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Pressing Questions - Lockout Edition

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rswknight on Jul 1 at 6:02
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Did anybody else see this:
http://espn.go.com/blog/chicago/colleges/post/_/id/3143/ex-husky-silas-waiting-on-nba

Silas believes the 76ers will give him that opportunity.

“I didn’t have time to be disappointed or upset [about the draft,]” Silas said. “Sacramento’s 60th pick was still on the screen when Philly called me and wanted me 100 percent to come into camp. They said, ‘We don’t want you to go to Europe. We want you to come in our training camp 100 percent because we need a 2 [guard.]

“I know they like my game. I know I’m going to play my game. I know everything is going to work out. I’m just happy everything is on track.”

Here's a brief workout video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KB6x2XbFguY

Now I am really interested in this guy. One of his coaches described him as "Ray Allen with OCD" and he says he's all about tough defense too. Saw another article that says his godfather is Doctor J, so that is an interesting connection to the Sixers, especially Collins.

Everything you did (or didn't) want to know about Silas. Including Evil Kanevil, Che Guevara and I Dream of Genie references (6:09). :)

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rswknight reply to tk76 on Jul 1 at 21:05
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too true. He is very stream-of-consciousness right? lol

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eddies' heady's reply to rswknight on Jul 1 at 18:08
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"We want you to come in our training camp 100 percent because we need a 2 [guard.]"

So, does this quietly say that they no longer see Turner as a 2? Viewing him more as a 3?

And that they want more than Meeks there, with Lou seeing time at PG like last year backing up Jrue and Lou not being off the ball as much?

Sure, it'd be nice to upgrade Meeks, but isn't Lou a capable bench guy playing the 2?

Though last year Lou had the ball in his hands a ton and Tom Moore already posted something a while back that Lou views himself as a starter (which could turn into a locker room problem).

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rswknight reply to eddies' heady's on Jul 1 at 21:11
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Tough to say. I believe they see Turner as a 2, but they also need another versatile wing shooter, especially if he's cheap. Rose-colored Glasses/Best case scenario, if he can play both guard spots & his scoring translates, he could become Lou's replacement, sort of a better shooting George Hill type. He has some slashing skill, so he and meeks could make an interesting backup backcourt

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eddies' heady's reply to rswknight on Jul 1 at 23:43
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Backup backcourt to whom? Jrue and ...? Meeks is the de facto starter, right?

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rswknight reply to eddies' heady's on Jul 2 at 6:43
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Assuming the eventual evolution of Turner, Meeks is best as a 3rd guard

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eddies' heady's reply to rswknight on Jul 2 at 9:15
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Agree on Meeks, though he fits a perfect role as long as he's between Jrue and Iguodala. Don't see Doug removing him from the starting lineup simply because of spacing playing between those two. But I think there's more to that "we need a 2 guard comment" than is being inferred. Considering the last half of the season, and with this now being said, leads me to believe that they see Turner more as a 3; along with the weaknesses he possesses needed to play the 2.

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eddies' heady's reply to rswknight on Jul 2 at 9:22
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Just saying there's an awful lot of hopeful assumption amongst some of the fan base of Turner being this critical piece of a future backcourt with Jrue. Reminiscent of when a lot of the fan base held out hope that Iguodala and Thad would work as a 2/3 tandem. That didn't pan out, and evidence to this point plus comments being made recently (Thorn saying he's similar to Iguodala) are heading down the same road as I see it.

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rswknight reply to eddies' heady's on Jul 3 at 23:10
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Turner's primary requirement this summer is to show that his jump shot performance over the 2nd half wasn't a fluke and could be built on. If he can do that, he can fit, then you get all the extra benefits(better defender, playmaker, rebounder) over Meeks.

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eddies' heady's reply to rswknight on Jul 4 at 11:35
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eh, agree, but to an extent - he was being dared to shoot on a majority of those looks. it'll be a different ballgame if he's actually being guarded and especially gameplanned for. At a minimum, you have to be a 'threat' to shoot to 'fit' between the previous mentioned two. Being left open purposely and knocking down jumpers isn't considered much of a threat.

Though I realize you prefaced it with the gargantuan word "If".

I read in Fagan's chat that ET will NOT be working with Herb Magee (shooting coach).

I think that's smart. I never liked the idea of messing with a guy's shooting form when he's been doing it that way for 20 years and has excelled at every level.

Turner's shooting was much improved the last 2 months of the season, let's see how that carries over before ruining the guy's game.

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eddies' heady's reply to tk76 on Jul 4 at 11:58
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whoa! not sure how I feel about that - talk about riding the fence. I never liked the idea of trying to break down a shot after doing it that way for such a long time. Too much muscle memory to wipe away along with embedding the new muscle memory of the re-worked shot. That's not only a huge mountain to climb but also a huge mountain to come down.

On the flip side, something has to at least be tweaked because it just comes off way too flat for it to have increased chances of going in from mid-range to deep-range. It seems he doesn't get enough elbow extension or something. Maybe he can borrow some from Andre as he has more than enough extension :)

Still seems really odd that he's not working with Magee when considering that Doug Collins said that his shot was broken or needed to be re-worked from the ground up. Weren't his comments somewhere along those lines?

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sober81 reply to eddies' heady's on Jul 4 at 12:10
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Evan is taking classes at Ohio State and working out with former Buckeyes (Mike Conley, Ray Lewis, Scoonie Penn, Byron Mullins, Jon Diebler). He is also working out with the OSU strength and conditioning coaches during the lockout.

