Tag:NBA Lockout
Posted on: November 29, 2011 8:32 pm

Report: NBA to have five Christmas Day games

Posted by Royce Young

The NBA will open the 2011-12 season on Christmas, but not with the triple-header that David Stern himself said during the end-of-the-lockout press conference. Instead, there will be a five-game set with one on TNT, two on ABC and two on ESPN, according to the New York Times.

Times, all Eastern, would be noon, 2:30, 5:00, 8:00 and 10:30. 

Last season the NBA had five games on Christmas with pretty much that exact same setup. Originally, the schedule this season was to feature a triple-header with the Celtics at the Knicks, the Heat at the Mavericks and the Bulls at the Lakers.

I'd assume those games would remain, but the league would bring in two more marquee teams to play. Maybe the Thunder against the Grizzlies in a Western semifinal rematch? Or the Clippers at the Magic? Blake Griffin versus Dwight Howard would certainly draw interest, I'd think.

Look for the full, revised NBA schedule to come out sometime next week.
Category: NBA
Posted on: November 29, 2011 6:44 pm
Edited on: November 29, 2011 6:53 pm

Reports: Players begin vote on union reformation

Posted by Ben Gollivernba-lockout

The next major step towards recovering the 2011-2012 NBA season is reportedly under way.

On Nov. 14, the National Basketball Players Association filed a disclaimer of interest, formally disbanding as a union so that the players could file an antitrust lawsuit against the NBA. On Saturday morning, representatives of the NBA and its players reached a tentative agreement to settle the litigation, end the ongoing NBA lockout and salvage a 66-game regular season.

Both sides must formally approve of the deal, though, and there's an extra hurdle on the players' side because of the antitrust lawsuit. To formally approve of the new collective bargaining agreement, the union must re-form and conduct a vote of its members.

SI.com reports on Tuesday that the NBPA "sent out authorization forms to its players requiring signatures to reinstate the union."

NBA.com reported soon after that the voting process to re-form is currently under way. 
NBA players have been mailed cards that will begin the process of re-forming their union, according to a source.

Players must indicate their preference to either re-form the National Basketball Players Association as their representative for collective bargaining purposes, or to reject the re-formation of the union. After they indicate their preference and sign the card, they are to scan the card and e-mail it to a neutral observer from the American Arbitration Association, who is acting as an election monitor and overseeing the process. The original card is to be mailed back to the offices of what was (and will likely be again) the Players Association in New York. A simple majority of voting players, those who return the cards with the "yes" vote, would allow the union to re-form.
Once the union is put back together, the players will then vote to approve the tentative agreement that has been recommended to them by NBPA executive director Billy Hunter. 

In a letter to all players sent on Monday, obtained by SI.com, Hunter wrote: "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. We expect the authorization, recognition, and negotiation process will wrap up in the next several days so we can present you a new CBA for player ratification."
Posted on: November 29, 2011 3:00 pm

Glen Davis stayed pretty busy during the lockout

Posted by Royce Young

NBA players should've been starting their season back in late September with training camps. But now here it is almost December and they still aren't playing. The lockout's finally over, but players still had to fill that downtime with something. Most played in charity games. Some played flag football. Some signed overseas.

Glen Davis though? He took up some hobbies. Observe:

Props to Big Baby and whatever media company he used for that video because it was really well done. But now for Big Baby, it's not about getting back to basketball. For him, it's about finding a new contract. He's a free agent and has a number of teams on his list. The Celtics, Nets, Hornets, Magic -- so he's got a lot to think about. That popsicle arena will just have to wait.

Category: NBA
Posted on: November 28, 2011 5:10 pm
Edited on: November 28, 2011 5:20 pm

President Obama: NBA agreement is 'good deal'

Posted by Ben Golliverbarack-obama

Our President's long, national nightmare is over: the NBA has salvaged the 2011-2012 regular season.

WPXI.com reports that United States President Barack Obama approves of the NBA's (tentative) new collective bargaining agreement.
After playing basketball at Fort McNair on Saturday, President Barack Obama seemed to approve the tentative deal reached earlier in the day to end the NBA lockout.

When asked about the potential agreement, Obama gave a thumbs-up and said, "Good deal!"
There's probably some joke to be made here about how the NBA labor negotiators turned out to be more effective than Congress, but who has the time or energy these days to pretend to care about politics or the world around us? Maybe Jay Leno, but that's about it.

Obama's exclamatory excitement is no surprise. 

