lockout
Hoopsvibe default image
Friday , Oct , 07 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Andrea Bargnani considering Virtus Roma?

Virtus Roma owner: "We have been talking with Andrea Bargnani. In my opinion, if he decides to play in Italy, he will sign just with us (Bargnani was born and grew up in Roma).

Link

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: European clubs are loving the lockout.

The best squads in Greece, Italy, Spain, and Turkey are free to flirt with the best NBA players who are without jobs.

This means free publicity.

For weeks, executives with Virtus Bologna have been ‘negotiating’ with Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant.

These executives have no issue discussing negotiations with the press, while Bryant’s representative, Rob Pelinka, has had little to say.

Now the head suit with Virtus Roma is telling anyone who will listen that in his opinion they’ll land Andrea Bargani.

Perhaps they will. Perhaps they won’t.

The media (myself included) is reporting his opinion, though. So Virtus Romas, like every other European club, might as well get the free publicity while they can.

O.Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

Hoopsvibe default image
Friday , Oct , 07 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Report: Many players open to 50-50 split of BRI?

But the daily discussions I've had with agents and players on this matter tell a different tale. While the sample size is equally insufficient, there are plenty of signs that a large portion of players just want to play and would be willing to do so with either a 50-50 split or something very close to it. And this is where the job of Hunter and his cadre gets so complicated.

Link

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Here’s where things get interesting.

Recently, the union refused Commissioner David Stern’s offer of a 50-50 split of Basketball Related Income. However, CNNSI reports that many players will accept a 50 percent share of BRI because they want a season.

Such fracturing is exactly what Stern and the owners are hoping for. The sooner the players feel the pressure, the sooner the players break, and the sooner the owners get the deal they want.

At least, that’s the theory. There’s a flip side.

The players that led the charge against accepting the owners` proposal last Tuesday are some of the game’s greatest stars.

They have power. They have leverage. They have resources. And they’ll use it.

This contingent could stall and delay progress on a new collective bargaining agreement, which means NBA basketball could be a long way away.

--O.Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

Hoopsvibe default image
Tuesday , Oct , 04 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Agents want decertification, Derek Fisher wants end to ‘misinformation’

Your agents represent you, there's a loyalty there and I can appreciate that. I'll never question it, the work they do for you, or the decisions you and they make together. The letter however includes misinformation and unsupported theories. (Derek Fisher letter)

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: The plot thickens.

Eventually the agents would weigh-in on the players, their clients, changing the NBA’s financial system and making major concessions to owners.

For instance, the Ari Gold’s of the NBA don’t want their clients reducing their take of Basketball Related Income from 57-46%.

And they aren’t thrilled with players accepting a hard cap or signing off on a restriction to the number of Larry Bird Loopholes or Mid Level Exceptions a team can offer per year.

So this weekend the six biggest agencies combined forces, writing a letter to players to warn of catastrophic consequences if they agree to the owners’ proposals.

In their letter, the agents instead suggest the players opt for decertification, believing the owners haven’t negotiated in good faith.

This prompted the union’s second-in-command Derek Fisher to send his own letter to the players claiming that the agents are spreading ‘misinformation’.
 
Of course, their timing is impeccable. Tuesday is a key day in negotiations. If owners and players find common ground perhaps there’s a chance the regular season starts on time.

Clearly, the agent’s letter and calls for decertification complicates any chance of a settlement.

--O.Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

Hoopsvibe default image
Tuesday , Oct , 04 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Report: players, owners holding make-or-break meeting on Tuesday?

Monday's smaller scale labor meeting adjourned shortly before 4:00 PM EST after a session that lasted 4.5 hours. David Stern and Adam Silver said that Monday's meeting was to "set the table for (Tuesday's) meeting."

Link

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: To quote the MJ bio flick: ‘This Is It’.

NBA players and owners are meeting on Tuesday to discuss a solution to the now three month lockout which has brought the business of basketball to a halt.

Apparently, the players are bringing in the big guns. Kobe Bryant, Paul Pierce, and Amar’e Stoudemire are expected to attend.

