HoopsHype Lockout rumors

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

Evans, 33, and Mason, 31, are hoping that their experiences, both on and off the court, will help them eventually land a front office job once their playing days are behind them. “I would love to share my knowledge and my talents in the front office, and somehow use my ability to read people and evaluate talent,” Evans said. “I want to use the great experiences I have, playing on championship-caliber teams, to really help young guys develop and prosper in this league.” “I love the game,” Mason said. “I want to keep playing for awhile but when I’m done, I’ve got the experience of putting together the CBA. I’m very versed in that now and I’m sure I’ll be doing something that can take advantage at that skill set.” HoopsWorld

January 2, 2012 Updates

There's nothing in the new collective bargaining agreement that will prevent Kyrie Irving from leaving Cleveland just the way LeBron James did a season ago. There's no franchise tag, no hard salary cap. But Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert -- who said he voted to ratify the deal -- believes there are some provisions which will help small-market teams from losing their free agents. Speaking to the media prior to Sunday's game, Gilbert said he hopes the rash of star players trying to force their way to larger teams is "a blip" rather than a trend. He also thinks the fact the Cavs ownership group was in place when Irving arrived as opposed to coming in after James had played two years in Cleveland could make a difference. Cleveland Plain Dealer

"People forget we were not here from the beginning of the previous era, we came in [near the end of season two]," said Gilbert, who purchased the Cavs in 2005. "There were two years without us. We weren't able to establish a foundation and a relationship at the beginning. It's a whole different thing now and I really think it will be very different when this core of guys comes up for a contract. "Who knows exactly who will be here and who won't based on what happens in the NBA. If we keep doing the right things in the organization, we keep making the arena and the franchise a great place for players to play and we start winning, things will take care of themselves." Cleveland Plain Dealer

Gilbert said he wasn't "jumping up and down" about the CBA, but thought it was fair and voted in favor of it. Five teams voted against it. He said the portrayal of him as a "hard-line owner" during negotiations was inaccurate as was the characterization of a lot of owners. "There was one thing where [a media outlet was] going owner by owner and their positions," Gilbert said. "You could've taken darts and done a better job. I think sometimes the way the Cavs and our position was portrayed is definitely inaccurate and wrong. I'm glad it's over now and we're moving forward." Cleveland Plain Dealer

December 30, 2011 Updates

We're two weeks out of training camp and a week into the season. How much leftover anger from the lockout are you hearing from players and agents? Ken Berger: Haven't heard much. I think everyone (including myself) needed to shift gears from lockout mode to basketball mode. I do think at some point there will be a power struggle for leadership of the NBPA, as the agents who wanted Billy Hunter out have not changed their minds. CBSSports.com

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

Any rumor missing? E-mail us at   hoopshype@hoopshype.com.