Archive for November 14th, 2011

NBA players rejected the league’s latest offer Monday and began disbanding the union, likely jeopardizing the season.

“We’re prepared to file this antitrust action against the NBA,” union executive director Billy Hunter said. “That’s the best situation where players can get their due process.”

He said players were not prepared to accept the NBA Commissioner David Stern’s ultimatum, saying they thought it was “extremely unfair.”

Stern had urged players to take the deal on the table, saying it’s the best the NBA can offer and warned that decertification is not a winning strategy.

“This is the best decision for the players,” union president Derek Fisher said. “I want to reiterate that point, that a lot of individual players have a lot of things personally at stake in terms of their careers and where they stand. And right now they feel it’s important — we all feel it’s important to all our players, not just the ones in this room, but our entire group — that we not only try to get a deal done for today but for the body of NBA players that will come into this league over the next decade and beyond.”

Fisher, flanked at a press conference by dozens of players including Kobe Bryant and Carmelo Anthony, said the decision was unanimous.

– Reported by Brian Mahoney of the Associated Press

David Stern

NBA Commissioner David Stern issued the following statement today after the NBA players union rejected the latest offer and will reportedly decertify:

“At a bargaining session in February 2010, Jeffrey Kessler, counsel for the union, threatened that the players would abandon the collective bargaining process and start an antitrust lawsuit against our teams if they did not get a bargaining resolution that was acceptable to them.

“In anticipation of this day, the NBA filed an unfair labor practice charge before the National Labor Relations Board asserting that, by virtue of its continued threats, the union was not bargaining in good faith.  We also began a litigation in federal court in anticipation of this same bargaining tactic.

“The NBA has negotiated in good faith throughout the collective bargaining process, but — because our revised bargaining proposal was not to its liking – the union has decided to make good on Mr. Kessler’s threat.

“There will ultimately be a new collective bargaining agreement, but the 2011-12 season is now in jeopardy.”

Bobby Jackson

When the ongoing NBA lockout that has delayed the start of the 2011-12 season eventually ends, the Sacramento Kings will have themselves a new assistant coach.

According to a Bobby Jackson account verified by Twitter as authentic, the veteran guard will join the Kings coaching staff this upcoming season.

Jackson was a basketball-smart guard and had a very solid NBA career, mostly as a top backup off the bench. It is no surprise that he will go into coaching.

Jackson’s NBA career began in 1997. He bounced around to many teams but spent many years as a member of the Kings. His career NBA average was 9.7 points, 3.1 rebounds and 2.6 assists in 755 total regular season games. He last played in the 2008-09 season.

David Stern has been active on the airwaves, the Internet and, in a new one, on Twitter, trying to tell fatigued fans and an irritated set of NBA players about the need to sign on the dotted line.

Monday is the newest “most important day” of the 138-day NBA lockout. Player representatives for all 30 NBA teams will meet in New York and determine whether they will take the latest offer from NBA owners.

A majority of responses from players and their agents indicated there would be a rejection of the proposal that promised a 72-game season starting Dec. 15.

A lot has to happen this week for there to be basketball by Christmas. Stern knows it too.

The NBA commissioner lambasted player agents in a conference call with reporters Saturday and held a 90-minute “Twitterview” with players, fans and journalists Sunday, sending some final public thoughts in 140 characters or less.

He made some intriguing points, admitting that contraction of teams was discussed by players and owners but dismissed; all NBA executives took pay cuts of unspecified proportion; and players’ contracts would become void if decertification occurred (more of a threat than anything).

– Reported by Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times

Dr. J was almost an Atlanta Hawk

In an article on the Atlanta Hawks website, Jon Newberry tells the story of how one of the greatest players in basketball history almost played for Atlanta.

In the summer of 1972, Dr. J was looking to make a move to the NBA from the Virginia Squires of the American Basketball Association (ABA) and the Hawks were looking to facilitate that move. This is where the problems begin.

In a nutshell, Dr. J secretly signed a contract with Atlanta but was drafted by the Milwaukee Bucks that same summer. A legal battle ensued which eventually barred Dr. J from playing for any team but the Virginia Squires.

– Reported by CSN Philly. The full report is here.

The NBA reality show, “The Association’’ has contacted the Knicks about being the subject of their third season, according to a television source.

“The Association’’ — an up-close, behind-the-scenes series — is similar to HBO’s NFL documentary series “Hard Knocks’’ that once followed the Jets. Talks with the Knicks are only in their initial stage.

Last season, “The Association’’ followed the Celtics with Donnie Wahlberg as narrator. Two years ago, it featured the Lakers, and Andy Garcia was the narrator.

– Reported by Marc Berman of the New York Post

For fans seeking season tickets to next year’s debut in the Barclays Center, the Brooklyn-bound club started dishing out seats five months ago.

The results have been better than the ill-fated marriage of forward Kris Humphries and Kim Kardashian: About 50% of their 100 suites — average price $250,000 — are already sold, the team said.

And season ticket sales for the 4,400 best seats in the new Brooklyn arena are about 15% ahead of expectations — with per-game costs ranging from $99 to $1,500.

The positive news comes despite the team’s inability to use its players — including stars Deron Williams and Brook Lopez — in any promotional capacity due to the ongoing lockout.

The Nets are luring buyers in other ways: the “All Access” 2012-13 season ticket holders receive unlimited complimentary food, along with first shot at seats for any of the other 180 events annually expected at the facility.

– Reported by Larry McShane of the New York Daily News

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