Saturday, November 26th, 2011 at 7:32 am  |  141 responses

Players, Owners to End Lockout

Agreement reached on ’11-12 season.

After 149 depressing days, NBA owners and players have finally reached a tentative agreement to end the NBA lockout. The deal was agreed on early Saturday, and if all goes according to plan, the League will begin a delayed, 66-game season on Christmas Day. After a secret meeting earlier this week, the two sides met for more than 15 hours Friday, working to try to save the season. For the lockout to officially be lifted, however, the deal must be ratified by both owners and players in the upcoming days. Not to speak too soon, but ladies and gentlemen, it seems our prayers have been answered!

AP has the details:

NEW YORK — NBA owners and players reached a tentative agreement early Saturday to end the 149-day lockout and hope to begin the delayed season on Christmas Day.

NBA Commissioner David Stern said it was “subject to a variety of approvals and very complex machinations, but we’re optimistic that will all come to pass and that the NBA season will begin Dec. 25.”

Barring a change in scheduling, the 2011-12 season will open with the Boston Celtics at New York Knicks, followed by Miami at Dallas in an NBA finals rematch before MVP Derrick Rose and Chicago close the tripleheader against Kobe Bryant and the Lakers.

The league plans a 66-game season and aims to open training camps Dec. 9. Stern has said it would take about 30 days from an agreement to playing the first game.

“All I feel right now is ‘finally,’” Dwyane Wade told The Associated Press.

Just 12 days after talks broke down and Stern declared the NBA could be headed to a “nuclear winter,” he sat next to union executive director Billy Hunter to announce the deal.

“We thought it was in both of our interest to try to reach a resolution and save the game and to be able to provide the mind of superb entertainment the NBA historically has provided,” Hunter said.

A majority on each side is needed to approve the agreement. The NBA needs votes from 15 of 29 owners. (The league owns the New Orleans Hornets.) Stern said the labor committee plans to discuss the agreement later Saturday and expects them to endorse it and recommend to the full board.

The union needs a simple majority of its 430-plus members. That process is a bit more complicated after the players dissolved the union Nov. 14. Now, they must drop their antitrust lawsuit in Minnesota and reform the union before voting on the deal.

Because the union disbanded, a new collective bargaining agreement can only be completed once the union has reformed. Drug testing and other issues still must be negotiated between the league and the players.

“We’re very pleased we’ve come this far,” Stern said. “There’s still a lot of work to be done.”

The settlement first was reported by CBSSports.com.

Participating in the talks for the league were Stern, deputy commissioner Adam Silver, Spurs owner Peter Holt, the chairman of the labor relations committee, and attorneys Rick Buchanan and Dan Rube. The players were represented by executive director Billy Hunter, president Derek Fisher, vice president Maurice Evans, attorney Ron Klempner and economist Kevin Murphy.

Owners locked out the players July 1 and the sides spent most of the summer and fall battling over the division of revenues and other changes owners wanted in a new collective bargaining agreement. They said they lost hundreds of millions of dollars in each year of the former deal, ratified in 2005, and they wanted a system where the big-market teams wouldn’t have the ability to outspend their smaller counterparts.

Players fought against those changes, not wanting to see any teams taken out of the market when they became free agents.

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  • Stan the Boy Taylor

    *Excited giggling*

  • Overtime

    I believe nothing until the ball is thrown up for that first tipoff.
    Having said that, when a deal is officially done, I’m expecting something big when I click onto this site SLAM

  • http://www.slamonline.com Jahmai

    In all likelihood this deal will hold up when the votes are counted. I wouldn’t be suprised if MJ still won’t accept along with his new buddies he has created in this lockout. I also hope the players are smart enough to realize this is as good as it gets, I’m very very confident most players will accept. Alot of them don’t even know the details, they just want to play ball. Let’s Play Some ******* Ball!!

