Posted on: April 15, 2011 2:10 pm
Posted by Royce Young
The Pistons sale has seemed to drag on for forever. Last week, local businessman Tom Gores bought the team -- or at least his private equity firm did -- and at today's Board of Governors meeting, there was word on when it might finally go final.
Per SI's Chris Mannix, David Stern interviewed Gores yesterday and closed the schedule on the sale for no later than June 30 but assured that the deal will be done by the end of May.
Ken Berger noted yesterday that the longer the sale is held up, the longer the Pistons will wait to decide the future of coach John Kuester and after that, general manager Joe Dumars. Dumars is likely safe, but Kuester has a black sack over his head and is being walked to the gallows. But the Pistons aren't going anything under the sale goes through.
Also noted by Ken was this interesting nugget about the new CBA: "Also, prospective owners, such as Gores and Burkle, want economic rules fixed as a stipulation for their buys, sources say." Just a fun little something to add in there.
Posted on: April 15, 2011 1:45 pm
Edited on: April 15, 2011 3:52 pm
Commissioner David Stern, Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver comment on league's finances and CBA negotiations, as an owner tells Ken Berger of CBSSports.com that some progress was made at NBA Board of Governors meeting.
Posted by Matt Moore
During the press conference following the NBA Board of Governor's meeting, NBA Commissioner David Stern and Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver commented on the ongoing CBA process. Stern said they expected $300 million in losses this season, which is a rise in revenue from last year's $340 million loss, but still "nothing to be proud of" Silver said. That's still, you know, $340 million in losses. Silver told reporters in response to a question from our own Ken Berger that most of the loss came from non-gate revenue, as gate receipt numbers were actually up this season.
Most striking was Silver's comment that 22 of the 30 NBA teams posted a loss this year, with only eight making a profit. I'll let you figure out which teams are those eight. (Hint: Look at the big cities on the map.)
An owner told Ken Berger of CBSSports.com that there was "progress" on revenue sharing and their stance towards the NBPA, but of course, no plan in place. "It's early" as the old chestnut goes. Stern also made mention of the progress on revenue sharing and revealed that the owners would, in the next few weeks, finally send the players' association a counter proposal, which they have not done since late 2010. The owners refused to respond to the NBPA's last proposal with one of their own until now, though discussions have been held regarding the players' proposal in meetings. Silver commented that the league felt there are "other ways to reach the same goal" in regards to the counter-proposal.
The lockout situation looks better today than it did yesterday, the Kings' staying in Sacramento looks better, and the Pistons sale will be approved in the next few months. Maybe doomsday isn't around the corner after all.
Posted on: April 15, 2011 1:10 pm
Edited on: April 15, 2011 5:16 pm
Posted by Matt Moore and Ben Golliver
Ken Berger of CBSSports.com reported today and NBA commissioner David Stern later confirmed that the NBA Board of Governor's has extended the deadline for the Maloof brothers to apply for relocation of the Kings to Anaheim. In a Friday afternoon conference call, Stern said the deadline had been extended to May 2 http://twitter.com/daldridgetnt/sta
The Board heard presentations from both the Maloofs regarding relocation and a group from Sacramento featuring Mayor Kevin Johnson regarding the Kings staying in Sacramento. The Sacramento contingent brought information about inducements that were available for the team to stay, and Stern said that there was enough to support further investigation from the NBA BOG's relocation committee.
Get this: the head of the relocation committee? Clay Bennett. You know, Thunder owner/Sonics mover Clay Bennett. Whoops. That's not going to go over well in the press.
Stern stressed that the extension was based off a need to undestand the complexity of both proposals, but specifically the presentation from the Mayor's office. Stern did say that Ron Burkle's public comments regarding a desire to purchase the Kings from the Maloofs, or another team to relocate to Sacramento was "not a high priority" for the board.
Stern also commented that he believes the Southern California/LA/Anaheim market can sustain three teams.
