HoopsHype Lockout rumors


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
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

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

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