NBA owners and union representatives broke off talks after a three hour negotiating session this afternoon, making the NBA's first work stoppage since 1999 appear inevitable once the current Collective Bargaining Agreement expires at Midnight EDT tonight. Our own Alex Laugan did an excellent job explaining some of the issues at hand here, and the New York Times explains more details around precisely what a lockout will entail. An excerpt:
Players and teams will be barred from contact with each other. Paychecks and health care will be suspended indefinitely. And all league business will cease until the owners and players find the means to overcome their philosophical and economic differences.
The last NBA work stoppage ran from July 1, 1998 - January 6, 1999. The '98-'99 regular season ran only 50 games and didn't start until February 5, 1999. No all-star game was held that season. In short, it sucked. We can only hope for a quicker settlement this time, but the sides remain far apart as the owners, led by commissioner David Stern, push for significant rollbacks in player salaries and implementation of a "hard" salary cap. Little progress has been made in negotiations so far.
Everybody loses in this, but most of all the fans who make the league viable with our support. Be frustrated, be angry, be sad, be cynical. What do you think, Bright Siders?
[Note by Seth Pollack, 06/30/11 2:45 PM MST ]
Here's a fun little read about team's "losing money".
Exclusive: How (And Why) An NBA Team Makes A $7 Million Profit Look Like A $28 Million Loss
Remember this the next time David Stern says the NBA's economic system is broken. "The bottom line about the bottom line," Fort says, "is that even if it looks like they're losing money, it doesn't mean they're losing money."