I just thought about this. Magee doesn't work for free, so the Sixers would have been paying him to work on Turner's shot. Obviously Turner isn't going to pay for that out of his own pocket. With the lockout, the Sixers are not allowed to pay for training for their players.

That's probably the sole reason. But I think it's ultimately a good thing, changing a guy's shot at age 21 is not a good idea in my opinion. Let's see if his shot continues to improve like it did the last couple months of the season. If it doesn't, then maybe the following summer work with Magee. But I think changing everything after just a rookie season is too quick.

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Rich reply to stoned81 on Jul 4 at 15:38
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Don't think this has anything to do with money. I don't know how much Magee costs, but with all of the camps and high school kids he works with, I bet it isn't that much money. Magee's prime example that he always cites is Malik Rose. To me, this is Turner not wanting to work with Magee. Is that a good thing? I don't know.

I don't know what to think. I kind of thought that Magee could have made the proper tweaks (hand placement mostly) to help Turner get better. Magee helped Rose get a big contract and made him a better shooter. More than anything, I hope he's working hard at OSU.

There's no way any player would ever pay out of his own pocket for a shot-specialist that was recommended by his team. That's the team's expense 100%, even if Turner wanted it. It doesn't mean Turner doesn't want to learn, it just means that it was impossible because of the lockout. That's my guess, at least.

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eddies' heady's reply to stoned81 on Jul 4 at 16:43
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eh, the way I look at it is if he does want to learn/get better and achieve more success he would be willing to do whatever it takes, if that is paying for something himself then so be it. It's not like he doesn't have the funds to do it. He's had a staff at the highest level recommend he needs some mechanical work so why not take control of your own situation and initiate getting the help.

Don't know what to make of this, but it is reminiscent of how he came in with that stubborn attitude at the start of the season and wasn't taking well to position changes and on-court criticism. His body language left a lot to be desired at one point early last year, if you remember.

If he's going to use the lockout as an excuse as you are guessing (who knows?), then he's just hardheaded and doesn't take well to constructive criticism to begin with.

This is reflective of your Turner-hate. No NBA player would pay for something like this that was the team's recommendation. It's the team's expense. To say thing has anything to do with Turner's attitude is absurd.

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eddies' heady's reply to stoned81 on Jul 4 at 18:40
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Heh, what do you have to say to Rich's comment below about plenty of guys paying out of their own pockets and it being an investment because it helps them become better players in turn resulting in better contracts.

Is this just your Turner-blindness? (you caused me to go there with your silly comparable accusation)

They were two different comments. I simply questioned the financial implications of the situation. While I agree with your thinking of it being his decision, you offered a fairly negative psychological evaluation of the guy, while I think he probably just wanted to go back to a place that he's comfortable.

I disagree with Rich, I doubt there are "plenty of guys" paying out of pocket for shooting coaches that their team recommend they work with. Your psychoanalysis of Turner, when he simply went back to Ohio St. to get his college degree and isn't allowed to do anything related to the Sixers, was simply silly.

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Rich reply to stoned81 on Jul 4 at 17:52
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Eh, I don't know how that's 100 percent, a lot of guys seem to be willing to pay out of their own pockets. It's really an investment when you look at it. I bet it really wasn't that much money in the grand scheme of how much he is making.

Plus, are they allowed to pay a college coach directly? That seems a little fishy. What if John Calipari was a shooting coach on payroll from the Sixers.

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sober81 reply to Rich on Jul 4 at 18:17
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If I had to guess I think most players felt that the lockout was going to happen.

If that's the case, going back to OSU made sense for Turner. He is close to getting his degree, gets to use the OSU training facilities and has a community of high level players to play with (European pros, NBA players, and current Buckeyes).

Fagan has also said that Meeks is taking classes at Kentucky, probably for the same reasons.

I wouldn't be surprised if Turner does workout with Magee in the future.

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Rich reply to sober81 on Jul 4 at 18:58
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Yeah, that's a fine way to spend your offseason IMO, especially the part about getting in great shape/stronger with their athletic facilities. Most of the guys Herb worked with are from Philly or have really strong ties here (Barkley/Jameer/Rose). Turner probably wanted to go to the place where he had strong ties.

I just think it was probably his preference to do that instead of spending time with Magee, not a financial decision.

I have trouble believing any NBA player would pay for a shooting coach at the recommendation of his team. The team would always pay for that.

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rswknight on Jul 1 at 6:10
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Another link, written by Xavier Silas himself, after getting the call from Philly. Good philosophy by him.

http://www.hoopsworld.com/Story.asp?story_id=20282

"...This thing we call life is a journey. We have to leave our house prepared in the mornings packing love, hope, and faith. And when we get hit with those inevitable trials, tribulations and setbacks we have to use them as our assets. Sundance told me he has never seen someone work so hard just to be rewarded so little. That made me feel good. Not the part about how he thinks I haven't received what I deserve but the part about how he thinks I work hard. That is what life is about. Working so hard that you don't have regrets in the end. Being able to look at yourself in the mirror at the end of a day and smile because you didn't cheat yourself, your work or the world.

Philly gave me an official invite to camp after the lockout and the situation there is a good one. Time to work and turn these exciting moments into the 10,000 hours needed to master a skill."

Stories like Silas' are really what make the lockout hit home for me. If it wasn't for the lockout, he'd be getting ready for summer league with the Sixers and hopefully doing work. Now, he's just waiting like the rest of us.

