Monday, August 15th, 2011 at 9:15 am  |  17 responses

Charles Barkley: NBA Owners Want Changes to Free Agency

According to Sir Charles, team owners are seeking to make it harder for NBA free agents to be, well, free agents. From the NY Daily News: “Hall of Famer Charles Barkley predicts owners are going to insist on major changes in free agency in the next collective bargaining agreement. ‘When you have a player like LeBron (James) going to Miami, owners have a problem with that,’ Barkley said at the Hall of Fame induction ceremony on Friday. ‘Teams like Cleveland, to do well and increase in value, they need to keep their star players. This isn’t like baseball where one team can put a bunch of stars together.’”

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  • http://www.slamonline.com UNFROZEN CAVEMAN LAWYER


  • AMPduppp

    This is precisely what the players of the 60s and 70s wanted to get away from, owners being able to keep them locked up for one club. I understand where the owners are coming from in that it was a huge blow to Cleveland when Lebron left, but at the same time the answer should lie with the GM’s, not with changing free agency. Lebron would’ve stayed (or would’ve had a better chance of staying) if Danny Ferry had done more for his superstar besides bringing in Mo Williams and washed-up Shaq. Your players won’t want to leave if you actually surround them with decent talent

  • T-Money

    barkley’s fascination with lebron is getting weird. free agency is not even on the table right now. players andowners are obligated to honor their contracts for the durationof said contracts – what is there to alter? does he want players tosign one-way lifetime contracts where owners can keep, cut or trade them whenever? what is wrong with him?

  • http://slamonline.com Neitel

    THATS SO UNINTERESTING CHUCK,…Fellow Slam Readers: AMPduppp is so right! If not-very-good-player-at-all Danny Ferry had the brains to put a decent team together around lebron, Mr. james would have stayed, since he is from ohio anyways…and he is very loyal, i can guarantee that he would have stayed, but cleveland put Antwan Jaminson, who would show up to play whenever he wanted, Shaq was injured and trying to help at the same time, but he sucked at the free throw line and wasn’t washed up, but wasn’t great at all, then you add mo williams, who can score but he was not a big piece. JJ hickson was by far a good add, not jamario moon. Anyways, BIG teams like the heat, are NOT new, maybe new to a 13 year old, but think back at the 80′s Lakers, think 1993 Bulls, 1996 Bulls, Think 2008 Celtics!!! So…owners need to spend money wisely on their GM’s, a GM who has the brains to put ideas together, whom can save resources and who has a talent for scouting, and keeping talent. Don’t blame the players 100%, sure, lebron could have given the courtesy of telling cleveland he was leaving, but the fault resides on the management personell. As long as free agency exist, players have the options to leave as long as their contract is expired, or they completed their duties. See, i am in the US Army, totally different from entertaintment, however, i wouldn’t want the Army to keep me, or lock me up in a contract for 15 years, when i only signed for 4??!! that will be forced slavery! Charles…you just mad that if the lockout persist, you wont be doing any talking alongside kenny smith, so, you can put the whole TNT squad, including Chris Webber (who didnt help Iverson and Co. when he got to philadelphia) so, ya’ll get your hats ready….All of you are Gone Fishing!!!!

  • bike

    Keeps coming back to not enough superstars to go around. As long as the NBA keeps perpetuating a system where they build a team around a superstar I can’t see any fair way out of this. Losing a star player to free agency or injury will always be a blow but there is something seriously wrong with a team that had the kind of drop off that Cleveland had when LeBron left. Complicating this problem is that most NBA coaches are at the mercy of the franchise player. Piss off the star and the coach is gone. The league is way too star-orientated.

  • T-Money

    Bike: it’s all about replaceability, nothing to do with the league being too star-oriented (whatever that actually means) Its easier to replace a coach with someone else of equal value than it is to replace say, bron, dirk or kobe. but piss off coach pop and you’re outta here too because he’s not easy to replace.

