Lockout Blues: Sobering Thoughts

By: NBASCOUT / Special to

If recent negotiation results are any indication, it could be a while before the lockout is resolved and the NBA gets going again in earnest. At issue is how to share the $4bil in revenue the league brings in each year and the nature and structure of any agreement to do so between the owners and players.*

So far, the parties are far apart on many things. Essentially, it seems the owners want a fairer split of business income (currently only 43%) and structuring of the contract leading to more viable businesses that can independently turn a profit on their own properly managed. Owners believe that players are uniformly in business to turn a profit from their careers and why shouldn\’t the owners be entitled to do the same from their franchises?

Players, for their part, prefer the status quo and don\’t care to roll back much of the enormous labor gains they\’ve achieved under successive contracts leading up to the last one that just expired. Would you? If anything, they\’d like to carve out further gains while conceding as little as possible.

Herein lays the \’rub.\’ How long will it take to reach agreement? The negotiators for all sides have to work out formulas that make sense to each side and hammer out an agreement each side can live with. They also have to work through the expectations both sides have that may need serious adjustment – if not painful compromise.

Until that happens, there will be no basketball. Given the differences and what I\’ve seen from negotiators so far, I, for one, believe it will be a longer process rather than a shorter one. Prove me wrong?!!

In the meantime, you may be able to watch some of your favorite stars play overseas for less. Does this mean part or all of the season is lost or canceled? Does this mean European players come to play in the US for more? What about Developmental League teams? Will they be the only basketball we can watch on TV? As revenue is lost and paychecks go unsigned, what is the fan to do?

NBASCOUT is an independent freelance sportswriter that covers the NBA and the New Jersey Nets. He is not affiliated with the National Basketball Association. Copyright 2011 by NBASCOUT, all rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without the express written consent of the author. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and not necessarily this website. You may e-mail NBASCOUT in care-of his wife, who writes for children, at

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