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So Far 1st 2 Weeks Of NBA Season Cancelled


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Lockout’s real pain felt beyond owners and players

By BRIAN MAHONEY, AP Basketball Writer 3 hours, 10 minutes ago

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NEW YORK (AP)—NBA owners will lose $1 million on average for every game canceled because of the lockout, and players will lose an estimated $350 million a month. The pain, though, may be more acute for thousands of people with no seat at the bargaining table.

Bars, restaurants and hotels will go quiet. Parking spots will go unfilled. And the workers who help make basketball a big event in 30 cities will wonder how long they can get by without it.

“I’m worried that my money situation is going to change—a lot,” said waitress Zuly Molina, who works at a Hooters at the Bayside complex next to the Miami Heat’s home arena. “It was a lot better last year. We had business before every game, during every game with people who couldn’t get tickets watching in here, then after every game. Now it’s gone, except for when they have a concert or something like that.”

Derek Fisher fears the NBA season won't start on time after the latest setback in labor negotiations.

(AP)

Molina said she never believed the NBA would cancel games until Monday, when the league announced it was scrapping the first two weeks of the season—100 games—because owners and players couldn’t agree on a new contract.

She said, “I thought it would be like football,” where the NFL lost preseason games but no regular-season games while it hammered out a deal with players. “They were locked out. They got it situated. I thought the NBA would get it situated.”

There’s no telling when that will happen. Commissioner David Stern indicated that the entire November calendar could be wiped away without a deal by the end of this month, but players and owners had no immediate plans to sit down with each other again.

The cancellations mean that Mark Cuban and his Dallas Mavericks won’t be able to collect their NBA championship rings in the Nov. 1 season opener, and that James Dolan won’t be able to show off his renovated Madison Square Garden to a sold-out crowd when New York hosts the Heat’s Big Three the next night.

But owners might be the lucky ones. They can still recoup some of their losses, and that’s what Stern said they could attempt by toughening their future proposals for a new collective bargaining agreement.

“Well, what we have to do is we have to account for the losses that we’re suffering, so those losses will be factored in as we move forward,” he said Monday night.

Players and owners have each made some concessions but remain far apart on several issues. Each side has sought a 53 percent cut of revenue for itself, though a 50-50 split has been floated informally. Owners also want a higher luxury tax, making it more expensive for teams to spend over the salary cap, but players say that would do too much to discourage teams from offering big contracts.

Players and fans quickly took to Twitter and talk shows, disgusted that the sides couldn’t work out an agreement and were willing to cause so much damage following such a successful season.

“All I can think about, and I’m not trying to sound like I’m on my soapbox here, but all I can think about are the thousands and thousands of arena, team and hospitality employees that are now going to be out of work,” said Andrew Feinstein, a bar owner and season ticket holder in Denver. “I thought the owners and players had an obligation to work this thing out while continuing to play the game, given the dire economic circumstances that are taking place in our country right now.”

A lengthy lockout will be felt strongest in the NBA’s small-market cities. In Salt Lake City, a Marriott hotel was taking cancellations Tuesday for about 40 rooms previously booked by the Memphis Grizzlies the night of Nov. 2. Tyson Lybbert, director of sales and marketing for the Salt Lake Marriott City Center, said each game brings between $5,000 and $10,000 to the chain.

Without a lockout, basketball already would have been back by now. The exhibition schedule was to have opened Sunday, and even preseason games can bring big crowds to restaurants and bars near NBA arenas.

Jim Couch, city manager of Oklahoma City, was concerned for restaurants, hotels and volunteer groups in his city. The Thunder are coming off their most successful season since relocating from Seattle, reaching the Western Conference finals last year behind NBA scoring champion Kevin Durant(notes), and have developed one of the league’s most passionate fan bases.

“What I’m more concerned about than anything else is the momentum that the city has gotten, disrupting the momentum with the Thunder. It was a special year last year with the Thunder, and I think everybody was looking forward to continue that,” Couch said. “I think it’s almost a love affair between the community and the team, and you hate to disrupt that.”

Business went on for the league’s partners. ESPN was scheduled to show seven games during the opening two weeks and plans to replace them mostly with college football and basketball games. TNT will rely on its regular prime-time lineup to fill the six games it would have televised.

