NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 26: NBA Commissioner David Stern (R) and Former Executive Director of the National Basketball Players Association Billy Hunter speak to members of the press to announce a tentative labor agreement to end the 149-day lockout on November 26, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)

NBA Players, Owners Reach Tenative Understanding To End Lockout, Start Season On Christmas

The Lakers were originally scheduled to host the Chicago Bulls at Staples Center on Christmas Day.

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14 Total Updates since October 28, 2011
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NBA Players, Owners Tentatively Agree To End Lockout, Aim For Christmas Day Season Opener

According to various reports on Friday night, the NBA players and owners have agreed in principle to end their lockout and all pending litigation by the players against the league. Ken Berger of CBS Sports first reported the deal, then laid out the next steps in the process:

Agreement will be followed reforming of the union, which must be recognized by the owners -- a formality, pending finalization of details.

Kate Fagan of the Philadelphia Inquirer tweeted that Players Association Billy Hunter said, "We intend to meet first thing in the morning with our lawyers ... turn the matter over to them ... a matter of three days to a week."

There are no real details of the deal as of yet, but the tentative plan is for training camps to open on December 9, per Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated, with a 66-game schedule. The season would presumably begin on Christmas Day, though it is unknown the exact ramifications of the schedule and what games from the original schedule, if any, would continue.

The Los Angeles Lakers were originally scheduled to host the Chicago Bulls at Staples Center on December 25.

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NBA Lockout: David Stern Still Trying To Urge Players To Accept Offer

The NBA lockout is still going strong. Owners and players are preparing for meetings on Monday in New York. Representatives from all 30 teams will be present on behalf of the union, but early indications are that the players will  reject the current proposal for a 72-game season that would begin on December 15, according to Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times.

NBA Commissioner David Stern has been as vocal as he can possibly be in trying to urge the players toward an agreement sooner rather than later. His latest ploy was to take to Twitter on Sunday. He held a 90-minute interview via Twitter that was dubbed a "Twitterview" and fielded 29 questions -- including some from players. The following exchange seems to sum up the current state of the lockout rather succinctly:

Stern also took a question from Miami guard Dwyane Wade: "Why are all your 'system solutions' only impacting the PLAYERS?? What have the owners [been] giving up of significance?"

Stern's answer: "The economics & system favored the players in prior CBA — Teams lost over 300m last year."

The more information that comes out, the more it seems the players and owners are communicating across a divide that does not appear to be shrinking. These Twitter debates seem to just be further illuminating that fact.

For more information about the Los Angeles Lakers and the NBA lockout, please visit Silver Screen And Roll.

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NBA Lockout: Owners Make Revised Offer To Players

After two days and roughly 20 hours of meeting, NBA players and owners concluded their talks Thursday night in New York. The owners made a revised offer to the players which includes a 72-game season starting on December 15. Though commissioner David Stern wouldn't specifically characterize the latest proposal as a last, best offer, he did make clear it's their best offer, for now.

"We have made our revised proposal and aren't planning on another one," Stern said. "Just as the clock had stopped at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, it would remain stopped through the meeting with the board."

Players Association president Derek Fisher noted that while there was some movement from the league, there wasn't enough to get a deal done at this time.

NBA Players Association executive director Billy Hunter said he would meet with all 30 player representatives by Monday or Tuesday next week. "It's not the greatest proposal in the world, but I have an obligation to at least present it to our membership," Hunter said.

If the players don't accept the proposal next week, Stern said the league would submit a new proposal, including a 47% split of basketball related income (BRI) for the players, the same one he threatened with his ultimatum earlier this week.

NBA deputy commissioner Adam Silver said the logistics of a 72-game season would require moving the playoffs and NBA Finals back by roughly a week, and Stern noted that the league has been in constant contact with several partners such as broadcasters and arenas as the schedule gets changed.

While the negotiations might be frustrating, it appears that the players aren't going to get a better offer than they have now and the two sides are close enough that the players could cave and accept the offer, rather than risk losing the season. But we won't know until early next week.

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NBA Lockout 2011: Derek Fisher Says Players Won't Accept Offer From David Stern

The lockout drags on.

NBPA president Derek Fisher said the players aren't going to take the current offer on the table from the league, which probably puts us in a dark, dark place regarding the potential status of the 2011-12 NBA season. The owners would most likely have to seriously reconsider their hardline status against the players, which could mean there's going to be a long, protracted fight that could eventually lead to decertification, and the cancellation of the season.

Here are some of the paraphrased quotes from Fisher. Thanks to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports and Ken Berger of CBS Sports for reporting live on the scene and getting these quotes.

  • 43 players were at the meeting today, with 29 of 30 teams represented.
  • "Our orders are clear that the current offer on the table is not acceptable...."
  • Players want to keep negotiating with the NBA on proposal, but will not accept owner's ultimatum offer.
  • "We're open-minded about potential compromises on our (BRI) number, but there are things in the system that we have to have."
  • There has to be significant change in league's proposal on those issues for a deal to be made.
  • We've made the compromises on BRI and economics. Now it's on the NBA to make compromises on the system points.
  • On risks of NBA deal getting worse and decertification movement: "We're focused on what we can control."
  • "Time for NBA to make significant compromises on system."

