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Talks Between NBA, Players' Union Collapse--Maybe the NBA will go away!!
Yahoo/AP ^ | 5/18/05 | CHRIS SHERIDAN, AP Basketball Writer

Posted on 05/18/2005 4:10:46 PM PDT by misterrob

NEW YORK - Labor talks between the NBA and the players' union broke off Wednesday, increasing the chance of a lockout starting in the offseason.

In a statement, the NBA accused the union of backtracking on several items that the sides had agreed upon. The collective bargaining agreement expires June 30.

"Since we are at a loss as to how we can possibly reach a new deal that is in any way consistent with the principal terms that we have been discussing for many months, there are no further meetings scheduled at this time," deputy commissioner Russ Granik said.

The union did not immediately respond.

If no new agreement is reached, a lockout could begin as early as July 1 — three days after the draft.

The sides had been publicly optimistic over the prospects for reaching a new deal until last Friday, when commissioner David Stern downgraded his outlook to "hopeful." That came just hours after two union attorneys gave a verbal outline of the union's new offer and, according to the league, changed its position on several key issues.

"They've taken major steps backward on all the key elements," Granik said in a telephone interview. "We still have more than six weeks until July 1, so I don't want to predict what will or won't happen, but based on way things have gone here it's hard to see where an agreement will be reached any time soon."

A lockout beginning July 1 would force the cancelation of summer leagues and offseason conditioning programs at team facilities. Training camps are scheduled to open in early October.

The league and union went through an acrimonious seven-month lockout in 1998 and 1999 before agreeing to the current seven-year agreement.

With very few exceptions, the same attorneys that negotiated the old agreement are working on the new one.

In its statement, the league indicated a belief that player agents had pressured union director Billy Hunter to back off some of the concessions he had agreed to in previous negotiating sessions since mid-February.

"At the conclusion of a bargaining session on Sunday, April 17, we thought we were very close to a deal, with only a few items remaining to be compromised," Granik said. "On April 19, a day after the players association met with a group of player agents, we were informed that the players association could no longer agree to a previously committed five-year rule on length of contracts.

"Then, last week, after promising a written proposal to form the basis of a new agreement, the union instead advised us orally that it needed to backtrack on several other essential terms that had already been resolved."

The league claims the union changed its position on the length of long-term contracts (current rules allow a maximum length of seven years), the size of annual raises in long-term contracts (current rules limit those increases to 12.5 percent annually for players who re-sign with their teams; 10 percent for players changing teams as free agents), and changes to the escrow and luxury tax systems designed to limit salary growth and penalize the highest-spending teams.

Granik also told the AP that the union had changed its stance on a proposed change to the age limit. He did not give specifics.

Stern is seeking to have the minimum age for playing in the NBA raised to 20 (current rules mandate a U.S. player's high school class must have graduated before he can become draft eligible, while foreign-born players must turn 18 before the draft). Hunter has said he is philosophically opposed to raising the minimum age, though he said he'd agree to a change if the league offered something substantial in return.

The league said it had offered to increase each team's salary cap by raising the percentage upon which that calculation is based. Currently, the cap is computed by taking 48 percent of leaguewide revenues and dividing that figure by the number of teams, 30.

Granik said the league had offered to raise that percentage to 51.

Hunter, in Washington to testify before a congressional committee investigating steroid use in professional sports, could not immediately be reached.

The first sign that talks might be breaking down came when the league canceled plans for a bargaining session between a large group of owners and players that was to have taken place Tuesday. Granik said Thursday's statement was issued to help explain the cancelation of that session.

"We felt we had to tell people what was really happening. It's not like it serves a beneficial purpose," Granik said. "I would prefer we not have to air this, but people were asking reasonable questions and we owed them a responsible answer."


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Crime/Corruption
KEYWORDS: basketball; ghettolife; greed; playahater; thuglife
Let's hope they lock the players out and find that people can live without them.
1 posted on 05/18/2005 4:10:47 PM PDT by misterrob
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To: misterrob

Oh please let it be true - go away!


2 posted on 05/18/2005 4:13:08 PM PDT by Enterprise (Coming soon from Newsweek: "Fallujah - we had to destroy it in order to save it.")
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To: misterrob
Let's hope they lock the players out and find that people can live without them.

I am still angry over the NHL too, and they have yet to solve the problem.

