NBA Lockout Threatens Season

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Tyler Alexander, Staff Writer

A partial season, or no season at all, is where we’re headed in the NBA. Training camp and the preseason have been canceled. The NBA and NBPA met for over four hours on October 4 in Manhattan , New York in a failing effort to try to save the 2012 NBA season. The NBA is in what is called a “lockout” where both the players and the owners want a bigger portion of the NBA’s collective bargaining agreement, thus resulting in more money.

The two sides have not scheduled any more meetings to discus this matter. 

“Today was not the day to get this done.” Derek Fisher, president of the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) said.  

All off-season and preseason activities have been cancelled, along with the first two weeks of the regular season as of Monday, October 10th. 

Due to the fact that regular season games have been canceled, both sides are now hurting financially.  The players union could lose tens of millions of dollars, while the owners are projected to lose hundreds of millions of dollars.

The gap between these two parties remains astounding.  The owners did propose splitting the profits 50/50.  The players declined, staying with their proposal of a 53/47 split. 

Stern does admit he was “taken aback” by the fact that the NBPA declined the offer of a 50/50 split.  The current split is 57/43 in favor of the players. 

“We thought that this was the time… that there was a real opportunity to make progress, but it wasn’t to be.”  Stern said.

            Because a deal has not been reached, it will be the first time since the 1998-1999 season that regular season games are missed due to a labor dispute. During that season, only 50 out of the normal 82 games were played.

There are many secondary effects from a shortened NBA season.  Since games have been canceled, a dramatic spike in players signing to play with teams in leagues overseas is expected.

Kobe Bryant is the most notable player most likely playing overseas.  Bryant’s representatives and Italian club Virtus Bologna are working “intensely” to try and negotiate a deal that will send the Lakers superstar to Italy via a ten-game contract worth more than $3 million. 

New Jersey Nets point guard Deron Williams was one of the first to sign with an international team, signing with Turkey before the thought of playing for an overseas team even occurred to other NBA players.

San Antonio Spurs point guard Tony Parker said he will play with the French ball club ASVEL while awaiting the NBA lockout to be lifted.  Parker will be playing for merely $1,995 per month, as opposed to his guaranteed $13 million from the San Antonio Spurs.  “I’ll be playing nearly for free, if I play the entire season, well go for the title.”

The Spanish big men brothers Marc and Pau Gasol are close to signing a contract with Spanish team FC Barcelona, advantage of this deal, is the Gasols have the option to return to the NBA once the lockout ends.  This is the one thing that the other superstar’s contracts do not give them the option to do.  

Dwight Howard, Dwayne Wade, Derrick Rose, Carmelo Anthony, Amar’e Stoudemire, Kevin Durant, and Chris Paul are also considering going to play overseas. 

Locally, the “Big 3” of Miami , (Lebron James, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Bosh) hosted a charity game on Saturday at FIU. They were joined by Kevin Durant, the reigning two time scoring champion, and John Wall, the 2010 number one draft pick. These NBA players have been spending time, during the lockout, playing in what is commonly called “pickup games”. 

 “We’ll play any day, any time,” James said. “That’s why we’re here tonight, giving back to our fans and what they deserve and letting them know that no matter what’s going on with our situation, we’re going to play the game and play it at a high level.”

In a pre-game interview, Wade stated, “This is very unfortunate, this situation, to be in when you have two sides that at the end of the day have the same goal, just two different ways of getting there. We both want to grow this game. We both want the NBA to be as good as it can. We want everyone to succeed. But we have two different ways of getting there.” Wade later added, “To know that you’re close but so far away is sad in a sense. But that’s the nature of business. They only thing we can do is keep plugging at it.”