The ABC’s of the NBA Lockout


Agents – Maybe the source of all greed in the world of sports. I’m sure it’s the Athletes as well, but hearing about the agents wanting to break up the union and pushing for a revenue share of nothing less than 53-54 percent so they can continue to get paid for their sleazy job, kind of makes you angry. No NBA for this?!


Bryant, Kobe – The biggest name shopping around. First it was Turkey, then it was China, now it’s Italy, nearly a done deal. No player who decided to sign overseas will get the kind of money Kobe Bryant will get (6.7 million dollars for a season, after taxes).


Chinese League – A promising option, which kind of opened up things for the players. No big name has taken the bite just yet, but with the deadline for regular season games to start getting cancelled coming up, the Asian option will start looking more and more lucrative.


Deadline, D-Day – Every meeting is the new latest deadline. Last chance to stop a lockout, last chance to save training camps. Last chance to save pre season games. Plenty of chances, all missed out on.


Europe – The chosen destination this summer and fall. Plenty of teams and leagues to choose from, decent money, some teams even willing to pay big money, and relatively, not a huge drop in level of play. Can’t offer a job to every one of the NBA players, but there is plenty of room for those willing to take a pay cut.


Fisher, Derek – The head honcho, at least by title, of the NBPA. But as things roll towards the finish line, looks like the more well known names around the league might have a bigger say in things.


Gold Diggers – That’s what it feels like sometimes. Economy is shipwrecked, sort of, owners on most teams are losing money, so they claim, and a lot of these guys, especially the veterans, who are filthy rich, aren’t getting good PR from this. A select few can afford to sit out the entire season. Most of the guys, with the weaker or unheard voices? They need a job.


Hard Cap – Something that seemed rock solid on the owners demands initially, but that’s one of the things they’re willing to compromise on, although still slip it through the back door with other clauses. Probably the second biggest issue in these negotiations.


I only wanna play basketball – The players want to show that this is their passion, not just their job. Going to Europe, China or wherever, the summer leagues, street ball – We want to play basketball, and don’t care about the money. Until the lockout ends.


Jewish Holidays – David Stern and other have Yom Kippur this weekend. Talks can’t get done, despite the urgency. We gotta wait till Monday.


Kippur, Yom – Lets stay on that for a moment. Not all of us are Jewish, most aren’t, but there’s the whole concept of asking for forgiveness for our sins this past year during the days leading up to the holy-day. Both owners and NBA players have a lot to be sorry for and even more people to ask forgiveness from.


Long Term – The owners want this contract to be for 10 years, and pretty much screw the players on the long run. The players know they need to make a few concessions, although they aren’t keen on them, and don’t want it to be for longer than six years.


Money. The root of all evil. 


No NBA – Life without the NBA. October to April, May, June, no NBA. NFL is only on once a week, and ends in January. Baseball? Not a big fan, but comes back only in April. It’s going to be a boring winter.


Owners – Big Market owners, Small Market Owners, rich owners, big team owners, owners who make money, owners who don’t, owners who’re pressing for a season cancellation, owners who don’t want a lockout.


Personal Issues – Billy Hunter and David Stern. Dwyane Wade and David Stern. It’s more than just money. About respect, a feeling of being used and being taken advantage of. Both sides probably feel that way, although I don’t know anyone who buys a ticket to watch an owner sit in his box.


Questions. No Basketball. Just question of when, if, how, will it end. We don’t care who gets how much for how long. We just want to watch basketball.


Revenue Sharing – The big elephant in the room since June 30. BRI. It used to be 57% the last six seasons. The owners want to cut it down to something around 40. Rumors said an offer of a 50-50 split was accepted, but Stern leaked it to the media, and just made everything worse.


David Stern – Representing the league, the owners. The man made, using some incredible talent, the NBA into a worldwide phenomenon. It seems that in recent years, he’s been off his game. Busy in doing things some rich guys in suits want, not what fans want, desire for this league. If there’s no NBA season, or even part of it is erased, it’ll be on his head, his conscious, no matter how it’s spun or told.


Time – Running out, almost over.


Union – Until these past two weeks, it looked like they had things under control. Fighting for players to sing abroad, holding sessions on how to save money during the lockout. A united front. Not anymore. I’m sure agents pushing have helped the cause these rifts, but the divide between well off players and those in a bigger need of having a season is causing problems in these negotiations.


Victory – What will be considered a success for both sides? For the fans, just having a season without more costs in terms of ticket prices would be good. Players? Anything above 50% Me thinks. Owners? I’m not sure all of them actually want a season to start.


Deron Williams – The first to sign in Europe, with Besiktas in Turkey. Not a Euroleague team, so his games won’t be shown around the continent, but the money is good, very good.


X & O’s – Head coaches. Haven’t heard anything from them.


Years From Now – The NBA had one of it’s best seasons in history, in terms of rating, buzz and hype. Many people didn’t like the LeBron James move, but it created huge interest, villains, intensified rivalries. Bottom line – the league was better. In a few years, will we look back and say this summer ruined the NBA, taking it back years, to the place it was after the Jordan retirement? Lets hope not.


ZZZZZ – For me, and millions in the United States and the rest of the world, life would be boring.