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Rodney Buford reply to rswknight on Jul 1 at 9:41
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Wow - a Malcom Gladwell "Outliers" reference

"Philly gave me an official invite to camp after the lockout and the situation there is a good one. Time to work and turn these exciting moments into the 10,000 hours needed to master a skill."


Good catch. I was thinking to myself, "This guy is pretty well spoken for a basketball player."

Great book "Outliers" by the way.

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Tray reply to mopey on Jul 1 at 14:02
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Hardly.

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mopey reply to Tray on Jul 1 at 14:16
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Ok.

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Tray reply to mopey on Jul 2 at 22:25
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Just to be clear, well-spoken player, terrible book.

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rswknight reply to Rodney Buford on Jul 1 at 21:13
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That caught me too. Turns out I found an article that said that he worked with Blake Griffin's trainer, who has a sort of functional grinding approach (including military style excursions) and that's where he picked it up from.

a couple lockout rules(via ric bucher):
NBA GMs/coaches can still follow their players on Twitter during lockout. But a mention or re-tweet? $1 million fine + maybe loss of picks.

Rule II: Coaches w/AAU or college-playing sons (Mike Brown/Larry Drew/Doc Rivers) can watch games but not practices

Any good suggestions for a new hobby or rooting interest for the next 6-9 months?

If the Billionaires and Millionaires are going to have a pissing match then I'd rather turn my attention to something with actual entertainment value. Unfortunately the NBA and NFL are the two sports I follow the closest.

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deepsixersuede on Jul 1 at 13:24
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Does Collins replace Q.Snyder [lakers?] and how much credit does he get for last year.

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emtmess on Jul 1 at 14:39
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This may be a silly question but can the team be sold during a work stopage and how does that affect the new owners. I would think they would want a say in the process and how the new CBA looks.

Makes sense. I doubt they get as much say as established owners. I presume the owners are in factions based on market size and financial approach/liquidity. My guess is that new new owners will fall into the same camp as the old owners, since the Sixers are comparative "losers" in the NBA market.

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sixersftw reply to tk76 on Jul 1 at 17:28
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I would think the new owner falls into a different "camp" since the new owner doesn't own a nhl franchise as well. Apparently the owners who also have stakes in NHL franchises are most aggressively pushing the lockout since they've seen the benefit of a lockout elsewhere.

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The Greek on Jul 1 at 18:57
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For the record I see the nfl not missing any games and I see the nba missing 30 games.

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rswknight on Jul 1 at 21:15
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I'm rooting for the Owners. I would love to see an NHL style salary cap implemented, just to allow for better, more open competition

Welp Thorn has kind of spoken, got this email from the team today:

>>
Dear [das411],

Thank you for your continued loyalty and support of the Philadelphia 76ers.

As you may have heard, the NBA and the players have not yet reached a new collective bargaining agreement and, as a result, a work stoppage is now in effect.

While we are hopeful that the National Basketball Association and the NBA Players Association will advance toward an agreement, our priority during this time is to keep our most valued customers, Sixers Season Ticketholders, informed and aware of related developments.

In the event that a new agreement is not reached in time to avoid missing games, we will have a plan in place to protect your investment.

We appreciate your on-going support and the commitment you have made to renew your tickets for the 2011-2012 season.

Click here to view the official NBA Press Release.

Sincerely,

Rod Thorn
President
Philadelphia 76ers

and the release is just a couple of quotes from that adam silver guy...it probably doesn't mean anything, but they are using Thorn's name on there instead of, say, Collins or Snider or any of the new guys...

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Rob_STC reply to das411 on Jul 2 at 8:57
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I got the same email. I wonder what the contingency plan is.

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Turtle Bay on Jul 2 at 20:05
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Really wish the Sixers could get Nene. Wonder if a sign and trade will be possible post-lockout.

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Court_visioN on Jul 3 at 0:36
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ANY LAWYERS AROUND HERE?
http://www.govtrack.us/congress/billtext.xpd?bill=s112-978
Supposedly the government wants to crack down on illegal streaming... so I guess those of us on the west coast are screwed?

Please tell me I'm wrong.

You will still be able to pay for NBA league pass broadband and watch online.

Court_vision has moved from the basketball court to the judicial courts. I guess with the Lockout we all have to find new hobbies :)

Haha you're definitely right if by "screwed" you mean you won't be able to steal basketball games that cost money to watch :)

All photos of players have been removed from the 30 NBA team sites:

http://www.nba.com/sixers/?tmd=1

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AaronMcKie4MVP on Jul 3 at 11:24
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I am all for the players trying to get as much money as they can. But it seems they don't understand the concept of bargaining leverage - they dont really have any. Apparently, the business is losing money (I understand the financial information is public and shared by both sides unlike the NFL). When a business loses money, the model is broken and the employees need to make concessions, and thats that. (same goes for state employees, but thats a different topic for a different day)

Paying employees 60% of revenue never sounded sustainable to me. Given, the NBA is an entertainment business and doesnt require the same capital investment and cost-of-goods as a car company, airline company or other capital intensive industries..... In a business where the end-product is entertainment or intellectual capital, the primary cost is employee compensation. In this respect, the NBA economics are not much different than a Wall Street firm or a private law firm - the NBA teams rent or buy stadiums, the others rent or buy office buildings - the rest of the cost is essentailly labor. The businesses I mention run compensation cost at 30-50% of revenues. the NBA should do the same. markets change. Labor is just a market.

there is no reason why an NBA owner will accept a lower risk-asjusted return on capital than a parter at a law firm or the shareholder of a bank. They actually should demand a higher return as an illiquidity premium, perhaps somewhat offset by the prestige of owning a franchise. The last labor agreement was a really good deal for the players. The owners honored what was a terrible deal, and now its history. You cant always assume things will be the same or better. The players need to accept that.

