Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010 at 9:00 am  |  52 responses

Billy Hunter: ‘In all Probability There’s Going to be a Lockout’

by Marcel Mutoni / @marcel_mutoni

Just two months ago, both the Players’ Association and the owners characterized their meetings as cordial and productive. Today, however, things are considerably less jovial and optimistic.

Billy Hunter sounds like a man who’s ready to throw in the towel. The Union chief says that a lockout is all but guaranteed.

The NY Times has the quotes:

“I’d be 99 percent sure as of today that there will be a lockout,” Billy Hunter, the executive director of the National Basketball Players Association, said in an interview at his Harlem office. “I’ve said, ‘Save your money because in all probability there’s going to be a lockout.’ ”

It was the most dire prediction that Hunter has issued since the league and the union began discussing a new collective bargaining agreement to replace the deal that expires in July. Negotiations have been almost nonexistent. Each side has effectively rejected the only proposal made by the other. No meetings are scheduled, although the two sides have discussed meeting in late December.

Hunter, in full-court press mode, added that NBA team owners are being unreasonable in their demands. So, there’s that.

This is all just part of the negotiating gamesmanship between the two sides, of course, but should things reach a critical point and a lockout does indeed take place next summer, Hunter said the union has set aside a $175 million war chest to assist players in need.

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  • http://www.yamahyouth.com Germs

    Come to Europe all!

  • Tombomb

    Dont they realise that if the game isnt getting played then nobody gets paid!!!!


    No no noooo. We just started an amazing season that already made billions for these wild billionaires. Now they are refusing to share the wealth created by the fans with their players.


    Time to contract teams that aren’t pulling their weight!

  • http://thekobebeef.wordpress.com LDR4

    The NBA’s fail whale grows ever nearer.

  • reflex

    cosign Germs!

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

    A war chest of 175 million dollars. Thats LeBron, Wade and Bosh giving a little over a third of each of their contracts…. Thats not a war chest. Thats the change these boys loose down the back of the couch at home.

  • ShadiestBen

    I hope this is posturing!

  • http://itsahardwoodlife.blogspot.com omphalos

    Is this going to happen every time a CBA expires? guh.

  • http://slamonline.com The Black Rick Kamla

    no football or basketball next year……well I guess this is the MLB’s master plan to attract black youth to baseball again lol

  • http://slamonline.com The Black Rick Kamla

    Real talk if everything fold out like folks are saying then imma hit the closet and fish out my old catchers mit get ready for some of that America’s pastime

  • robb

    he’s bluffing

  • Anon e Mouse

    IAMORANGE4EVER – dude shhhhhh. Not so loud or we could be looking for a new team.

  • MikeC.

    ^^^NY will never contract. No matter how bad the Knicks are. Being in NY makes them media kingpins. Even stupid, ridiculous non-stories about the Knicks get more play than real stories about other teams. It sucks, but it’s a fact. How many stories have we read about Felton for Nash trade rumors vs how many stories we’ve read about the Spurs being the top team in the league? I’m a Knick fan and it pisses me off that other teams don’t get the media love they deserve.

  • LB

    Looks like Lebron will be taking his talents to South Greek Beach next year

  • JTaylor21

    Man, fu*k David Stern and all the owners. I can’t believe that they are really trying to lockout next season and rob true basketball fans of their first love. I better not hear anyone defending the owners or bashing the players for the lockout.

  • donlaker

    will that disagreement finnally kill the show basketball wives, that chick that was involved with olawakandi, can u say florida hooker/loser
    i guess some of the players should take up ballet,
    and im sure hakeem the dream will get many calls this summer

  • donlaker

    jerry buss and mark cuban get a pass
    can u say n.f.l. or d league go nascar…..

  • WangChung

    ^NFL & Nascar already draw more fans than the League. Time for hockey to get some love!

  • http://www.twitter.com/TheDiesel Anton

    Watch them still charge us for League Pass and be unavailable for a refund.