Posted on: April 13, 2011 6:00 pm
Edited on: April 13, 2011 9:33 pm
Los Angeles Lakers All-Star guard Kobe Bryant has been fined $100,000 for a derogatory comment made during a game against the San Antonio Spurs. Posted by Ben Golliver.
On Tuesday night, Los Angeles Lakers All-Star guard Kobe Bryant lost his cool and crossed the line. On Wednesday, he paid for it.
During the second half of a game against the San Antonio Spurs, Bryant argued a technical foul call and, in the process, used a gay slur, apparently in reference to NBA official Bennie Adams, that was caught on national television cameras.
In response to Bryant's actions, NBA commissioner David Stern levied a fine of $100,000 on the Lakers guard and took him to task for his use of the slur, which drew immediate criticism from gay rights groups.
“Kobe Bryant’s comment during last night’s game was offensive and inexcusable. While I’m fully aware that basketball is an emotional game, such a distasteful term should never be tolerated. Accordingly, I have fined Kobe $100,000. Kobe and everyone associated with the NBA know that insensitive or derogatory comments are not acceptable and have no place in our game or society.”Bryant issued a non-apology apology early Wednesday afternoon, stating: "What I said last night should not be taken literally. My actions were out of frustration during the Heat of the game, period. The words expressed do NOT reflect my feelings towards the gay and lesbian communities and were NOT meant to offend anyone."
Later Wednesday, TMZ.com reported that Bryant reached out to the gay rights group Human Rights Campaign to apologize directly. An HRC spokesman told the site, "I applaud Kobe Bryant for his swift apology. We had a very sincere conversation in which he expressed his heartfelt regret for the hurt that his words caused.'"
Given the circumstances -- a high-profile superstar, indisputable video evidence, Bryant's confirmation of what he said, the immediate and immense public outcry -- the commissioner really had no choice here. Something had to be done or the NBA would have opened itself up to all sorts of attacks upon its character and integrity. The fact that Bryant avoided a suspension -- given the playoff implications of Wednesday night's game against the Sacramento Kings -- is a silver lining for Lakers fans.
Bryant's 2010-2011 salary is $24.8 million dollars, so a $100,000 fine amounts to roughly one/third of what he makes per game. By the NBA's standards, though, $100,000 represents a fairly significant punishment.
Here's video of the scene that led up to Bryant's slur as well as the slur itself.
Posted on: April 13, 2011 10:24 am
Edited on: April 13, 2011 2:01 pm
NBA cancels Summer League, summer internships, and planning for European preseason games in advance of expected lockout. Yikes.
Posted by Matt Moore
Update 1:26 p.m.: Ken Berger of CBSSports.com reports:
While it's obvious that there would be no summer league involving NBA players or drafted rookies in the event of a lockout, two people with knowledge of the situation said the event has not yet been canceled. There have been informal discussions for months between summer league organizers and league officials about what to do with the scouting event if there is a work stoppage, and the ideas have included bringing international teams to the event, one of the people said. In addition, the D-League -- which will continue to operate during an NBA work stoppage because its players are not NBPA members -- is exploring the possibility of holding a Las Vegas event that would replace summer league. D-League officials, sources said, are exploring this hypothetical event without the assistance of Vegas summer league organizers.
But as of now, summer league is scheduled to begin July 8. Given the current labor climate, that would seem to be wishful thinking.
Original Report: Up until now, the NBA has kept its heart and mind publicly open to the idea that the labor dispute would be settled before June 30th when the current CBA expires, or soon afterwards, to avoid any disruption of NBA plans. A report from the New York Daily News suggests the league is moving forward with facing reality. They are cancelling NBA Summer League for 2011, their summer internship plans, and are not planning for any European preseason games. Gulp.
