The NBA (National Basketball Association) has been in a lockout since July first, the fourth lockout in league history. The last time the NBA had a lockout was in the 1998-1999 season with a shortened season of just 50 games. The owners and the Player’s Association (PA) , led by Free Agent (FA), and Point Guard for the Los Angeles Lakers, Derek Fisher, have not been able to reach an agreement. The lockout is finally over and players and teams can finally get back to their normal schedules once and for all.
The NBA season will start on December 25th, a triple header on ABC television starting with the New York Knicks playing against their rival, Boston Celtics. There will be a small time for free agency and training camp which both start December ninth. The new CBA consists of an “amnesty clause,” which means teams can waive any given player on a team, which helps numerous teams if their targeting key free agents, such as the Knicks and Chris Paul. This clause can clear up millions of dollars for teams, creating more and more ways to spend money on free agent guru’s like Jason Richardson, Jamal Crawford, Michael Redd, Grant Hill, Greg Oden, and Tyson Chandler.
The two sides went at it for such a long time that Commissioner, David Stern, was forced to cancel all of the NBA Preseason games as well as the first several weeks of the NBA season. Numerous reports had top players going overseas to Europe, Asia, and some even South America, to play basketball in numerous countries. But now the lockout is over and many players stuck in foreign countries for an entire year. A prime example of this is former New York Knicks and Dever Nuggets’ player Wilson Chandler whom of which signed for a team in China for an entire season. Now he can’t participate in NBA activities until his season ends there.
The insufficient progress which occurred the past several months has provoked many players throughout the league to make the move to go overseas until the season is over. Deron Williams, Point Guard of the New Jersey Nets (soon to be Brooklyn Nets) was the first player to announce that he was going overseas as he announced he was going to Turkey on July 15th for a contract worth approximately five million dollars according to ESPN.com’s Mike Mazzeo.
Commissioner David Stern released the following statement several weeks before the lockout ended: “Right now, Tuesday, Tuesday, Tuesday, just before my owners come into town, having brought in the labor relations committee and Billy (Hunter) having brought in his executive committee, it’s time to make the deal. If we don’t make it on Tuesday, my gut-this is not in my official capacity of canceling games- but my gut is that we won’t be playing on Christmas Day,” stated Stern on Thursday October 13th.
“It is unfortunate for the basketball fans. It’s my understanding that the players make a high average salary as they need to agree on equity changes, not letting bench players make millions of dollars per season,” stated Assistant Principal Mr. Jurman in a brief summary of his thoughts on the lockout before it ended.
Fans are pleased with the recent announcement that the season will resume, especially during the holiday season. Each and every team is rushing to prepare for their 66 game season, 16 games shorter than the usual NBA season of 82 games. Owners and players are mostly pleased with the CBA, but the league needs to prevent this from occurring again if and when the players or owners decide to opt out of their contract after they are enabled to in six years out of the ten proposed.
The NBA season is starting, the only word to describe this is, finally. Finally, players can suit up and play the sport they love. Finally, fans can go watch their favorite players and teams compete at the highest of levels. Finally, free agents can sign with the team they’ve desired to go to since they joined the NBA. Finally, sweat will be rolling down the court with buckets of Gatorade on the bench. The time has come for the NBA season to start. The intensity of the sport is increasing, day by day and they will not disappoint.
|Key players which went overseas||Key players that didn’t go overseas|
|Hilton Armstrong (Hawks) to France||Chris Bosh (Heat)|
|Leandro Barbosa (Raptors) to Brazil||Earl Boykins (Bucks)|
|Nicolas Batum (Trail Blazers) to France||Andrew Bynum (Lakers)|
|Rasaul Butler (Bulls) to Spain||Jimmer Fredette (Kings)|
|Wilson Chandler (Nuggets) to China||Marc Gasol (Grizzlies)|
|Chris Douglas-Roberts (Bucks) to Italy||Danny Granger (Pacers)|
|Jordan Farmar (Nets) to Israel||Andre Iguodala (76ers)|
|Rudy Fernandez (Mavericks) to Spain||LeBron James (Heat)|
|Danilo Gallinari (Nuggets) to Italy||Brandon Jennings (Bucks)|
|J.J. Hickson (Kings) to Israel||Steve Nash (Suns)|
|Andrei Kirilenko (Jazz) to Russia||Nene (Nuggets)|
|Nenad Krstic (Celtics) to Russia||Delonte West (Celtics)|
|Ty Lawson (Nuggets) to Lithuania||Mickael Pietrus (Suns)|
|Kenyon Martin (Nuggets) to China||Brad Miller (Timberwolves)|
|Mehmet Okur (Jazz) to Turkey||Darko Milicic (Timberwolves)|
|Tony Parker (Spurs) to France||JaVale McGee (Wizards)|
|Kyle Singler (Pistons) to Spain||Jose Calderon (Raptors)|
|J.R. Smith (Nuggets) to China||Mike Dunleavy (Pacers)|
|Deron Williams (Nets) to Turkey||Kyrie Erving (Cavaliers)|
Player listings credit to ESPN.com’s NBA overseas player tracker.