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SBD/May 23, 2011/Leagues and Governing Bodies
Billy Hunter Still Doubts NBA Can Avoid Lockout With CBA Expiration Looming
Published May 23, 2011
MEETINGS HAPPENING FREQUENTLY: NBA Exec VP and general counsel Rick Buchanan said league and union negotiators have been meeting frequently on collective bargaining and will continue to do so with about 40 days left until the NBA CBA expires. “The throttle is down,” Buchanan said Saturday at the same conference Hunter attended. “We are meeting frequently with the union, both in small groups and with our larger labor committees. We have every intention of trying to reach an agreement.” Buchanan said although NBA revenues are up, so are costs, and collectively NBA teams have suffered “substantial losses” over the last five years and will continue to do so without a new CBA. “What our goals are in collective bargaining is to develop a system that allows teams in the NBA an opportunity to make a profit and allows all 30 teams the chance to compete for a championship,” Buchanan said. “That’s what we want” (Liz Mullen, SportsBusiness Journal).
SAY IT ISN'T SO: In Detroit, Vincent Goodwill writes an "extended lockout would be catastrophic to the league's future." TV ratings are "up across the board for this postseason, matched only by its drama and unpredictability." The Lakers and Celtics, last year's NBA finalists, "are missed, but contrary to what some feel, new blood, along with ready and able challengers, are keeping everyone interested." Bulls G Derrick Rose and Thunder F Kevin Durant are the "new, fresh and likeable faces of the league." Goodwill: "A riveting finish is in store, but if a lockout occurs, all of the league's positive momentum will cease. And unlike their counterparts in the NFL, the NBA won't have the benefit of goodwill from the fans -- at least not as long of a leash they're giving the NFL" (DETNEWS.com, 5/21). T'Wolves Owner Glen Taylor, Chair of the NBA BOG, said, "I would just tell you we're meeting with the union every week and I'm real positive. We've had nice, good meetings, but there's still a long way to go" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 5/23).