It is a new month, which means that the June 30 deadline for a new CBA agreement has passed and all NBA basketball operations have stopped. Since it is the summer, we won't really feel the absence of the game for a while. However, I sense an undercurrent of dread growing, because the fact is, we knew this day was coming for the last year and it appears as if very little headway had been made.
Wilbon compares the two lockouts and contends that the NBA's version will be far worse than what the NFL faces. This is a salient point, which Commissioner Stern touched upon several months ago:
A new group of owners who paid a ton of money for their franchises since the last work stoppage 13 years ago are ready to sacrifice the season.
For those owners, that's the position from which they are bargaining - they purchased their teams with the full intention of stopping operations for a year in order to make their new acquisition profitable. It was game-planned from the start.
I hope to revisit this excellent piece at a later time, but I would be remiss in not making it front and center. It goes to great lengths to help the reader understand the basics of accounting when it comes to how a team presents itself to interested parties such as the IRS vs the public eye.
Berger has been in my opinion the best reporter covering the labor situation because of his understanding of the economics and law involved. He is offering his own plan, and here starts with the revenue distribution.
SI's legal expert addresses some of the biggest concerns that follow the labor situation. It is important to remember that since all communication between team and player has to cease to exist, it is worth noting that the Thunder went to great lengths to tell their players via contract extensions that they will not be sown to the wind.
Berger writes that in reality, the owners were never really inclined to make a deal before the CBA expired. In fact, the lockout was their main weapon to get what they wanted, so to utilize their weapon, they had to get to this point. That probably makes me a bit of a rube for wishing that the lockout could have been avoided.
Kevin Durant talked a little bit about the labor situation while hosting his summer basketball camp. I get the feeling that he's a bit disengaged from the CBA negotiation.
More links after the jump.
Sheridan writes that the labor discussion has been surprisingly cordial, but that may be about to change as real money starts disappearing from the table. Sheridan writes that the 1998 lockout was over "cost certainty;" in other words, owners wanted to control their costs. This time around, the buzzword is "profit certainty," which I find interesting because everything I've heard thus far in the debate centers around growing expenses. To be sure, they are two sides of the same coin, but I wonder who is controlling this phrasing.
Young lists off his top 10 moments from the past season, complete with video footage. Not surprisingly, the Thunder find their way into this list. Also not surprising, he kind of glosses over their Game Four collapse against the Mavericks.
Bethlehem Shoals writes about the public perception of the labor strife that we're about to witness. Here is something worth considering - during the last lockout in 1998, while we had the Internet around, the social media element was practically non-existent. It might as well of been the 1950's given, the difference in information that is readily available now as compared to the late 90's. Will this plethora of accessibility somehow impact the negotiation table today in a way that both parties cannot anticipate, simply because it was not present last time around?
This is from a few days before the lockout was instituted, but it is still relevant in the sense that the analysts think that the labor situation will be resolved before the year is done.
Lowe does a great job getting four 'insiders' on the record to talk about how LeBron James' "Decision" came to fruition. It is an interesting read, and I believe maybe half of what they actually say.
Alternatively, 10 things that we realized were great about the NBA. The Thunder check in at #3 as a model of the way to build a contender.
Dwyer asks the question of whether the iconic photograph of Wilt Chamberlain holding up his "100" sign after scoring 100 points in a single game is worthy of appearing on a stamp. I'm going to go ahead and say that if Boris Karloff can appear on a stamp, then so can Wilt.
Durant offers ringing endorsements of both the Nazr Mohammed contract extension as well as his new teammate, Reggie Jackson. It is encouraging that Durant has a desire to see a veteran like Mohammed on his team, because he knows the value of having a guy who has played in the league for over a decade.
Serge Ibaka is on the Spanish Team's list of players they want to compete when the European Championship rolls around. Ibaka is still going through the Spanish nationalization process, which remains the biggest obstacle. If you recall, Ibaka played in Spain before joining the Thunder in 2009.
It is as it is as described. I plan to put one of these on my bedroom wall, right next to my poster of Michael Jordan dunking the moon.
Pruiti starts his off-season by beginning a series of "how-to" posts. Today he looks at some of the best offensive rebounders in the NBA. Of particular mention is how none of the guys discussed is particularly athletic, but rather rely on technique and timing.
In which we start out by remembering the great moments of the past two weeks, and somehow end up thinking about Tom Cruise.
When your name is Michael Jordan, even your high school love letters are worth a lot of money.
Serge Ibaka's wonderful blend of charisma, talent, and general good looks have propelled him to the world of modelling and now music videos.
In which Bobby Sura is considered an NBA "star." Lord help us all, this is going to be a long, long off-season.