  • underdog

    Better later than never. “Drug testing and other issues still must be negotiated between the league and the players.” We’ll see…

  • http://slamonline.com jumpman22

    Breaks’s over kids. Back to the class on you seats. Quickly

  • http://slamonline.com jumpman22


  • EtheKnickFan

    Heard the Basketball wives ended the lockout. Straight punked Stern. You know this coincided with black friday right? Tiffanys sale. Those wives/GF’s weren’t playin. Now stern knows the power of the poonani!

  • Mvp23100

    Bout damn time

  • John Peck

    About time it’s back….my mentoy, Andrew Gaze, will be very pleased.

  • John Peck

    About time it’s back….my mentor, Andrew Gaze, will be very pleased.

  • Zack

    Hope they didn’t take the 50-50.

  • http://slamonline.com Brad Long

    Hell yeah.

  • buschfire

    I’m getting my Christmas wish!! Santa is real!!

  • MarkyB

    Im waiting for Stern to retire, although it would be weird seeing a different signature on a Spalding NBA ball.

  • robb

    Don’t play with my feelings m*therf*ckers, don’t play with my feelings…

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com Moose

    They’ve really lowered my excitement. Screw em.

  • http://www.slamonline.com J


  • http://www.slamonline.com J

    hopefully for real.

  • Zabbah

    This is like getting a blow job from David Stern.


    Oh happy day oh happy day come on yall sing it


    Oh happy day oh happy day come on yall sing it

  • Justin

    Zabbah…uhhh…what? PLEASE let this happen. It sounds pretty good right now, even with the smaller issues still to be smoothed out but I can’t wait now

  • http://staticseth.blogspot.com Seth

    This is a big relief for me! I’d really be disappointed if there was no season. Can’t wait for things to get rollin’.

  • http://www.optimabbc.be Max

    (yes yes yes yes)

  • AMPduppp

    Damn…part of me is hyped for this, but I also kinda wish the players had formed their own league….it’d be like the ABA pt. 2

  • Dope(Georgia Boy)

    let’s get it shawty!!!!!!!!!!!! *jeezy voice*

  • http://www.optimabbc.be Max

    Aaaaaand it’s time for all the Nuggets to break the team rules

  • http://slamonline.com The Philosopher

    Now, it is back to great in – season basketball dicussion concerning a fresh product.
    Shout out @Allenp for his masterful discern of the logistics of the lockout.
    Shout out @Jukai for being generally tolerable…
    Shout out @SLAM for maintaining its status as the preeminent AND premiere site in the world.
    And shout out @myself for being…

  • http://slamonline.com The Philosopher


  • Alex K

    This is really exciting news. However I’ve been excited about an agreement before.

    Poll: The NBA owners and players have reached a tentative agreement to end the lock out. Will it be approved to start games Dec. 25?

    Vote: http://www.wepolls.com/p/5614631/


    Just wakin’ up in the mornin’ gotta thank god. I don’t know but today seems kinda odd. No more talk ’bout the season being in jeopardy. I’m still shaking off last nights party. Soon the Knicks will be dishin’ and a swishin’. Damn, I gotta say, today was a good day!!!

  • Sergeant Awesome

    I’ll say this, SLAM is not where I come for basketball news anymore, always at least a few hours behind the eight-ball. It’s the articles and commenters I’m here for.

  • http://www.slamonline.com J

    oh well, welcome back fellas.
    lets go get that ring bron.


    This already great weekend for me is only going to get greater, when GANG GREEN beats the stuffing out of the Bills at JetLife Stadium along with the Eagles pulling out a W versus the Patsies. CAN’T WAIT!

  • http://www.slamonline.com J

    shoutout @ philo..
    long live basketball..

  • http://slamonline.com The Philosopher

    Shout out @my guy, J.

  • Zabbah

    Oh man, that came out wrong.

  • Hart

    great christmas present!