  • benno

    nascar is by far the dumbest sport in the world

    just a bunch of red necks driving around in a circle

  • http://slamonline.com The Black Rick Kamla

    don’t know if you guys know but the NFL is almost certaintly going to see a lockout next year

  • http://dez@nba.com dez

    just trim down the number of teams, have each team have 3 superstars, and lets see these awesomely stacked teams go at it

  • http://dodgers.com Joey E.

    there will be a lockout this summer for sure like Hunter says, but im betting it’ll end before the season begins. no big deal. just banter back and forth. BUT, if the lockout does go into the season, and if the season is lost, boy that would suck hard

  • Jose

    Next year may be a dark one for sports…College Ball is going to have to pick up the weight along w/NHL and MLB…if that happens though, at least we won’t see any 1-and-dones from hoops.

  • donlaker

    i will be happy to watch shawn kemp overweight abd out of shape play 3 on 3 basketball at venice beach
    is that travis knight and j.r. rider on your team
    i love this game

  • http://www.twitter.com/gerardhimself Gerard Himself

    Damn it.

  • Josh

    Euroleague and Acb is so much better anyways!!

    Anyone wanna see a real pg!! Teodosic! Rubio! Rodriguez! Huertes! and the real talent is the new 3/4s who are 6ft 8/9 with sily perimeter skills check out Marko Keselj, Dusko Savanovic, Novica Velikovic!!!!

  • Exile

    Not a huge players union fan in these debates, but the owners are not guilt free by any stretch.

  • donlaker

    dan gilbert since you got rid of your witness
    give some perks too your cavs, those other guys u said were the key to getting you your chip without the witness.. so kik rocks and kik in …so what they want a parking spot, i know you saveed some of the millions bron got you p.a.b. unions make the world fall down(see california)

  • http://www.slamonline.com Clyde

    Lame. The owners can kick rocks….

  • http://www.need4sheed.com Tarzan Cooper

    Wheres prop joe when you need him? Damn you marlo!

  • tRay

    Damn now I gotta watch Nascar and the NHL. SMFH the apocolypse is near.

  • http://www.need4sheed.com Tarzan Cooper

    Since a few ppl have mentioned nascar, ill say somn on it. Ahem, WHAT IS THE FUKKING POINT IN DRIVING IN A CIRCLE FOR 500 MILES!!!??!?!. If co2 emmisions and protecting the environment and ozone layer is so important, why are these cretins allowed to continue with this nonsense???! THESE INBRED DIMWITS HAVE WHAT? 50 CARS DRIVE 500 MILES, IN ADDITION TO PRACTICE, EVERY WEEK!!!! FOR MOST OF THE YEAR!!!!! How badly does that f up the environment? How much gas and other resources does it waste? And that doesnt count the huge trucks that transport the cars across the country. If the govt really cared about protecting the earth, they would end nascar right now! Indy and drag racing too! Auto ‘sports’ IS THE DUMBEST THING OF ALL TIMES!! WHY IS THIS POINTLESS DESTRUCTIVE ACTIVITY ALLOWED TO CONTINUE?!?!?!

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

    ^ ROFL @ Tarzan. Kind of true, but I wouldn’t be that in extreme in my denunciation of it. But still, ROFL.

  • The Philosopher

    Tarzan’s G.O.A.T. status continues…

  • lockon

    no damn lock out pls. damn greedy owners

  • http://www.basketbrasil.com.br Rubens

    Slam, please preasure the NBA owners with the Shawn Bradley pictures again. If I remember correctly there was one that never saw the light of day. It is time!

  • Groves

    Time to follow netall or womens basketball

  • http://www.twitter.com/TheDiesel Anton

    @Tarzan – while I agree with the Nascar thing, if we took off all cars on the planet starting tomorrow we’d still be environmentally screwed for a couple hundred years. Don’t mean to be a buzzkill though.

  • JalepinoSausage


  • http://www.need4sheed.com Tarzan Cooper

    Anton, I know all the terrible things people have been doing to the planet since the industrial revolution will not be immediately reversed if nascar halted. But it would be a great start. why pointlessly continue the poisoning of our planet? Since there are restrictions and limits vehicle manufacturers have to adhere to, it would only make sense to discontinue blatantly hypocratic, pointless, and destructive things such as nascar.

  • SuperDuppaFly

    @Tombomb thats the whole point, in order to save money like the 98-99 lockout! Players are getting over paid anyways.

  • http://slamonline.com Ugh

    The phrase ‘war chest’ is insulting.

