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Category: Lockout

NBA lockout: How new labor deal affects the Lakers


 We knew before the NBA reached a labor deal that it likely would drastically affect the Lakers for the worse. We knew it could tighten their spending. We knew it could result in roster changes. We knew it could force the Lakers to share more of their revenue. But now that we know the actual details of the proposal, expected to be ratified among the owners and players this week, we can break down exactly what it will do. 

1. New taxes. Lakers owner Jerry Buss often took on a heavy payroll with high luxury taxes in hopes it would pay off in a championship. Now he has to consider if such a tactic is worth the price. The Lakers, who had a league-high $91 million payroll last season, paid an additional $21 million in luxury taxes last year. The Times' Mike Bresnahan notes that the tax penalty will move from dollar to dollar to a $1.50 to $1 ratio for the first $5 million over the threshold beginning in the 2013-14 season. The ratio increases between $5 million to $10 million ($1.75 to $1), $10 million to $15 million ($2.50) and $15 million to $25 million ($3.25). That means the Lakers would pay an additional $68 million in luxury taxes if they maintain the $91 million payroll. 

2. Sign-and-trade gives the Lakers a better chance to land Dwight Howard, Chris Paul or Deron Williams. Don't feel too bad for the Lakers. Sheridan Hoops' Mark Heisler noted the owners' willingness to keep sign-and-trades will allow the Lakers to trade Andrew Bynum for Howard, or Pau Gasol for Paul, once free agency hits next season. According to the terms of the proposal, obtained by Sports Illustrated's Sam Amick, teams can't pursue players via sign-and-trade after the 2012-2013 season if it causes their luxury taxes to jump over $4 million.

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NBA lockout: League saves face by starting on Christmas Day

Mike Brown

-- The Times' Mike Bresnahan notes how the owners and players reached a tentative agreement to begin the season on Christmas Day. Bresnahan also outlines the various preseason questions the Lakers face.

--The New York Times' Harvey Araton argues the NBA's increased parity will hurt the league.'s Steve Aschburner, the New York Times' Howard Beck and's Larry Coon outlines the details of the new collective bargaining agreement. 

--True Hoop's Henry Abbott looks at what part of the deal pleases the players. 

--CBS Sports' Ken Berger argues a deal breathes new life into the NBA season. 

--The Orange County Register's Kevin Ding argues the Lakers need to immediately lock in once the season starts. 

--Ball Don't Lie's Kelly Dwyer celebrates the NBA lockout ending. 

--Fox Sports' Randy Hill looks at the various storylines surrounding the NBA season. 

--The New York Daily News' Frank Isola notes the importance that the NBA salvage its Christmas Day games. 

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NBA lockout: Five things to note on agreement

Photo: Derek Fisher of the NBA players' union. The NBA tentatively ended its 149-day lockout and is to start a 66-schedule on Christmas Day. Credit: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times / November 23, 20101. The owners overwhelmingly won. The NBA players essentially took a 12% pay cut by dropping down to their 57% share of basketball-related income to a near 50-50 split. The breakdown will involve a sliding scale in which players would annually receive 49% to 51% of revenue based on how well each season fared. That will involve a nearly $3-billion giveback to the owners should the deal last its full 10 years. 

2. The players won a few small victories. The players made the right strategy in making sure the owners made concessions on various system issues. That included ensuring guaranteed contracts and avoiding a hard cap. The players will also receive raises when the league experiences revenue growth. 

3. Owners have no reason to complain about losses. For those teams lamenting competitive imbalance, the new deal will inflict harsher luxury tax penalties for teams, such as the Lakers, that boast a high payroll. For those lamenting the supposed $300-million losses 22 of the 30 NBA teams experienced last season, there will be a more robust revenue sharing system to help such organizations. From here on out, any purported financial losses will directly reflect poor management decisions. Of course, that truth stood before, but there's less wiggle room for teams to make excuses. 

4. Both sides still have to agree on peripheral issues. A majority of the NBA's 450 players will have to agree on the new collective-bargaining agreement in a vote. The majority of the 29 teams will have to as well, with the NBA-owned New Orleans Hornets surely to vote in favor of the deal. Although both sides agree on the overall framework, there are a few items still to discuss. That includes draft eligibility age, disciplinary items that include drug testing and how to assign players to the D-League. 

5. The season will start Dec. 25 and operate on a 66-game schedule. The Lakers will start the 2011-12 campaign with a Christmas Day matchup with the Chicago Bulls. The remaining 65 games will become more compacted and end toward the end of April. Teams would be allowed to play each opponent twice and have eight games left over. But it remains unclear how the schedule will exactly be structured.


Questions surrounding the Lakers season

Pau Gasol returns to Los Angeles in case lockout ends

How will work stoppage affect Kobe Bryant's scoring?

--Mark Medina

E-mail the Lakers blog at

Photo: Derek Fisher of the NBA players' union. The NBA tentatively ended its 149-day lockout and is to start a 66-schedule on Christmas Day. Credit: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times / November 23, 2010

Questions surrounding the Lakers season

Kobe Bryant

Finally, we have something to talk about other than the NBA lockout.

Owners and the players agreed to the framework of a new collective bargaining agreement. Training camp and free agency will begin Dec. 9. And that Chicago Bulls-Lakers matchup on Christmas Day remains intact. 

But amid the relief over salvaging a partial 66-game regular season, there remains a lot of questions. Below the jump are a few. 

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Lakers have little to be thankful for this season

Kobe Bryant

The Thanksgiving holiday may offer some perspective for Laker fans or anyone else whose happiness depends on the outcome of a sports contest. 

