Dallas Mavericks v Miami Heat - Game Six

Winderman: League tells you how to build “Roster of the Future”


If you didn’t know better (or perhaps if you do), it sure seems as if David Stern’s ultimate goal from the lockout is to reshape his league through some sort of real-life fantasy draft.

Getting beyond Sunday’s Twitter theatrics (we personally believe the answers were provided by some sort of auto-reply-bot or Adam Silver, which might actually be one in the same), perhaps the league’s YouTube slide show spelled it all out.

There, on the final slide, in effect, was the NBA “roster of the future” (our quote marks).

How do you build a roster that conforms to the NBA’s proposal and avoid all the draconian measures of the proposed next luxury tax?

According to the NBA, with:

One “Superstar (max salary)”: $17 million.
One “All-Star”: $14 million.
One “Starter”: $10 million.
Two “Starters”: $8 million (apiece).
One “6th Man”: $5 million.
One “Rotation Player”: $4 million.
One “Rotation Player”: $3 million.
One “Rotation Player”: $2 million.
One “Rotation Player”: $1 million.
Five “Remaining Players”: $3 million (total, $600,000 average, essentially minimum scale).

Go ahead, try to fit any recent championship model into such an alignment.

Taken further, and allowing for NBA-level salary inflation, try to fit the Showtime Lakers, any version of the championship Celtics, or even Michael Jordan’s Bulls into such a model.

And we won’t even get into the current Big Three Heat or Big Three Celtics.

It’s almost as if Stern (which could happen through decertification, at least according to Sunday’s threat), wants to reset the entire landscape, through the aforementioned fantasy-style draft.

The league designates 30 “superstars” (as if there are 30), and each team selects one.

The league then designates 30 leftover “All-Stars” (even  though with 30 “superstars” would any All-Stars be left?), and each team selects one.

From there, a pool of $10 million starters is set, and so on.

We’re not talking parity here; we’re talking a completely new world order.

For months now, the whispers have been about how Stern and the owners were attempting to blow up the league.

Perhaps they are.

Ira Winderman writes regularly for NBCSports.com and covers the Heat and the NBA for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. You can follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/IraHeatBeat.

Powerpoint version of league’s offer players will soon reject

David Stern

This Powerpoint presentation above is the latest in the NBA’s PR blitz that included the odd, stiff answers of Adam Silver on twitter, releasing their full proposal to the USA Today and David Stern talking to media outlets. The league is getting its message out there and letting everyone know exactly what their offer is.

And by everyone we mean the rank and file players. That is who this really is aimed at, the league is hoping enough players see this and think it’s fair that they will pressure the union leadership to put the offer to a vote. A vote it very well might pass.

That’s not what is going to happen. The union is expected to make the smart negotiating play — modify the parts of the offer they don’t like, vote to approve the altered offer and throw it back in the owner’s court.

The players have done better of late winning the public relations battle of the lockout. It’s a hollow victory. It’s reached the point with most fans where it feels there is no right side, no winners, just a lot of losers willing to hurt the game for their pocketbooks.

Tide of players turning against Stern’s latest ultimatum

Derek Fisher, Billy Hunter

It will not be until the first part of next week that we see officially how the players will respond to the latest ultimatum from David Stern and the owners.

But Thursday night union president Derek Fisher seemed hesitant about it, and as Friday wore on more and more players and owners seemed to turn against the deal the more they learned about it. It showed up in twitter, in conversations with sources, just about everywhere.

Check out this quote from an agent that spoke to Ken Berger of CBSSports.com (and know that this is the prevailing sentiment out there):

“They’ve lost me,” said one of the previously moderate agents. “Three months ago, we thought this would be done. We thought people would be reasonable.”

Players seemed to be echoing those thoughts. Like what the Pacers Danny Granger told Mike Wells if the Indianapolis Star.

‘From what I’ve seen and heard, the counter offer is the same they presented us a week ago, making a few minor changes that in the big scheme of things that really did nothing to the deal. I would expect that proposal to be rejected after all the players learn more about the deal. The next step I don’t know.'”