Adidas, the league’s official outfitter, and fellow sneaker giant Nike said they remained committed to basketball and could seek additional exposure at the collegiate or international levels.

Stern and union president Derek Fisher(notes) of the Lakers expressed disappointment for fans. Players and owners had the luxury of knowing just how complex the issues were and had two years to prepare themselves financially for a moment that Fisher said was “what we anticipated would probably happen.”

“This is a big blow obviously to our fans, most importantly,” he said. “They don’t have a voice in this fight so far, but we hear them loud and clearly. They want basketball, we want to play basketball, and we’re going to do the responsible thing and try our best to bring them basketball as soon as we possibly can.”

AP Sports Writers Chris Duncan in Houston, Pat Graham in Denver, Lynn DeBruin in Salt Lake City, Dave Campbell in Minneapolis, Jeff Latzke in Oklahoma City, Tim Reynolds in Miami, Anne Peterson in Portland, Ore., Rachel Cohen in New York and AP business writer Sarah Skidmore in Portland, Ore. contributed to this report.

Follow Brian Mahoney on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/Briancmahoney

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check out this shaq interview, hopefully they get the season going since that commentary with charles barkley on tnt will be must see tv!

October 22, 2011, 10:25 am
30 Seconds With Shaquille O’Neal: Off the Court, but Still Going at Full Speed
By JOE BRESCIA

Shaquille O’Neal was in Manhattan the other day, dunking, grabbing rebounds and even making his free throws. After announcing his retirement in June, was he preparing for a comeback after the lockout? No, that was the virtual Shaq; the real O’Neal was controlling his moves on the new digital download of EA Sports NBA JAM: On Fire Edition. O’Neal, an analyst on TNT, was hopeful there would soon be real N.B.A. games.
Q.

Were you surprised that Derek Fisher, your former Lakers teammate, became the union president?
A.

He was always a bright guy. Very, very smart. Very intelligent. Hopefully, he can help both sides get a deal done.
Q.

What do you think about agents’ planning strategy for players?
A.

It’s a touchy situation. Agents have always wanted to be in control. When the checks don’t come in, the players’ agents don’t get paid. So you have to look at what they’re doing it for. Are they doing it for their own pockets or are they doing it for the betterment of the players?
Q.

What do you think about the reported 50-50 revenue split offered by the owners and rejected by the players?
A.

It’s difficult to really know what the numbers are.
Q.

The pressing question fans want answered about the season is, Will Charles Barkley give you any time on TNT broadcasts?
A.

I’m going to get all the airtime. I’m going to handle him like I’ve always handled him. I’m going to knock him out if I have to.
Q.

Kobe Bryant reportedly criticized you about working out when he was in Italy recently. Any response?
A.

No. I don’t need to work out. My numbers speak for itself. My three finals M.V.P.’s speaks for itself.
Q.

What teams do you think can win the title?
A.

Miami is going to come back strong. Boston’s going to come back strong. Orlando’s going to be up there. The Lakers are going to be there.

Q.

Players you enjoy watching?
A.

LeBron, D-Wade, Kevin Durant. The guy I really like to watch is Blake Griffin.
Q.

Do you still want to own a team?
A.

Yes. And I’m looking forward to bringing a team to Newark. I haven’t spoken to Mayor Booker about it yet, but I’m working on it. I know Newark can support an N.B.A. team. And I’m going to be one of the guys that’s going to bring a team there.
Q.

How is your law enforcement career going?
A.

I’m going to be running for undersheriff in Lake County, Fla.
Q.

Is that the career you would have chosen if you did not play basketball?
A.

I’d probably be an F.B.I. agent.
Q.

Your favorite career memory?
A.

Just doing it my way and having a good time.
Q.

Worst career memory?
A.

Losing against the Detroit Pistons. (The Lakers lost to the Pistons, 4-1, in the 2004 N.B.A. finals.)
Q.

Any regrets?
A.

None. But maybe the only regret I have was missing over 200 games due to injuries.
Q.

What is on your iPod?
A.

Lil Wayne, Jay-Z and Kanye West.

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  • 1 month later...