While the owners are talking tough, with Commissioner Stern saying the players need to make further concessions with respect to Basketball Related Income and system issues like the hard cap.

Bottom line: it should be interesting.

--O. Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

 

Hoopsvibe default image
Sunday , Oct , 02 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Deal or no Deal: Is Kobe really playing in Italy?

Emiliano Carchia: Legabasket president Valentino Renzi is optimistic about the Kobe Bryant's deal. He said that Virtus Bologna will be allowed to play the 1st two games of the season at home despite the rule forbids that. Virtus Bologna won't talk about the deal as asked by Kobe's agent.

Link

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Deal or no deal?

Virtus Bologna has been telling anyone and everyone they have signed Kobe Bryant to a shared-risk contract where every team in the Italian league will pay part of his salary.

Bryant, however, has been mostly silent.

Yes, he told the European media of his affinity for Italy, the country he spent much of his childhood in. And yes, he hinted strongly at playing in Italy if the lockout continues.

It’s easy to conclude that Virtus Bologna executives are talking too much for the Bryant camp, soaking up the publicity that comes with being connected to a world class player.

Bryant to Italy could still happen. But it will be inspite of executives at Virtus Bologna and not because of them. 

--O. Sandor

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

Hoopsvibe default image
Sunday , Oct , 02 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Baron Davis calls Lockout negotiations ‘Very Constructive’

“Very constructive,” said Davis of the portion of Saturday’s meeting he witnessed. “I think both sides are willing and they’re able, and we both understand that as long as we continue–this is a big issue and I think both sides are voicing their opinion and what they’re passionate about. Everybody’s being a lot more receptive today to moving forward. Ever since we’ve been here, we’ve been all trying to figure out the best process.”

Link (Slamonline.com)

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Well, Baron Davis is keeping it positive.

While some are painting a picture of doom and gloom, the Cleveland Cavaliers point guard believes good things are coming from the recent negotiations.

Davis even downplayed the tension between the two sides on Friday that saw Miami Heat superstar Dwyane Wade and Commissioner David Stern get into a confrontation.

So some good news. And Davis, the optimist, believes good things will happen if the two sides continue talking.

Perhaps.

Eventually the players and/or owners have to move on Basketball Related Income. Then, and only then, will everything else like system issues and guaranteed contracts get solved.

Only then will there be reason optimism.

O. Sandor

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

Hoopsvibe default image
Sunday , Oct , 02 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

David Stern on negotiations: We’re not near anything

The NBA and NBPA broke for the weekend on Saturday after an eight hour bargaining session that followed a four-hour meeting on Friday. No agreement is in place, but the sides have moved "closer" to a compromise on system issues, commissioner David Stern said."We're not near anything," Stern said. "But wherever that is, we're closer than we were before."


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call:
Commissioner David Stern said the two sides are ‘closer on system issues’, but union boss Billy Hunter believes owners and players are ‘miles apart’.

So what to make of Saturday’s labour negotiations?

Well, the two sides are talking and will meet again on Monday. However, they can’t even agree on how to characterize discussions and didn’t try tackling Basketball Related Income because it’s too contentious.

Bottom line: both sides have their ideological lines in the sand. They formed these lines years ago.

Something or some group will have to give. And it starts with figuring out the split of BRI.

--O. Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.


 
Hoopsvibe default image
Saturday , Oct , 01 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Dwyane Wade Warned ‘David’ Stern: ‘Don’t Point At Me’

Dwyane Wade "stood up for himself," a person with knowledge of the meeting said when he confronted David Stern, who was behaving with a tone and gestures the players took exception to. According to two people familiar with the incident, Wade warned Stern not to point his finger and made reference to not being a child. After the confrontation, union chief Billy Hunter and Stern met privately, seeking a way to calm nerves and preserve the rest of the negotiations.

Link

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: In the players’ corner, we have Dwyane Wade. In the owners’ corner, we have ‘David’ Stern.

Unfortunately, the New York hotel hosting NBA labour negotiations didn’t have a UFC style octagon, boxing ring, or sketchy Blood Sport style basement for Wade and Stern to duke it out. 

