Archive for the ‘Basketball’ Category

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NBA commissioner David Stern said Thursday that if significant progress towards a labor agreement isn’t reached early next week — when owners and players are scheduled to meet with a federal mediator — the entire 2011-12 NBA season could be lost.
“Each side is going to meet with the mediator on Monday and if there is a breakthrough it is going to come on Tuesday,” Stern said in an interview with NBA TV. “If not, I think that the season is really going to potentially escape from us.”
The two sides met this past Monday, but no progress was made and Stern canceled the first two weeks of the regular season, the first time the NBA has canceled games since the 1998-99 stoppage that saw just a 50-game regular season.
“How many times does it pay to keep meeting and have the same things thrown back at you?” Stern said Thursday. “We’re ready to sit down and make a deal. I don’t believe that the union is. Hopefully by Tuesday, aided by the mediator, they’ll be ready to make a deal and certainly I’ll bring my owners ready to make a deal.”
One of the major issues in the lockout has been the split of basketball- related income. The owners want players to agree to a 47 percent share, while the players apparently aren’t willing to go below 53 percent.
The structure of the league’s economic system, though, is apparently what’s largely to blame for the labor strife; such as a hard salary cap, which the owners have apparently softened their stance on.
The NBA lockout began July 1 after the most recent labor deal between the sides expired.
Unlike the labor issues that caused the NFL lockout — which long appeared to be solvable — the problems facing the NBA have led observers to warn about a prolonged dispute similar to the one that led to the cancellation of the 2004-05 NHL season.
– Steve
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North Carolina has agreed to a contract extension with men’s basketball coach Roy Williams through 2018.
In the deal announced Thursday, Williams’ base salary will be $325,000 with supplemental income ranging from $1.35 million to $1.65 million.
He will receive a $30,000 expense allowance this season and $40,000 in each of the next six years and is also eligible for standard bonuses for reaching and advancing through the NCAA Tournament and for meeting or exceeding a NCAA academic progress rate.
It is similar to the four-year extension Williams signed in May 2007, in between the two national championships he won at the school in 2005 and ’09.
The Hall of Fame coach wasn’t the only one to agreed to a contract extension Thursday. UNC also agreed to extensions with women’s basketball coach Sylvia Hatchell and baseball coach Mike Fox.
“I’ve had the privilege to work with Roy, Sylvia and Mike — three of the true giants in their respective coaching worlds — for a long and successful period,” athletics director Dick Baddour said.
“Carolina is a special place and it’s people like them that makes it so. I am proud that one of my final responsibilities as director of athletics was to help secure their long-term commitment to the university.”
Hatchell is in her 26th season coaching the Tar Heels, leading them to a national title in 1994. Fox is in his 14th season and owns the best winning percentage in the country among active coaches. Both received extensions through 2018.
– Steve
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NBA owners and players will meet with a federal mediator on Monday to try and make progress towards ending the strike that has resulted in the cancellation of the first two weeks of the season.
National Basketball Players Association director Billy Hunter said on WFAN-AM that both sides had agrees to a meeting with a mediator on Monday while there is no official word from the NBA. However, USA Today is reporting that NBA spokesman Tim Frank sent a text stating that the two sides were working on scheduling a meeting for early next week.
Hunter and players are reportedly scheduled to meet on Friday afternoon in Los Angeles to address the issues at hand.
The two sides had met this past Monday, but no progress was made and commission David Stern canceled the first two weeks of the regular season, the first time the NBA has canceled games since the 1998-99 stoppage that saw just a 50-game regular season.
Hunter said during the interview that it was Stern’s plan from the beginning to have a lockout.
“David Stern promised me a lockout three years ago,” Hunter said to WFAN’s Mike Francesa. “That was their plan all along.”
One of the major issues in the lockout has been the split of basketball- related income. The owners want players to agree to a 47 percent share, while the players apparently aren’t willing to go below 53 percent.
The structure of the league’s economic system, though is apparently what’s largely to blame for the labor strife such as a hard salary cap, which the owners have apparently softened their stance on.
The NBA lockout, of course, began on July 1 after the most recent labor deal between the sides expired.
Unlike the labor strife that caused NFL lockout, which long appeared to be solvable, the problems facing the NBA have led observers to warn about a prolonged dispute like the one that canceled the 2004-05 NHL season.
– Steve
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It’s clear that the NBA’s owners don’t have a lot of respect for their fans.
The league announced late Monday that it has canceled the first two weeks of the 2011-12 regular season after the latest meeting with its players failed to generate a new collective bargaining agreement. That means the NBA will be dark through at least Nov. 14 with 100 games scrapped from the schedule.
“Despite extensive efforts, we have not been able to reach a new agreement with the players’ union that allows all 30 teams to be able to compete for a championship while fairly compensating our players,” NBA deputy commissioner Adam Silver said.
It’s the first time the NBA has canceled games since the 1998-99 season, when the schedule was reduced to 50 games because of a work stoppage. Despite that commissioner David Stern had the audacity to use the word “proud.”