  • http://redoftoothandclaw.ca niQ


  • mike

    I’m not believing nothing till I see training camps. The players have to drop their court case, reform their union, and then have their 430 players vote on it, needing a majority to agree to their half of the deal. And when in the meetings yday only the the owners were video consulted on things, there were only 3 players in the room im pretty sure, so the deals probably only going to be marginally more attractive than the one they thought was so bad they decided to decertify the whole union from. The new CBA takes a lot away from the middle class/rank-and-file, which makes up most of the league. And don’t even mention the 10 or so hard line owners which would happily lose a whole season or more just to take even more from the players, and whether Stern will take a 15/29 vote or whether he will want a big majority as he’s always maintained. A ‘tentative’ agreement indeed.

  • GC6

    Ron Artest must have beat Mj


    I hope the Knicks get the Heat at the Garden on Christmas.

  • angus

    hopefully stern has forgotten all about rigging games for his lakers

  • http://dsfjklf.com Jukai


  • O

    I don’t care who they get, I just hope the Knicks WIN on opening day, period.

  • Bojangles

    Whoop, there it is

  • chingy

    Christmas present!

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    This wait till Christmas will honestly take me back a to my childhood of actually counting down the days till Christmas. It’s going to seem like forever though because that’s still a month away from now. Prepare for the longest month of your lives gents.

  • http://slamonline.com YKnoT

    Cue mass exits from all places international!

  • http://www.facebook.com/#!/joe.l.brewer3 BlackPhantom


  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    So in the end, Darth Stern really serves the big market teams like LA and Miami (the moneymakers) before he serves the small-market teams (the majority of NBA owners).

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    They should just start the season next week… But this is good. I’m insanely basket-balled starved still.

  • phamp44

    lol so does anyone know whats going to happen to the players that signed overseas? nuggets look pretty screwed.

  • MikeC.

    What a great way to start my day! High fives for everyone!!!

  • http://www.slamonline.com megatron

    I bet JR smith wishes his contract was terminated now..

  • http://wikipedia.org Eddie1

    Michael Jordan will not let this pass. And he’ll intimidate those that do. Illuminate me sonnnnn.

  • http://nba.com GP23

    Ok so predictions everyone for the new season… I’m going Heat and Lakers Finals, with the Heat winning in 6. LeBron Finals MVP, and Kevin Durant League MVP.

  • http://www.facebook.com/#!/joe.l.brewer3 BlackPhantom

    I can’t make any Finals predictions yet, but I think Durant will probably MVP, with Derrick Rose, Lebron, Dwight Howard, and Chirs Paul being candidates(Heck, maybe even Blake Griffin or Kobe Bryant, depending on if Kobe wants it)

  • http://Slamonline.com Caboose

    To quote the Matrix,
    “Zion! It’s over! It’s over! The war is over!”
    -Commence screaming by Zion (Slamily)

  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    Time to go to work, kids!

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    Who will be MIP?

  • http://nba.com GP23

    ROY- Ricky Rubio
    MIP- Jrue Holiday
    Defensive Player of the Year- Dwight Howard (again)

  • http://www.facebook.com/#!/joe.l.brewer3 BlackPhantom

    Hmm….Good Question, maybe Tyler Hansborough, or George Hill, or if Greg Oden overcome his knee problems and have a double-double season then him.

  • http://www.facebook.com/#!/joe.l.brewer3 BlackPhantom

    Dang I forgot to mention Jrue

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    All I know is that I despise Chris Broussard and his army of so-called sources with a passion.

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    Called this. There was no way Stern let’s a missed season tarnish his legacy.

  • http://Slamonline.com Caboose

    We can’t make season predictions yet. Free agency hasn’t opened and no trades have been made. That said, Dwight will win DPOY and the Heat will be in the Finals.

