Is the NBA lockout illegal in Canada? Maybe…


I have a better chance of explaining string theory to you than I do the intricacies of Canadian labor law.

But TrueHoop today pointed us toward a fascinating post from a Canadian law blog talking about the NBA lockout.

It is possible the NBA lockout — while certainly legal here in the United States — may be illegal in Ontario, the province of Canada where the Toronto Raptors play (often poorly, but they play). Which could get interesting.

Consider this case from 1995 involving the lockout of NBA referees–the NBA loves the lockout! This was before the Raptors’ had a franchise, but the NBA played regular exhibition games in Toronto. The Ontario Labour Relations Board ruled that the NBA had not complied with Ontario laws governing when a lockout is lawful. Since the NBA was employing workers in Ontario during the exhibition games, it was not entitled to lockout them out without first complying with Ontario laws. Therefore, the lockout of referees, although legal in America, was illegal in Ontario. A similar ruling was made in regards to the lockout of major league umpires also in 1995–the lockout was legal in the U.S., but umpires could not be locked out for Blue Jay home games.

There are several steps that need to be satisfied for a lockout to be legal in Canada and the blog believes that most of them have not been satisfied.

So what if the lockout is illegal, you ask? Well, if the players union or Raptors players wanted to be a pebble in the shoe of the league there is a remedy.

In theory, once the Raptors’ lose a pay cheque due to an unlawful lockout, they could seek a remedy from the OLRB, were the Board to rule that the Raptors cannot be locked out.

Not likely to happen, wouldn’t really matter if it did. But interesting.

LeBron says “get it done” message was for both Cavaliers, Thompson

LeBron James
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Everything LeBron James does and says gets magnified and scrutinized.

So when he put out this photo on Instagram standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Tristan Thompson and the caption “get it done” it seemed a message to the Cavaliers.

Get it done!!!! Straight up. #MissMyBrother @realtristan13

A photo posted by LeBron James (@kingjames) on

LeBron clarified that on Sunday, saying this has become a distraction, and the message was for both sides to bend, as reported by Dave McMenamin of ESPN and Chris Haynes of the Plain Dealer.

When Thompson didn’t sign the qualifying offer he surrendered a lot of leverage, the Cavaliers don’t have to raise their five-year, $80 million offer — but reportedly they still would, a little. Thompson and his agent Rich Paul have pushed for a max contract, but that’s not happening.

At some point, the two sides will come to an agreement. For the Cavaliers, this is a distraction, their star is unhappy with that, and ultimately if they are going to make a title run they need the energy and rebounding Thompson brings (even if it is just off the bench). For Thompson, he can’t make up a year of lost salary, he has to come in and start getting paid at some point.

The two sides will get it done. Eventually. Likely before the season tips off.

China basketball qualifies for 2016 Olympics

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China has secured the ninth and final Olympic men’s basketball berth awarded this year.

China earned the bid to the 2016 Rio Games with a 78-67 win over the Philippines. 2016 first-round draft prospect Qi Zhou had 16 points and 14 rebounds, setting up the Olympics to be his big introduction to American fans.

Former NBA player Yi Jianlian won tournament MVP by averaging 16.7 points, 8.8 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.2 blocks per game.

This will be China’s ninth straight Olympic appearance.

The Philippines, who got 17 points from Andray Blatche in the final, will still go to an Olympic Qualifying Tournament next summer with a chance to reach Rio.