“I’m proud of my owners,” Stern said. “They really demonstrated to me, to the fans, to all the people that work in the buildings that they tried to make a deal. “We tried very hard. We made concession after concession.”
Really?
Did they really try to make a deal?
From the outset of this, NBPA chief Billy Hunter has been preparing his constituents for the worst, feeling Stern and the owners are intent on shutting down the sport for a year.
“They are trying to do the same thing here that they did in the case of the NHL and they’re following the same blueprint,” Hunter told Jonathan Abrams of Grantland.com back in July. “I know it, and I preached it time and again to our players from the inception.
“I’ve said the same thing: They’re not negotiating in good faith; they have no desire or intentions of getting a deal because if they think they can threaten us or lock us out for a year or whatever, that the players will cave and they’ll get everything they want.”
The NHL, of course, shut down its sport for an entire year in 2004-05, intent on breaking its players and remaking a “broken system.”
Since the NBA had used similar rhetoric and the NHL’s Gary Bettman learned at the feet of Stern, on the surface Hunter’s viewpoint made a lot of sense. Optimists, however, spun things a bit differently pointing out that the NHL was fighting over a pittance back then, at least comparatively speaking.
The amount of revenue the NBA generates is staggering compared to the ’04-05 NHL with Basketball Related Income (BRI) projected to reach over $4 billion this season.
The milk has already been spilt and the blame game at this point accomplishes little, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t take a long, hard look at the scorecard. The NBA’s owners have essentially shut down a multi-billion dollar business during the worst economy since The Great Depression, even though their employees have offered substantial concessions.
While there is plenty of blame to go around, maybe some of these guys deserve to lose money.
Stern and his owners seem content on moving the goal posts when the players acquiesce on one issue. Last week the problem was BRI, now it’s the structure of the system.
“What separated us over the last two days were not the economic underpinnings of the deal, but the system issues,” Silver said. “Where our paths separate is that they believe to the extent they’re willing to make economic concessions that we should be willing to leave the current system largely intact. Our view is the current system is broken in that 30 teams are not in a position to compete for championships. While we understand their position, we understand change is difficult, it makes no sense for us to operate under the current model.”
Silver never explained how the ‘large market’ Spurs won those four championships but I digress.
“To be here at this point is disappointing in some ways,” union president Derek Fisher of the Lakers said. “This is what we anticipated would probably happen, and here we are.”
Indeed.
Unfortunately the players simply don’t have the public relations acumen to point out just how disingenuous the owners have been and the contempt they have shown for the people that really matter — the game’s fans.
A few star players did give it a shot on Twitter, however, after the news broke on Monday.
“I wanna sincerely say sorry to all the fans! It’s a sad day for all of us, especially u guys! There’s no US w/o You,” Heat superstar LeBron James Tweeted.
“Thanks for the overwhelming support today guys. You know we want to play & you understand the propaganda/misinformation from the owners,” Suns guard Steve Nash said.
A lot of people say you can’t put a price on principal. In this case, it’s all too easy. By refusing to do the job for the owners, the players are essentially giving up $200 million every two weeks and the owners have been steadfast, saying any deal offered will only get worse from here.
Since they have shown little respect for their players and fans, it’s hard to imagine them moving off that position.
That leaves a stark reality for players with little real leverage — fold now or fold later with less money.
– Steve
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The NBA announced Monday that it has canceled the first two weeks of the 2011-12 regular season.
Representatives from the league and its players met for over seven hours Monday, but because a new collective bargaining agreement has not been reached, contests originally scheduled to be played through November 14 were canceled.
“Despite extensive efforts, we have not been able to reach a new agreement with the players’ union that allows all 30 teams to be able to compete for a championship while fairly compensating our players,” NBA deputy commissioner Adam Silver said.
The league announced that refunds plus interest are available for all NBA season-ticket holders for all preseason and regular season games that have been called off.
It’s the first time the NBA has canceled games since the 1998-99 season, when the schedule was reduced to 50 games because of a work stoppage.
The stickiest issue in the lockout has been the split of basketball-related income. The owners want players to agree to a 50-50 share, while the players apparently aren’t willing to go below 53 percent.
The NBA lockout, of course, began on July 1 after the most recent labor deal between the sides expired.
Unlike the labor strife that caused NFL lockout, which long appeared to be solvable, the problems facing the NBA have led observers to warn about a prolonged dispute like the one that canceled the 2004-05 NHL season.
– Steve
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Indiana University junior guard Maurice Creek underwent surgery to repair a torn Achilles tendon in his left leg Monday, according to coach Tom Crean.
It is the third serious injury in the last two years for Creek. He had surgery to repair a broken left patella in December 2009 and suffered a stress fracture in his right patella last season.
His status for the upcoming season has yet to be determined.
“This is a devastating blow to someone who has worked so hard to get himself in a position to help with this program,” Crean said. “He is going to receive the best medical care possible and we will take his recovery one day at a time.”
Creek has appeared in 30 games for the Hoosiers — 25 starts — and has averaged 11.5 points a game while shooting 37.1 percent from three-point range.
– Steve