For fans of the National Basketball Association, doomsday commences at 12:01 a.m. Eastern Time, June 1, 2011.
Thats right, David Stern and the NBA didn't learn a single thing from the nightmare the NFL is going through and has announced they will officially lockout their players. What this means for the 2011-12 NBA season remains to be seen, but many folks in the know have said it could wipe out the entire season, leaving many a basketball fan out in the proverbial cold during the dead of winter.
Here's a bit from the NBA's official statement:
"The National Basketball Association announced that it will commence a lockout of its players, effective at 12:01 am ET on July 1, until a new collective bargaining agreement is reached with the National Basketball Players Association.
During the lockout players will not receive a cent of their salaries or be able to use any NBA facilities for any reason whatsoever. Teams are not allowed to negotiate, trade, or sign any players or contracts, nor can they conduct or facilitate any camps, practices, exhibitions, workouts, coaching sessions, or team meetings. NBA Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver stated that the expiring CBA created a "broken system" that caused huge financial losses for the NBA. Here's more from the deputy commish:
'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.'
Silver has also noted that they have made "several proposals" to the NBA Players Association, which all have proved unfruitful.
Any way you look at it, it's going to be a long summer for the NBA's players, owners, and fans. Hopefully for all parties involved the powers that be can come up with a solution before it gets out of hand.
In the meantime, much like members of the 49ers and Raiders, NBA players will likely remain active in some way or another. The NFL has had teams organizing players-only workouts and at some point I'd imagine NBA players will conduct similar workouts, if only to stay in shape for the eventual return of basketball.
Beyond practice, NBA players will have a lot of free time on their hands. While nobody wants to see players getting in trouble during the lockout, we all hope for the occasional entertaining tale. For that, we'll keep this stream updated with all the comings and goings for the Golden State Warriors and Sacramento Kings. Ideally the lockout will end before any basketball time is lost, but in the meantime we'll be here with news updates.