  • rikson

    Why is it so hard for players to accept a little paycut..?! I mean they make WAYYY too much money playing ball! Plus I dont think, that all NBA teams generate profit for their owners – tbh maybe 2-5 teams that make cash. The rest of the teams will always depend on “little” financial boosts from the owner. But thats ok with the owners, bc its like a game for super-rich people…

  • http://www.myspace.com/freedmusic fredd

    Tarzan, i don’t know if you’re from the usa, but to read that kind of thing is great. Not that you ” insult ” the dumbs loving nascar, cos’ it’s not worthy, but to have this conscious of the silliness of the situation … the environement etc … it’s real great … now i hope … ppl won’t be idiots .. i mean, there’s no fight in it, .. we’re all on the same boat, on the same side … but this is the game ” the human’s war against humans ” …

  • http://www.kb24.com The Seed

    I actually blame the players take a 10 to 20% paycut in salaries. They are already over paid, where their kids, kids, kids, kids kids will be living well off. Especailly the ones who make over 5 million a year. So to me the players need to chill. Owners own the team, so if they want to continue to make money let them. If players want to start their own league then do it or own a team themselve. If they can’t get paid for the game you love and make money maybe less. Its no reason for any player to complain. They make easy money, while us regular folk work hard to be thousand aires. So players take less and move on with your life. Beacuse some of us commenting on this would love to be playing in the NBA for just 250,000 a year. If their is a Lockout. I blame everyone, but players need to play and let just the owners ball. BOOK IT!!

  • LA Huey

    The owners should open the books to the public so we can see their actual losses and revenues. I don’t think it’s fair that players’ salaries are available for the world to know but not team operating expenses and gains.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Tarzan is hilarious.
    To other folks
    If the players are overpaid, what are the owners? If the players descendants will be living fine (a blatant lie given the stats about player bankruptcy) then what will the owners kids be doing? Didn’t Stan Kroenke just GIVE a team to his 30-year old son? Crazy.
    The NBA has consistently refused to open its books to an independent auditor. Individual teams count league wide revenues, which come to them like the television and merchandising deals, separate from how they count money from ticket sales and single team merchandising. The biggest moneymaker for the League is its TV contracts, which give payouts to every team, yet those figures aren’t included when STern proclaims that the League is losing money hand over fist. Let’s not even discuss the money drains of the WNBA and D-league.
    You can’t have an honest discussion of who is making money if one party doesn’t even bother to give you the info on how much money is being made.
    The fact that some of you have missed that very salient point is really troubling.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Also, please stop talking about how many people would love to play in the NBA.
    You are not good enough to play in the NBA. Watching you play basketball would suck. Nobody wants to pay hundreds of dollars to see you play because it wouldn’t worth it.

  • simon

    Ridiculous. $175m war chest like thsse overpaid over rated live in an unreal world mo fos need to worry about not being paid for a year! use that money for nawlins maybe……?

  • http://joecooler2u.wordpress.com Joe Huber

    It’s funny how David Stern can change stories at the drop of a hat. He would go on and on about how successful the league is until the CBA comes up and then the story is how no teams make a profit. No doubt just as he controls the refs (wonder how much he gets under the table from bookers in Vegas) he will manipulate things to make it look like the teams aren’t making money. I’m sure for the losing teams that is the case, but half the league makes it to the playoffs. There is so much revenue. I’m sure all they are counting is fan attendance and not merchandising, TV revenue, DVD releases etc.

    I do agree players salaries need to come down to earth and some kind of system needs to be put in place that pays players based on performance and end guaranteed contracts. A player needs to be a superstar to get the guaranteed money in my eyes or else be injured (and then they should only get a portion of the money to avoid a situation like Grant Hill from his Miami days). There is more revenue than ever based on video games, magazines, TV, fan attendance and other merchandising that I highly doubt Stern is being completely honest. Really both sides need to move toward the middle and compromise. I don’t know if the NBA can survive another lockout. You’re talking about Kobe/KG/Ray Allen and some other players last or prime years being cut short for stupidity on both sides of the fence!

    $20 million contracts means you should be a top 20 player. Maybe have players, teams and fans vote and whoever comes out top 20 gets that and nobody else. How many Elton Brands and Iguodalas will make near $20 mill and not even in their best years are they worth close to that?? Both sides need a reality check. In this economy if they lockout there are too many other options and some fans won’t come back. Want to lose more fans?