Tag:NBA lockout
Posted on: December 6, 2011 7:48 pm
Edited on: December 6, 2011 8:41 pm

David Stern welcomes back fans in letter

By Matt Moore  

The lockout is over, the schedule has been announced, it's time to try and make it up to fans. There have been announcments of ticket deals and the league is in full-on recovery mode spinning as much attention towards the potential trades of Chris Paul and Dwight Howard (which is exactly the kind of thing the lockout was supposed to prevent, but whatever) as possible. And in the middle of it, NBA commissioner Howard Stern has elected to write a note to fans. From NBA.com:
Dear Fans,
On behalf of the entire NBA family, I want to thank you for your patience and support over the past several months. The new collective bargaining agreement is designed to provide more competitive balance for our league, reward strong performances by our players, and strengthen our game by improving its economics. We believe this agreement will benefit our teams, players, and most importantly, fans by making the NBA stronger.

In the days and weeks ahead, all of us hope you will enjoy the run-up to the start of the season: free agency, training camp, and preseason games. Each NBA team will be hosting special events for fans, so be sure to check your favorite team’s website, Facebook page, or Twitter feed for details. This season we look forward to bringing you more of everything you love about NBA basketball: incredible competition, tremendous excitement, and unending hard work and dedication by the world’s best athletes. Thank you for being an NBA fan. I hope you enjoy the season, which promises to be a most exciting one.


David Stern
There are two words notably missing in there: "sorry" and "apologize." There's no apology to fans for the 16 missed games, no regret over the millions of dollars for local economies lost. There is a key line there, "the world's best athletes." The same players the league drove for five months to crush the union of, they are now championing as the product. 

But still, it's another part of the healing process, and Stern could have stayed quiet. It's good to acknowledge the fans, to speak to them and try and get over the summer that wouldn't end and begin the next exciting chapter of the NBA. 

Just don't think people will forget the lessons learned.
Posted on: December 6, 2011 12:13 pm
Edited on: December 6, 2011 3:04 pm

Report: NBA considering pushing back camps

Posted by Royce Young

UPDATE: According to the New York Times with confirmation from Ken Berger of CBSSports.com, camps will not be delayed and will start as scheduled on Friday.


Training camps are set to open Friday Dec. 9 across the league, but league officials are considering pushing back the start of it to Monday, Dec. 12 according to Yahoo! Sports.

“Teams with just a handful of guys under contract have been complaining that it’s going to be too difficult to start on Friday,” one league executive said.

The league office has been polling executives over the last 48 hours to determine what to do.

The players have re-formed as a union and are starting the ratification process of a new collective bargaining agreement on Wednesday, which is necessary for camps to open. But there are also still a bunch of things that need to be resolved like the so-called "b-list" issues before the players can finish ths up in tim to vote. The owners have a Board of Governors meeting Thursday where they will vote on the new CBA.

Pushing back camps a couple days isn't all that big, except for the teams like the Celtics, Grizzlies, Spurs, Lakers and Thunder who already have the majority of their roster in place. Not too much will change between Friday and Monday. But for the Nuggets and Hornets who just have a handful of players under contract, the opening of training camp could be a bit awkward with only five or six players to work with.
Category: NBA
Posted on: December 3, 2011 6:32 pm
Edited on: December 3, 2011 10:35 pm

NBA teams, free agents can talk Monday

Posted by Ben Gollivermark-cuban-phone

NBA front office executives: get your best pitch ready and start your engines.

ESPN.com reports and Ken Berger of CBSSports.com confirms that direct contact between NBA teams and free agents will finally be allowed, beginning Monday.

NBA team executives and coaches will be allowed to start talking to players around the league Monday at 10 a.m. ET, according to league sources. Teams were notified Saturday that contact with players and free agents will be allowed Monday in advance of the scheduled opening of training camps Dec. 9.

Coaches/players will be able to have contact at practice facilities come Monday but coaches still can't oversee on-court workouts until camp Friday.

One more thing NBA teams are allowed to do starting Monday: Give physicals to free agents. So obviously free agent visits would be permissable, too.

Teams and player agents have been allowed to talk since last Wednesday, and a steady stream of rumored interest in free agents has trickled out in the 72 hours since.

What will this direct team-to-target contact mean?

For one, it will likely lead to some handshake deals between teams and free agents that allow the teams to plan their next moves. If a player accepts in principle, say, an offer of a full Mid-Level Exception, it would allow the team to focus its efforts on filling out the end of its bench or working to re-sign its own free agents. Getting a handshake before the free agency period could also help serve as a deciding factor in whether or not to use the Amnesty Clause on a certain player. If a replacement is lined up and ready to go, parting with a current player becomes that much easier.

What should fans expect? A flurry of reports early next week of players traveling to visit a city or cities in advance of the free agency window, shopping for the right fit and best contract. It's definitely possible that rumored agreements in principle could begin leaking out in advance of the official free agency period, too.

On Friday, then, expect a waive of more official contract reports as teams look to get their new signings into camp as quickly as possible in advance of the rapidly approaching preseason and regular season start dates. It's about to be a breakneck two weeks for the NBA, and it looks like the official beginning will be bright and early on Monday. Buckle up.
Posted on: December 2, 2011 2:27 am

Hunter: League, NBPA to meet Friday to seal deal

By Matt Moore  

The lockout, technically, isn't over. The union reformed Thursday after a majority vote from its members. The deal has a "handshake agreement" but the finer points haven't been worked out. And to that end, Billy Hunter, executive director of the NBPA (again) informed players in a letter obtained by ESPN.com that they would meet with the league on Friday to iron out the details. 
The NBA and the reformed players union will resume negotiations on the remaining terms of their new labor agreement starting Friday at noon, according to a letter sent to union members Thursday night by NBA Players Association executive director Billy Hunter.