  • http://nba.com GP23

    6th man of the year- James Harden (although it baffles me how he doesn’t start for the Thunder)

  • Overtime

    Would love Tyler to get the MIP. Tony Allen for DPOY

  • g-wiz


  • Overtime

    Good call GP23 on Harden

  • http://www.nba.com VanCityBBall

    im actually crying tears of joy right now

  • http://www.offthebackboard.wordpress.com OTB

    Awesome news to wake up to. Enough of this resolve vs. greed crap – let’s get the season started.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    I really hope someone else steps up and wins DPOY because I’m tired of DHow winning it year after year based off default and the lack of quality bigs. I was watching the 93 Hornets vs Celtics last night and even though I knew that shotblockers were at a premium in the 90s, I was shocked to hear that Zo’s 3.5bpg in 93 only ranked 4th behind Hakeem, Deke and Shaq. DHow blocks 2.4 shots a game and everyone acts like he’s an all-world defender. The guy would have barely cracked the Top-10 in BPG in the 90s.

  • http://nba.com GP23

    Thanks Overtime !

  • http://twitter.com/#!/MichaelJR_NZ Michael NZ

    Got goosebumps when I heard this. Still, will wait for the vote… then celebrate.

  • Andrew Woods

    Wow, xmas is saved!!! Now I can look forward to shaq and barkley hating on each other and the league

  • Overtime

    cosign JTaylor

  • http://www.offthebackboard.wordpress.com OTB

    Yeah, the 90s had GREAT centers all around. Hell, even guys like Rik Smiths or Sabonis were better than most of the centers running around today.

  • http://www.facebook.com/#!/joe.l.brewer3 BlackPhantom

    Great point, JTaylor

  • shutupallenp

    @otb ive been saying that for so long now, I seriously believe greg ostertag, charles oakley or the daniels boys from the pacers would shut down dwight on both ends and please rodman would have him run back to mommy, I remember Rik Smits giving patrick Ewing fits. Wasnt it the Dunkin dutchman? lmao

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    The rules are a lot different now. And teams play through the perimeter, not the post, unlike the 90′s (and every error before it) Dwight would still be a good defensive center in the 90s. Not the best, but he’d still be really good.

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    Hey Laker fans, Stephen A Smith says Kobe is jumpin out the gym right now, puttin the ball between his legs. Hope it lasts but that is a scary.

  • http://www.facebook.com/#!/joe.l.brewer3 BlackPhantom

    @nbk Really? I mean I’ve seen vids over the summer that proves Kobe’s knees are waaaay healthier than previous years(He can still do the 360) but between the legs?? Wow.


    jtaylor it’s not only the blocks (2.4 is nothing to sneeze at either) but it also includes his rebounding. the last 4 seasons superman averaged 14.2 in 08 13.8 in 09 13.1 in 2010 and 14.1 last year. those are monster numbers right there

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    Did I say he was a bum defensively? NO. He’s a great defensive player for this era but compared to other great defensive centers from past eras, he can’t hold a candle to those guys.

  • LA Huey

    While Dwight might have a rough time adjusting to playing in the 90s, the bigs from that will have fits adjusting to the quick whistles refs have on these days. That being said, the people that vote on this stuff really don’t have much respect to what the defenders that lack star powers do around this league.

  • Heals

    Cool, cool. OTB – that I think has had a bigger impact on level of play than lack of fundamentals of American born players, or highlight chasing or whatever excuse people try to come up with for the change in the games style now. Those bigs helped work an inside-out game, pick and pop, back to the basket, etc. that created more aesthetically pleasing game, which is absent from many teams nowadays…

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    Yeah Phantom, but this lockout season gonna put his knees through hell. So you never know how long this will last.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    LA, refs were just as quick with their whistles during the mid 80s and 90s. Deke, Hakeem, ZO, and Eaton all avg. around 3.5 fouls per game during their defensive primes. A couple of seasons they even cracked the 4 FPG barrier (DHow has yet to come close to avg. 4 FPG). It has less to do with the way the game is being reffed and more to do with those guys being superior defenders/shot-blockers. DHow has all the athletic ability in the world but he lacks those guys’ defensive awareness and timing.


    Kobe’s “injuries” are always leaked to be much worse than they really are, this way he has a built in excuse if he plays bad, and is a warrior if he plays well. It’s true…just as true as Kobe playing defense only when he wants to. You know, when he’s not arguing with the refs when he doesn’t get a call at the offensive end, while the rest of his teammates are running back on defense.

