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Friday , Nov , 25 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Players, Owners talking, hope for Dec 25th tip-off?

“Two people who have been briefed on the league’s strategy told CBSSports.com the NBA is holding out hope a settlement can be reached in time for the season to begin no later than Christmas.


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: All I want for Christmas is my NBA.

It has become tradition –the gorging of food and consumption of beer while watching several NBA teams battle on Jesus’ birthday.

It may still happen. Saving the season would be a Christmas miracle, indeed.

Apparently players and owners have started talking with the hope that they’ll find common ground on the remaining system issues and begin a 66-game season on December 25th.

Basketball Related Issue is no longer an issue; the players and owners will split revenue 50-50. Surprisingly, the owners and players are arguing over the Mid level Exception.

If they don’t find common ground, the season may be in doubt. Commissioner David Stern has said he the league would a need thirty day window after signing the new Collective Bargaining Agreement to handle free agency and training camp.

And then we would all have to spend time with our parents-in-law on Christmas. None of us want that. They better get a deal done.

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Saturday , Nov , 19 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Billy Hunter: ‘Maybe we can start our own league’

Billy Hunter: “Maybe we can start our own league. There are faculties where we can do that. Can’t play at MSG but can play at St John’s.” … There’s talk of getting a TV deal and creating a new league but it’d have to be with a network that’s unafraid to cross the NBA.


HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: I call nonsense.

There's little chance the players will start a basketball league that can rival the NBA. Correction: there's no chance.

After all, the NBA's television deals, arena rights, and corporate sponsors aren't leaving because of the lockout. And they certainly won't 'cross the floor' to support an upstart league.

Most NBA players have struggled to organize their All-Star game or charity match, so how on earth can they be expected to organize an entire league?

This is Billy Hunter, the former head of the NBA Players' Association and current head of the NBA Players' Trade Association, angling for leverage.

Threatening the owners with a rival league won't work, though.

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


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Wednesday , Nov , 16 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: NBA to cancel games through December 15th?

The NBA officially notified teams on Tuesday that it has canceled games through Dec. 15, according to multiple reports Tuesday. Tuesday’s cancellation is the third time games have been canceled in two-week segments. The NBA has now cancelled 304 regular-season games.


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: There’s an ancient saying that for every action there’s a reaction.

One day after the players rejected the owners’ offer, decertified the union, and filed anti-trust lawsuits, David Stern struck back by cancelling games through December 15th.

Bottom line: the clock is ticking.

Consider that Stern swore there’d be no 50 game season like in 1998 and the league would need a minimum of 30 days to prepare for a 70 game season.

For a season to occur, owners and players would need to immediately rescind the lawsuits, put aside their differences, and agree on the final, controversial terms of a new Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Fat chance.

So, with every action there’s a reaction. And the chances of an NBA season get less likely.

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Monday , Nov , 14 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Video: Watch Players reject Owners’ offer and announce Decertification Plan

HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Ever wondered what a cancelled NBA season looks like?

Well, click the video below and watch NBA players reject the 'final' offer from Commissioner Stern, which means decertification of the union and owners demanding a greater share of Basketball Related Income and a flex cap.

Translation: the 2012 season is very much in doubt.

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


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Friday , Nov , 11 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Jason Terry: Players ready to walk on Stern’s CBA offer

Dallas Mavericks player representative Jason Terry said that if the proposal NBA commissioner David Stern delivered to the union late Thursday night is not a substantial improvement from the league's one prior, players will be prepared to walk away, even if it threatens losing the entire season. "Our reasoning and what our strategy is, is we are trying to grow the game of basketball, and under the terms that have been presented to us, the game of basketball for us, from a players' perspective, financially, will not be growing," Terry said Friday morning during an appearance on the "Ben and Skin Show" on 103.3 FM ESPN.


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: What now?

Do players, like Jason Terry, accept what union head Billy Hunter has called a mediocre offer and play a 72-game season? Or, do they reject the offer, decertify, and destroy the 2012 season?

Sadly, the latter is winning.

Owners and players have settled on the elephant in the room issue, Basketball Related Income.   

Both sides agreed on a ‘band system’ to split BRI evenly at 50%. In the past, owners received 43%, while players received 57%.

This, however, is not the source of contention. Players are unhappy with the system issues, specifically the owners restricting loopholes like the mid-level exception and sign-and-trades for teams over the salary cap.

Here’s my question: how many players each year get the full mid-level exception and/or switch teams via a sign-and-trade?

The answer: not many.

In the owners' latest offer, over-the-cap teams can still use a scaled back version of the mid-level exception and sign-and-trades, too. This sounds fair. And at a certain point, owners and players must cut a deal or lose the season.