Any problems people had with the Lakers' disappointing playoff showing last season or the current NBA lockout really mean nothing compared with real-world problems — lost jobs, a sagging economy, maybe some health issues. 

But I'm not here to preach from a soapbox, because everyone with common sense knows the difference. I'm here to acknowledge that in the purest sense of what the Lakers accomplished this past season, they have little to be thankful for. Of course, the organization's history with 16 NBA championships and 23 Hall-of-Famers should usually give Laker fans some pause before griping about a premature playoff exit. But there are legitimate concerns.

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NBA lockout: Website launched for disenchanted NBA fans

David Stern/Adam Silver

Now 144 days into the NBA lockout, it remains difficult looking for any encouraging signs.

That's why three-year Indiana Pacers ticket holder Evan Massey recently launched NBA Fanifesto, which includes more than 1,400 fan signatures threatening a boycott should both sides fail to start the 2011-2012 season by Christmas Day. Massey, who declined to reveal his profession and age, talked to The Times about his recent role as the site's fan outreach coordinator. 

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NBA lockout chat: Will Christmas Day games be canceled?

Kobe Bryant/LeBron James

We'll discuss whether the NBA season will start in time for Christmas games and more. Just click below the jump.

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NBA lockout: Players' union, management cut off phone contact (Web links)

NBA players' union President Derek Fisher, left, and Executive Director Billy Hunter

— The Times' Mike Bresnahan explains why NBA players consolidated their lawsuits Tuesday.'s Steve Aschburner focuses on the role courts will play in the NBA lockout.

CBS Sports' Ken Berger faults both sides for refusing to call each other this past week. 

The Orange County Register's Kevin Ding notes how Power Balance's financial problems will hurt Lamar Odom.

Ball Don't Lie's Eric Freeman argues that proposed system changes won't eliminate bad contracts. 

ESPN Los Angeles' Andy and Brian Kamenetzky as well as Ramona Shelburne debate what damage a lost NBA season will do to the Lakers. 

Sports Illustrated's Zach Lowe wonders if the NBA can lift the lockout. 

Sheridan Hoops' Chris Sheridan provides a rundown of his exchange with NBA players attorney David Boies on why he shouldn't be against calling the league.

Grantland's Bill Simmons offers a hilarious take on what motivates key players involved with the NBA lockout. 

Tweet of the Day: "THIS JUST IN: @NBA STILL FOLLOWING PLAYERS LIKE MARC GASOL, CBUDINGER! Whoever runs NBA-TV, team sites, must think locked-out guys all died" -- mwheisler(Sheridan Hoops' Mark Heisler)

Rick Friedman Reader Comment of the Day:"Businessmen tend to be narcissists. It's part of the process of ego that gets people to take risks. Now, this group of narcissists (owners) have been having to babysit a bunch of entitled narcissists (players) for years while dealing with risk which the players do not have. Sooner or later, they get tired of it and must think, "We're not going to enable these babies any more!" and they become hardline by drawing a line in the sand. It's not healthy, but it is a natural extension of the dynamic established by two competing groups of narcissists." — Jon. K

— Mark Medina

Email the Lakers blog at

Photo: Players' union president Derek Fisher, left, and . Credit: Patrick McDermott / Getty Images / Nov. 15, 2011

NBA lockout: Three things to note about consolidating lawsuits

Lakers guard Derek Fisher, president of the NBA players' union, speaks at a news conference in June.

1. Players consolidated lawsuits in hopes of expediting the case.  After filing two antitrust lawsuits last week, in Northern California and Minnesota, NBA players amended the case Tuesday in Minnesota. This prompted NBA attorney Rick Buchanan to suggest players' attorney David Boies was simply "shopping for a forum that he can only hope will be friendlier to his baseless legal claims." But Boies told reporters in New York the move would help speed up the case since the NBA now has to respond to the filing by Dec. 5. In the previous suit, the first hearing would take place in December, 2012. 

2. A deal needs to be made by Friday to avoid Christmas game cancellations. The NBA has formally canceled games only through Dec. 15. But by David Stern's insistence that the league needs at least a month to prepare with a training camp and free agency period, both sides would need to reach a deal by Friday to secure games by Christmas. 

3. Why isn't anyone picking up the phone? In perhaps the lowest point in the current work stoppage, neither the owners nor players have formally talked to each other since the union's disbandment last week. Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski first reported on the league's insistence that it won't reach out to the players' so-called trade association until Dec. 1, in hopes that it will further break their resolve. In turn, Sheridan Hoops' Chris Sheridandetailed an extensive rundown with his conversation with Boies on why he remains adamant about not calling the league himself. It's possible a phone call will take place, but all this hand-wringing over such a nonissue shows how pathetic both sides are acting 144 days into the lockout. 


Players remain disorganized

League needs to stop power-play tactics

Law professor predicts players union will file more lawsuits

--Mark Medina

Email the Lakers blog at

Photo: Lakers point guard Derek Fisher, president of the NBA players' union, speaks during a news conference in June. Representatives for the players and owners have not met since last week. Credit: Bebeto Matthews / Associated Press / June 23, 2011)

NBA lockout: Players remain disorganized

NBA lockout

They've entered the conference rooms with solemn and defiant expressions. If only the players-union-turned-trade-association could translate that demeanor into how they've handled the negotiations surrounding the NBA lockout.

Criticize the owners for running up the score in these talks, much like the way the Lakers have often done in years past against the Clippers. Criticize the players, represented by Billy Hunter and Derek Fisher, for being like those past Clipper teams by allowing themselves to get run over time and time again. They've miscalculated nearly every step of the process, mostly because of their disorganization.

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