Berger on the CBA Talks (The Big Lockout Thread) (Farewell to the Lockout and the Thread, p. 259)
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angrypuppy
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2011 8:03 am    Post subject:

Sarver is an absolute ass:


Quote:


Missing top draws disappoints Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver

With lost games and a constricted time frame, no NBA team was going to have an ideal schedule this season. Franchises could share each other's misery about playing three games in three nights and losing some gate attractions...

Phoenix is the only team that will not have a home game this season against Boston, Chicago, Miami, New York or Orlando.

"I was disappointed for our fans," Suns Managing Partner Robert Sarver said. "When the preliminary schedule came out, I asked the league to reconsider and they didn't. You've got to factor in all the arenas and timelines, and they weren't able to move dates around."



Gee Robert, you're the one who wanted the lockout.



http://www.azcentral.com/sports/suns/articles/2011/12/06/20111206phoenix-suns-robert-sarver-top-draws.html
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moonriver24
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2011 8:29 am    Post subject:

angrypuppy wrote:
Sarver is an absolute ass:

I don't need to see the picture.
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JUST-MING
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2011 8:31 am    Post subject:

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Phoenix is the only team that will not have a home game this season against Boston, Chicago, Miami, New York or Orlando.

Just deserts.
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LarryCoon
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2011 8:42 am    Post subject:

I've got those games in a designer purse.
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Aeneas Hunter
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2011 8:56 am    Post subject:

The union meeting for today is canceled. A conference call is scheduled for tonight, with voting beginning at 6 pm Eastern.

Quote:
But having already been informed of the major points of the deal, most players told the union that they would rather report to their respective franchises in preparation of Friday's opening of training camp.


Quote:
A memo was sent to the players informing them of the meeting's cancellation, the conference call and the voting process. Instead, the union will hold a conference call, which is open to all players, on Wednesday evening during which it will explain the finer points of the CBA.

The players will begin voting to approve the new deal Wednesday at 6 p.m. ET. The voting will run through Thursday afternoon at 4 ET.


http://espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/7326259/nba-players-prepare-vote-new-cba

Cynical interpretation: The two sides are still trying to hammer out the last remaining details, so the union wasn't ready to conduct a meeting. In addition, Hunter doesn't want a meeting because a lot of players will be calling for his head. So instead Hunter is going to deliver the deal to the players by email at the last minute, without enough time for any dissidents to raise issues about the B list items.
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TooMuchMajicBuss
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2011 9:03 am    Post subject:

LarryCoon wrote:
I've got those games in a designer purse.


OUCH!!!!
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Aeneas Hunter
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2011 1:10 pm    Post subject:

The B list issues finally get wrapped up:

Quote:
Three interesting points in the resolved b-list items, via Berger:

•Players will be subject to offseason testing, but only for steroids, a source says. Prior random tests were only from Oct. 1-June 30.
•Unlimited D-League assignments for three years. Veterans can go, but only with consent. League had wanted five-year program.
•All indications remain that draft eligibility age will stay the same until there is time for further discussion. Which means this year's superstar class won't be affected.


http://eye-on-basketball.blogs.cbssports.com/mcc/blogs/entry/22748484/33742763
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Lowest Merion
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2011 1:38 pm    Post subject:

Some more details from the B-List. From Bloomberg News Sports writer:

Quote:
No HGH testing in NBA agreement, according to term sheet, copy of which obtained by Bloomberg. NBA, players agree to study issue

NBA Players must wear microphone for one nationally televised game per month, one local/month and up to 2 playoff games per round

No NBA player can disciplined for anything captured by microphone

No NBA player can be disciplined solely based upon an arrest

NBA per diem: $120

NBA agreement calls for neutral review of commissioner's financial discipline for on-court conduct

NBA players get a minimum 16 days off during a season beginning 2012-13

Minimum fee for promotional appearance made on behalf of a commercial sponsor: $3,000. If player has already made 8 appearances, up to $4k

Offseason drug testing begins in 2012-13. Maximum of two times for steroids and PEDs only

Players cannot be tested at the arena on game night

Players gets traded -- Gets housing reimbursement of $4,500 for three months following deal

Players with more than 3 years can go to D-League if he and union agree (injury rehab)

Players get more $ for All-Star participation. Amount not listed.

