HoopsHype Lockout rumors

March 6, 2014 Updates

So it may be premature to mention this, but hidden in the details of the league’s day-to-day business in recent months has been this fact: The groundwork is already being laid for another lockout. Sporting News

That is the consensus among league executives and prominent agents. But it is articulated particularly well by Charles Grantham, who worked for the union from 1978-95, serving as its executive director for the last seven of those years (he left a year before Billy Hunter, who was deposed last year amid scandal, took over). No replacement for Hunter has been named, and that’s just one element feeding lockout fears. “Ideally, whether labor or management, you begin work on the next negotiation the day after you sign the last agreement,” said Grantham. “For the players, they have not been able to do that. They still need to find a director, and once they have one, they need to assemble a team and work on a strategy. They’re way behind.” Sporting News

November 21, 2013 Updates

Billy Hunter, the ousted former executive director of the National Basketball Players Association, has identified Kobe Bryant and his agent, Rob Pelinka, as the power brokers who pushed him to accept a 50-50 labor deal that Hunter claims was negotiated behind his back during the 2011 lockout. In a 21-page court filing this week in Hunter's lawsuit against the NBPA, its former president, Derek Fisher, and his business manager, Jamie Wior, Hunter laid out the case for how he believes he was sandbagged by Fisher during the labor talks. Hunter is alleging defamation and breach of contract in the lawsuit, and Fisher's alleged role in a so-called secret deal with the owners to end the lockout would be relevant if Fisher usurped Hunter's authority as the sole bargaining agent for the players under the NBPA's by-laws. CBSSports.com

August 6, 2013 Updates

Just before the start of the 2012-13 season, you might have read a story about two basketball fans in Chicago who were working on a comedic musical theater production based on a fictionalized version of the NBA's 2011 labor stoppage. Well, we're here — "The Lockout: A Musical" will debut in Chicago later this month, and you can listen to (and buy, if you so choose) the original cast recording of the songs from the show at that Bandcamp link. Creativity in action! Yahoo! Sports

January 10, 2013 Updates

Jeff Zillgitt: At Smithsonian Associates event in D.C., NBA Commissioner David Stern said his greatest failure has been work stoppages. Twitter @JeffZillgitt

December 7, 2012 Updates

Claudio Sabatini, CEO of Virtus Bologna, talked today on Kobe Bryant. Sabatini tried to sign The Black Mamba during the NBA lockout. "A marketing operation? No, a real negotiation. We have tripled his salary from the first offer while the game he would have played dicreased the 80%. Lockout would have helped us, Kobe was sincere to say that we were close to a deal" said Sabatini to Playbologna.it Sportando

August 22, 2012 Updates
June 6, 2012 Updates

In a story I wrote here on CNBC.com on November 21, 2011 about the NBA Lockout called, "Small Business Owners Getting Squeezed by NBA Lockout" I was duped by a "source" and I'd like to explain to you my readers what happened. The upside of Internet is that it gives a voice to millions of people that otherwise might not have a platform. In this case I used Twitter to crowd source a story about the real people affected by the NBA lockout. I got hundreds of responses from ballboys to ushers who chose to share their very personal stories. I tried to verify all stories by peppering people with questions to test their knowledge. The downside of Twitter is that the voice can hide behind a wall of anonymity. The escort story made the cut because I thought it was different. As you can see in the published exchange I went back and forth with "Tim" in an attempt to ascertain whether his story was genuine. Feeling satisfied that the answers seemed real, we included it in the story. He duped me. Shame on me. I apologize to my readers. CNBC

May 14, 2012 Updates

David 'Dubi' Pick: Can't believe #NBA ROY Kyrie Irving nearly signed lockout deal w/Ashkelon. Prominent Israeli agent & team sources confirmed, deal was $25k. Twitter

March 2, 2012 Updates

On the lockout: “The day we made the deal, if we didn’t make it, I think we were going to spiral out of control.” “The bloggers said it was (the small market owners that were the hardliners) but uniformly, without regard to market size, there was a unanimity we had to make a deal that had a new paradigm for us.” (How committed each owner was to dragging it out to get that new paradigm is another issue entirely if you ask me.) NBCSports.com

February 29, 2012 Updates

Said Gumbel on-air during the lockout: "David Stern was eager to be seen as some kind of modern plantation overseer treating NBA men as if they were boys." Stern, talking to Bob Costas for a show airing on NBC Sports Network, played it cool in his recollection of his response at the time: "His ratings are going down. It's a slow news day. He wants some headlines." Bettman was unequivocal on Gumbel: "That is probably the most ignorant, stupidest statement I've ever heard." USA Today

February 26, 2012 Updates

All of this happened three months to the day after the last-ditch bargaining session that finally ended the lockout. Looking back on the night when the final negotiations began -- Nov. 25, Black Friday -- several people involved in the talks recreated an incredible scene that underscored just how close the NBA came to losing the entire season. No Christmas Day. No 66-game schedule. No All-Star weekend. Nothing. Sometime between 7 and 9 p.m. ET on Nov. 25 -- and various sources' recollections of the exact timing vary by an hour or so -- the 2011-12 NBA season almost perished. CBSSports.com

"We're done; that's it," Hunter said, according to a person who was in the room. "We’ll let this play out in the courts. I'm not f------ negotiating anymore." The two negotiating teams scattered, and high-level members of the players' legal team tried in vain to talk Hunter back in the room. At some point, around 9 p.m. according to a person familiar with the conversation, Holt was on the phone with an official from the NBA office. The message was clear: Talks had broken down. The fight to save the season was over. Get ready for the news conference. Recollections of what happened next vary somewhat depending on who's telling the story. In one version, Holt received a knock on the door while he was still on the phone with the league official. It was a representative of the union, asking that Holt and the owners return to the bargaining table. CBSSports.com

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