3 posted on 05/18/2005 4:13:49 PM PDT by Mark17
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To: misterrob
Let's hope they lock the players out and find that people can live without them.

And just why would I want to hope that? If you don't like it, simply ignore it.


4 posted on 05/18/2005 4:13:57 PM PDT by rdb3 (One may smile and smile and still be a villain.)
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To: misterrob

If the NBA pulls an NHL will the college players who jumped early be able to return to their schools?


5 posted on 05/18/2005 4:14:13 PM PDT by JohnBovenmyer (I)
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To: Enterprise
Just like the NHL, oh please let it happen.

Of course. if it happens there will be no talk about new falujeha or the TBA.

6 posted on 05/18/2005 4:16:32 PM PDT by dts32041 (Two words that shouldn't be used in the same sentence Grizzly bear and violate.)
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To: rdb3
They have lost a portion of their audience who can no longer stomach the thug life antics and ghetto image of the players. The game has become one dimensional and flawed fundamentally and just boring.
7 posted on 05/18/2005 4:18:13 PM PDT by misterrob
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To: dts32041

More discrimination against Negroes. Pity.


8 posted on 05/18/2005 4:18:54 PM PDT by ReadyNow
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To: rdb3
And just why would I want to hope that? If you don't like it, simply ignore it.

Cities have gotten into the practice of raping taxpayers to build new arenas for the NBA. It's too late for me; already raped so it won't happen again for 20 years or so.

It's a sport that basically consists of 10 tatooed guys jumping in the air every 15 seconds, and nothing matters until the final five minutes of the game. Your mileage may vary.

9 posted on 05/18/2005 4:22:14 PM PDT by Dog Gone
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To: misterrob

It could be a very cold winter without the NBA *and* the NHL. I frankly don't care about either until the playoffs start. They just mail it in until April so why bother?


10 posted on 05/18/2005 4:23:12 PM PDT by Tall_Texan (If you can think 180-degrees apart from reality, you might be a Democrat.)
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To: misterrob
They have lost a portion of their audience who can no longer stomach the thug life antics and ghetto image of the players. The game has become one dimensional and flawed fundamentally and just boring.

Great. Now do as I do with country music and ignore it.


11 posted on 05/18/2005 4:23:50 PM PDT by rdb3 (One may smile and smile and still be a villain.)
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To: misterrob

Hope they bring in overseas players. I would watch that.


12 posted on 05/18/2005 4:24:26 PM PDT by Semper Paratus
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To: JohnBovenmyer

Nope... just ask Mike Williams from USC.


13 posted on 05/18/2005 4:25:52 PM PDT by So Cal Rocket (Proud Member: Internet Pajama Wearers for Truth)
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To: Dog Gone
Cities have gotten into the practice of raping taxpayers to build new arenas for the NBA.

And those measures are voted on by the citizens of your city/county to get approved, right? I don't like the idea of public financing for a private business, but if they vote for it, who am I to speak against it? If those voters approve, that's that.


14 posted on 05/18/2005 4:26:07 PM PDT by rdb3 (One may smile and smile and still be a villain.)
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To: dts32041

Just the thought of no basketball - gets me all CHOKED up!

15 posted on 05/18/2005 4:26:07 PM PDT by Enterprise (Coming soon from Newsweek: "Fallujah - we had to destroy it in order to save it.")
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To: Enterprise

Are you kidding? Philadelphia crime is only as low as it is right now on account of Iverson having something to do for half the year!


16 posted on 05/18/2005 4:26:10 PM PDT by SaveTheChief (<insert clever, witty, or silly statement here>)
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To: Semper Paratus

I would too. Let's see, defense, boxing out, pick and roll, screens, passing and motion? Sounds like basketball to me.


17 posted on 05/18/2005 4:26:54 PM PDT by misterrob
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To: misterrob

I haven't watched travelball in years and I have no desire to watch it ever again.


18 posted on 05/18/2005 4:28:42 PM PDT by flashbunny
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To: rdb3

To me, the NBA has never been the same since the end of the Showtime Era with the Lakers. I like quick fast break style basketball. The Bird vs Magic rivalry was also fun to watch.

So yeah, I have been ignoring it as you say... but I wouldn't mind seeing things improve, so I can start paying attention to it again.