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mchezo reply to AaronMcKie4MVP on Jul 3 at 12:57
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A few questions. Why should teams who overpaid for players or made other bad business decisions be bailed out by the players? Is the statement that 22 teams failed to turn a profit last year based on creative accounting? Are the labor disputes of the NBA and NFL a reflection of the overall political climate surrounding unions? Can the NBA solve its profitability issues by revenue sharing?

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AaronMcKie4MVP reply to mchezo on Jul 3 at 15:26
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im not sure what you mean by 'bailed out by the players'. There was a 10 year compensation agreement which resulted in the league as whole losing money. clearly if the business isnt making money, the cost structure needs to change. perhaps when the original deal was made, the business climate was better or they didnt expect contracts to play out as they did. but thats history now. the employees need to understand that they can only earn as much as the consumer is will to pay. and they obviously arent willing to pay enough to compensate for the bloated cost structure.

it seems pretty clear that the owners are not going to re-enter a deal where they expect to lose money . they need to expect to make money in most scenarios or else there are better investments to put hundreds of millions at risk.

>

This is just silly and wrong. The Indiana Pacers, who are managed astutely, can never make a profit (didn't even profit in the Reggie Miller years). Sacramento Kings have a tiny payroll, yet are hemorrhaging money. Memphis has managed its team well, and is losing money.

Meanwhile the Knicks and Clippers were managed absolutely terribly in the 2000s, yet always made a profit.

Teams aren't losing money because they overpaid a particular player. They are losing money because, outside of the huge wealthy cities (NYC, LA, etc.), ticket prices cannot be raised high enough to cover the costs of 57% of revenue going to the players. It's as simple as that.

I'm not for either side... but the NBA is the entertainment business. What % do bands get when they go on tour? I would not try and make a parallel with an airline or other non-entertainment industry.

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AaronMcKie4MVP reply to tk76 on Jul 3 at 15:17
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"Given, the NBA is an entertainment business and doesnt require the same capital investment and cost-of-goods as a car company, airline company or other capital intensive industries"

re-read this quote.. you misunderstand, i am contrasting with capital intense industries.. and paralleling with investment banks and law firms which have similar cost structures and therefore should have similar compensation as a % of revenue. 60% of revenue is not going to work in any business model.

Band comparison doesn't work, because bands employ themselves (tour promoters are basically their agents). NBA players are employees of the NBA. NBA is losing money, mainly because the players get an ungodly 57% of revenue (unheard of in American for-profit private industry). Just like any other profession, when the business is not making a profit, there are 2 options: (1) liquidate, or (2) reduce labor costs. The players have the choice of losing jobs (through contraction or outright folding the league) or taking less pay. I think it's obvious that taking less pay is the better solution for both sides.

That's all the owners are saying, essentially. I really don't understand how anyone can take the players' side in this dispute. Many players individually are making more money than the owners, which is absurd and no sustainable. In tech companies that make billion-dollar profits, for example, their programmers make what, $75k? $100k? NBA franchises are LOSING money, and the players are making $4M per year on average or so. And they complaining. That's just an LOL.

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AaronMcKie4MVP reply to stoned81 on Jul 3 at 16:17
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Good points. to stress my original intended point - the players should understand that they are in a position of complete weakness. and it appears that they dont.

Bottom line is that owners are better off with no season (under current conditions). and the players are much worse off. lol , good luck at the bargaining table you fools.

im a capitalist , i think everyone has the right to make enough moey to swim in. but you have to recognize the underlying economics of the business and be realistic. these guys dont care, they just want to "get theirs".


Absolutely, completely agree. Players are being obtuse. They have no bargaining leverage, and yet the owners already conceded on their two radical ideas (eliminating guaranteed contracts and implementing a rock-hard cap). Still the players don't get it. Fine players, go unemployed for a year, while the owners save money instead of hemorrhage it. That'll really help the players, LOL.

Everything you wrote here is 100% accurate.

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AaronMcKie4MVP on Jul 3 at 15:53
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the packers are the only franchise i know with publicly disclosed financials, public companies have audited financials., yada yada/ this link is from 2010. i encourage you to read it.

"Packers officials said Wednesday that the team posted an operating profit of $9.8 million in the fiscal year
that ended March 31, down from $20.1 million the previous year. The team has been in a slide since posting an operating profit of $34 million four years ago."
http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=5379673


here is the point, you invest $300mm or so in a franchise, even the $34mm operating profit is unacceptable -its a pre-tax measure. not to get too deep in geek finance but the measure investors care about is Return on Capital, which is post-tax. so say we are talking $20-$25mm post-tax net income, you are talking 8% return on risky capital? ?? that is completely unacceptable. if you read the full article this is 100% attributable to rising salaries and stagnant revenues.

this is an example from the NFL, where the teams actually turn a profit. bball is 10x more dire. i have zero sympathy for the players. this is a business, it runs on investors and they need incentives to invest.

"here is the point, you invest $300mm or so in a franchise, even the $34mm operating profit is unacceptable -its a pre-tax measure. not to get too deep in geek finance but the measure investors care about is Return on Capital, which is post-tax. so say we are talking $20-$25mm post-tax net income, you are talking 8% return on risky capital?"