Summer League is an NBA tradition, used as an early showcase for draft picks, young players developing, and D-Leaguers and fringe players looking to break in. It was thought that Summer League would go on as planned, even in the event of a lockout, just without the draft picks or any player who is a member of the NBPA. It's not known at this point if the event was cancelled due to a perceived lack of interest that would make the event too costly, or whether this is belt-tightening by the league in advance of lost revenue. There will be jokes aplenty about how this doesn't really matter, but consider three things.
One, if you don't think any talent comes out of this event, take a look at Gary Neal who made a strong case for a few Rookie of the Year votes in any year where Blake Griffin did not exist murdering unicorns. That's a heavy rotation player who the Spurs invited to Summer League from Europe, watched him excel, signed him and then made him a consistent player who became a favorite of Gregg Popovich. And without Summer League, the Knicks may not have seen the promise of Landry Fields and what he brings to the floor. Want another one? How about starting two-guard for the Portland Trail Blazers, Wesley Matthews (via Twitter ). Summer League has a lot of washout talent, but the diamonds in the rough are found by some of the best GMs and coaches in the league.
Two, this is the first real breeding ground post-free-agency for trades. The vast majority of general managers and executives make it out to Vegas for a few days of sun and bad basketball, and that's where conversations start that lead to trades. Without it, all of that is set back. The lockout's got to end sometime, this just sets everything back a few months more.
Three, there's been discussion of replacement players, conceivably using players from the D-League, and the D-League season is slated to go on regardless of the lockout next season. This was a showcase for teams to see those players. Without it, we'll be seeing more of the Collins-brothers-type signings in the future.
Outside the box of the event itself, however, the cancelation of Summer League, the internships, and the preseason games in Europe makes for a pretty bleak future. We're not talking just July here. The NBA is makig contingency plans for October, here. This is one-step shy of going ahead and planning for games not to be played. There's no surprise, but it does provide a sobering reality of just how long and painful this lockout will be. As the NBA heads into what many feel will be one of the best NBA postseasons ever, the dark clouds of the impending lockout continue to rain on our parade.
Posted on: April 6, 2011 7:47 pm
Edited on: April 6, 2011 7:49 pm
Posted by Royce Young
According to Yahoo! Sports, the National Basketball Referee’s Association has filed charges to the National Labor Relations Board claiming the NBA has violated federal laws by engaging in unfair labor practices.
A memo was distributed to 60 NBA referees and described the charges as “the league’s refusal to negotiate with the union concerning non-economic issues.”
The player's collective bargaining agreement isn't the only one the NBA is negotiating. The NBRA's expires Sept. 1. According to the report, the NBRA has hired an attorney and has met with the league three times thus far but the league hasn't responded to any proposals.
According to the report, the memos focused largely on issues like weight and fitness restrictions, travel and anti-discrimination based on race, sex and union activity.
Also included in the memos was this juicy nugget: David Stern allegedly made an "obscene expression" at union negotiators during a meeting on Jan. 24.
So evidently Stern did something "obscene" and then wanted it struck from the notes, he stormed out. Awesome. I'm sure these negotiations will go smoothly, just like the one with the players. Enjoy this last week of basketball if you're a fan of a lottery team because it might be the last you see for a bit.
Oh and if you're wondering, the league declined comment on this issue. Shocker.
Posted on: April 1, 2011 2:53 pm
Maurice Evans, Vice President of the National Basketball Players Association, is "sure" there will be a lockout. Posted by Ben Golliver.
A few weeks back, we noted that Billy Hunter, the Executive Director of the National Basketball Players Association, said that the players "won't cave" and are prepared for a lockout and possible work stoppage.
On Friday, NBPA vice president, Washington Wizards forward Maurice Evans, took that a step further, telling HoopsHype.com that he is "sure" there will be a lockout because an agreement will not be reached prior to July 1.
"We’re just waiting until the season is pretty much over because we won’t have a chance to all meet again until the NBA Finals are over with (in mid-June). I’m sure we won’t get a deal done by July 1. Therefore, it technically will be a lockout. Hopefully, we’re going to solve those issues before the season starts again.