  • mdshuai33

    Here’s what they could do: just make it so the current team can offer them more money. Maybe not a substantially huge amount, but that way the only way they would leave is if their home team doesn’t want to offer that money, or if they really really want out of the place, no matter how much money they offer. Sure there would have to be a lot of stipulations as to how much can be offered, and why, but in general I think its a pretty solid idea.

  • mo

    @mdshuai33 – I think that rule about the current team can offer more money is already in place.

  • T-Money

    Mdshai33: thatsthe current system. Toronto and cleveland offered more money than miami.

  • http://www.kb24.com The Seed

    Listen folks, Lebron could not do it is more of why Danny Ferry could not do it. The Cavs won 60 games back to back and yall act like its the GM fault. Lebron could not produce as the star or as costar with a top 3 player playing with him in Wade. I agree with the owners on this, but everybody is not a PUNK like Lebron and will not make moves like this. How does a back to back MVP leave his hometown and team to be a costar with other players. I don’t blame NBA owners on this rule and a team should be able to offer their home grown player they drafted the most money possible and maybe a franchise tag like NFL can solve this issue to. Because if there was a franchise tag, other teams would have had to go in another direction. I blame PUNK LePIPPEN BOOK IT!!!

  • bike

    The current team can offer more money..a lot more money. That’s what Atlanta did with Joe Johnson. One might argue that Joe is not worth $20 million/season over the next six years but if the owners tell Joe ‘hey, we really like you but it would be irresponsible to pay you more than $5 million/year’ then Joe might walk. The system won’t allow Atlanta to offer the max to a possible replacement. Not Joe’s fault either.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Nobody was going to pay Joe Johnson more than Atlanta even if they hadn’t offered him a complete max deal. Nobody else was that enamored with him. Same thing with Orlando and Rashard Lewis. Now, Gilbert Arenas might have been able to command a max deal on the open market, but the Wizards should have asked whether a core of Gilbert, Jamison and Caron was really competitive since they couldn’t beat LeBron and the Cavs in back to back years.
    Honestly, parity is a myth, even in the NFL. When was the last time the Browns were good? Man, some teams, because of poor management will always be bad. Others just have a take a temporary turn at being bad before they can bounce back. If somebody is a winner, somebody else has to be a loser. That’s how competition and capitalism work.

  • http://bleacherreport.com/articles/791470-lebron-james-vs-dwyane-wade-who-is-the-better-player/page/8 nbk

    I’m pretty sure the owners would kill to have players taking less then market value…..considering the current situation. And teams becoming great, like cleveland is dependent on management improving the team on a consistent basis, so to keep their star players happy. It’s not LeBron’s or Kobe’s (even if he’s under the impression that it is) job to make sure he has championship caliber teammates, it’s their job to produce like the best players in the world (and they did that). San Antonio is a “small market” that has won 4 championships, has 3 all-star caliber players, the best PF of all-time. And have sustained their winning ways for all of the past 12 years. Now I understand they were reporting a net loss after taxes the last 2 years. Which I can’t really explain cuz I don’t know enough about their situation, and is the main reason the owners have any extra (apart from being the guys that sign the checks) leverage in this fight.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    Baseball is doing perfectly fine the last time I checked. Also, baseball scouts and GMs do a way better job scouting prospects and free agents than the NBA does, so there’s less chance of a new acquisition/draft pick becoming a bust.
    What the NBA needs is the exact same revenue sharing system the MLB has, where top earning teams like the RedSox, Yankees and Phillies share a portion of their revenue with the lesser teams like Rays and Pirates. We all know that NBA owners will never agree to that kind of system because the owners of the most profitable franchises don’t want to share any money and the owners that make the least money are too busy trying to save money.

  • http://www.triplejunearthed.com/dacre Dacre

    is unfrozen caveman lawyer taking the ssip out of Eboy?

  • Rick

    This is why Barry Sanders retired while in his “prime”…

  • http://SportsCipher.com Jaamal Braithwaite

    They only have a problem with free agency when they don’t get the names they want. They weren’t complaining when they were trying to persuade LeBron to their team.