Well, first of all, I'm not sure how investing in the Packers would be considered risky capital. When was the last time an NFL, NBA or MLB team depreciated in value? And really, when we're talking about return on investment, the profits aren't the only thing you take into account. You say 8% is too low, which is debatable, but you aren't taking the increased value of the franchise into account. And I'd say that value is probably going to increase further if/when the NFL labor negotiations are settled.

Also, professional sports are certainly a business, but people don't buy teams to make money...or at least that isn't the primary motivation, for the most part. If someone has $300M sitting around and their goal is to turn it into a billion, buying a sports team isn't how they're going to try to do it. It's a vanity thing. So yes, they should expect to make money, and the labor agreements should certainly be set up to give the owners their fair share, but I don't think you can really compare sports to other businesses, and if all the teams were earning 8% of value of the franchise every year in after tax profits, I don't think we'd be in the situation we're in right now.

Is revenue sharing among NBA teams a possible solution?
Here is a link discussing the accounting issue.
Its the best article on the CBA issue, IMHO of course:

http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/columns/story?columnist=coon_larry&page=NBAFinancials-110630

Isn't owning an NBA team more of an expensive hobby than a business?

Do individuals and corporations who own sports franchises do it for reasons other than turning a profit?

If both sides agree that the system is broken, at what point do the NBA owners demands become unreasonable?

Put another way, should the players just cave in and do whatever the owners want?

Geek accounting aside, are sports franchises rally analogous to other businesses?

"Is revenue sharing among NBA teams a possible solution?"

In theory, but I don't think it's very desirable.

"Isn't owning an NBA team more of an expensive hobby than a business?"

Only because the current CBA is set up to make profitability extremely unlikely. It shouldn't be that way, and that's why they are fixing it.

"Do individuals and corporations who own sports franchises do it for reasons other than turning a profit?"

The NBA would not exist if the ultimate goal was not to make a profit. It was created for that ultimate purpose and is run for that ultimate purpose.

"If both sides agree that the system is broken, at what point do the NBA owners demands become unreasonable?"

The only thing unreasonable is a for-profit industry in America being expected to lose money and like it. Do you see it as some charity so that me who are good at basketball can get rich? We know most of the owners aren't getting rich off it.

"Put another way, should the players just cave in and do whatever the owners want?"

Well, only if they want to continue playing basketball for millions of dollars. If they don't, they are free to try another profession. Something tells me they won't be able to find the money or fun in another profession.

"Geek accounting aside, are sports franchises rally analogous to other businesses?"

Is it a for-profit industry or not? Analogous or not, the NBA was created to make a profit, and it continues to remain a for-profit league.

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AaronMcKie4MVP reply to mchezo on Jul 3 at 18:09
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good questions. ill definitely check out the article,

i think there is definitely a hobby element for some owners, like a mark cuban. however, i highly doubt this anywhere near the norm. i mentioned in one of my posts above, that owners will likely accept a lower return on capital for the prestige of being an owner. but im certain that in aggregate they want to earn something reasonable. jerry jones, george steinbrenner, these are businessmen first.

i dont think the players believe the system is broken. that seems to be the biggest problem IMO.

i believe its the players who are unreasonable, not the owners. (due to all the points i made above)

iu believe sports franchises are analogous to other businesses to some extent. its the loud, young , rich entrepeneurs that you hear all the time because they are vocal. but i beleive the cubans of the business are outliers.

Excellent points. Comcast, for example, definitely saw the Sixers as a business.

Man do I hope Brian wasn't at that Yankee/Met game today!

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emtmess on Jul 3 at 18:34
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Both sides in this labor dispute (like in most) have played there roles in bring the whole thing to this point. The players by not seeing that they have as much of a intrest in making the NBA as profitable as possible. The owners for not having the will to not give out bad contracts and for not replacing execs who were clearly not good at there job. The only group that deserves any sympathy are the support people. Because the players and owners are both lack foresight or will power that group will suffer through no fault of there own.

The "owners giving out bad contracts" thing is such hooey. Indiana and Sacramento have low payrolls and are not profitable. The Grizzlies have managed their team very well and are not profitable. The Wizards were under the cap this year and were not profitable.

Meanwhile, Isiah Thomas's Knicks, who gave out every bad contract you can imagine, were profitable every year he was in charge.

The bad contract offers have nothing to do with profitability. Why does this ridiculous myth keep getting spread when it's patently false?

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mchezo reply to stoned81 on Jul 3 at 22:37
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Does an owner's management of a team have any effect on the profitability of that team?

If so to what extent should an individual owner be held accountable for their business decisions?

Shouldn't all current contracts be honored?

Shouldn't NBA teams have to honor the contracts they entered into or is it okay to cut those contracts 15 to 25% across the board?

shouldn't every owner get a equal share of revenue from the NBA? If not, why not?

"The only thing unreasonable is a for-profit industry in America being expected to lose money and like it. Do you see it as some charity so that me who are good at basketball can get rich? We know most of the owners aren't getting rich off it."
Stoner81,
so the players should just do whatever the nba says? if the nba set the maximum salary for an nba player at 2.5 million per year, that's what the players should accept?

NBA players entertain millions of people around the world do they deserve to have any say in what their compensation should be?

whats with the for profit in america stuff?

the nba and the players both had a had in allowing this situation to get to the point where profitability is an issue.

shouldn't both groups have to compromise?

What industry do you know of that guarantees a profit to all its participants?