Training camp compensation: $2,000/week beginning next season

Player Salaries pro-rated for lockout. Will get 66/82nds of comp


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2011 2:01 pm    Post subject:

Berger's latest:
Quote:
In the hours before a vote to ratify a new collective bargaining agreement, it should be no surprise drama and angst are unfolding on both sides of what once seemed to be a massive, impossibly wide gap between NBA players and owners.

Nobody gives up power or money without a fight, and the instinct to argue, bicker, mistrust and throw tantrums was not cured when the two sides finally reached an agreement to save the season 11 days ago.

Those instincts were still sharp Wednesday as players convened on a conference call -- the second such call in as many days, sources said -- to explain the deal points that have been finalized since negotiators reached a tentative agreement in the early morning hours of Nov. 26. The i's are being dotted and t's crossed, and the players are voting electronically on the deal from 6 p.m. ET Wednesday until 4 p.m. ET Thursday -- when the owners' Board of Governors also will vote.

A block of players upset about givebacks the union made continues to make noise about wanting their votes to approve the deal tied to an ouster of National Basketball Players Association executive director Billy Hunter and the players' executive committee. Most, if not all, of those players have been talked down from the ledge, sources involved in the process said. But that doesn't mean everybody on both sides is happy with the final product.

Within hours after the agreement was reached, the NBA snapped right back to business as usual. After a five-month lockout and 2˝ years of arguing about ways to make the league economically profitable and competitively balanced, the same old storylines returned, as though nothing had changed. Dwight Howard wants to play for the Lakers, Chris Paul wants to play for the Knicks, Deron Williams is keeping his options open, etc., etc.

"I don't know what it was all for," said one Eastern Conference general manager who is disappointed that the new CBA -- and all that was sacrificed to achieve it -- apparently has changed nothing about the game's biggest stars wanting to flock to the glamour teams and the biggest markets.

In fact, in many ways the new rules have put even more pressure on teams with big stars who are approaching free agency. Hornets general manager Dell Demps launched full speed this week into serious trade talks on multiple fronts for superstar Chris Paul, whose exit could be accelerated by rules that mute the home-team advantages of a more lucrative extension and the fallback option of a max deal through a sign-and-trade. If the Hornets are going to get close to full value -- or anything at all -- they may have to trade Paul in the coming weeks, or even days.

In Orlando, CEO Bob Vander Weide -- a member of the owners' labor relations committee that negotiated the rules that could expedite Howard's departure -- stepped down this week after admitting he placed a late-night phone call to Howard "after a couple glasses of wine" and reportedly begged him to stay. Once Magic GM Otis Smith speaks with Howard about what the All-Star center wants, he may find himself in the same boat as Demps -- scrambling to get value for his star rather than risk losing him for nothing.

"None of the system issues, no matter how you spin it, changed dramatically," another team executive said. "In some cases, they got worse. So what really was accomplished?"

The audacity on the ownership side to complain about a deal that shifts $3 billion over 10 years from players to teams by reducing the players' share of basketball-related income from 57 to about 50 percent provides a window into how excruciatingly difficult the deal was to negotiate. And it makes you wonder why certain players and agents are so upset with Hunter and the executive committee -- and whether they were simply misinformed, wrong or had an agenda against Hunter and the union leadership all along.

"Billy's the same guy who negotiated the last collective bargaining agreement that all the players took heat for, and now everybody is scratching and clawing trying to hold onto that CBA," said Maurice Evans, a union vice president and member of the executive committee. "And I'm finding that they're going to be doing the same thing with this one. The players will have the opportunity to opt out in six years, and I would bet that they won't."

That opinion is shared by a person involved in the ownership side of the deal who disputed the notion that this was an outright win for the league's negotiators.

"When we look back on this in probably five years -- because the deal can open after six -- I think there's going to be a different attitude," the person said. "I'm pretty sure people are going to say the players came out of this in pretty good shape."

Given what the players held onto in the face of a ruthless negotiating stance put forth by the owners -- guaranteed contracts, same max contract levels, no rollbacks, no reduction in rookie scale or veterans' minimum -- the saber-rattling from those disappointed in the deal has been difficult to swallow for the players who were involved in negotiating it. Executive committee members who've spoken with disgruntled players in recent days said none of them offered a suggestion for who should replace Hunter if he were removed. And few of those players were around for the months and months of negotiations that eventually yielded a compromise that both sides could live with before the season was lost.

