You often hear of NBAers saying they’re much better prepared for a work stoppage this time around (as opposed to the last time, in 1998-’99), which is mainly due to the Players Association having driven home the threat of a lockout for a number of years. From the Times-Picayune: “But what of players such as forward Jason Smith, who last season played with the Hornets for just more than $3 million and finds himself now an unrestricted free agent with no prospect of employment until a new collective bargaining agreement can be approved and teams can once again go about the business of basketball? ‘You just have to be as prepared as possible,’ Smith said. ‘And I think a lot of people in the NBA are prepared, myself being one of them. Being prepared to maybe forego no NBA season next year. You have to be prepared financially, prepared to continue to stay in shape and continue to work in the offseason and be prepared for something to happen at any time. I’ve just basically saved for a rainy day. Just manage your finances, your budget, to make sure you cut back on unneeded things. And just be prepared in case the lockout does go on for a long time, and just stay optimistic about it.’ Smith said he has been warned about the lockout possibility since he came into the league in 2007. ‘It’s kind of progressive,’ Smith said.’ At first it was ‘be prepared for a lockout.’ Then ‘there is going to be a lockout.’ Then ‘it could be a long lockout.’ It’s basically just prepare for the worst, expect the best.’”