HoopsHype Lockout rumors

December 27, 2011 Updates

Claudio Sabatini talked again on the negotiation he had with Rob Pelinka to bring Kobe Bryant to Virtus Bologna. 'One of my biggest regrets that I have as Virtus president is that I failed to bring Kobe Bryant to Bologna. We were close, if Kobe's agency had been more flexible, we would have signed Bryant' said Sabatini, as reported by Il Resto del Carlino. Sportando

December 22, 2011 Updates

"While I did everything I could behind the scenes and some not-so-behind-the-scenes to get playing by Christmas," Arison said, "when you come down to it, financially, it's important to understand that revenue sharing and the CBA together, it's a tough financial deal for us, particularly the revenue-sharing piece of it, the way it's structured. "For us to have to pay revenue sharing to larger-market teams was disturbing, and we will. And so that was a kind of protest vote on our part." That said, Arison stressed he was appreciative of the efforts that got the league back on the court. "I congratulate them," he said, "it was just tough on our particular franchise." South Florida Sun-Sentinel

"Two years from now, when the tax becomes more punitive and then you've got the recidivist tax . . . you've got to get out," Riley said last week. "So you have to plan as much as you can." Arison said the tax remains a concern and he would address that issue closer to when the increased tax comes into play. "While the original intent of the owners was to have a hard cap, which would have basically leveled the playing field between teams," he said, "instead, because of players' refusal to accept that, they just made it extremely expensive. "So now you have to financially deal with how expensive that is and whether you're prepared to do it." South Florida Sun-Sentinel

“The agents were saying decertifying in July. They really weren’t interested in decertification, what they were interested in was leverage. Being a lawyer and knowing the law, I know that once you decertify the biggest argument you’ve got to get over is [whether it’s] a sham.’’ Hunter said the union finally decided to disband when Stern announced his “take it or leave it’’ offer Nov. 10. Such a move was designed to spark an agreement, but added ammunition to the union’s legal claim that owners were no longer negotiating in good faith. The disbandment lasted 16 days. Boston Globe

And while he and Stern spent months trading barbs, they are professional friends, two astute lawyers paid to spin perceptions to their sides. Each understands that negotiations are often painful, but necessary. “We have a mutual respect,’’ said Hunter. “There’s wisdom in a sense that we’re both engaged in a business, you go to war and when the war is over you see generals visiting North Vietnam and they sit down and have discussions with their adversary. They find they have many things in common. I think that’s how it is with us. Our ultimate goals are the same, to promote the game because we all live as a consequence of the game. I just want to make sure my constituency gets their fair share since they’re the ones on the front line. Boston Globe

December 20, 2011 Updates
December 19, 2011 Updates

NBA players are now prohibited from holding an ownership stake in a player-management firm or from acting as National Basketball Players Association-certified agents under a provision in the league’s new collective-bargaining agreement. The provision was something NBA owners asked for and players agreed to as one of the so-called B-list items, terms that were collectively bargained after the NBPA re-formed as a union, according to a union source. It was not clear why the owners wanted the provision or what effect it will have, as it is not publicly known whether NBA players now own equity stakes in NBA player- representation firms. Two prominent agents, however, said last week that they believe that at least one star NBA player does have an equity interest in a player-rep firm and that more than one player has helped his agent recruit player clients for his firm. barrons.com

December 14, 2011 Updates

You took some flak from some players concerning your labor situation. Did that register on you and do you have any concern that could hinder the Bobcats recruiting free agents? Michael Jordan: I hope not, and I don’t think it will. My stance with the CBA was I want to provide a championship-quality team to Charlotte. I was going out on a limb to protect that and obviously the players felt differently. (Jordan was a vocal voice for the players during the 1998 lockout. He said the difference between then and now is not just that he’s become an owner, but that now most NBA teams lose money, where then most teams made money). I’m not anti-player. As a businessman, I want everybody to be happy. I do feel players should assume more risk, especially when (owners now) assume all the risk. There are no non-guaranteed contracts. Charlotte Observer

December 13, 2011 Updates

Garnett, who admitted he was "coming off emotional" and "being very, very, very up-front" with reporters, sounded off on NBA commissioner David Stern and a disjointed start to the new season. "I think what you see, we're a rushed league right now," Garnett said. "Everybody is paying attention to the Chris Paul situation. But I don't know why everyone's shocked, because Stern has been pretty adamant about when he wants to do things and how he does things. "Timing is everything. Chemistry is something that you don't just throw in the frying pan and mix it up with another something, then throw it on top of something, then fry it up and put it in a tortilla and put in a microwave, heat it up and give it to you and expect it to taste good. You know? For those of you who can cook, y'all know what I'm talking about. If y'all can't cook, this doesn't concern you." ESPN.com

December 12, 2011 Updates
December 11, 2011 Updates

Kohl, appearing at the Bucks media day gathering at the Cousins Center training facility, spoke openly about the ramifications of the new CBA and the separate revenue-sharing plan agreed to by owners. "I think on balance it's good for small-market teams and gives us a real opportunity to be profitable from now on, which hasn't been true for quite a number of years," Kohl said. Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel

And he agreed with Stern's characterization that the debate among owners on a new revenue-sharing agreement was "arduous." Kohl said he was heavily involved in the debate, shuttling between Washington and New York. "To the credit of large-market owners, they understand if we are going to move forward as a 30-team league there has to be a willingness to share more local revenue. Right now, we've not really done that," he said. The Bucks were getting approximately $5 million a year under the old revenue-sharing plan. The new plan, which will begin in 2013-'14, increased the amount coming to small-market teams significantly. Kohl acknowledged the Bucks would be in line to receive approximately $15 million to $16 million a season. "On balance, considering the CBA and revenue sharing together, there were a lot of good things in it," Kohl said. "I wanted to be sure smaller-market teams were taken into consideration. It didn't come easily, because those who have don't want to give, and those who don't have perhaps want too much." Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel

December 9, 2011 Updates

Mike Prada: Ted Leonsis confirms he ratified the new CBA. So he wasn't one of the five who didn't. Twitter

December 8, 2011 Updates

Five NBA owners voted against the league’s new collective bargaining agreement, commissioner David Stern said Thursday following the conclusion of the league’s Board of Governors meeting. The identities of those five teams were not disclosed, and Stern joked that the over/under on negative votes as set at 8 before the ballots were cast. SheridanHoops

Chris Sheridan: Stern says it's fair to say this will be his last deal. He won't be around in 10 years, and maybe not in 6 (when either side can opt out.). Twitter

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