Home > Basketball, General, Rugby, The Final Buzzer > The Final Buzzer – Locked Out and Random Thoughts (5/11/11)

The Final Buzzer – Locked Out and Random Thoughts (5/11/11)

If you don’t care about the NBA and just want to read some Random Thoughts, just scroll down! Now let’s jump straight into what’s been happening with the National Basketball Association… or more like No Basketball Action.

Oh NBA lockout… how I hate you.

Now we should be seeing Derek Fisher in his Lakers uniform doing this:

Raining clutch 3’s in people’s face. Instead we’re forced to see him like this:

In a business suit, talking to the media on behalf of the players he represents explaining why a deal wasn’t reached. Look at how sad Andre Iguodala looks in the back of that photo!

And this has led to a whole lot of nothing.

Absolutely nothing.

No free agency, no training camps and worst of all, no games. The first games should’ve been played this week and we’re still locked out because the NBA and the players union can’t agree on the BRI (basketball related income) split and a whole lot of other things. To be honest, I don’t tend to take a side in whose fault this is. I think both the players and the owners are to blame. It just sucks that they’ve known this lockout was coming since 2005 and they’ve basically done nothing except say ‘there’s going to be a lockout’ without working together to solve it. I do see where both parties are coming from though, and I will try to explain it.

The NBA/owners are coming from the position that they’re using a flawed business model which is costing them around $300 million in losses. They want the system to change to make it a more competitive environment so any team is a legitimate threat to win the championship. That means making a hard salary cap to stop big market teams (like the Lakers, Heat or the Knicks) from simply spending more money to get better players. They also want changes to the contracts so players are guaranteed contracts for a shorter amount of time. They are also offering a 50/50 split of the BRI which they are very stubbornly staying at which is the reason negotiations broke down the last time they met. A 50/50 split appears fair in theory, but not is all that it seems which I’ll address later.

A couple of things about the NBA’s stance. It’s all good to say you want to be more competitive, but the fact is, a lot of these teams are paying terrible contracts to terrible players is because GM’s and owners made stupid choices and now they’re trying to blame the system for it (yes I’m looking at you Orlando GM, Otis Smith. Who pays Rashard Lewis $118 million dollars over 6 years and thinks it’s a good deal? You should’ve been fired on the spot… and don’t even get me started Isaiah Thomas.) This is the very same system that teams like the San Antonio Spurs and the Oklahoma City Thunder, two small market teams, have thrived under because they are run well by management have built teams that are competitive. It just appears that the owners are trying to get a system that will guarantee them a profit (which you can’t blame them for) despite them making some just downright dumb decisions. Some owners gave out stupid contracts last season because they were counting on a lockout so they wouldn’t have to pay the players (oh you thought Joe Johnson was actually worth $119 million over 6 years? He’ll be 35 when that contract finishes…) You should be making a profit if you make good decisions and punished if you make dumb decisions… like every other business everywhere else!

Also, I just don’t trust Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver. I don’t know why but I just don’t trust the man. This man is being groomed to be the next commissioner after David Stern steps down but there’s something about him I just don’t trust. I mean, would you trust this?

Those eyes look soulless. How can you trust a man who doesn’t have a soul? He looks exactly like the weak kid that was bullied by the big kid (who now plays in the NBA.) And now he’s getting his revenge by using maths and BRI figures. He also has big ears.


Now from the player’s side, it is easier to see where they’re coming from. Obviously, a 50/50 BRI split that the owners are offering seems like the most logical move since players and owners would get half each right?! WRONG. You see, the problem is that the BRI doesn’t truly represent all the revenue that the NBA generates each year. The players are claiming that under previous agreement, 57/43 split in favour of the players, that revenue split resulted in a fair split of all the revenue that the NBA made. So by coming down to a 50/50 split, the players would be losing out massively because the money the NBA isn’t just included in the BRI. This is the big argument that’s happening right now. The players union is willing to drop their share to 52.5% which still equates to millions of dollars. But it just seems silly that they’re still arguing over 2.5%, which is costing players, teams, staff, fans and the start of the NBA season.

I didn’t want to even acknowledge this lockout, but seeing as it’s my job to write about the NBA, I guess I had to talk about it. Hopefully the two groups leave their egos at the door for long enough so they can work out an agreement and get the players back onto the court. This doesn’t seem likely though because even as I’m writing this, there have been allegations that Union President, Derek Fisher, has been meeting with David Stern in secret talks without involving the Players Union. Fisher, of course, has denied these talks. But the fact that this is even mentioned is worth noting. Also in the last day or two, talks about decertifying the union have emerged. This opens a whole new can of worms that goes way over my head. If you want to read about how decertifying the union would affect the lockout, you should read an article by ESPN’s Larry Coon here.