  • http://www.facebook.com/#!/joe.l.brewer3 BlackPhantom

    @nbk I’ll hope and pray it lasts all season, if we start seeing glimpses of ’06-’08 Kobe are Finals chances are stronger than last year’s

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    Let’s just remember who’s the one reporting this; Stephen A Smith. Just thought I would put that out there.


    ^ I feel good for Stephen A. Smith…now he can get back to talking about basketball.

  • http://www.leaguelineup.com/welcome.asp?url=pawtucketymca Gametimeweezy

    Excellent job in saving the season!

  • Hybrant


  • http://dodgers.com Joey E.

    do we boycott league pass and going to games still?

  • hamond

    i’d like to take this opportunity to say f*ck all the ppl who said they didnt care about the nba and could easily just replace it with college basketball. college basketball?! really?! the talent level is no where near the nba. college players play with more heart?! did you not see rondo dislocate his elbow and come back into the game? sorry just had to hate on those haters

  • http://Aol QG

    NbapA plays harball….noW we get to see who nicest NoW

  • http://www.thatblogcray.com Anton

    If they charge us regular price for League Pass, heads will roll.

  • Yann Blavec

    I guess SLAM’s lockout counter will end on monday.

  • Heals

    Amen hamond! I’ve gotten into a few arguments with those “fake” fans myself over the past few months. If 95% of NBA games were on 1 day a week, easier lines to bet (1 game a week would do that), able to be “hyped” up for 6 days and had an easier fantasy league system (1 game a week would do that) it would be equally as popular as the NFL. Because football imposes it’s agenda on lifestyles, while the NBA’s schedule and extracariculars seem to fit around lifetsyles people are fooled into thinking/too stubborn to admit that they didn’t miss the game. Uck em’ though, cause we all know their frauds, Johnny-come-lately’s, people who like what other people like cause other people like it. I know I’m going off on a tangent, but I couldn’t stand hearing that type of shht from supposed hoops fans…

  • Enigmatic

    Word. League pass better come hella cheap this year.

  • http://ggfhh.com Jukai

    I think the ticky tac fouls and overt charge calls… Have kinda killed the centers ability to get those block

  • http://ggfhh.com Jukai

    Looks like it is all but official. Remember when I said going to court would help and Eddie/Bull22/several others said I didn’t know anything?
    Well, there’s no way to really prove the lawsuit helped, but I’m calling it a victory anyway!

  • robb

    JTaylor21 with the truth right there.

  • shutupallenp

    has anyone seen what the deal contains? im just curious how bad the players got screwed

  • shutupallenp

    and can anyone tell me how the dpoy cannot play defense on his man? was i the only one that saw pau bust dwights ass? I mean for all those blocks how many come on man to man D? I think dwight has so much potential but i just cant seem to warm up to him because he lacks that competitive fire, he let nate jump over him, basically giving away the slam dunk title. Im not saying you cant smile all the time, but the truly great winners of the nba past were killers, and Dwight is lacking that

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    “changeyourname” Go to sheridanhoops

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    Quick! Someone get Jukai his reading glasses.

  • ripslam

    DStern throwing up Blood on the front page? LOL

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    @RicBucher: Here’s what I have on the new deal so far and what has to happen next. Adding as I get more, so check back: http://t.co/pXudohEe

  • http://www.kb24.com The Seed

    Lakers now can work on getting that ring again. BOOK IT!!