19 posted on 05/18/2005 4:29:14 PM PDT by ambrose (NEWSWEAK LIED .... AND PEOPLE DIED)
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To: JohnBovenmyer
"If the NBA pulls an NHL will the college players who jumped early be able to return to their schools?"

Hey - rules are rules. You jumped early? No NBA now? Oh, you are so screeeeeewwwwwwwwed!

20 posted on 05/18/2005 4:29:50 PM PDT by Enterprise (Coming soon from Newsweek: "Fallujah - we had to destroy it in order to save it.")
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To: flashbunny

I've been a Celtics fan back before Havlicek stole the ball but the antics of the present team in the playoff series with Indiana was beyond the pale.


21 posted on 05/18/2005 4:30:24 PM PDT by Semper Paratus
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To: misterrob

You can't have a Union without a Company but you can have a company without a Union.


22 posted on 05/18/2005 4:31:01 PM PDT by BIGZ
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To: misterrob

This would be good first step toward cleaning up the USA.


23 posted on 05/18/2005 4:31:30 PM PDT by Muscadine
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They just want to keep my Wizards from winning the Championship next year. I know this, because they stopped hockey to keep the Caps from winning the Stanley Cup. Something about clear signs of the Apocalypse, I guess.


24 posted on 05/18/2005 4:31:58 PM PDT by vollmond (Head back to base for debriefing and cocktails.)
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To: rdb3

In Houston's case, it was voted in by City Council. No taxpayer vote unless you want to make it one step removed.


25 posted on 05/18/2005 4:35:25 PM PDT by Dog Gone
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To: SaveTheChief

The fact the NBA exists saves a couple of hundred lives a year.


26 posted on 05/18/2005 4:38:01 PM PDT by jimboster (I went on vacation to see some new faces- your face doesn't look so new)
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To: misterrob

life can go on without them


27 posted on 05/18/2005 4:40:23 PM PDT by concordKIWI
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To: Dog Gone
In Houston's case, it was voted in by City Council. No taxpayer vote unless you want to make it one step removed.

The American Airlines Center, home of the Mavericks and Stars, was voted in with a tax on hotels and rental cars. I actually voted against it. Mark Cuban and Tom Hicks can write a check for a new arena if they wanted to. Former mayor Ron Kirk campaigned for it before he left office in southern Dallas County by promising that it would create jobs. Reunion Arena isn't used for anything really anymore, and the people down there didn't understand that this would not create anything, just move some jobs one mile north.

It passed.

My father voted against the measures for Jacob's Field, Gund Arena, and Cleveland Browns Stadium. They all passed, too. In fact, former mayor Michael White of Cleveland championed a tax measure that would have given Art Modell a brand new stadium to convince him to keep the Browns in Cleveland. The measure passed. Modell still moved to Baltimore.

What can I say?


28 posted on 05/18/2005 4:42:16 PM PDT by rdb3 (One may smile and smile and still be a villain.)
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To: misterrob
A close friend who is deeply involved in negotiations tells me that the main barrier to progress is the diversity program and it's implementation!

Why do these guys have a union when the major problem is the greedy bastard of an agent that ecah one has?

29 posted on 05/18/2005 4:43:21 PM PDT by Tacis ( SEAL THE FRIGGEN BORDER!!!)
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To: misterrob

No! I don't want the Pistons to follow the Red Wings. :(


30 posted on 05/18/2005 4:43:25 PM PDT by Dan from Michigan (Fire Stabenow in 2006)
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To: misterrob

What's the NBA?


31 posted on 05/18/2005 4:45:04 PM PDT by PeteB570
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To: Enterprise

Even if the NBA went away, who would notice? Basketball is so boring it makes test patterns look exciting.


32 posted on 05/18/2005 4:46:50 PM PDT by R.W.Ratikal
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To: flashbunny

That's when I stopped. Constant traveling, and the totally biased penalty calling based on players names. Two sets of rules - one for big names, and one for no names totally turned me off.


33 posted on 05/18/2005 4:50:55 PM PDT by SengirV
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To: R.W.Ratikal

Well, I might make an exception,

34 posted on 05/18/2005 4:56:05 PM PDT by Enterprise (Coming soon from Newsweek: "Fallujah - we had to destroy it in order to save it.")
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To: rdb3
I guess I prefer that this labor dispute be resolved. Basketball does generate revenue and the government does collect its share of taxes from it.