And in case you forgot, everyday we’re still in a lockout we’re missing out on the following:

  • Wondering if LeBron’s 4th quarter disappearances were a learning curve or just who he is?
  • Including Kevin Durant in the ‘League’s Best Player’ Conversation.
  • Wondering where and when Dwight Howard will be traded?
  • Who is the Miami Heat’s best player?
  • How is Kobe’s knee holding up?
  • Has Pau Gasol shaken whatever was messing with him during the playoffs?
  • Zach Randolph being a good teammate.
  • Which player received the worst contract in the offseason?
  • How long until Kris Humphries admits that his marriage was a publicity stunt?
  • Ricky Rubio in the NBA.
  • People saying Ricky Rubio peaked at the 2008 Olympics.
  • Mike Brown, not Phil Jackson, sitting on the Lakers bench looking much more interested in the game than Phil ever was (no shot at Phil, just different coaching styles).
  •  Watching the Celtic’s big three for the last time.
  • All those wonderful Chris Paul to New York rumours, coinciding with Isaiah Thomas returning to the Knicks rumours as well. Never a dull moment with that organisation (although that’s probably not a good thing).
  • Ron Artest. Metta World Peace.
  • The Mavs defending their NBA title.
  • Shaq joining EJ, Kenny and Charles on TNT’s ‘Inside the NBA’ and the awkwardness of when they have to interview Kobe.
  • Andrew Bynum returning after serving his 10 game suspension for assaulting JJ Barea.
  • Blake Griffin dunking.
  • Marc Jackson saying ‘Hand down, Man down’ in a Warrior’s huddle.
  • Once again going through all the ‘Can Sacramento save the Kings’ storylines.
  • One last Allen Iverson NBA sighting?
  • Seeing Yi Jianlian voted into the NBA All Star Game thanks to China at Amare Stoudemire’s expense.
  • Kevin Love defying the laws of gravity, physics and common sense to lead the league in rebounding.
  • Marc Jackson preaching defense to Monta Ellis.
  • Monta Ellis not listening.
  • The inevitable realisation that Russell Westbrook isn’t the best fit with Kevin Durant.
  • The Lakers winning the NBA championship.

And that’s only the start of it! Damn I’m missing the NBA!



Random Thoughts

  • In Captain America: The First Avenger, his shield is made from some kind of made up element that absorbs the shock/vibrations of bullets. If that’s true, that how come he can bounce the shield off objects to hit bad guys?
  • In the TV show Fringe, they have explored the idea of alternate universes. It’s the idea that there is another universe where there is another you, except there are some details different. Maybe the Twin Towers didn’t come down, or maybe Charlie Sheen is still on Two and a Half Men. Or it could be as small as be left handed instead of right handed. Either way, the idea of an alternate universe is exciting to think about. Because that would mean there would be multiple universes based off the decisions made in your universe. And multiple universes based off those decisions in those universes. Infinite number of universes based on you decisions/indecisions and universes based off those decisions. Maybe in one universe, I’m not writing about alternate universes?
  • There are rumours that Apple will be releasing a smaller version of their iPad. But wouldn’t that just make it an iPod Touch?
  • Johnny English: Reborn isn’t very good. It’s like the script was only 20 pages and the movie definitely relies on Mr. Bean’s physical comedy (which he’s very good at). It’s as if the director just sits there and says “Okay Rowan, just do something funny and that will make up for the fact we have no story”.
  • The Greatest Movie Ever Sold is a great movie, but has made me constantly realise how much product placement there is in movies. Now all I can do is notice product placement in movies.
  • Have you seen the Steinlager ‘We Believe’ ads in support of the 2011 Rugby World Cup?

A couple of things:

First of all, props to the creative team for a very clever ad. It didn’t reference the World Cup directly or mention the All Blacks (due to the strict advertising laws for the tournament) but it was still very clear in what it was about.

Now is it just me or is it weird to store cans of beer under the bed?

Or in the attic?


For 24 years?

Who keeps beer that long?!

  • Is it weird that Power Rangers is filmed in New Zealand but we haven’t seen an episode since 1995?
  • Who determines an ‘official’ Facebook page? Zuckerberg? Is there a worldwide ‘official department’ where they deal with all things official? Can I find it at www.official.com? Or www.allthingsofficial.org? If I started the ‘Official Final Buzzer Facebook Page’ would someone tell me it’s not official?
  • Does this mean Stephen Donald more important to the All Blacks winning the World Cup that Dan Carter?


Oh it’s good to be back!

And that my friends, is The Final Buzzer.

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