D-Day for labor negotiations. More than likely, owners will vote to lock players out today in Dallas. Ken Berger of CBSSports.com though has an excellent piece that unfortunately no one will listen to: “A split of revenues that addresses the owners’ losses and gives the players clout to win negotiating victories elsewhere — soft cap, guarantees, and getting a small percentage of profits from franchise sales set aside in a pension fund for retired players — would form the basis for determining the details of a system that would provide far more competitive balance and revenue growth than the league has ever seen. And despite the owners’ grandiose vision, it wouldn’t require pummeling the players with more than $8 billion in concessions in a 10-year deal.”
Nazr Mohammed’s one-year extension is for $3.75 million. A little more than I expected honestly. That’s about the same per year Thabo and Nick Collison make. Seems just a bit off.
Shoals with an interesting lockout take on The Goodmen Project: “We come to sports for entertainment, civic identity, escapism, and a host of other needs that our daily lives leave unfulfilled. I suppose that resenting multi-millionaires who fail to put up the requisite stats is part of that, but labor trouble falls outside of that love/hate dynamic. We’re used to balancing the tension between individuals and team success, wishing players well while wanting the best for the team. Scratch at the surface a little, though, and this off-season’s battle lines become painfully clear. Players and teams, or workers and employers, both inspire fondness and loyalty. The problem comes when we see athletes as wastrels, clogging up this delicate exchange of energies and priorities—professional, personal, and otherwise. But it’s the players, visible and easier to judge, who are both easier to love and easier to hate. The franchise, with its front office, owners, stakeholders, and impenetrable long-term plans, remains shielded.”
Henry Abbott of TrueHoop if the NBA season will start by Christmas: “Fact. I’d bet my house on it. The league is going gangbusters right now. The big play is to have the best ratings moving forward for better future TV deals. Missing games is very expensive in that regard, and demonizes those idle rich players — the same players the league needs to be likable as hell to inspire further growth.”
Darnell Mayberry of the Oklahoman: “In the midst of a hectic summer schedule that has included trips to all corners of the country, Durant said at his kids basketball camp on Wednesday that he forgot the league’s current collective bargaining agreement expires at the end of the day Thursday. “I lost track of time,” said Durant, the Thunder’s player union representative.”
I ranked the top 10 moments for the season. I couldn’t keep myself from including two Thunder moments.
Berry Tramel on the labor stuff: “But before we get too militant on demanding our basketball, let’s put on the wide-angle lens. An ownership victory in these labor negotiations would be good for Oklahoma City. A fundamental change in the NBA’s economic model would help the Thunder’s long-term viability.”