If it shuts down, the government will come looking elsewhere for the revenue, and that might mean me.

I haven't been a big fan in recent years and I resent subsidizing megamillionaires who own these franchises. It's just not right. But that's a different issue from the labor negotiation and potential lockout problem.

35 posted on 05/18/2005 5:01:04 PM PDT by Dog Gone
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To: Enterprise
Hey, be nice. He does have a family to feed, you know.
36 posted on 05/18/2005 5:07:47 PM PDT by GnL
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To: Enterprise

If WNBA players looked like that, the NBA could go bankrupt and nobody would notice, or even care.


37 posted on 05/18/2005 5:09:01 PM PDT by RichInOC (...specially textured for her pleasure.)
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To: R.W.Ratikal

"Even if the NBA went away, who would notice? Basketball is so boring it makes test patterns look exciting."

I'll take your word for it. I have never watched a whole basketball game nor do I intend to start.


38 posted on 05/18/2005 5:09:05 PM PDT by L98Fiero
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To: misterrob
NBA cancels season..... who cares?

It'll just give me more time for ...... hockey.

39 posted on 05/18/2005 5:16:14 PM PDT by Dick Vomer (liberals suck......... but it depends on what your definition of the word "suck" is.)
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To: rdb3
Great! A thread where people who don't like the NBA can whine about a labor negotiation and tax issues. I don't much care about the money and contracts--I figure that's between the employer and the employee. But, IMO, of course, NBA basketball has no peer in the world of sports-even the NFL. The second round of the play-offs has been a great display of talent, strategy, and stamina. The conference finals should also be terrific. My hope is for a Phoenix/Detroit finals. That would be a classic match-up.

Oh, and I promise not to comment on any threads that raise contract negotiations involving the ballet.

40 posted on 05/18/2005 5:21:30 PM PDT by Faraday
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To: GnL

I'm actually a supporter of Sprewell. I mean, how can anyone expect to survive on a lousy 7 million dollars a year? It's inhuman!


41 posted on 05/18/2005 5:22:50 PM PDT by Enterprise (Coming soon from Newsweek: "Fallujah - we had to destroy it in order to save it.")
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To: misterrob

From your lips to God's ears. I would be more than happy if the NBA just went away forever.


42 posted on 05/18/2005 5:24:37 PM PDT by Deo et Patria (Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori.)
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To: RichInOC
Here's another one:


43 posted on 05/18/2005 5:31:42 PM PDT by Enterprise (Coming soon from Newsweek: "Fallujah - we had to destroy it in order to save it.")
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To: Faraday
Great! A thread where people who don't like the NBA can whine about a labor negotiation and tax issues.

I hear you. I find basketball entertaining, though it's not my favorite sport. But one thing is for certain. If anyone here starts a thread about NASCAR or country music, I won't comment, even though I don't like either one.

Just wait until football season. You can be sure that someone will take the time to tell us how they don't care about football, even though they took the time to post and say that they didn't care. I find that strange.


44 posted on 05/18/2005 5:58:38 PM PDT by rdb3 (One may smile and smile and still be a villain.)
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To: misterrob

When the player reps entered the negotiation room, did they say to the guys on the other side, "Stand up when I talk to you, shortie"?


45 posted on 05/18/2005 6:00:20 PM PDT by righttackle44 (The most dangerous weapon in the world is a Marine with his rifle and the American people behind him)
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To: ReadyNow

Such a pity. I'll really miss the Nigerian ballet.... (NOT!)


46 posted on 05/18/2005 6:02:30 PM PDT by demkicker (Warning the GOP Senators: Nuke the filibuster!)
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To: misterrob

Please, oh Puhleeze shut down the NBA! forever!


47 posted on 05/18/2005 6:21:11 PM PDT by hubbubhubbub
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To: jimboster
The fact the NBA exists saves a couple of hundred lives a year.

ROFLMAO!!!!

Dude, that was bad. Funny, but bad.

I've always been worried about that shifty Steve Nash guy, and that big German guy on the Mavericks seems really angry lately. And Yao Ming might resort to espionage.

Better keep that league intact.

(no comment about hotel clerks in Colorado)

48 posted on 05/18/2005 6:25:53 PM PDT by Stu Cohen (Press '1' for English)
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