losing any games much less a whole season.

But it's a possibility. And with all this hardline talk going on, it seems like neither the players nor the owners are wanting to budge. There's incentive for teams to get a deal done and not just for the money, but because a year without basketball and more importantly, basketball operations, could greatly affect each and every NBA franchise. We continue with the Atlantic Division.

Boston Celtics

The Celtics have already started keeping an eye on the future past this core. Their trade of Kendrick Perkins for Jeff Green and the Clippers' draft pick were both aimed at the future. In 2012-2013, the Celtics have less than $30 million comitted. But their best shot at a title is now. Losing 2011-2012 ends the Big 3 era in Boston. Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen's contracts would expire just as their ability to anchor a championship team also goes the way of the dodo. Losing next season means they wind up with a single championship for all that money invested, all that excitement created. 

On top of that, no city needs the current structure to hold as much as Boston. The ability to outspend the small markets under a flex-cap, using its big market status combined with its superiority as a historical powerhouse are both tied to the current luxury-tax system. Savvy spending, reasonable contracts, creative maneuvers? Does any of that sound like the team whose current core is the product of Kevin McHale pitching his old team a favor?

New Jersey Nets

Mikhail Prokhorov did not get into this business to lose an entire season, the last he has Deron Williams under contract before an extension he hopes to sign him to, and then begin to build a contender under a system which negates every advantage moving his team to Brooklyn provides. But that's the reality that faces the Russian mogul.

Deron Williams is the big key for the Nets. They sent a fortune in the trade for Williams, with the understanding they would convince him of their grand vision and build around him on his next contract. It was a gamble. But they need the 2011-2012 season to convince Williams that the plan works, that the vision is in place, that they can succeed as the team Williams wants to commit to. Without the 11-12 season, Williams will end up entering free agency with his only time as a Net filled with failure. He may wind up with more wins with his team in Turkey than he won with New Jersey.

From there, Prokhorov would actually be better suited to a system that allows for overspending. If small market teams succeed under the new CBA, his advantage is leveraged. And in such a scenario, New York's power would be amplified within the market. If you're getting paid the same amount regardless, going to the team with the most cache is the best idea.

New York Knicks

Speaking of the Knicks, they have quite a bit to lose in this scenario. A harsher cap drives up the likelihood they won't be able to build effectively around Carmelo Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire, if at all. They're already struggling to fill in the gaps (as Donnie Walsh put it in his conference call after stepping down), with a lower spending ceiling that job only gets more difficult. Dolan has failed to succeed when he's broken the bank open. What happens when he can't spend his way out of a problem?

Bigger than that, however, are the risks of the actua lockout. Amar'e Stoudemire is an injury risk. Despite the fact that he's had no problems since microfracture surgery five years ago, scouts and execs are still hesitant about him. Stoudemire is talking about heading to Israel to play during the lockout. Any uninsured play could wind up wiping out time for Stoudemire which devastates the Knicks' prospects for contention. They need to have the stars available so build around, and another year to see what direction they need to go to build a complete team. Losing the season is a disaster. 

Philadelphia 76ers

Hey, look! They could spend a whole year thinking more about whether to trade Andre Iguodala! They haven't really done enough of that so far.

The lockout could actually help the Sixers on two fronts. First, their attendance was terrible again last season despite making the playoffs. They need the kind of financial overhaul the lockout aims to create. Second, losing the 2011-2012 season means they lose out on a year where they are on the books to pay Elton Brand, Andre Iguodala, and Andres Nocioni (remember him?) over $37 million next season. They can probably do without that with a fanbase that still hasn't bought in.

Elton Brand has an early termination option for 2012-2013, but he is unlikely to exercise it. Instead, the Sixers will be hoping for the amnesty clause to allow them out from under that final year of Brand's contract.

If any team could use all of the ramifications of the lockout, it's the Sixers, big market or not.