  • http://slamonline BossTerry

    The BEST part about the lockout ending- UNFROZEN CAVEMAN can turn-off his “Billy Mays” button.. :)

  • JoeMaMa

    Let’s all remember a few things about this lockout: 1. They were fighting over OUR money. Everyone who loves the game, buys the merch, league pass, goes to the games, etc., pays for this league. 2. The dirty laundry of professional sports was aired these past few months. The NBA really isn’t about the fans, the heart, the passion, the magic of basketball. We all knew that, but I don’t think anyone realized the imbalance of money > the game. The game of basketball is being pimped, and we’ve all seen how, in the past year, the league lost its soul. 3. We, the consumers, have been treated as non-factors in this ugly showdown. I think we’d all be better off to buy less league merchandise. I doubt that anyone will cut off NBA basketball cold turkey, but in light of the sinister events that have come to light, I think that we should stop buying as much merchandise, going to as many games, and supporting these greedy, black-hearted owners, and self-entitled players. I hope we’ve all learned that even simple, enjoyable games, pastimes, and sporting events that we’ve grown up around are, in fact, grossly perverted, albeit highly entertaining, displays of greed, power, and some may argue, covert racism. This lockout has been a nasty awakening to the putrid side of pro sports. I can’t look at them the same again.
    We love the game; we won’t be able to shy away from the NBA. But if I want to see some pure ball, I’ll go to a high school gym.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    I’ve been a devoted NBA fan my entire existence and I’ve never been to a NBA game or bought a jersey, the only thing I’ve spent money-wise on the NBA is LP. It has nothing to do with despising them for being all about the mighty dollar because at the end of the day, it’s a business.
    Also, there is nothing pure about HS or college basketball. Just because those guys aren’t paid to play ball doesn’t mean it’s pure or a better form of basketball. It’s all about skills and no other league or level comes close to the NBA.

  • http://www.facebook.com/#!/joe.l.brewer3 BlackPhantom

    (Finish my sentence)Early-Season Finals Favorite is….

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    Miami and OKC.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    If the NBA is as entertaining as before I will keep supporting it the same. Of course since I don’t by tickets, League Pass or merchandise all that means is I will provide eyes. If the give us a good deal I will get League Pass though.
    I don’t feel betrayed because I always knew it was a business. In my business I care about my money. I wouldn’t expect anything different from other folks no matter what they do.

  • http://www.facebook.com/#!/joe.l.brewer3 BlackPhantom

    I agree, even though my favorites are subject to change

  • http://wikipedia.org Eddie1

    Lakers vs. Celtics. Final Battle fight!

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    Yeah me 2, I think by the end of the trade deadline in march it’ll probably be Miami and LA as the “favorites”

  • Dingo Rob

    Feels great, I don’t believe this has done any long term damage to the NBA I’m looking forward to watching history being made and the stories and challenges the game brings to teams and players.

    I wonder what happens with fixtures? Does this mean Miami VS Mavs on Christmas day still>?

  • ALEX80

    So be it.

  • DukeFromDeep

    Clippers Knicks(That’s with CP3)…

  • http://www.slamonline.com house

    Slam needs to start the countdown to the next lockout imo because it WILL happen again.

  • http://www.optimabbc.be Max

    Look out for the Grizz.

  • Overtime

    (finish my sentence) The biggest name to be traded before season starts will be…

  • Thomas

    Likei have been saying in the last 3 months…..THERE WILLBEASEASONANDIKNOWIT!!!!!!!!!!!

  • ThaWindy

    I was just about to give the NBDL a try.

  • http://slamonline 3kings

    yahhhh!! Now we can watch my heat win the title this year!!!!!!!! kobe sucks

  • Tyree

    @3kings worry about the Eastern conference instead of Kobe

  • http://knicks.com Gametimeweezy

    JTaylor where you live man? It’d be great if you could catch live NBA game someday. It’s such a great experience. I live in Providence, RI I go check out the Celtics and Knicks a few times a year and my uncle always got box seats at Madison Square Garden. I know times is tough but just try to make it out there one day. You a diehard fan so I know you’d appreciate seeing these dudes ball. I’m just happy the players weren’t totally screwed and I can’t wait to take my kids to a game.