In the letter, obtained by ESPN.com, Hunter tells players that the owners and NBPA "still must negotiate numerous non-economic matters, including the anti-drug agreement, commissioner and team discipline, and workplace rules, together with relatively smaller economic and other contract issues."

The unions hope, according to Hunter, is that the deal tentatively agreed to in the early hours of last Saturday morning will be fully negotiated and ready to present to the union membership at a general meeting next Wednesday in New York City. The meeting will be mandatory for team player representatives but open to all players.
via NBA, players association to discuss remaining terms of new labor deal Friday, according to Billy Hunter - ESPN Dallas.

Among the details to be considered are the stipulations regarding the D-League, the NBA draft age limit, drug testing, and other smaller issues. Multiple reports have indicated that the age minimum is expected to stay at 19 for the time being though a longer-term change is being contemplated. An ESPN.com report earlier in the month caused panic with a proposal involving the D-League and teams being able to assign players for the first five years of their career and pro-rate their salary at $75,000 per year. This is a pretty obvious non-starter, but never say never with these owners.

So there's one more day to be concerned about a breakdown, but it's widely expected that none of the details left on the table would override the agreement in place. If you want to be really nervous, more concerning might be that Hunter's letter indicates the players are planning to vote on the deal on December 8th, just a day before training camps are scheduled to open next Friday. 

The beurocracy goes on.  
Posted on: December 2, 2011 1:50 am

NBA returns players to NBA.com, NBATV

By Matt Moore  

Five months after removing any and all references or images of NBA players from its websites and television entity NBATV, the NBA Friday morning brought the players back. NBATV kicked off its programming at 1 a.m. EST with a replay of Game 1 of the 2011 NBA Finals between the Mavericks and the Heat. NBA.com was in the process of being rebuilt, but in the meantime, the following image greeted visitors:


Player images also returned to individual team pages along with stats.

The NBA is back, players and all, even as final details of the CBA are still being completed. After months of bullying and pressuring the players, the league has embraced its players and are asking the fans to do the same.  
Posted on: December 1, 2011 5:14 pm
Edited on: December 1, 2011 6:06 pm

Players union re-forms; to ratify CBA next

Posted by Ben Golliverbilly-hunter-small

Back like they never left!

The National Basketball Players Association announced in a statement on Thursday that it has received the necessary signatures authorizing it to re-form as a union after it was dissolved on Nov. 14 so that it could pursue antitrust litigation against the NBA.
The National Basketball Players Association (“NBPA”) announced today it has been informed by the American Arbitration Association (“AAA”) that a majority of NBA players have authorized the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) to serve as their collective bargaining representative. In less than forty eight hours more than 300 players submitted authorization cards to the AAA, which has been collecting and verifying the cards.  Pursuant to this authorization and recognition from the NBA, the NBPA and NBA can now move forward towards the completion of negotiations for a new a collective bargaining agreement, with players expected to hold an in-person vote on whether to ratify the agreement by the end of next week.

On behalf of the NBPA, we thank fans worldwide for their patience as we work quickly to get professional basketball back on the court.

Now that the union is put back together, the players are able to vote to approve the tentative collective bargaining agreement taht was reached with the league early Saturda morning.

NBPA executive director Billy Hunter sent a letter on Monday, obtained by SI.com, in which he recommended the deal: "We support this settlement of the antitrust case. We appreciate your trust and solidarity and look forward to working through the process described above in the very near future so we can get back to doing what we all want to do: play basketball."

NBA training camp and preseason are scheduled to open on Dec. 9 and the 2011-2012 regular season is scheduled to begin on Dec. 25, assuming both sides formally approve the deal, which is expected next week, according to Ken Berger of CBSSports.com.
Posted on: November 30, 2011 1:05 pm

Report: Players and league settle antitrust suit

Posted by Royce Young

First steps of officially the lockout are happening as the players and league settled the antitrust lawsuit filed by the players Tuesday night, according to SI.com.

That is pending the re-formation of the union.

On top of that, the union have been collecting cards players must sign to re-form the union, according to multiple reports. In order for a new collective bargaining agreement to be finalized, 260 signed cards must be turned in by Thursday night, otherwise the new CBA could be delayed.

Once that happens, the union and league will finish out the final details on the CBA, get it voted on and then end the lockout, officially opening the NBA for business again.

Now, don't worry. There isn't a chance any of this stuff could hiccup and blow up. It's just all part of the tedious process of finishing this thing up.
Category: NBA
Posted on: November 29, 2011 10:08 pm
Edited on: November 29, 2011 11:54 pm

Players free to use practice facilities Thursday

Posted by Royce Young

With the lockout pretty much over, things are going to start moving quickly. Especially with training camps and free agency starting Dec. 9 and then the actual season coming only 16 days after that.

First things first: The NBA is relaxing lockout rules to allow players into their team's practice facilities starting Thursday, according to multiple reports.

But not just that: Ken Berger of CBSSports.com confirmsYahoo! Sports report that agents will be allowed to start discussions with teams about free agents as soon as Wednesday. However, again, players can't be signed until Dec. 9. That doesn't mean there can't be some handshake arrangements between teams and players before then though.

Coaches and GMs are extremely anxious to get players back in the gym not just to assess where they're at physically, but to start getting a little bit of a leg up before an abbreviated training camp.

Players will be re-forming their union this week and once that happens, the new collective bargaining agreement will be voted on. Once that passes and is ratified by the league's owners, the lockout will be officially lifted. All of that should happen by next week at the latest.

But the league, who was of course very strict during the lockout about player contact, even going as far to fine teams for talking about players to the media, will relax those rules because the lockout is essentially over.
Category: NBA
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com