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Get your lockout shoes on: players rip owners proposal

Jun 22, 2011, 11:10 PM EDT

billy-hunter Getty Images

UPDATE 11:10 pm: NBA Commissioner David Stern released this statement to the Associated Press when asked to comment on what Derek Fisher and Billy Hunter said of the last proposal from owners.

“Players have benefited from the current system more than the teams. For them it has been a much better partnership,” Stern said in a statement. “We are sorry that the players’ union feels that way since it doesn’t seem designed to get us to the agreement that is so important to the teams, and we had hoped, the players.”

7:41 pm: My friends, the lockout is coming. There are dark days ahead.

It is going to get worse before it gets better. Earlier today we relayed some quotes for you from an interview NBA players union president Derek Fisher gave on the radio, and they weren’t positive.

But that was upbeat like a Michael Franti dance tune compared to what the union told a handful of reporters in New York on Wednesday afternoon.

We bring you a few tweets from Ken Berger of CBS Sports as an example.

Fisher on player reaction to owners’ latest offer: “They’ve asked us point-blank why we are even talking.”

According to players, the #NBA’s proposal will cost them $7 billion over the life of a 10-year deal. (Union executive director Billy) Hunter said players would not regain their $2.17 B in salary/benefits until the 10th year of the owners’ proposal.

Hunter said league wants to keep the $160 million in escrow withheld from players for ’10-’11 season, under current CBA. Of owners reaching into players’ pockets for money already earned, NBPA president Derek Fisher said, “It speaks to their arrogance.”

Fisher also called Stern’s description of “flex” cap “a total distortion of reality. It’s not a flexible cap, it’s a hard cap.”

If the NBA owners want to keep the escrow money, those are fighting words. (The escrow money a percentage taken out of every player’s paychecks and put in savings to make sure the players get exactly 57 percent of the NBA’s basketball related income. Money is taken out of their checks, then returned, all or in part, to get to the even 57 percent.) That is money the players feel they have earned.

On the flip side, arguing money lost is a little hard because nobody thought the old deal would just be extended. Everyone knows the players will have to make givebacks. The question is how much.

Bottom line (as we have said before), the lockout is coming. It’s going to get nasty. If you want to be optimistic, hold out hope that by the middle of September the two sides will have come together and a deal will be struck that allows the season to start on time. That is honestly the best-case scenario right now. Otherwise, we’ll be watching a lot of D-League and the NHL on NBC and Versus this fall.

  1. trbowman - Jun 22, 2011 at 7:45 PM

    I’ve had my lockout shoes on for a while now.

  2. trbowman - Jun 22, 2011 at 7:48 PM

    I would be shocked if games weren’t missed, and I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if the whole season was missed.

    Here’s hoping I’m wrong

  3. lucky5934 - Jun 22, 2011 at 8:27 PM

    Oh I have seen this episode before. I saw it back in March and April. It starred the NFL and the NFLPA. And just like the NFL, the NBA will start making headway the closer the 2011-2012 season approaches.

  4. tashkalucy - Jun 22, 2011 at 8:49 PM

    Congress has a better chance of balancing the budget in the next year then the NBA has of laying the 2011-12 season.

    And the two issues are related…….

  5. bigtrav425 - Jun 22, 2011 at 9:30 PM

    good the NBA needs to be fixed! and F david stern!

  6. goforthanddie - Jun 22, 2011 at 9:59 PM

    If they can’t figure it out and play 82, please cancel the whole season.

  7. lucky5934 - Jun 22, 2011 at 10:32 PM

    But if they cancel the season, that will be just one more year Lebron doesn’t win a title.

    • goforthanddie - Jun 22, 2011 at 11:07 PM

      Yeah, but he’ll have a legitimate reason this time.

  8. Justin - Jun 22, 2011 at 11:49 PM

    The Timberwolves would actually have a better record if their is a lockout for a whole season than last year.

  9. ukfaninfl - Jun 22, 2011 at 11:59 PM

    nothing but a bunch or rich owners fighting with rich players over who really doesn’t need the extra money and we the fans suffer

  10. purdueman - Jun 23, 2011 at 3:43 AM

    Ironic as it may seem, I am for the NFL players in their CBA dispute, but dead set against the players in their NBA CBA dispute.

    With the average career of an NFL player being only less than 4 years and their mortality rate (as reported recently by ESPN), only 54 years of age (significantly less than that of the average American male), and a lot of the NFL owners wealthy and arrogant (like Jerry Jones of Dallas and Dean Spanos of San Diego), I find it impossible to side with the NFL owners.

    The NBA though is different, because I truly believe Stern when he says that close to half of the NBA franchises have been losing money, some at at a hemorrhaging rate. While the NBA owners have no one but themselves to blame for the last CBA that they agreed to, it doesn’t change the fact that they need to change the way that they are doing business or risk going out of business one small to mid-sized market team at a time.

    The mere fact that kids still in their early 20’s can attain “max fully guaranteed contracts” in just their 3rd or 4th year in the league (when many of them are just starting to emerge as starters and/or potential stars), is ridiculous.

    So an NBA team gambles on a former “one and doner” who’s mostly languished on the bench their first two years in the league just to make them into productive players have to give these guys guaranteed multi-million dollar fully guaranteed contracts or risk losing a potential star is financial suicide.

    Take the example of fat, lazy party boy Eddie “Sloth” Curry who the Knicks gave a staggering guaranteed long term $12.5M/year contract in his early 20’s shouldn’t be allowed to happen.

    The owners in essence need strong limitations on a new CBA if for no other reason than to protect them from themselves, because the talent pool of potential stars is now spread way too thin and colleges can’t fill the gap anymore because of the “one and doners” don’t give colleges the opportunity to grow and develop that talent before they bolt for the guaranteed millions offered by the NBA, most long before they are ready for that level of competition.

    I also was totally turned off by the self anointed “Big 3 The Decision” that occurred last offseason too, as if most of the NBA stars and emerging stars now will only play for big market teams together, it will kill the competitive balance in the league as well as many small-mid market teams. Eventually if this isn’t put in check, we could see the NBA eventually contract back down to the original 9 plus the first big expansion team, the Chicago Bulls.

    Do any of you NBA fans out there want to see more lazy slugs like Eddie Curry simply skate and party with their “posse’s” after receiving their big long term contracts? I sure don’t!

    What I’d like to see is exactly what the NBA owners have proposed (although it’s highly unlikely it will happen this CBA contract negotiation go around), and that’s the same kind of “hard salary cap” that the NHL was willing to sacrifice an entire season to attain.

    The NFL has it right; pay for play. If you can’t make the roster cut in any given season, your remaining contract isn’t guaranteed. Simple as that. I’m willing as a fan to give up a season to see that happen too. How about all of you?

  11. bittersonicsfan - Jun 23, 2011 at 4:32 AM


    Holy cow! All I expect from you is crazy songs and anti-LA talk, this is a welcome post. either you didn’t drink before you wrote that or you reached booze nirvana. I hope it’s the latter.

  12. distantrhythm - Jun 23, 2011 at 4:35 AM

    There needs to be more revenue sharing for sure, and perhaps some flex caps but otherwise the owners need to discipline themselves from awarding silly long-term contracts. More incentives and less guarantees would be a good start.

    I can see why the players would be opposed to giving back everything that they gained monetarily in the current agreement, that would be a huge step backwards. Hopefully reason and consensus will lead to a compromise but I wouldn’t bet on it.

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