One person involved in the negotiations pointed to one of the brightest players in the league, Shane Battier, who stood up in an NBPA regional meeting during the summer and demanded that Hunter reveal whether he was still taking his reported $2.5 million salary during the lockout.

"He's the same guy who is now fighting for the mid-level exception, asking teams to sign him to same mid-level we negotiated for the players -- the same mid-level that the owners wanted to decimate and do away with," the person said.

Support for Hunter is unwavering among executive committee members, though it hasn't always been that way. Matt Bonner of the Spurs, long involved in NBPA activities, was elected to the executive board during this past All-Star weekend -- and came to the role with deep suspicions about Hunter's leadership.

"When I got elected, I didn't have 100 percent confidence in Billy and all the union officials," Bonner said. "I was really curious to see how the process was going to go and see if these were the right people who would do the best job. ... After being part of the process, I have absolutely 100 percent confidence that we did the best job and we got the best deal we could get given the situation. I have Billy's back 100 percent, and we'll support him until the end."

While the voices of discontent from the outside appear to be wavering, the possibility existed that the players' vote Wednesday and Thursday could deteriorate into something it shouldn't be: a referendum on Hunter. The executive director, 69, has at least four years left on a contract that was renewed within the past year and, like commissioner David Stern, will not be in place when the next deal is negotiated.

Among the most vocal players questioning the deal in its aftermath were key members of the Boston Celtics: Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen, sources said. Pierce is represented by agent Jeff Schwartz, who was among a group of seven agents from six of the most powerful agencies who had unsuccessfully pushed for the players to decertify as early as July. All three play for an owner, Wyc Grousbeck, who was an undisputed hawk on the labor relations committee in pushing for a deal that, among other things, all but eliminated the extend-and-trade provision that landed Garnett in Boston in 2007.

In recent days, armed with the knowledge that New Orleans may lose Paul and Orlando may lose Howard, in part because of the new rules, the Celtics were working hard on a strategy that would bring both of them to Boston. Paul would come first via a trade, after which he would sign a five-year, $100 million deal and try to lure Howard there as a free agent.

While commissioner David Stern and deputy commissioner Adam Silver had their hands full with hard-line owners who were intent on crushing the players even if it meant losing the season, the role of activist players and agents on the union side has been grossly underplayed. The conflict continued even after the union disclaimed interest on Nov. 14, paving the way for the antitrust lawsuits that helped create some of the leverage that led to the final negotiating push that achieved the deal.

According to multiple people involved in the process, associates of players attorney David Boies had to hold a secretive conference call with players who'd signed decertification cards on the weekend after the initial antitrust claims were filed separately in California and Minnesota. Many of those players had been led to believe that moving forward with decertification -- renouncing union leadership as the sole collective bargaining representative of the players -- would help the disclaimer of interest path chosen by Hunter and Boies. It wasn't true; Boies' associates explained that decertifying would actually hurt the disclaimer and open the door for the NBA's attorneys to prove that the maneuver was a sham.

"It was like a gotcha moment for the players," a person involved in the process said.

Sabotaging the disclaimer and antitrust actions would've been devastating to the players' cause, since compromising their legal standing to challenge the lockout as an illegal boycott would've caused the strategy to blow up in the union's face. It was just one of many examples of poor communication between union leaders and the rank and file -- partly due to faulty organization and planning and partly due to a lack of interest among players. The vast majority of players didn't become actively involved in negotiations until frustration with the owners' stance was so heated that it threatened to derail what little progress was being made.

A key bargaining session Oct. 4 at the Westin Times Square was typical of how superstars who'd been previously uninvolved swooped in to try to move the negotiations forward -- only to learn the hard way how determined the owners were to break them. That was the night when Garnett, Pierce and Lakers star Kobe Bryant found themselves immersed in the first back-and-forth about the framework of a 50-50 BRI split that would be the backbone of the final agreement that was reached nearly eight weeks later.

"We'd been negotiating all spring, all summer, and it was like banging your head against the wall -- no movement, really frustrating, many hours spent, lots of sacrifice," Bonner said. "You don't get paid for it, but we made that commitment on behalf of all the players, to no avail.

