The Salt Lake Tribune
First published 1 hour ago
Updated 1 minute ago Updated Jun 30, 2011 02:57PM
NBA owners believe that the league’s economic system is completely broken. They enacted a lockout Thursday to try fixing it.
Owners informed players that they have approved a work stoppage, CBS Sports reported, ending nearly two years of collective bargaining agreement (CBA) negotiations.
"It’s kind of what we all saw was going to be the end result … it’s not a surprise to any of us. We just hope we can get something knocked out before we wind up missing games," said Jazz guard Raja Bell, who served as the team’s player representative during the NBA Players Association’s (NBPA) annual gathering last Thursday in New York.
Representatives for NBA owners and players met Thursday in New York, converging for the final time in an attempt to agree upon the framework of a new CBA or at least extend negotiations past a 10:01 p.m. Mountain Time deadline.
The meeting lasted a little more than three hours and reportedly featured NBA commissioner David Stern, deputy commissioner Adam Silver, NBPA executive director Billy Hunter and NBPA president Derek Fisher, among others. But some of the biggest names guiding a league that annually takes in about $4 billion in revenue were unable to keep the game going.
"If the NBA feels the gap [in issues] is just too wide, a lockout is a way of putting pressure on the players to make some more concessions," said Michael McCann, Vermont professor of law and director of the school’s sports law institute.
The 2011 NBA lockout coincides with an ongoing three-month NFL lockout. Professional basketball’s work stoppage could ultimately have more in common with a 2004-05 NHL lockout, though, which resulted in a lost season and a fully revamped CBA. Several NBA owners have ties to NHL teams, and hockey has enjoyed a resurgence under its new deal.
The NBA and NFL lockouts are also separated by hard economic numbers. The NFL is the undisputed king of the sports world and rakes in money. The NBA’s 2010-11 season was one of the league’s best since Michael Jordan left the game for good, and television ratings peaked during a highly entertaining Finals matchup between Dallas and Miami. But at the same time that the league was reveling in its post-Decision glow, it was also bleeding money — the NBA claims that 22 of 30 teams operated in the red last season.