Basically, the Player's Association decided to take the middle ground and see how the owners would react, and hope they would get nudged to blink first. Considering the owners have yet to blink in this process, a season isn't looking too promising for anyone at the moment.

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NBA Lockout: Steve Blake Working To Get A Deal In Place

If you had to compile a list of notable basketball figures, Steve Blake of the Los Angeles Lakers isn't the guy you'd expect would be trying to end the 2011 NBA lockout. But there he is, working at the eleventh hour to make sure a deal goes into place and that he can finish out his time with his team before heading into the sunset.

Lakers guard Steve Blake has been active on phones, encouraging peers to push team player reps to ask NBPA for vote on deal, sources tell Y!
Nov 07 via webFavoriteRetweetReply

 

Blake isn't urging players to vote 'yes' or 'no' on league proposal, but has gained a swell of support with players who want chance to vote.
Nov 07 via webFavoriteRetweetReply

 

Of course, I'm sure Blake is trying to get this deal done for purely altruistic reasons, right? The fact below about his current contract status in the league just happens to be one big coincidence.

Steve Blake signed a 4-yr, $16M mid-level exception deal on a taxpaying team that would be disallowed under league's proposal. Nice timing.
Nov 07 via webFavoriteRetweetReply

 

Or maybe not. Blake certainly would want to play here, and he doesn't really have much time left in his career, and he's never going to care about the CBA again because he's probably never making another deal in this CBA again.

Whatever. Blake can choose whatever course he wants. He wants to play, and we all want to see Blake and the rest of the best basketball players in the world. I'm pretty sure many NBA fans will be buying his jersey (if they can find it) if he somehow manages to thwart a lockout singlehandedly.

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NBA Lockout 2011: Players Union Mulls Decertification, Capping Rough Week For Derek Fisher

The latest twist in the ongoing NBA lockout is a potential rift in the players union, and the so-called nuclear option of union decertification being considered earlier this week. According to Adrian Wojnariowski of Yahoo! Sports, as many as 50 NBA players held a pair of conference calls this week with an antitrust attorney without knowledge of the players union.

"The players, frustrated with the deal union officials have been negotiating, held a call on Tuesday to discuss the state of labor talks with the NBA, and explored their options on Thursday with the antitrust attorney, sources said," according to Wojnarowski.

Decertification the union might be the best use of leverage the players have, but it would also likely increase the odds of an entire NBA season lost. Both the league and its players are expected to meet again this weekend, and as a source told Wojnarowski, "This is not about [union executive director Billy] Hunter and [players union president] Derek Fisher. The players want to know how to push the needle here. If talks this weekend don’t produce 52 percent, they want to know what options they have."

Regardless of what Wojnarowski's source may say, it has been a tough week for Derek Fisher. Earlier in the week, he had to send an email to the players explaining that he was not secretly negotiating a deal with NBA commissioner David Stern, and even threatened to sue Jason Whitlock and Fox Sports for insinuating that Fisher was working with the league for his own personal gain.

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NBA Lockout: What November Schedule Cancellation Means For Lakers

With the cancellation on Friday of all November NBA games due to the ongoing labor strife, league commissioner David Stern has ruled out an 82-game regular season, if in fact there will be a season at all. Let's assume for a moment that the league and the players union come to an agreement in time to begin play in December. Here is a look at what Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers missed out on.

The Lakers were set to open their regular season schedule on Tuesday, November 1 at Staples Center against Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and the Oklahoma City Thunder. But as it stands now, the Lakers will begin their truncated regular season on Friday, December 2 in Salt Lake City against the Utah Jazz.

Gone for the Lakers are home games against the San Antonio Spurs on November 9 and the New York Knicks on November 17, and a back-to-back pair against 2011 Western Conference semifinalists Memphis Grizzlies and Oklahoma City on November 22 and 23. In all, the Lakers said goodbye to nine home games and five road contests with Friday's news:

  • November 1: vs. Oklahoma City
  • November 2: at Golden State
  • November 4: at Phoenix
  • November 6: vs. New Orleans
  • November 7: at Sacramento
  • November 9: vs. San Antonio
  • November 11: vs. Denver
  • November 13: vs. Detroit
  • November 15: vs. Washington
  • November 17; vs. New York
  • November 22: at Memphis
  • November 23: at Oklahoma City
  • November 25: vs. Sacramento
  • November 29: vs. Minnesota

For more Lakers news and information, be sure to read Silver Screen and Roll.

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2011 NBA Lockout: Labor Negotiations Break Down, David Stern Cancels Games Through November

Commissioner David Stern held a press conference on Friday evening announcing the cancellation of two more weeks of basketball. If there is going to be a 2011-2012 season of the NBA, it will not begin until after November at the earliest.

Talks broke down on Friday during the negotiations between the NBA and the players union. After the two sides walked away, Billy Hunter of the players union said that he felt "snookered" by Stern, who had intimated to him that the owners would be willing to make more concessions than they actually were.

Once talks began on Friday, it became clear to the players that although they had conceded on some of their initial demands, the owners had no intent on budging further from their current position. Although some experts hoped that the two sides would soon be reconvening, players union representatives booked flights out of Los Angeles that night, making it clear that there will be another delay in negotiations.

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