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rswknight reply to mchezo on Jul 3 at 23:54
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I believe what he is saying is that any compromise has to begin with universal viability as its focus. To that point, this labor debate has an interesting, quasi-unique angle in that it is almost a revolt by management. It might not be a stretch to say that the Owners' theme of this Lockout could be "Revolution or Dissolution".

IMO, there are two facts that should underlie any discussion of NBA labor issues:

1) Both sides agree that teams are losing money, the only debate is the precise details(i.e. which teams, how much, etc).
2) NBA players enjoy the highest average salary of any team athlete in any professional sport in the entire world.

The Owners(many of them at least) are saying that they literally are losing money or just barely breaking even. In that regard, they have the advantage. To borrow a war analogy, it is far easier for a person to defend their home then it is to invade the home of another. The Owners are saying we have to fix this or else.

The players, OTOH, are essentially saying "the current model works for us so lets tweak it just a bit and continue." That is the disconnect and both Mckie & Stoned81's point; in any labor debate, if management is saying the business will fail, labor has to concede, especially if the concession 'forces' the labor to go from the highest in their industry class to 'very well-compensated but still employed.'

The problem is that the Players' position is essentially about pride; they don't want to give back anything their predecessors won for them during a previous era. The players don't recognize that the previous labor agreements were negotiated against an ownership group that had essentially gotten rich off of their teams, primarily thanks to the resurgence led by Stern and showcasing Magic, Bird which crested with Jordan. Many of those owners had a low initial investment and saw the worth of their franchises skyrocket, so they could afford a player-friendly deal.

But now you have a new generation of owners that bought high and is being forced to accept either just breaking even or losing money, unless they are blessed to being in a market that enables them to make money no matter what(i.e. NY or LA etc). These are the owners that are seeking revolution and pushing the hard line stance, which is why, in the end, the players will crack, because the Owners are willing to go the distance while the players cannot. It doesn't help that many of these owners either also own NHL teams or are close to people that do. Hell, NHL commissioner Bettman was a Stern disciple.

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rswknight reply to mchezo on Jul 4 at 0:19
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Also, regarding the "Bad Contracts" myth, sports owners are involved in a version of the Prisoner's Dilemma. They know, as a group, that some players are only worth X, yet each individual owner could choose to exceed that amount if they feel that the player can be the difference. The basketball people are saying the player has talent, yet the player wants a salary that clearly outsizes his talent.

For the good of the whole, it would be better to establish and hold a hardline, but what if that player, even overpaid, might be able to help you win? A big market/mega-rich owner can swallow the contract & the luxury tax penalties, which means it is not a real gamble(ex. Dallas Mavericks or LA Lakers). If the owner can't, if they have to run their team on a specific budget that cannot be surpassed, then you have a real dilemma. Do you let the talent pass and allow your fans and players feel that "you aren't committed to winning" and cause your business to consequently lose value, or do you overpay and hope that the player can help you win which should help increase your value and cover your costs?

This scenario is compounded by the NBA system that makes it very hard for teams to replace talent if they simply choose to walk away. For example, if the Sixers had let Sam Dalembert go instead of paying him that big deal, they would've been stuck with a team featuring a highly compensated Allen Iverson, a highly compensated Chris Webber and no chance to win. There were no comparable centers on the market and they wouldn't have had the space to chase one anyway. So they would've had that big payroll supported by a journeyman center. Instead, they took a gamble that Sam could fulfill the promise of that playoff series and lost.

Another example was the fact that Indiana had to basically pay Jamaal Tinsley to stay away for years. He wouldn't accept a partial buyout and they couldn't trade him, so they were stuck with him dragging down their payroll for nothing in return, all because they took a gamble on a PG that showed promise and got burned.

Contrast that with the NFL, where a team really doesn't have to suffer a mistake long. The Eagles dumped TO after his meltdown at the precise moment his cap hit would be minimized, which meant that they only had to endure a few months of his antics. If that were the NBA, his deal, fully guaranteed, might have just ended last season. The NHL, which has guaranteed contracts & a hard cap, has strongly defined buyout guidelines that I wished the NBA would adapt. This enables teams to remove players more easily.

Completely accurate, very well written.

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rswknight reply to stoned81 on Jul 4 at 2:40
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Thank you.

As you can see, I am definitely pro-owner in this debate, as anyone should be who doesn't get distracted by any 'pro-union' emotion. This isn't the Teachers Union in Wisconsin. It isn't even the NFL's scenario.

With the NFL, the motives seems to be "we make a ton of money, lets change the rules to make even more, even if the players health might suffer in the process".

The aspect that cracks me up about the Players' side is the argument that they should not "be responsible for bad management decisions", like they are not talking about fellow union members or something. Like you could have Derek Fisher at a podium making that argument while Rashard Lewis & Michael Redd stand behind him nodding in agreement, lol.

Ironically, if the owners acted as 'responsibly' as the union seems to want, that would actually drive down the earning power of almost every member of their union anyway. There would be no guaranteed contracts handed out by anyone, and the "middle class" they wish to protect so badly would pretty much be decimated, all fears that the Union is using to defend against the hard cap.

Haha I laughed aloud at the thought of Redd and Lewis nodding along.

One other thing that's funny is the union is telling the owners to act responsibly, well OK, that's what they're doing by holding a lockout because 20 of 30 teams are losing money. And as you said, "responsible" owners would reduce the players' wealth, why would they want that?