Toronto Raptors

The Raptors won't be winning the title any time soon. Their huge contracts won't be moving off the books any time soon. Their fanbase is still angry over giving Andrea Bargnani his extension and the damage done by Chris Bosh's departure.

So pretty much the Raptors are fine with however the lockout works out. Lose the season, they get Jose Calderon into a contract year, and have more time to come up with inventive ways to ditch Andrea Bargnani, plus Jonas Valanciunas is available to come over from Europe. A new salary cap may mitigate the uphill climb they face with their market and location.

They're pretty much fine with however this shakes out.
Posted on: July 8, 2011 6:15 pm
 

Friday 5 with KB: Looking back at "The Decision"

Posted by Matt Moore 



In this week's return edition of the Friday 5 with KB, we look back on "The Decision," the future of Chris Paul, how a hard cap affects trades, and who among the owners could end this insanity.

1. Well, it's been a year since "The Decision." Beyond the context of the lockout, how does the Decision look to you now?

KB: It still looks as self-serving, tone-deaf, and poorly orchestrated as it did then. But I think everyone's sensitivities have been muted -- even residents of the great state of Ohio. You can't be mad forever, right? Plus, LeBron managed to carry himself even worse during the Finals than he did during the Decision, so there's that. As far as your caveat, it's impossible to look at anything in the NBA through a prism other than the lockout. The way free agents flexed their muscle last summer, I think, was at least part of the motivation for owners to put the hammer down with this lockout. They want cost cutting, but they also want control back from the stars who owned them last July. One important point that bolsters the players' argument for a flexible system with maximum player movement: Look at how much revenue and interest were generated by last summer's player movement. If the NBA wants to maximize both, wouldn't it want a fever-pitched free agency period every year?

2. Compared to the relative calm of the lockout, how do you look back on the insanity of last summer's 2010 free agency period?

KB: With horror. I mean, from a coverage standpoint, it was one of the most challenging things I've ever had to deal with as a sports writer. I'm not whining or complaining, but we're talking about three hours of sleep a night, days without shaving or seeing family members, just a flat-out bunker mentality in a small bedroom in our apartment, talking, texting, and emailing until well past 3 a.m. every night for weeks. There are a lot of incomparably good things about the job, but the first two weeks of July last summer were pure hell.


3. You unloaded The Berger Plan Part II late this week. One question for the hard cap. How's that going to impact trade movement? In the NFL we hardly see trades at all, and in basketball, that flexibility is crucial as you said. How does a hard cap influence that kind of player and contract movement?

KB: Trade restrictions are one area I didn't get into too much, but I agree, it's an important topic. I favor doing away with base compensation and other impediments to trades. I think the Sept. 1 cap-casualty deadline will add to the player movement as sort of a second wave of free agency. But I also believe for competitive balance to be maximized, teams need to have as much flexibility to trade players as possible.

4. Lot of talk about the fact that if David West leaves, CP3 will be right behind him. What's the temperature of the water in New Orleans right now?

KB: Hard to say, because everyone is in lockdown mode for the lockout. Personally, I've always believed that CP3 was going to leave New Orleans anyway -- provided the new CBA allows it -- so I don't think having David West or not having David West was going to make a whole lot of difference.

5. If there was one owner we could put in charge to get a deal done to end the lockout, who do you think it should be?

KB: I think Peter Holt, the chairman of the labor relations committee, is reasonable and has enough clout to bridge the gap between high- and low-revenue owners. Mark Cuban is the smartest, the most creative, and the best businessman, but he's too much of a radical hard-liner to get any sort of consensus or compromise with the players. Clay Bennett is indebted to David Stern for helping him move from Seattle to Oklahoma City, and his clout is on the rise. I'd probably say Holt, who gives you the best and worst of both worlds -- a small-market owner for a team that carries a high payroll and, at least in terms of gate receipts, brings in big-market revenues.
Posted on: July 7, 2011 10:31 am
Edited on: July 7, 2011 2:45 pm
 

Reports: Deron Williams headed to Turkey

Posted by Matt Moore and Ben Golliver. deron-williams

Update (2:43 p.m.): Ken Berger throws some water on the fun, citing an agent with connections in Turkey who says "I'll believe it when I see it."

