After much speculation and discussions, the NBA has officially commenced the lockout of its players. The following is the statement the NBA has released regarding the lockout:
“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.”
What does this mean for the players, teams, league?
- 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
- Teams will not conduct or facilitate any summer camps, exhibitions, practices, workouts, coaching sessions, or team meetings.
Los Angeles Laker and President of the Players Union had this to say regarding the lockout:
“My level of disappointment is for a lot of our fans and people who follow our game,” Fisher said. “Although they’re not going to miss any games at this point, they still just don’t like the prospect of a lockout. We don’t like it either. But our owners feel like it is the best way for them to get what they want. We don’t agree. We’re still going to continue to negotiate in the midst of this lockout.”
NBA Commissioner David Stern brought up an interesting point that the players and owners should start from “scratch” to work on the new deal during the lockout:
“The players on the way out suggested to us that when we reconvene maybe that we should start from scratch. Maybe there are things that we should think about that we haven’t thought about before. I don’t mean to suggest [the league's current offer] is ‘off the table’ in any threatening way, it just hasn’t done the job. The question is what does it take on both sides to get the job done.”
Most of all, we, the fans, lose out. Both sides do seem encouraged to work on a deal during the lockout so that’s the best optimism you could take from all this news. Either way, we’ll be here strong and loud reporting on any Lakers news (if any) and bringing you updates regarding the lockout during these dark times. Speak up Laker Nation, let your voices be heard as fans!