Check out the tweets below from Jared Dudley and T.J. Ford that seemed to speak for a lot of players.


My guess is the players will try to do what they did last time Stern made an ultimatum — ignore the threat and try to negotiate off this latest offer.

The bigger question is what Stern and the owners do? If they really do revert to his reset offer and the players start the decertification process, well, how do you feel about talking lockout on Christmas Day?

James Dolan is like the rest of us, just sick of the lockout

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Of all the owners, it would have been easiest for James Dolan to make it to the NBA labor negotiations last week. He owns the Knicks, he’s on the negotiating committee for the owners, he’s right there in Manhattan, he could just drop in a whole lot easier than Spurs owner Peter Holt.

Yet Dolan was nowhere to be seen this week.

The why — at least what the New York Post tells us as why — is the interesting part (via Ziller at SBN).

Knicks owner James Dolan blew off the two-day desperation labor session between the NBA and players’ union in Manhattan with one source saying he has been sickened by the failure of his fellow owners to make a deal.

Dolan is in the group of owners that doesn’t want or need to just crush the union, he wants a deal. He wants to see basketball. In part because his team is finally relevant again, partly because his team turns a profit.

And partly because he’s one of the rational guys in the room. Really. Others in the room have said that.

And when James Dolan is the rational one thinking like the fans you know how ridiculous this has all gotten.

Don’t think for a second owners’ latest offer is what fans want

Dallas Mavericks Victory Parade

Let’s be honest about what you really like — trades and teams full of stars.

You like seeing basketball, too, which makes the new offer from NBA owners appealing to fans. Because it means 72 games and a full playoffs, basically a normal season. I want to see it in place for the same reasons.

You may get it (not that we have any say) but know that the owners offer — the parts the players are opposing of it particularly — goes against what fans have shown they want.

The owners have preached “competitive balance” and sold it sort of like the NFL’s parity. The NBA is never going to have the parity of the NFL (because the stars of the NBA control the game much more and are so much better than their peers). But that’s not really what is at the heart of all this. Small market owners watched LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony control the process, take all the power and force their way where they wanted to be. The owners want that power back.

I know what is coming in the comments — you say you want that, too. You’ll say that you want Grizzlies to be able to compete with the Lakers every year. You say you don’t want the Knicks to make all the big trades. You’ll say you want sanity in the system.

The numbers tell a different story. The numbers being every measure of fan interest we can find, whether it is television ratings or Internet traffic or ticket sales.

You love trades and free agency — there is a reason traffic on this and every other NBA web site peaks in July, not during the finals but during free agency. You love rumors. Love them. You love to read about and talk player movement. We all love to play armchair GM. There is a huge traffic and interest boost in February as the trading deadline nears for the same reason.

This new deal from the owners is designed to restrict the kind of big trades you clearly want to see (hence more restrictions on tax spending teams). Sure, there will be plenty of smaller trades and we can get excited about Sasha Vujacic getting moved for cash considerations. But the small market owners want to keep their stars. Those are the guys that sell tickets and bring in sponsors and boost local television ratings and they don’t want them all going to New York and Los Angeles and Miami.

Thing is, you love teams loaded with stars. You may say you hate the Miami Heat, but you watched them and bought their gear in record numbers. Ratings were up last season and the Heat and Knicks were the primary reasons. When you talk about the golden age of the NBA, you talk about the Jordan era when the Bulls dominated the league, or the 1980s when the Lakers or Celtics won eight out of nine titles. That’s when the ratings were highest.

What’s frustrating about the lockout is they figured out the money part of the lockout, mostly. That was supposed to be the hard part of getting a new NBA labor deal, but the players have gone all the way back to a 50/50 split of revenue, giving enough money back to cover what the owners said they lost (even if we don’t buy their math).

We’ll see what happens with the offer the owners made. We may get our wish and get basketball. But know that while David Stern and Adam Silver are selling this deal as good for the fans, it really isn’t. It’s just very good for the owners.