Then everybody - owners, players, and, most importantly fans - suffers.

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Thursday , Nov , 10 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Report: Owners let Stern ‘Tweak’ System Issues

David Stern has enough support from ownership to "tweak" some of the system issues that remains points of contention with the union to get a labor deal agreed upon on Wednesday.


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Well, it’s about time.

Reports are filtering in late Wednesday evening that Commissioner David Stern has been given leeway by owners to concede on system issues like the luxury tax and mid-level exception.

Of course, players and owners are currently engaged in a key negotiation. And there are consequences if today’s talks pass without a settlement.

The players will likely decertify their union, forcing months of lawsuits which would kill any chance at season.

Meanwhile, owners have promised to reduce their offer of a 49%- 51% share of Basketball Related Income to 47%, which would also kill any chance at a season.

So the stakes are high. The hope is that owners giving in on system issues will force the players to give in even further on Basketball Related Income.

The alternative isn’t pretty.

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

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Friday , Oct , 28 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Players, Owners to sign new CBA on Friday?

I think we’re within reach (on system issues), within striking distance of getting a deal,” Hunter said. There are still big hurdles ahead, ones that could mean negotiations will need to go through the weekend or even into next week.


HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Owners and players don't have a new labour deal, but they're close.

Commissioner David Stern and Union Head Billy Hunter were caught joking together at a recent press conference. Such a sight would have been unthinkable a few days ago.

Work is still to be done. For instance, the two sides have yet to discuss the split of Basketball Related Income, deciding to focus on system issues the last few days.

For months, BRI was the elephant in the room. The split of revenue was a point of contention, so perhaps it's overly optimistic to think this sticking point can be resolved in one short day.

However, the two sides have momentum.

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






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Sunday , Oct , 23 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Stern thinks he can deliver ESPN an 82-game season?

While two weeks of the regular season have already been canceled and at least two more are expected to go soon, two sources close to the negotiations said the union believes that Stern assured his ESPN and TNT television partners that, by back-ending the missed games, he can still deliver an 82-game season even if starts in December. Accurate or not, the players’ perception of when their early paychecks will truly be gone for good will determine when they reach for the panic button.


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Apparently, there’s still time.

Various publications are reporting that the NBA could still play an 82 game season if players and owners solve their differences and sign off on a new collective bargaining agreement.

It has to happen quickly, though, and this could be the problem.

Even after days of mediation, owners and players are holding firm to their positions on Basketball Related Income and system issues like the luxury tax.

There’s another complication: reports indicate that owners are split into small market Hawks and big market Doves. The Hawks - teams like Charlotte, Milwaukee, Phoenix - are holding firm for major concessions, while the Doves -teams like Chicago, Miami, and New York - are eager to settle.

Hopefully, the two sides meet next week and make progress. The alternative isn’t pretty.


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Who is at fault for this lockout?
Saturday , Oct , 22 , 2011 J.N.

Who is at fault for this lockout?

Derrick Rose recently said that the current NBA lockout is “not our fault.” That makes sense. He is a player. He is a part of the Player’s Union. Captain Obvious is obvious. Why would he state something that does not need to be said? It’s not just Rose, but for the rest of the players. This generic statement is an easy statement to make. We understand the need to put blame on someone. Someone has to go down. Upon further examination, is the blame truly on the owners? 

Read More
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Wednesday , Oct , 19 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Bryant Gumbel: David Stern is a ‘plantation overseer’

Stern’s version of what’s been going on behind closed doors has, of course, been disputed. But his efforts were typical of a commissioner, who has always seemed eager to be viewed as some kind of modern plantation overseer treating NBA men as if they were his boys. It’s part of Stern’s M.O. Like his past self-serving edicts on dress code or the questioning of officials, his moves are intended to do little more than show how he’s the one keeping the hired hands in their place.


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Perspective matters.

Bryant Gumbel is clearly losing perspective on the NBA lockout when he compares Commissioner David Stern to a plantation overseer.

To be fair, Stern is many things: cocky, arrogant, smarmy, confrontational, self-absorbed, militant, egotistical, and difficult.

And he’s been called even worse.

Some fans, especially in Seattle and Vancouver, would say he’s dishonest after their franchises were taken in a conspiracy that would impress filmmaker Oliver Stone.

But a ‘plantation overseer‘? Implying that multimillionaire NBA players are slaves to the owners and Stern?

Clearly, this is unfair even for a dubious character like Stern.


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


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Monday , Oct , 17 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

David Stern: season could soon be in jeopardy

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: And so the media show begins.