The biggest news from Friday’s negotiations between players and owners was a tiff between the Miami Heat’s superstar and the commissioner.

Apparently, Wade became incensed when Stern pointed his finger at him, essentially telling the veteran commissioner he was an adult and deserved to be treated as such.

Fair enough. Then he returned the favour.

Wade reminded Stern he had children and repeatedly addressed him as ‘David’ instead of calling him Commissioner Stern.

Cooler heads did prevail and Stern twice tried to apologize to Wade.

Oh, the drama. Hopefully, these professionals turned their attention to the hard cap and the split of Basketball Related Income.

There is, after all, a season to be saved.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

 

Hoopsvibe default image
Saturday , Oct , 01 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Players upset with owner’s 46% offer of BRI

"Let's go," one of the players said, according to a source. "There's no reason to go back in there." The players decided to return to the bargaining room with a much smaller group. Among those joining Derek Fisher for the second session were LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Durant, Baron Davis and committee member Chris Paul. None of the players joining Fisher sat down during this portion of the talks, a person with knowledge of the meetings said.

Link

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: They both have their ideological line in the sand. And they both are sticking to it.

The owners, for instance, feel the current league financial structure is far too favourable for the players and are sticking to their demands of 54 percent of all Basketball Related Income.

In the last collective bargaining agreement, the owners only got 43 percent of the BRI, so they’re asking the players to take an 11% hit, which translates to a pay cut of billions of dollars per year.

Meanwhile, some players are still looking though rose coloured glasses, thinking it’s the 1990s when NBA franchises printed money and were highly profitable.

They’ve refused any sort of hard cap, but, to be fair, have agreed to a reduced share of the BRI.

Negotiations continue Saturday morning.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

Hoopsvibe default image
Saturday , Oct , 01 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Wade, James, Paul willing to miss season?

Before a stunning confrontation between Dwyane Wade(notes) and NBA commissioner David Stern in Friday’s labor meeting, Wade, LeBron James(notes) and Chris Paul(notes) told their Players Association peers that they’re willing to sit out the season rather than make further concessions to the owners, sources told Yahoo! Sports.

Wade, James and Paul were at the forefront of a strong players presence at a Park Avenue hotel for Friday’s contentious bargaining session. In a private union meeting prior to the bargaining session with owners, James kept reiterating to the group of elite players that they shouldn’t give back a greater share of the league’s basketball-related income (BRI) than what they’d already conceded in previous negotiations.

Link

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Will the Average Joe concede or take a stand and sit with the superstars?

It’s great for LeBron James, Chris Paul, and Dwyane Wade to announce publicly they’ll boycott the season to get better terms in a collective bargaining agreement.

These guys, the crème de la crème of the NBA, have more money than they know what to do with. They could retire today and be set for life.

So missing a year’s salary isn’t the end of the world, however, many of the league’s rank and file won’t share their hardline approach.

The back-up guard or reserve post is likely extended and needs work. Right now, they may be feeling financial pressures and things will worsen once they miss that first November pay cheque.

--Oly Sandor


Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

Hoopsvibe default image
Monday , Sep , 26 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Video: John Wall dominates Indy vs. Goodman Pro-Am

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: John Wall, the first overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft, had an up-and-down rookie season with the Washington Wizards.

For what it’s worth, Wall has impressed during the Pro-Am series. Click the video, watch the highlights of Wall, and get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

O.Sandor

Hoopsvibe default image
Wednesday , Sep , 21 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Report: owners, players holding CBA talks

NBA players and owners are hoping to meet in a small group on Wednesday and/or Thursday of this week in New York City, according to sources.

Link

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: They’ll talk Wednesday. We think.

There are reports NBA owners and players are meeting today to hold small group discussions on a new collective bargaining agreement.

The positive: both sides don’t want to delay the start of the regular season. The negative: both sides are sticking to the ideological line they drew in the sand years ago.

The owners want a hard cap. The players do not.
 
The owners want a 50-50 split of Basketball Related Income. The players do not.

