What you may have missed during the NBA Lockout
November 24, 2011
I’m not a lawyer. And I don’t even play one on TV. So the thought of writing about all the legal wranglings, maneuverings and other minutiae of the NBA lockout is about as appealing as watching the paint peel off the walls of an antiquated courthouse waiting room.
And since I’ve done the latter (while I was an alternate juror on a murder trial), I have even less desire to do the former. And even if I did write about it, I don’t suspect many of you would have it high on your “Must read” list. [As an aside to those of you who do really enjoy reading legal perspectives, I recommend you read Lester Munson on espn.com. He is a lawyer and writes things in fairly plain English that the rest of us can actually understand.]
But now that we’re at Day 147of the lockout and the season appears to be teetering on the edge of extinction, I thought I’d delve into it and help catch you up with what’s been going on and what you may have missed from the non-lawyerly perspective.
With one caveat.
I’m not going to talk about any of the player/owner/arbitrator meetings that could be described with an adjective like “fruitless”. Or any closed door sessions that end with proclamations such as “After 16 straight hours of meetings, we’ve reached an agreement – that we’ll meet some more tomorrow.” Nor will I discuss any negotiation tactics that involve something as non-newsworthy as “cutting our share of revenues by ½%”.
So as you can see below, the resulting summary of the past 20+ weeks is very, very brief. But don’t skip over the rest of this blog entry, because at the end of it, you’ll see something that’ll make you say, “Wow!” Guaranteed.
July 1, 2011 – The NBA lockout began today. If you’re highly detail-oriented, it started at 12:01am.
September 23, 2011 – NBA training camps were cancelled along with the first week of preseason games. And there was much rejoicing.
September 30, 2011 – Okay, there was some excitement TODAY! Since it’s lockout excitement, I’ll try to describe this in my best legalese language. Commissioner David Stern pointed his finger (it could’ve been his right index finger, but I have no confirmation of that) in the general direction of Dwyane Wade. And DWade reportedly yelled at Stern in return! Oh yeah, that’s what I’m talking about! If what’s alleged is actually true. In addition, Stern may or may not have pointed a toe at another player in the room, but he was probably wearing designer shoes and said shoe was most likely under the table, so if he did do that, the player he pointed at didn’t notice. Or, perhaps the player noticed and didn’t think the shoe/toe pointing was as egregious an offense as Stern’s finger pointing episode and decided not to yell at Stern, so it wasn’t reported in the media and may as well have never happened.
October 4, 2011 – The rest of the preseason was cancelled.
October 28, 2011 – The NBA cancelled games through November 30.
November 14, 2011 – NBPA dissolves labor union
November 15, 2011 – The NBA cancelled games through December 15
So that’s pretty much all you missed so far. Unless you’re a big fan of David Stern, NBPA Chief Billy Hunter or NBA Player Rep Derek Fisher, in which case you’ve missed a chance to see them on TV a whole lot the last few months.
This is not my idea of "Must-see TV."
Some players have signed contracts to play in other countries, but since many of these teams are limited to two non-native players, and since the players who go overseas all need clauses that allow them to return to the NBA if the lockout ends, the vast majority of players are staying put. Notable exceptions include Deron Williams, Mehmet Okur and Tony Parker.
The only Celtic who signed overseas so far is Nenad Krstic. He was a free agent, and with Shaq’s retirement, GM Danny Ainge was interested in re-signing him. But given the looming NBA lockout, Krstic took the sure thing and signed a two-year contract with CSKA Moscow in June. That means the C’s will need another center or two considering the injury history of Jermaine O’Neal, who is now the only center on the roster. But I digress, as this post is supposed to be about the lockout.
And then there’s Delonte West who played for the Celtics last season. He is allegedly working for a moving company to make some money during the lockout. I say allegedly because if he were really working for a moving company, wouldn’t that company be doing a whole lot of advertising to promote the fact that they had a celebrity mover on board? And wouldn’t they be offering a free, Delonte West autographed ottoman with every move? That’s what I’d be doing if I owned that moving company. I’m thinking that a lot of people would want to say that “Delonte moved my couch. And my flat screen. And my basketball hoop.” Hopefully, Delonte won’t hurt himself lifting a loveseat. Or a piano. Or an above-ground pool, and will be fully healthy for the start of the season. Whenever that may be.
So at the end of the day, millionaire/billionaire players and owners are fighting over $4 billion. The big issues are revenue sharing and the salary cap. And maybe even limits on tattoos for all we know. The latest proposal from the owners offered a 50/50 revenue split with the season starting on December 15th and a 72-game schedule. So that’s not happening.
However, with the average player losing about $200,000 per missed paycheck, maybe they’ll have enough incentive to salvage a 50-game season as they did for the 1998-1999 season. That could be good for the Celtics since the Big 3 are all 34 years old and up, so a shorter season should benefit them. Unless they have to play extra back-to-back games to fit more games into the season.
So while I don’t mind missing all the press conferences put on by the players and owners, I do miss seeing some of the best basketball in the world. And if you’ve forgotten what that looks like, below is a video sample of what Rajon Rondo has been working on during the lockout. And I’m thinking that if Kenneth Faried can do this during a fundraising game with Rondo, than Jeff Green can do it on a regular basis during the regular season. Enjoy. And Happy Thanksgiving.
If you have any questions or comments about this blog, feel free to contact me at RamblingDude@gmail.com.