I don't think Billy Hunter is as dumb as he pretends to be, so I'm still somewhat confident he recognizes these facts, and hopefully we'll have a season. If the owners had insisted on eliminating guaranteed contracts and imposing a true hard cap, we could have missed a whole season (or more). But given that they already conceded those points, I think it's all obnoxiousness-for-show from the players, and in reality, they know that getting a little less money is better than getting none at all, and will make a deal.

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rswknight reply to stoned81 on Jul 4 at 20:28
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I agree, it is so easy to talk tough, especially those guys who are making a good bit of off-court monies, whether that is from business or endorsements. The rub hits the road officially on 11/15, when the 1st check is due. That is when the fracturing, if it hasn't already happened, will start, imo.
This isn't like a normal labor unrest, its one thing if the workers realize they cannot sustain themselves with what's being offered. In this scenario, Management successfully winning their goals regarding "pay for performance" and "cost certainty" will not come close to bankrupting the players, but choosing to continue the lockout just to be obstinate could. The lesser players and the older ones, who know that they cannot recoup the lost money, will start to bring the heat. Careers don't last long enough for them to be willing to really battle. It's easy for a Kevin Durant to speak on skipping a year if need be. He's barely drinking age, after all. I pay more attention to the Grant Hills and J-Kidds, who speak about the possibility that this lockout could end their career. That has more significance, imo

Haha I laughed aloud at the thought of Redd and Lewis nodding along.

One other thing that's funny is the union is telling the owners to act responsibly, well OK, that's what they're doing by holding a lockout because 20 of 30 teams are losing money. And as you said, "responsible" owners would reduce the players' wealth, why would they want that?

I don't think Billy Hunter is as dumb as he pretends to be, so I'm still somewhat confident he recognizes these facts, and hopefully we'll have a season. If the owners had insisted on eliminating guaranteed contracts and imposing a true hard cap, we could have missed a whole season (or more). But given that they already conceded those points, I think it's all obnoxiousness-for-show from the players, and in reality, they know that getting a little less money is better than getting none at all, and will make a deal.

"Does an owner's management of a team have any effect on the profitability of that team?"

Doesn't seem like it in the NBA. Indiana and Memphis, both well managed, both unprofitable. Knicks/Clippers, both terribly managed the whole 2000s decade, both always profitable.

"If so to what extent should an individual owner be held accountable for their business decisions?"

Depends on what you mean by "held accountable." Do you want the franchises to fold if they aren't successful? That's called contraction. Players are adamantly opposed to contraction and won't even discuss it a basis for negotiations, because it means lost jobs. Players won't consider contraction, but they also won't consider lower salaries. They just want the owners to continue losing money, without any adjustment. The world doesn't work like that, you can't have it both ways.

"shouldn't every owner get a equal share of revenue from the NBA? If not, why not?"

No, they shouldn't. To buy the Knicks, for example, one has to shell out probably $700M, simply because NYC is such a gargantuanly expensive city to run a business in. All costs are higher (to make up for that, revenues in NYC are higher). Whereas to buy the Sixers, less than $300M will get it done. It's cheaper to operate a business in Philly (but correspondingly, revenue is lower). It's not fair to make a potential owner pay more money to buy the Knicks, then ask him to pay an additional pile of money to every other owner.

Some revenue sharing is reasonable. For example, they share some national TV money among all 30 teams. All-star weekend revenue is shared across all 30 teams. NBA draft viewership revenue is shared across all 30 teams. They share the revenue because it's an NBA-wide operation.

But the Sixers home-game ticket revenue is strictly a Sixer operation. The Sixers local TV revenue is strictly a Sixer operation. That money stays with the Sixers.

"Shouldn't NBA teams have to honor the contracts they entered into or is it okay to cut those contracts 15 to 25% across the board?"

If they reduce them, it will only be by CBA, mutually agreed upon, so no contract principle is broken there. Players know when they sign their contracts that they are subject to the CBA, which they knew at the time of signing would expire 7/1/11. The only legal requirement to "honor" the contract was to honor the money thru the existing CBA, expiring 7/1. The contract amounts after 7/1 were/are subject to a new CBA post-7/1. This is not a surprise, it's not news, it's part of all NBA contracts. They are honoring the contracts, otherwise players would go to court to demand their paychecks even during a lockout.

"so the players should just do whatever the nba says?"

No, the players should do whatever they want. If they want to sit around and make zero dollars during a lockout, they're free to do so. If they want to find new professions or start new leagues or go to Europe and play, they're free to do so. They can do whatever they want, that's the great thing about a free country.

"if the nba set the maximum salary for an nba player at 2.5 million per year, that's what the players should accept?"

Again, they can accept whatever they want. The $2.5M max is just silly, because the owners know they would lose their stars to Europe at that salary and would never impose it. A compromise, however, will be reasonable, and $23M/yr is obviously too high and needs to come down. The compromise max needs to be high enough to keep the stars in the NBA instead of going to Europe, but low enough so that the franchises can become profitable again. That's Capitalism 101, welcome to the American free market.

"NBA players entertain millions of people around the world do they deserve to have any say in what their compensation should be?"

This is business. You get a paycheck, you go to work, you go home. Whatever one "deserves" is not relevant. And of course players have a say in their compensation, they are the ones negotiating the new CBA and they are the ones who have the right to sign or not sign their contracts.

"whats with the for profit in america stuff?"

It's exactly what it says. This is the United States, a capitalist, free market country. Private business are created for the sole purpose of making a profit. Any business in America that cannot make a profit either (a) liquidates, or (b) restructures, usually in the form of lower labor costs, to return to profitability. That's what the NBA is doing. Nothing radical at all, it's quite normal and happens every day.