Something has to give. Somebody has to compromise. Hopefully, this process begins at today’s meeting.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.


 
Hoopsvibe default image
Wednesday , Sep , 21 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Kobe Bryant to loan players money during lockout?

"They've been deeply involved in the meetings we've had. I know Kobe is intimately involved in interfacing with colleagues and sharing in a pool of revenue to help the others get through this. Kobe has volunteered to do that in the event others need, he and others are prepared to loan money if necessary."

Link

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: The Bank of Kobe Bryant could be coming.

Union head Billy Hunter told the press superstar Kobe Bryant is willing to lend his union brothers money during the work stoppage.

This is a nice gesture by Bryant, but shows the need for NBA players to learn how to manage their money.

Take Eddy Curry. The puffy post turned one good season on a bad Knicks team into an exorbitant 5-year, $55 million contract.

In the last three years, Curry suited up for 33 games. While injured, he accumulated debt, overhead, and high-interest loans like a European ‘P.I.G.S.’ nation.

Now Curry, who will receive a massive pay-cut as a free agent when the season does begin, must honour those financial obligations.

I have a feeling Curry’s situation is not unique. Many, if not most, NBA players are stretched, so the owners only have to outwait the players.

Hunter should be more careful about releasing information to the public, even if it involves The Bank of Kobe Bryant.

--Oly Sandor.


Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

Hoopsvibe default image
Sunday , Sep , 18 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Kobe to Virtus Bologna a Union bluff?

The Los Angeles Lakers superstar told The Associated Press on the sidelines of a youth basketball clinic in Singapore that he didn't know if there will be a 2011-12 season and hasn't ruled out playing abroad. "I could," Bryant said Saturday. "I'm playing abroad right now."

Link

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Will he stay state-side or go abroad?

This was the dilemma facing Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant, who could earn millions of dollars per month playing outside the NBA.

However, the rumours, speculation, and gossip teetered off once the Chinese leagues restricted the escape clauses and talks heated up between the players and owners on a new collective bargaining agreement.

  Currently, the two sides are nowhere near a deal, which means Bryant is again considering his options abroad.

Perhaps he’ll tour Asia. Perhaps he’ll link up with a top squad in Europe. Currently, the owner of a prominent Italian club side is exploring ways to sign Bryant and pay the insurance on his NBA pact.

Or perhaps it’s a massive bluff. Bryant could be trying to pressure the owners, who hold all the cards and leverage in this lockout, by talking about suiting up in another league.

If so, it’s a Hail Mary. It may be the union’s best shot of getting some owners to move off their hard-line stance.

--Oly Sandor.


Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

Hoopsvibe default image
Sunday , Sep , 18 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rashard Lewis: It’s not my fault I’m overpaid

“You sign me to a deal, you think I’m going to say, ‘No, I deserve $50 [million] instead of $80 [million]?’ I’m like, ‘Hell, yeah.’ I’m not going to turn it down. You can’t blame the players. If anything, we don’t negotiate the deal. We’ve got agents that negotiate the deals with the team. Y’all need to go talk to the teams and the agents.”

Link

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Two words for Rashard Lewis. Save it.

The stretch four-man for the Washington Wizards may have a point about the owners' spending habits, however, the ‘Average Joe’ has little time, interest, or sympathy in millionaire players and billionaire owners point the figure and blame each other.

What they want is a season. And now.

Lewis needs to step outside his bubble, consider the American economy, and reflect on what a fan must think hearing him complain.

After all, Lewis is an overrated and overpaid. He’s a decent scorer raking in superstar money and could be the poster boy for the NBA's current state of fiscal mismanagement.

The league’s middle class makes too much. The list of decent-to-average players earning tens of millions of dollars is a problem.

So the owners have decided they’ll get cost certainty with a hard cap and better split of Basketball Related Income, which, by the way, still guarantees Lewis a luxurious life.

--Oly Sandor.


Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

Hoopsvibe default image
Sunday , Sep , 18 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Video: Highlights of Impact League, week 1

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Finally, we have some sort of basketball.

The Impact Basketball League featuring various NBA players kicked off in Las Vegas last week. There were highlights. And we have them for you.