David Stern has recently gone on an all out publicity blitz with players and owners stuck at an impasse in negotiations.

For instance, ‘The Commish’ chatted with famed Sports business reporter Darren Rovell about the nearly fourth month old lockout.

Click the clip below, watch the interview with Stern, and get at HoopsVibe news in the comment box below.




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Sunday , Oct , 16 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Kobe, Garnett, Pierce to blame for failed CBA negotiations?

When they convened, instead of the union’s head, Hunter, or their negotiating committee of Maurice Evans, Matt Bonner, Roger Mason, Theo Ratliff, Etan Thomas and Chris Paul, representing the players were Fisher, Kessler, and three superstars who had been to very few of the meetings at all: Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Kobe Bryant.

A bad sign: Pierce was still wearing his backpack. The players had two pieces of news that shocked the league: 50/50 was not good enough. And there was nothing further to discuss.


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Are they up for it?

Are Kobe Bryant, Kevin Garnett, and Paul Pierce up for being scapegoats if players and owners don’t solve the lockout and eventually cancel the season.

After all, there’s plenty to suggest a deal was within reach last week at or near the 50-50 split of Basketball Related Income.

Then Bryant, Garnett, and Pierce walked into Commissioner Stern’s office and said no way. The even split of BRI was off. The players wanted 53%. Or no deal.

The players and owners who thought a new collective bargaining agreement was within reach and were prepared to negotiate around the clock to preserve the 82 game season were dumbfounded.

Here’s why I think they were shocked:

1) How can three guys who have earned hundreds of millions of dollars and can live off endorsements tell (yes, tell) a fringe player to stand united with their cause?

At some point, their interests diverge. At some point, there will be a split in the union.

2) Bryant, Garnett, and Pierce are intelligent, confident guys. They will be informed and up-to-date on facts and information, however, Pierce was the only one actively involved in negotiations.

Bryant and Garnett did not attend the majority of negotiations, and had no business hijacking these high stakes meetings or claiming to represent the union.

Billy Hunter should have been there. Heck, somebody with an MBA or law background should have been there.

3) I would want Bryant, Garnett, and Pierce leading on-court. I would not want Bryant and/or Garnett leading off-court.

Their emotional, competitive temperament that is ideal for playoff runs and championships makes them ill matched for negotiations.

This group, especially Bryant and Garnett, are prone to outbursts that result in ill-fated decisions like the storming of Stern’s office. Moreover, their situation does not reflect the needs of most in their union.

The consequence could well be a backlash from fans whenever the season does start.


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


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Saturday , Oct , 15 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Billy Hunter on CBA negotiations: ‘we were close’ to a deal

Yet during an interview on WFAN on Wednesday, Billy Hunter indicated that an agreement between the owners and players had been nearing completion. "We thought we could live with the deal we were close to making," Hunter said.


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Two people can see the same thing very differently.

Commissioner David Stern said the players and owners were miles apart after the two met last weekend, while union head Billy Hunter apparently believed a deal was there to be made.

As usual, the truth lies in the middle. Somewhere.

Will the players and owners ever find the middle? After all, the two sides are unlikely to find an ideological common ground when it requires them to leave their line in the sand.

Right now, Stern and Hunter can’t even agree on the state of negotiations. So how can they possibly bridge the gap on hundreds of million of dollars, keep the groups they represent happy, and preserve their professional reputations by forging a ‘win’?

It doesn’t look good. A start would be to agree on how exactly to characterize negotiations.


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Tuesday , Oct , 11 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Stern cancels two weeks of season, says ‘too far apart on all issues’

Stern wiped out the first two weeks of the season - exactly 100 games - after more than seven hours of negotiations failed to produce a new labor deal and preserve the Nov. 1 season openers.

The cancellations mark the NBA's first work stoppage since the 1998-99 season was reduced to 50 games.Stern said players and owners were "very far apart on virtually all issues. ... We just have a gulf that separates us.


HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: They've been playing with fire for too long. And now they could get burned.

NBA players and owners have had little success finding common ground on a new collective bargaining agreement, which would solve the league's three month old lockout.

So the inevitable finally happened.

Today, Commissioner David Stern kyboshed the first two weeks of the season, putting at risk last season's gains and the future health of the league.

Shame on the owners. Shame on the players.

Perhaps the owners' hardline stance during negotiations was unfair. Perhaps they were making up for years of overpaying the league's mediocre middle class.

Either way, both parties are at fault for the current predicament. Something or someone has to give.Or, the cancellations will continue.


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


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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.


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.


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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."


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.


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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.


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

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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.

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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.


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.

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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.


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.