Work Stoppage Hit NBA
02. July 2011
For the second time in its rich history, the National Basketball Association suffered a lockout (work stoppage) in the forthcoming season of the premier professional basketball league in the planet.
No less than NBA commissioner David Stern revealed the sad news of the lockout, after team owners and the players failed to sign a new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) after their old CBA agreement officially expires. It can be recalled that the last lockout reduced the 1998-99 season to just a 50-game schedule.
Stern who was visibly sad with the lockout said the work stoppage was reached after both the NBA teams and the players failed to agree on a new term of agreement that will govern the league for years to come. The long-time NBA commissioner explained the two parties tried their best to settle the matter and sign a new CBA but their efforts were not enough since their demands are very far from each other.
He said the players wanted a raise in salaries and a guaranteed contract but the owners refused to agree on such requests, since they wanted a lower salary for players and non-guaranteed contracts. The NBA owners defended that although the the past NBA season had been a huge success it is not the case in terms of profit since they have been losing a lot of money in the past NBA seasons with the old CBA.
As a result of the lockou,t all league business is officially on hold, starting with the free agency period that would have opened Friday.The NBA’s summer league in Las Vegas already has been cancelled, preseason games in Europe were never scheduled, and players might have to decide if they want to risk playing in this summer’s Olympic qualifying tournaments without the NBA’s help in securing insurance in case of injury.
The NBA players for its part said although the lockout is not something they like, but they are firm with their decision not to sign a new CBA unless all their demand are addressed by the team owners. “We’re going to stand up for what we have to do, no matter how long it’s going to take,” Oklahoma City Thunder superstar forward star Kevin Durant said. “No matter how long the lockout’s going to take, we’re going to stand up. We’re not going to give in,” Durant added.
NBA observers said the lock-out is a huge loss for the NBA since it just put to waste the momentum of the league in terms of popularity especially during the last NBA Finals, between the Miami Heat and Dallas Mavericks which had been watched by millions of NBA fans all over the world. The observers just hope the lock-out will end soon for the sake of the franchise and its countless fans.