  • http://knicks.com Gametimeweezy

    Basketball don’t stop these dudes would play for free just like me.. I can’t stand ppl saying they are greedy and want more money. When it came down to it they just wanted the FREEDOM to play in America where they choose. Not to be limited to play for a sucky team when you only have so many years left. Or to play closer to home. It makes a big difference. Yea we know its a business but can we pretend for a moment that the players aren’t cattle. Just like every other sport I think THAT was the biggest thing for the last 5 months.

  • Byebye

    The lockout is over I can talk about my favorite subject the HEAT it’s time to get it in

  • Galagu

    Nice, Marvin Williams can finally resume his dominance

  • http://slamonline.com Tae

    Lakers 2011-2012 champs!!! Lets get it

  • Taeng Malapot

    Finally!!!! What a nice present for christmas too! we can finally see knicks play a whole season with melo on the team! this is gonna be exciting!

  • Scot Peirson

    Look, folks–did anyone notice that, ten days after the Player’s Association decertified and the antitrust lawsuits started getting filed that La Commish got back to the table and got a deal done??!? Here’s what the deal is–La Commish likely talked to some antitrust experts after the decertification. He was told that it didn’t matter whether the case went to court in four weeks, four months, or four years–the players were going to have a real good chance of getting a win in court. In a situation where Stern had told Billy Hunter two years before July 1 that they were going to lock the players out without a new deal, and the “small-market” owners–which I consider to be a cover-term for the idiots Stern has protected–Sterling, Gilbert, Sarver, etc.–the league was bluntly using it’s monopoly status as the only professional basketball league in North America and forcing a reworked deal. This was NEVER a negotiation. But it blew up in Stern’s face. Reality for the players was that they were going to have to give up on the 57-43 BRI split. But Stern’s biggest problem was bending over backwards for the hardliners, especially when this league–as are all the major sports in North America–are highly dependent on the success of the major market franchises, ESPECIALLY New York and Los Angeles. For all the league’s posturing about trying to create competitive balance with revenue sharing and the more punative money leveled if teams are over the cap. When it comes down to the Finals next summer, does the L want a OKC/Atlanta Final (for example) or does it want the Lakers and Chicago??!? The answer is a simple question–WHICH FINAL WOULD DRAW HIGHER RATINGS??!?
    See, this is why I suspect that, once the L gets past all this and gets back to work, very quietly the large-market owners are going to start reasserting who really runs this L. Bet that the Jerrys–Reinsdorf in Chicago, and Buss in LA–Wyc Grousbek in Boston, Micky Arison in Miami, and Mark Cuban; all of whom are on a limited window because of the age of their teams (Plus Peter Holt–San Antonio might be “small-market”, but the Spurs are in the tight window as well) start getting organized toward getting Stern and the bulk of the NBA front office removed because of allowing the small-market/hardliners to dictate the lockout and negotiations as they did. Plus, and this became painfully apparent every time Stern did an interview or made a public statement–it’s TIME FOR HIM TO GO. He is out of touch with the players, and found that out when D-Wade told him not to point his finger at him when they were at the negotiating table; he never believed that the Player’s Association would disband and then go to court.
    I’m not saying that Billy Hunter and Derek Fisher handled their end particularly well–they were too reactionary through this whole thing, and trusting that this was an honest negotiation, and it never was. But given that there’s a rumor that Isiah Thomas wants to take over as Executive Director of the NBAPA from Hunter, THINGS COULD BE WORSE THAN HUNTER.

  • Justin

    The only thing that bothers me about the lockout being over is that they pre-empted both Game 7 of the Lakers/Pistons finals and game 7 of the Lakers/Mavericks ECF of the same year to run THE SAME EPISODE of Game Time 14 times in a row. I had that Lakers/Pistons game on tape years ago until my mom taped over it and the chance to PVR it was something I was looking forward to. Rewinding Byron Scott dunking over Bill Laimbeer to start the 3rd quarter over and over again just like the old days would have been great

  • http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/7290143/it-just-money Allenp

    Charles Pierce gives a very good eulogy of the Lockout over at Grantland. I’ve been saying what he said for a while, but sadly, not nearly as well.