NBA Lockout is Over, Why Owners Are the Clear Winners: Fan’s View

By Joe Dorish, Yahoo! Contributor Network 9 hours, 14 minutes ago

At 3 a.m. on November 26, 2011, the NBA owners and players reached a deal on a new labor agreement, ending the 149 day lockout. The deal calls for a 66 game season in 2011-12, that will begin on Christmas Day, December 25, 2011.

Kevin Garnett massive dunk
Wikimedia Commons

As an NBA fan, I'm relieved the lockout is over. As a New Jersey Nets fan I'm really relieved the deal is done because the Nets are moving to Brooklyn in 2012-13. If the NBA canceled the whole season, the Nets would have never played another game in New Jersey, where I live.

Reading through the details of the new labor agreement, I think it's pretty clear that one side got major concessions from the other. Here's the winners from the new NBA labor agreement.

NBA Lockout is Over, Why Owners are the Clear Winners

Owners Clear Winners in the Deal

The owners got major concessions from the players in the new deal. The biggest concession is that the players have agreed to a 50-50 revenue split of basketball related income (BRI). Under the the old deal, the players received 57% of the BRI. In dollar terms, the players are essentially giving back to the owners some $300 million a year under this deal.

That is roughly the exact amount of money the owners claimed to be collectively losing per season. The players are also giving back minor concessions like shorter guaranteed contracts and a harder salary cap to prevent richer teams from overspending.

Fans Also Win with the New NBA Labor Agreement

The new labor agreement will stretch for 10 years. This will be the longest labor agreement in NBA history. So NBA fans won't have to sit through another labor impasse for many years, possibly up to 10. The deal will last for at least six seasons, then either side can opt out. So NBA fans will have labor peace, and no threat of another lockout for at least six years, and possibly lasting the full 10 years.

As an NBA fan, I cannot stand these labor problems and lockouts. If the NBA had played the entire season in 2011-12, they would have $4 billion dollars to split among the roughly 500 players and owners. Sometimes owners and players need to step back and look at the big picture. Your getting an incredible amount of revenue from the game to split among a very select few, and you can't figure out how to split up $4 billion? Give me a break.

Cannot Call the NBA Players Losers

The NBA players went into the lockout as the highest paid athletes among the major sports in the United States. NBA players were paid, on average, $5.15 million per season. That is significantly more that MLB players make ($3.31 million), NHL players ($2.4 million) and NFL players make ($1.9 million). Even though the NBA players gave back some $300 million a year, they will still be the highest paid athletes in the United States by a huge margin.

You also know that the richer NBA teams, like the New York Knicks, Boston Celtics, Miami Heat, and Los Angeles Lakers will find ways around the salary cap, no matter how hard the owners say it is. That will also likely push the players salaries even higher than they are already projected to go.

Let's Play Some Basketball!

In just one month from today, the NBA will start playing regular season games again. As a big time NBA fan that makes me pretty happy for a number of reasons. The main reason is that I want to see how some of the rookies this season are going to be. As a New Jersey Nets fan I want to see if Marshon Brooks(notes) can step in as a rookie and score like he did in college at Providence. Brooks dropped 52 on Notre Dame last year. Can he do that in the NBA?

As a NBA fan, I also want to see if Jimmer Fredette(notes) can score in the league like he did in college last year for BYU. I want to see if Derrick Williams(notes) is going to be as big a star as I think he will be. I'm also curious to see if Kyrie Irving(notes) can live up to being the first overall pick in the draft. Can Kemba Walker(notes) play in the NBA like he did last season in leading the UConn Huskies to the NCAA Championship?

And, of course, I want to see, like most fans do, whether LeBron James(notes) can go out and win his first NBA Championship this year. LeBron plays a ton of minutes each season, and having a shorter season might work to his advantage. The season will be compressed though, so playing a ton of minutes might still work against him. So can he do it in 2012?

Now that the NBA lockout is finally over, I'm going to be able to watch and get some answers to those questions. I'm also going to be able to see some of the greatest athletes in the world getting back to what they do best. Let's play some basketball!

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It feels great to know the season starts on Christmas with my Bulls taking on the Lakers, it's gonna be wonderful....

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