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For those of you who see everything going on with the NFL lockout and think, “I need more lockout,” the NBA is set to feed your addiction. At 12:01 a.m. on Friday the NBA’s current collective bargaining agreement expires and the NBA owners informed the players association that the league will institute the second professional sports lockout of the year. The news came after another failed bargaining session Thursday.
The impeding lockout doesn’t come as a surprise to anyone, because this has been expected and a near certainty for years now. The asinine sideshows we “witnessed” this past year from LeBron James’ “Decision” to the “Melo Drama,” regarding Carmelo Anthony’s trade destination was the gasoline on the fire for the owners that want to seize back some control.
After meeting today, both sides are still miles apart on the issues of the salary cap, player salaries, guaranteed contracts and revenue sharing.
The lockout, as we are well accustomed to now thanks to the NFL, means that business will come to a complete halt starting Friday. Teams will be unable to contact players or make any transactions. Teams also can no longer work out rookies from the 2011 draft class.
Unlike the NFLPA (National Football League Players Association), the NBPA (National Basketball Players Association) has no intentions of decertification. NBA Players Association Executive Director Billy Hunter actually said the players promised not to strike if the owners would in return not lock the players out. Obviously the offer didn’t come with open arms.
The NBA made an offer of a $62 million “flex cap” that would have pared the collective salaries to fit that number. This would lower the maximum amount a team could pay its players. The players are calling that a “hard cap.” Aside from the players making less they would also see nothing from increased revenues from the game.
At the final bargaining session, the players did not come with a new proposal. They continued to try and convince the owners on savings from the previous proposal. Needless to say, NBA commissioner David Stern didn’t agree with the players.
The goal of the owners is to make it easier for smaller market teams to compete and turn a profit. The players suggest that a part of that would be revenue sharing, because currently the richest franchises only share a small amount of their luxury box revenue and none of their local television revenue.
The issue concerning fans now is will this lockout come with the cost of losing games and potentially a shortened season. The last lockout for the NBA came in 1998 and lasted until January, reducing the season to only 50 games instead of 82.
To avoid missing games, a deal would need to be reached by sometime around the start of October. Hunter said that the two sides plan to meet in two or three weeks.
Both sides are still in very different places, so don’t expect a solution any time soon. Neither side appears to want to budge, so now coupled with the NFL we have double the lockout and double the fun.
Follow Brian Moller on Twitter: @Brian_Moller