"And then you've got some of the bigger-name guys rolling in and thinking, 'OK, you guys aren't doing a good job and now that I'm here I'm going to get this deal done. ...'" Bonner said. "And then we get into the negotiating room and sure enough, by the end of the day, they're right with us -- right on the same page. They get it and realize how difficult and frustrating and painful a process it is and was."

The same dynamic has continued to unfold this week, right up to the players' vote. Union leaders held a conference call with players and agents Tuesday, and a call open to all 450 players was held Wednesday in advance of the vote. Allen, who once had reservations about the deal, has "turned all the way around 180," said a person who spoke with him recently. Garnett, pounding his chest about what a bad deal this was for the players only a few days ago, is now said to be "cool" after spending at least an hour on the phone Tuesday with a member of the union's negotiating team.

"It's a huge misunderstanding and it's really sad," said Evans, who got his degree in education from the University of Texas last weekend. "It's sad to see that so many players are controlled by their agents. They work for their agents instead of vice versa."

The final product is something that neither side is happy with. From the restrictions on tax-paying teams, to little if any curtailment of superstars' desires to congregate in glamorous cities, to a compressed, 66-game schedule that is ripe for injuries and the ugliest brand of basketball -- this is the best that could be done? The same deal couldn't have been done weeks ago, saving a full or more realistically scheduled season?

Both sides are asking the same questions, and whether that's proof of a good compromise or a bad deal won't be evident for years.

"It's been a long, painstaking process," Bonner said. "And it looks like it's going to be that way right up until the very end."


http://www.cbssports.com/nba/story/16358957/as-nba-players-owners-vote-drama-remains-over-deal-nobody-likes
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Lowest Merion
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2011 3:06 pm    Post subject:

Berger's latest:

Quote:
The letter also revealed for the first time specifics of several key deal points and a litany of so-called B-list issues that union and league negotiators have hammered out over the past 11 days since the framework of the deal was tentatively agreed to Nov. 26. For example, the NBA must maintain a detailed revenue-sharing plan during the course of the agreement. (The Board of Governors is expected to formally approve the plan Thursday before voting on the CBA).

...

Among the other more interesting points:

* Player contracts can be renegotiated downward in extensions, as long as the player's salary does not decrease by more than 40 percent. Previously, renegotiations could only increase a player's salary. This could provide another key avenue for teams to maintain roster flexibility and add players with space created by restructuring existing contracts, similar to the NFL.


http://ken-berger.blogs.cbssports.com/mcc/blogs/entry/11838893/33746971
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Aeneas Hunter
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2011 5:40 pm    Post subject:

That first article by Berger is pathetic. His sources are league executives and members of the union executive committee. What a shock that they all say that the deal isn't bad for the players.
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 9:34 am    Post subject:

Here is the memo from Billy Hunter laying out the terms of the new CBA.

LINK
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 1:57 pm    Post subject:

Berger:

Quote:
BREAKING: Players have approved the new collective bargaining agreement, two people with knowledge of the results tell @CBSSports.

Owners have been finalizing details of new revenue-sharing plan today, and news on owners' vote expected within 1-2 hours, sources say.
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 2:45 pm    Post subject:

And ... the lockout is apparently over. Berger:
Quote:
Lookin like the lockout's over. NBA Board of Governors approves new CBA, person familiar with voting tells @CBSSports.
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 9:04 pm    Post subject:

The owners' vote was 25-5. 86% of the players voted yes.

It's all over now. Thanks to everyone who participated in this thread, especially LM, 24, GLG, AP, Wolf, JMK, GT, BobbyJ, OX, AV, LS, Rick, Moonriver, Luke, TooMuch, Composite, and a bunch of other people who I am forgetting (with 259 pages, can you really blame me?). And of course Larry "I love the lockout" Coon.

Finally, let's tip our caps to the thread's namesake, Ken Berger, and the other media heroes of the lockout: Tom Ziller, Sam Amick, Ian Thomsen, Howard Beck, Chris Broussard, Henry Abbott, and many others. I am not including Chris "There will never be a lockout" Sheridan.

For the foreseeable future, BRI is just a kind of cheese. If we have another mess like this in five years, I hope you're all healthy, wealthy, and still with us.

Now this thread can go to the elephant graveyard. how u?

/thread
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 10:15 pm    Post subject:

Can we can get another lockout if the NBA isn't going to let us get Chris Paul?
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