Obama has been vocal about his desire for NBA basketball, especially as the lockout wore on over the last few months. 

In early October, Obama said the lockout left him "heartbroken"; a few weeks later, Obama said he was "concerned" that the NBA would lose the entire 2011-2012 season. By November, Obama told reporters that the lockout was "killing me" but said that he "[wasn't] going to intercede."

Then, less than a week later, Obama announced the Obama Classic, a presidential reelection fundraising basketball game that was going to feature NBA stars like Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh and Kevin Durant. He even printed up (and is selling) custom basketball jerseys.

The event, scheduled for Dec. 12, will now conflict with NBA training camps and the free agency period, slated to begin on Dec. 9. 

Hat tip: ProBasketballTalk
Posted on: November 28, 2011 11:29 am
Edited on: November 28, 2011 12:36 pm

Each team to have two preseason games

Posted by Royce Young

Not that the NBA preseason is anything to get excited about, but your first look at your favorite team will be coming soon.

According to NBA.com, each team will play two preseason games, presumably a home and away one. Typically, teams play 7-8 exhibition games which include games in other cities and often sometimes against international squads. Originally, the NBA had 202 preseason games scheduled. Now that number will be 60. Most estimates had the NBA losing in the neighborhood of $200 to $300 million for missing the preseason. Some of those losses will be recouped, but not near as much.

Important note: According to the report, the preseason games will likely be played against regional teams so as to minimize travel.

Right now, training camps are set to start Dec. 9 along with free agency, so two preseason games will be fit into a two-week window before Dec. 25. Not impossible, but it will definitely be a mad dash leading up to the season.

Better than not though, for sure.
Category: NBA
Posted on: November 28, 2011 11:00 am
Edited on: November 28, 2011 11:49 am

What you need to know about 2011-2012

By Matt Moore 

The season is saved, long live the season. With that, we thought we'd give you a run down on where everything is at with regards to the season that will most likely be. 

How did we get here?

Do you mean how did the season get saved or how did we lose so much of it in the first place? The answer to the latter is a simple "greed." The owners wanted not only to make up for their losses, but to make a point to the players about who's in charge of this league and control the players' ability to team up and form "super teams." They accomplished their goal for the most part.

As to how the season was saved, David Stern got the owners to move back on a half-dozen issues systemically while gifting the players an extra 1.2 percent of BRI. That differential was enough for the players' leadership, who saw an opportunity to save some face after getting clocked for five months on the financial, litigous, and PR fronts.

That lead toa handshake deal that has lead everyone to believe there will be a 2011-2012 season.

Next steps

As we outlined in the FAQ, there's still a very small chance this thing falls through. Currently the league and the players' reps are negotiating what have been termed the "B-issues." If any of those B-issues suddenly become A-issues, one side or the other could walk away from the handshake deal. Those issues include the age limit, the use of the D-League, and drug testing policies. These are not issues that the players are apathetic towards. They're simply not nearly as important as the money and system issues already resolved.

It's expected that the issues will be resolved through negotiation sometime between Monday and Wednesday. Then the NBPA will reform as a union, which to do so all they have to do is say they are. Then they'll vote on the deal. The league will take its offer to the Board of Governors' Labor Relations Committee, who has driven this horse, and get their approval. From there the vote goes to the entire Board of Governors, where a simple majority is needed to approve. The league only needs 15 owners to approve the deal, as New Orleans will likely either abstain or be counted with the majority.

The reality is that this deal would not have been agreed to by either side if there was a legitimate chance of it failing in a vote, but it is unlikely there will be unanimous votes on either side.

The schedule

Well, we're having one, so that's nice. It's going to be a 66 game season, with 48 in-conference games and 16 out-of-conference games. It's going to be rushed, it's going to be super compact, it's going to be ugly. The league is pushing the end of the regular season (and subsequently the start of the playoffs) by two weeks. There will be back-to-back-to-back games. Yikes. For more on the schedule, check out our post on the leaked details. Training camp will start December 9th, then there will be two preseason games and then the season opens on Christmas Day. 

Free agency and roster upgrades

For starters, check out our top 40 free agents, that'll give you a good idea of who's available. The Pacers, Nets, and Rockets look to be big spenders in a weak class, but there are some interesting wrinkles. The New York Times reports that teams could be hesitant to use their amnesty clauses this season. Those that do however, will be putting big contracts up for grabs. Teams can claim all or part of the contract from the original team, but only if they are under the cap. So if the Kings feel like they just have to have Baron Davis... but it's unlikely.