We’ve had a number of meetings starting over a year ago, almost two years out, and we still haven’t been able to really come to any significant negotiations. Therefore, I know it’s going to go into the summer.Evans went on to call some of the meetings between Hunter and NBA commissioner David Stern "token" and that the serious negotiating had not yet begun.
The worst part about this situation is that Evans cannot be dismissed as a doomsday voice. He's very practically and rationally letting us know that so much work needs to be done and so little progress in dialogue has been made that it's impossible to imagine an agreement being reached in the next three months.
That's what we all suspected, but it's still tough to take when delivered so frankly.
Posted on: March 30, 2011 9:47 am
Ken Berger of CBSSports.com reports that there are currently no meetings set between the NBA owners and players to discuss a new Collective Bargaining Agreement. Posted by Ben Golliver.
During the All-Star break back in February, NBA commissioner David Stern gave his annual state of the union address. Much of the statement and questions afterwards concerned the league's negotiation of a new Collective Bargaining Agreement with the National Basketball Players Association. At the time, Stern said it was possible there would be a work stoppage next season, but he did give fans hope: he repeatedly said the two sides were committed to meeting with each other to advance the negotiations.
Indeed, on at least four separate occasions, Stern referenced meetings. "In yesterday's session, I would say it's fair to say that we are setting up the next meetings," Stern said. Later, he added, "I think in a very positive vein, we each agreed, the union and the teams agreed that you know everything was available to be discussed, and that we would set up a series of meetings and discuss away so that by the time the agreement currently in effect expires on June 30th, we will hopefully be able to assure our fans that we did all we could possibly do to have a replacement agreement in effect, and that's our intention, to work as hard as possible to cause that to occur."
Stern further added: "The established order, the way we do things, is we go back to New York and we start setting up meetings. Probably first in small groups to go over certain that's where I become, quote, staff; the small groups of the staff meet with the union staff, and then at the appropriate time, we bring in the principles, which are the player representatives, and the owners or members that we expect there to be. And it's also allowable to let the lawyers talk to each other, and it's okay to talk on the telephone to go over issues, as well. There's no specific Magic to how it gets done. But I think the most important thing is that there be continued communication and the building of trust."
One of Stern's final comments: "We are looking forward to the meetings that we are planning to schedule with the union."
The repeated nature of the comments regarding meetings provided hope, as it showed a willingness to commit to a process publicly.
Unfortunately, Ken Berger of CBSSports.com reports that, more than a month later, no meetings have taken place and no meetings are scheduled!
With three months to go before the CBA expires, it isn't clear when the two sides will meet next. There have been no formal bargaining sessions since All-Star weekend, and even that session was more for show than for negotiation. Sources say there has been discussion of a possible face-to-face meeting involving Hunter, his top legal deputies, commissioner David Stern, and deputy commissioner Adam Silver sometime around the next scheduled Board of Governors meeting in mid-April in New York. A league spokesman, however, said no such meeting has been scheduled.
Though the owners' labor relations committee, chaired by Spurs owner Peter Holt, met last week in New York, there are no indications as to when -- or even if -- the owners will ever submit a second formal proposal before the current deal expires June 30. The only offer on the table from the NBA came in January 2010, when owners proposed a $45 million hard cap and $750 million to $800 million in salary rollbacks for the players. The union countered July 1 by offering to negotiate a reduction in the players' 57 percent share of basketball-related income (BRI). But Hunter said if owners don't submit another proposal, they shouldn't hold their breath for him to counter his own.There have been all sorts of signs that point to brewing trouble between the sides recently, including Hunter's more aggressive public stance in recent weeks. But a total lack of dialogue is the single most troubling thing that NBA fans can hear. Agreements can only be reached after negotiations, and negotiations can only happen at meetings. No meetings, no agreement, no basketball.
More than a month ago, NBA fans were promised meetings. They deserve a transparent update from the league on what happened to the goal of "continued communication."