HoopsHype Lockout rumors

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

But Hunter, speaking Saturday at the Orlando state fair grounds, said he saw this coming. "That was a camouflage," Hunter told CBSSports.com. "That was a subterfuge. That's what I'd said to you guys all along, and you never bought into it. So I can't understand why now, on the back end, when he says something all of a sudden it rings true. I said all along that's what it was about. It was about them making money. It wasn't necessarily about any competitive balance, and I said that to them in many, many meetings. It was about splitting up the dollars and the owners putting money in their pockets." CBSSports.com

February 23, 2012 Updates

Beyond lost games and revenue, any other regrets? David Stern: My regret is that we had a pretty good idea of where it was going, in terms of negotiations, and we should have been able to do it sooner. That's all. Other than that, I think the 20% of the games of one season is going to turn out to have been a modest price to pay for the fundamental change in the league's operation going forward. And by that I mean its competitiveness and the value of its franchises. USA Today

February 21, 2012 Updates

The Corriere goes on to cite inside sources as explaining that Sabbatini & Co. could not compromise with Bryant’s representative Rob Pelinka on the nature of the games Kobe would have played. Sabbatini’s plan was mostly planned as being “a kind of occasional collaboration” because the club was having serious problems with the league’s standard labor contract and therein that old bugaboo, taxes. Ball In Europe

February 15, 2012 Updates
January 22, 2012 Updates

Stern: I've never found NBA owners to be deferential. I never considered them to be reliant. All that I do is knock myself out to represent their interests the best way I can and sometimes tell them, as part of my job, what they don't like to hear. And I would say that there was a fair amount of that going on as it related to the sea change that we have effectuated with this collective bargaining agreement and the attendant revenue sharing. And I would say that there were probably more unhappy owners in connection with these two arrangements than at any time in my tenure as commissioner. But it doesn't change what I do, which is to tell them what I think is the right thing and then work hard to secure it. Because if I didn't give them my full [opinion], or if I just did what was easy or convenient, then I wouldn't be doing the job. And I've never done that. Orlando Sentinel

Stern: Well, I guess I would say that we eliminated 100 jobs at the league level because we were going into a new reality in an economy where we have, unprecedented in our lifetime, really, unemployment, huge mortgage foreclosures, increased homelessness, poverty and despair and something called The Great Recession. So that put huge pressure on all businesses and particularly the NBA, where we were focusing on losses and enhanced revenue sharing and a season that was disrupted greatly. So it doesn't surprise me that teams were making these business decisions. Orlando Sentinel

January 18, 2012 Updates

Wall hasn’t had the best start to his second season, but he disagreed with Saunders’s assessment that players pick up too many bad habits and a false sense of confidence from success in pickup games. “No, not at all. In summer league, you get serious in the fourth quarter, other times it’s just for fun,” Wall said. “It’s basically for charity so it wasn’t — you just playing basketball, you doing the type of dunks you wouldn’t do in a game and doing things like that. I still knew how to play regular basketball. There wasn’t nothing wrong with that at all. Summer league is something you do for fun and something to do while there was a lockout.” Washington Post

January 12, 2012 Updates
January 7, 2012 Updates

Assembling a new collective bargaining agreement isn’t an easy task. It can be very frustrating at times and there were plenty of points during the lockout where talks turned sour. However, looking back on the experience, Evans and Mason felt it was extremely rewarding and worth the time they spent traveling and sitting in various hotel conference rooms. “It was a serious mental grind,” Mason told HOOPSWORLD. “You don’t know what it’s like in that room until you’re there. The guys that are there, David Stern and the owners, are savvy business men and that’s what they do for a living so it was a good learning experience. It was business so obviously there were never any hard feelings. I feel really proud that I was able to represent the guys.” HoopsWorld

Prior to every game this season, opposing players have gone out of their way to thank Mason and Evans for the work they did throughout the lockout. Not only did they attend nearly all of the meetings in New York, but they also traveled the country to hold regional meetings with players and agents. It was a busy summer for the two veterans, but they’ve received plenty of support. “It’s been awesome,” Evans said. “Every game, we play guys who have just been so grateful and thankful for the work that we all put in during the offseason. I’m sure Derek [Fisher] is getting those same compliments from a lot of the guys.” HoopsWorld

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