NBA Lockout 2011: NBA To Cancel First Two Weeks Of Regular Season

The NBA will join the NFL in a management-led Lockout of NBA Players.

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Cavaliers forward Semih Erden Helps Besiktas and Deron Williams Win Turkish League Debut

Cleveland Cavaliers forward Semih Erden teamed with New Jersey Nets guard Deron Williams to help Turkish League power Besiktas win its opening game 107-69 against Bandirma Kirzmizi on Oct. 16.

Erden scored 13 points and added eight rebounds to help pace Besitkas to a dominant victory in the team's season opener. Williams, the two-time All-Star point guard, scored 11 points along with five assists in his Turkish League debut. Marcelus Kemp led Besiktas with 27 points.

The 25 year-old Erden was born in Turkey and started his professional career in the Turkish Basketball League. Erden, who signed with Besitkas on Sept. 21, was drafted in the second round of the 2008 NBA draft by the Boston Celtics. He was traded to the Cavaliers on Feb. 24, 2011 and has averaged 4.4 points in 41 career NBA games.

Williams is the most prominent NBA player to sign with a club overseas during the NBA lockout. The first two weeks of the regular season have already been canceled, and the owners and players are expected to meet again on Oct. 18.

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David Stern Cancels First Two Weeks Of NBA Season As Talks Break Down

The NBA simply doesn't know a good thing when they have it.  After spending this past season recapturing many of the viewers and fans that the League lost with the retirement of Michael Jordan, the NBA and it's players could not come to a last-minute agreement Monday night leading NBA Commissioner David Stern to cancel the first two weeks of the 2011-12 NBA Regular Season.

The League had already canceled training camp and all the preseason games and Stern had imposed a Monday deadline for a full season to be saved.  Unlike the NFL, however, the two sides simply could not get anything done and will miss games for the first time since 1999 when the League played a little over half a season.

The best-case scenario for the NBA is a deal gets done quickly this week, allowing the NBA to begin the regular season around November 14.  That seems improbable now, with both sides preparing to dig in for what could be a long fight.  For most teams, the two-week cancellation means 6-8 games will be lost.

The two sides have proven in the past to be unable to make a last minute deal, coming to an agreement in January 1999 after Stern threatened to cancel the entire season.  The basketball landscape was different back then, however, and players seem more and more willing to take their talents over-seas.  Of course, a large segment of the NBA player population will struggle through a lockout.

As for the Cavaliers, Kyrie Irving, the #1 Pick in the 2011 NBA Draft has already said he will not seek work elsewhere.

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NBA Lockout 2011: Backs To The Wall As Deadline Day Arrives

We have reached the point in the NBA lockout where a lot of toe prints can be seen in the sand. Translation: both sides have established their guidelines for a settlement and some kind of compromise will be needed or else the first two weeks of the regular season (at least) are in jeopardy.

Today was the day that was set as a quasi-deadline to either get a deal done or see games canceled. The exhibition season already has been nixed.

With the deadline and the stakes in mind, last-ditch talks are taking place on Monday in New York.

The stance of each side is pretty basic. The owners want a 50-50 split of basketball-related income, as well as harsh taxes for big-spending teams, lowering the mid-level salary cap exemption, and a narrowing of players "Larry Bird" exception right.

Players, meanwhile, are resisting lowering their split to 50 percent without leaving most of the old system in place, according to the story on Yahoo! Sports.

After both sides got together for meetings on Sunday, Players Association president Derek Fisher said that the issue was "not necessarily closer" to being resolved, but that the two sides were going to keep on talking.

NBA commissioner David Stern has said that the first two weeks of regular season games would be canceled if an agreement is not reached by today.

Fisher said that he would begin using social media to push for a settlement (that would be more in favor of players, no doubt), and that he and New Orleans Hornets guard Chris Paul, a member of the union's executive committee, would be sending out a Tweet.

"LET US PLAY", the Tweet will say.

Sounds like a really fine idea to me. But it will take some major willingness to bend but not break on the part of both sides.

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NBA Lockout 2011: After Unproductive Tuesday, Exhibition Season Canceled

Well, so much for an NBA preseason being played in 2011.

After a failure on Tuesday to overcome the any major hurdles, the National Basketball Association canceled the exhibition schedule and we find out that if there is not an agreement by Monday the league will scrub the first two weeks of the regular season.

Monday might be an achievable date -- except that no new talks are planned, according to this story via Yahoo!

The issue, not surprisingly, remains money. The deal-breaker as far as Tuesday's meetings in New York went was when the players refused to consider a 50-50 revenue split.

“We were not able to make the progress that we hoped we could make and we were not able to continue the negotiations,” David Stern said after nearly four hours of talks between owners and players ended without gaining ground on a new deal.

According to the Yahoo! story, it could be a month or more before more meetings are held, and folks, putting on the commentary hat here, if it is November or later before there are more talks, we may not have to have anxiety over LeBron James winning an NBA title in 2012. Winning a title would follow playing a season -- you have to get up early to fool me!

Anyhow, back to being serious here...the 50-50 split that was proposed to the players is well below the 57% that the players were guaranteed under the previous collective bargaining agreement, but better than the 47% that was originally put on the table in this go-round.

Even so, when the even split was rejected, down came the curtain on the exhibition season.