"shouldn't both groups have to compromise?"

Tell that to the players. The owners wanted to eliminate guaranteed contracts and implement a hard carp. Players barked and said they wouldn't even consider them as options for discussion. So the owners backed off, and offered to continue guaranteed contracts, continue the soft cap with the Larry Bird Exception, as long as salaries were reduced so the franchises can return to profitability, and the players said "no way, we refuse to change anything from what we currently have." Does that sound like compromise to you?

"What industry do you know of that guarantees a profit to all its participants?"

No industry "guarantees" a profit and no one in the NBA is looking to "guarantee" a profit. However, every private company in America either makes a profit or folds. The players will not accept folding (contraction) as an option. So the only other option to return to profitability is to reduce labor costs. This is basic economics. NBA needs to either fold 20 unprofitable teams or reduce costs to keep the franchises going. Your choice.

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emtmess reply to stoned81 on Jul 4 at 10:39
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Both sides have to face that they need to make big changes. The union in this case is going to cut off the players nose despite their face. The owners are on the right track, but they have to take some of the blame for allowing some teams to be run so poorly. Yes some teams are run well and loose money but we are talking about the entire league as a whole so some teams are run poorly as well. The players offer to give back 500 million over the length of the new CBA is laughable. That is maybe 10-12 contracts in a league of what like 360 players. They players instead of trying to keep what they have should be offering a counter to help ensure that they still have 360 members to thier union.

I pretty much agree with what you said here. Certainly some teams are run poorly. I just don't agree that the quality of management is the reason some teams are profitable and some teams aren't. I don't think the two are related one bit (just looking at Isiah Thomas's Knicks being very profitable is enough to show that, in my opinion). The only teams that can make a profit under the existing CBA are teams in the big, wealthy cities that can charge a lot of money for tickets and have expensive TV contracts (or own their TV networks like the Knicks and, until Harris takes over, the Sixers).

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emtmess reply to stoned81 on Jul 4 at 14:55
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Good point.

Memphis and Indiana have made the playoffs once in the last five years. In a league where the majority of teams make the playoffs, calling them well managed is a stretch. If you buy a team in a market that cannot support it financially, that's a poor business decision. Eat your losses or sell the team. That's the american way.

In most businesses, if you make poor decisions your business suffers and you lose money. That's the american way.

"But the Sixers home-game ticket revenue is strictly a Sixer operation. The Sixers local TV revenue is strictly a Sixer operation. That money stays with the Sixers."

As far as I can tell every home game the sixers play is against another NBA team and the attendance at those games is usually dictated by the star power of the other team.

The reason why nba salaries are so high is because NBA teams compete with each other for players and players choose to sign with whatever teams will pay them the most money. Isn't that the american way?

The owners also have a problem with contraction.

http://www.nba.com/2011/news/features/david_aldridge/07/04/morning-tip-labor-update/?ls=iref:nbahpt1

"Eat your losses or sell the team. That's the american way."

Actually no, the American way is to cut costs so that you can return to profitability. The American way isn't to give up, it's to fix it. There are a thousand examples of this in private industry.

"In most businesses, if you make poor decisions your business suffers and you lose money. That's the american way."

Right, and then the owner fixes it. In your world, the owner sits there and cries and raids his bank account until he goes bankrupt. In the real world, the owner restructures his company so that he can make a profit.

"The reason why nba salaries are so high is because NBA teams compete with each other for players and players choose to sign with whatever teams will pay them the most money. Isn't that the american way?"

Yes, if you want the NBA to be an 8-team league with franchises in Boston, NYC, LA, Chicago, Miami, and (maybe) Philly. I'm pretty sure the players are opposed that idea.

"The owners also have a problem with contraction."

Sure, some do (the ones who would be contracted) but they aren't trying to have it both ways. They know their are two options (contraction or reduction of labor costs). They have chosen reduction of labor costs (which happens to be better for the players than getting laid off). The players accept neither option (which shows that they are being obtuse and hey that's great, they can have fun sitting at home staring at the wall all day while the bills come in).

"If you buy a team in a market that cannot support it financially, that's a poor business decision."

The problem with this argument is that it applies to 3/4 of America's cities. Again I will ask, do you want an 8-team league?

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The Greek on Jul 4 at 20:11
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Well I have to admit that you guys turned a boring subject and turned it into a fantastic read. And no trolls or thread hijackers got in the way, Kudos and thanks for the fantastic reading.

And I agree, we need to be pro owners on this.

Haha good stuff.

re the talk about Turner hiring his own coach above:

Iguodala actually hired his own coaches a couple years ago and that was construed as a sign that he wasn't a team player. Somehow it was him showing that he was better than his teammates.

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eddies' heady's reply to Brian on Jul 5 at 10:49
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I waited patiently for you to bring this up. There was a difference, at least to me. Iguodala was on the other end of the PCOM floor - during the season - with his hired help. Not working with the staff or anyone from the organization that was employing him, while other guys were practicing amongst themselves and working on non-mandated stuff.

And to top it off, his hired help didn't actually seem to be helping, which I'm sure you'd agree.

You've said this before, though I've never read it anywhere else. And the criticism was for Iguodala hiring a strength and conditioning coach, though maybe the shooting coach has helped. He could be a worse shooter than he is.

Yeah, I don't see how you are criticizing a guy for actually working on his game- out of his own pocket. It seems like in that case he is damned if he does and damned if he doesn't. Becasue if he did not hire his own shooting and conditioning people you could call him out for not working on his game.


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