So watch the video and get at us with thoughts in the comment box below because it might be the only basketball we see for some time.


--Oly Sandor.

Hoopsvibe default image
Saturday , Sep , 17 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Leon Rose, LeBron’s agent, pushing players to decertify union

Just when you thought the NBPA decertification talk had died down...two sources say prominent agent Leon Rose has joined that crowd. (Sam Amick, CNNSI)

Link

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: LeBron James, no matter how much he tries to keep a low profile, always makes national headlines.

Take the lockout. In an attempt to gain leverage over owners in the ongoing labour strife, James’ agent Leon Rose is encouraging his client and other high profile players he represents to vote to decertify their union.

This is not James. This is his agent. But it doesn't matter.

Decertification would kick off a series of complicated lawsuits that would make it impossible for the season to start on time or be played at all.

This would be like dropping a nuclear bomb on all the gains the NBA made last season. 

To be fair, James may have good reason for supporting this option: he and fellow stars are frustrated with the owners’ negotiating tactics and the concessions union head Billy Hunter is making.

The tension mounts as fans want a solution and an NBA season. James could take a hit if the union decertifies.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below with thoughts.

Hoopsvibe default image
Thursday , Sep , 15 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Roger Mason on negotiations: ‘no where near a deal’

Just finished a long day of negotiations. Unfortunately we are No Where Near a deal! It's def disappointing!

Link

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: They learned hope is not a strategy. They learned this the hard way.

Heading into Tuesday’s meeting with owners, the players were optimistic they would begin the process of negotiating a new collective bargaining agreement.

There was no reason for optimism, though. Both sides weren’t budging off the lines they drew in the sand several months ago.

The owners still wanted a hard cap. The players still would not agree to this.

The owners still wanted a 50-50 split of Basketball Related Income. The players still would not agree to this.

The owners still wanted to change the league’s financial landscape. The players still would not agree to this.

Now union leaders like Roger Mason and Derek Fisher are changing their message, warning the players that training camp won’t start on time and that the season could be cancelled.

This is what they’ll tell their fellow players when they meet today to discuss the lockout. Buckle up, the labour impasse is just beginning and getting nasty.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

Hoopsvibe default image
Friday , Sep , 09 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

David Stern: Time to see if there will be a deal

Following another long meeting on Thursday, the owners and players have agreed to bring full committees to the negotiating table on Tuesday. David Stern said there is nothing formal to present to larger committees. Time was right to see if there will "be a deal or shouldn't be a deal."The two sides met on both Wednesday and Thursday this week."We think it's getting to be an important time and it was a good idea to have larger committees," said Stern.

Link

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: There appears to be momentum in talks between owners and players.

The sides have met for two days straight and feel comfortable enough by the progress to invite full committees to the negotiating table early next week.

Hopefully, there’s a deal to be had. Hopefully, the season can be salvaged.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.
Hoopsvibe default image
Monday , Sep , 05 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Nate Robinson to China, Europe?

What is the status of Nate Robinson, who wanted to resume his career as a football player? Aaron Goodwin: The NFL is an alternative but he did not say he wanted to play in the NFL. He just wants to play basketball for now. He is interested in coming to Europe during the lockout. Which teams are interested in getting him? Aaron Goodwin: We talked with many teams but we have never been close to a deal. I can't name the teams but we have been in contact with teams playing in Greece, Russia, Turkey and China. There will also be a clause in his NBA contract. I won't let any of my clients come abroad without a return clause in the NBA.

Link

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: The NFL is out. Is Europe or China in?

Apparently Nate Robinson will not pursue an NFL career during the lockout, and is instead looking to sign with an overseas club in China or Europe.

China would be best as teams would see Robinson as a short-term marketing gimmick, and would be far more tolerant of his bravado both on and off court.

European coaches would struggle to integrate the flashy combo guard into their rigid sets, methodical schemes, and two-a-day practices.

After all, Europe is about the collective, and, fair or not, Robinson is often accused of being about one individual: himself.

--Oly Sandor.

--Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.