Update (11:00 a.m.)
:
 ESPN.com reported Thursday that "sources with knowledge of Deron Williams' plans confirm his intent to play for Besiktas in Turkey if lockout continues."

Original Post:
A Turkish television station is reporting Thursday that Besiktas, a Turkish professional basketball team, has an agreement in principle with Deron Williams to play for them during the lockout.  

Yowza.

Williams, who is under contract for 2011-2012 with the New Jersey Nets, would have to obtain FIBA clearance before heading to Istanbul. A source informed Ken Berger of CBSSports.com Thursday morning that the Nets had not been made aware of any such offer. That does not preclude such an offer from having been made, just that the Nets aren't aware of such an offer, though you would think they'd have some idea of the legitimacy if things were this far along. 

Williams heading overseas would be the kind of substantial move from an All-Star that could actually put the fear of God into ownership. If a wide enough swath of players are able to make decent money overseas during the lockout, that kind of takes the bite out of the lockout, the entire point of this ridiculous power play. Essentially, the owners' ability to starve the union out would be mitigated, even with lesser players unlikely to be offered similar contracts. If enough players can find ways to create income and keep the union's position strong, the owners lose their biggest power position.

The flip side is that Deron Williams is playing in Turkey, though I'm sure Istanbul is very nice. With a wife and new daughter, that can be draining in terms of travel, though probably not moreso than the normal amount of travel he does during the course of the NBA season. Additionally, television reports of this nature are often sketchy and it wouldn't be the first time an international team has leaked information about a possible signing of a major American player before the chickens were hatched. We'd advise a healthy dose of skepticism here. 

Williams would join Allen Iverson among point guards labeled (under false pretenses or not) coach killers who have played in Turkey for Besiktas. FIBA has not released an official statement regarding their plans for clearance during the lockout.  

(HT: IamaGM.com)
Posted on: July 6, 2011 7:23 pm
Edited on: July 6, 2011 7:35 pm
 

TV networks to lose $1 B if NBA season lost?

Television networks are estimated to lose $1 billion in ad sales if the entire NBA season is lost. Posted by Ben Golliver. lockout

Everybody loses if there is an NBA work stoppage. The players don't get to follow their dreams, the fans don't get to enjoy the diversion and the owners don't get to experience the thrill of chasing a championship.

But the television networks, apparently, really lose.

AdWeek.com reports that the NBA's television partners stand to lose more than $1 billion in advertising revenue should the 2011-2012 NBA season be cancelled. 
ESPN/ABC Sports and TNT stand to lose as much as $1.25 billion in ad sales revenue if the labor dispute negates the entire 2011-12 NBA campaign. Indeed, the NBA audience has become so valuable that the postseason inventory alone accounts for nearly a fifth of the full-season take.

According to Kantar Media, ESPN/ABC and TNT took in $417.7 million in total ad sales revenue over the course of the 2010 NBA playoffs and finals. The going rate for a 30-second spot in the Celtics-Lakers series: $402,000 a pop.
For comparison's sake, numbers released by Forbes.com on Wednesday indicated that the NBA has lost nearly $2 billion over the last six seasons combined. Clearly, the stakes on all sides are very high.

One takeaway from this report: The conflict of interest for the NBA's television partner networks reporting on the progress of the league's labor negotiations is massive and probably hasn't gotten enough play. If you're wondering why there is so much doomsday talk concerning the stalled labor negotiations, realize that the voices predicting doom and gloom may very well be speaking of -- or at least influenced by -- their own financial stake in the matter.

With a billion dollars on the line, any amount of progress would feel insufficient until a deal is finalized, wouldn't it?
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com