The major changes to the salary and tax structure don't take place until 2013, so your favorite big-market teams will still have an opportunity to add to their rosters using the Mid-Level Exception.

Teams will be hording space for 2012, though, in what will be the dominant story of the year... next year's free agency class which features Dwight Howard, Deron Williams, and Chris Paul. It should be noted the new CBA does allow for extend-and-trades so those players could force their way out sooner, but the extend-and-trade can only be for three years, not the full five years allowed for Bird rights. The only way around this would be to agree to a trade six months prior to the date the player could be traded, in which case the original team could extend the player for the full five years, then trade him six months later. That's never, ever going to happen due to the number of things that could occur in that span of time.

The European Connection

There are a number of players playing overseas during the lockout. Those players have already started to come back, with Deron Williams among others already flying back. Others will not be joining us. Marginal players like Acie Law, Joey Dorsey, and others have no opt-out clause in their contract and will finish the season overseas, barring a release. There is much speculation that Wilson Chandler, J.R. Smith, and Kenyon Martin will have to finish their seasons in China due to the ban on opt-out clauses by the CBA. But the most likely scenario is those players simply being released and making their way back to the states. Do you really think any of those players is missing out on NBA money? Martin may stay, as his NBA career is nearly at its end. 

Some reminders

Andrew Bynum will miss the first five games of the season due to suspsension for jacking J.J. Barea.

Charlie Villanueva is also suspended four games for a fight at the end of last season.
Posted on: November 27, 2011 2:41 pm
Edited on: November 28, 2011 12:36 pm

NBA jersey sales down 38 percent

Posted by Royce Young

No games, no money. It's a pretty simple formula. So it shouldn't come as any surprise that with the NBA out of business for the past couple months, merchandise and jersey sales slipped pretty substantially. Via the New York Post:

NBA threads, like the Miami Heat’s LeBron James’ — last season’s highest-selling jersey — are down 38 percent.

Most online retailers are offering 15 percent to 20 percent discounts, in addition to peddling old-school or throwback jerseys at half-price to entice visitors.

“Expect FootLocker, Champs and others to follow suit,” said an insider. “It has nothing to do with the holiday, either. Retailers understand that after the lockout, the price tag must be cut.”

Total NBA product sales last season were close to $3 billion. With the lockout, analysts expect this year’s sales number to be closer to $1 billion, citing sneakers as the sport’s lone bright spot.

Adidas, who is the league's official jersey merchandiser, had something like $350 million in sales last season.

Faced with the potential to lose pretty much all of that if a season were lost, you can bet that they're happy it's just 38 percent at this point. Sales are way down, but it could be worse, I suppose.
Category: NBA
Posted on: November 27, 2011 2:08 pm
Edited on: November 28, 2011 12:36 pm

A few scheduling details emerge

Posted by Royce Young

Because the lockout cut all the way deep into November, the NBA will be force to re-do the current schedule. Now, the season will consist of 66 games piled basically into a four and a half month window.

Everyone wants details and finally, a few have found their way out. Via the New York Times, here are a couple scheduling notes:
  • The schedule will run Dec. 25 to April 26.
  • Teams will average 3.9 games a week, up from the usual 3.5. That equals about two extra games a month.
  • Each team will play at least one back-to-back-to-back. The max number of back-to-back-to-backs a team could play is three.
  • Teams will play 48 in-conference games, which is four fewer than normal, and 18 out-of-conference games. Because of that arrangement, not all teams will visit each city. Which is a bummer.
  • Here's a potentially important note: Every second-round playoff series will feature one back-to-back set of games. This is to try and shorten the playoffs since the regular season will be expanding a week and a half. In terms of quality of play at the most important time, having a back-to-back in the postseason is huge. Way to go, lockout.

For the most part, the new schedule won't be all that ridiculous. Not like the 50-game schedule in 1999, at least. Typically, 82 games are squeezed into roughly 165 days. This season, 66 will be pushed into about 120. Two extra games per month isn't that heavy, but the set of back-to-back-to-back games won't be fun.

Any time players are overworked, injuries and quality of play become issues, but that's just the breaks at this point. Yes, the league could have decided to go with 60 or 56 games instead, but getting the max amount of games into a season not only means everyone makes more money, but the season has a bit more credibility to it.

The most important thing: There actually is a schedule.

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