This is nauseatingly like Canton, Ohio losing the Hall of Fame Game in the NFL. Yes, sure, special activities were held in conjunction with the game to try to recoup some of the lost revenue, but vendors lose out, ushers lose out, and what may matter most of all, fans lose out when there is nothing to look forward to where something to look forward to was supposedly a given.

Be sure to have a look at the seed article linked to above. It gives more detail to how each side sees this 50-50 split, and whether or not all sides see it as fair and as legitimate (hint: they don't).

Further updates will be passed along here when they occur.

Hopefully that will be some time before the Indians head for spring training.

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NBA Lockout: Would A Hard Salary Cap Hurt Small Market Teams?

There are many schools of thought about the consequences of a hard salary cap in the NBA, but one thing that needs to be thought about is: would such a cap make it difficult for -- or even ruin -- small-market teams? This article from CBS Sports postulates that such a cap would destroy a team such as the Oklahoma City Thunder, who play in one of the smallest markets in the league.

Would the Miami Heat be damaged by a cap of, say, $55 million? Yes, the Heat would, and of course a hard cap would also impact big-market teams like Boston, New York, Chicago and the LA teams. But (the article claims) a team such as the Thunder, which has been built around players who are all coming into extension-time together, would not be able to survive.

"Every team that's using the draft to build -- which is the sound and socially blessed way to structure a team -- would have to reconsider. The Cavaliers might've just committed 80 percent of their future cap to Kyrie Irving and Tristan Thompson if those two pan out.", Royce Young, the author of the CBS column, stated.

This is something to bear in mind. A hard cap would make the Cavaliers have to rethink the strategy of rebuilding through the draft, because once all those drafted players come eligible for new contracts at the same time in one of the smaller markets, and under the cap you can only afford two or three contract extensions and five or six guys are eligible...well, you can do the math.

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NBA Lockout 2011: Frequently Asked Questions About The NBA Lockout

The NBA has released some FAQ's about the Lockout and what it means to players, owners and fans alike:

Q. What happens in a lockout?

A. All contact between NBA players and the teams ceases. No communication. No use of team facilities. No contracts signed. No free-agent shopping. Players still owed salary for the 2010-11 season will continue to receive payments but other benefits (insurance) are suspended.

Q. What are the most important issues holding up a deal?

A. The NBA owners are seeking changes in both the financial split of league revenues dedicated to player compensation and the structure of the system. In the expiring collective bargaining agreement, players received 57 percent of basketball-related income. The owners - citing combined losses approaching $300 million last year, with 22 of 30 teams in the red - had offered a 50-50 split in their latest proposal. The owners also want to function under a "flex" salary cap that the players interpret as a hard cap similar to those in the NFL and NHL, as opposed to the current "soft" cap.

Q. How far apart are the two sides?

A. A chasm at the moment. Besides the dispute over cap structure, the players - whose latest offer was a 54.3 percent split to 45.7 for the teams - contend the owners' 10-year proposal would lose them about $7 billion over its term (allowing for projected growth in league revenues).

By the way, both sides traditionally take their most recent offers off the table once a work stoppage commences, so the above numbers might not be the starting points the next time the parties talk.

Q. When is the next negotiating session?

A. TBD. When the two sides broke off talks in July 1998, they did not meet again until early August - and then for only 90 minutes, without progress. The owners and the players did not exactly sequester themselves heading toward the June 30 deadline this year, with just three meetings - totaling about 12 hours - in the final two weeks.

Q. What does this mean for 2011-12?

A. There are no dates chiseled in stone by which a deal must be struck for next season to escape unscathed. But if history is a guide, a lockout in 1995 lasted 74 days - into September - without changes in preseason or regular season schedules. In 1998, the NBA cancelled preseason games once the lockout reached Sept. 24. On Oct. 13, the first two weeks of the regular schedule were zapped.

The league kept pushing about a month out in terms of cancellations, until NBA commissioner David Stern issued a Jan. 7 drop-dead date to stage even a 50-game game season. Free agency, training camps and two preseason games were crammed into a period of less than three weeks once the new agreement was ratified.

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NBA Lockout 2011: NBA Press Release Regarding Lockout

The NBA released this press release just minutes ago about the NBA Lockout that went into effect at 12:01am ET Friday morning:

The National Basketball Association announced that it will commence a lockout of its players, effective at 12:01 am ET on July 1, until a new collective bargaining agreement is reached with the National Basketball Players Association.

"The expiring collective bargaining agreement created a broken system that produced huge financial losses for our teams," said NBA Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver. "We need a sustainable business model that allows all 30 teams to be able to compete for a championship, fairly compensates our players, and provides teams, if well-managed, with an opportunity to be profitable."

"We have made several proposals to the union, including a deal targeting $2 billion annually as the players' share -- an average of approximately $5 million per player that could increase along with league revenue growth," said Silver. "Elements of our proposal would also better align players' pay with performance."

"We will continue to make every effort to reach a new agreement that is fair and in the best interests of our teams, our players, our fans, and our game."

During the lockout, players will not receive their salaries; teams will not negotiate, sign or trade player contracts; players will not be able to use team facilities for any purpose; and teams will not conduct or facilitate any summer camps, exhibitions, practices, workouts, coaching sessions, or team meetings.

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