While Kris Humphries may have locked himself into a multi-million dollar deal over the summer, the rest of the NBA players are currently left looking for somewhere to take their talents for the 2011–2012 season. The NBA lockout appears to be headed towards the loss of a substantial amount of games and quite possibly of the entire season.
The past season of NBA basketball was arguably the most important in nearly over a decade, a much-needed boost since the second retirement of Michael Jordan in 1998. It was a year that featured the rise and fall of LeBron James and the Miami Heat, Bryan Colangelo’s continued trafficking of European players to the Toronto Raptors, and the rookie/sophomore season of electrifying slam-dunk champion Blake Griffin.
The NBA looked as promising as ever for commissioner David Stern and the league’s teams, right until July 1, 2011.
It was then that talks broke down between NBA team owners and players. Just as in the NFL, the new Collective Bargaining Agreement was the main focus of the dispute.
Owners argue that a new agreement should create a competitive balance and increased profitability throughout the league. It is the basketball-related revenues that the owners target for adjustment, wherein the expired CBA players were awarded 57% of the revenues.
The owners seek a 50–50 split on the revenues. However, the latest proposal from the players presented a decrease to only 54.3%.
The CBA is a multi-headed beast, and revenue-sharing is not the only issue. Owners are pushing for proposed changes such as a hard or flex salary cap, which prevents teams from spending over or under certain amounts on player salaries in their payroll.
Similar to the NFL, the lockout during this past summer has been provided some interesting dialogue between the Players’ Association and league ownership. Unlike in the NFL, the players in this battle actually have the ball in their court (pun intended).
Players in the NBA, in contrast to the NFL, have leverage over the owners. The availability of leagues internationally, which offer guaranteed contracts, is enticing enough for NBA players to hold out as long as needed.
For fans, this is beginning to look like their worst fears have been confirmed; the distance between the two sides on these important issues means that there is a very good chance that the league will see a shortened season, if it has one at all.
Fans looking to get their fix of some semblance of NBA action need not fear, for there is something out there for you. “Keeping up with the Kardashians” airs on the E Network on Sundays at 10 p.m., and features Lamar Odom Kardashian of the Los Angeles Lakers and Kris Humphries Kardashian of the New Jersey Nets.