Tuesday, November 29, 2011

2011-12 NBA Schedule Breakdown

Credit: Tmartwork.com
Here is the structure for how the 2011-12 NBA season will be scheduled assuming the new CBA is signed soon:

Regular Season Start Date: December 25, 2011
Regular Season End Date: April 26, 2012
Playoffs Start Date: April 28, 2012
Last Possible Finals Date: June 26, 2012

66-Game Regular Season Breakdown

Individual Team Schedule Breakdown Conference Games: 48
• Play 6 teams 4 times (2 home, 2 away)
• Play 4 teams 3 times (2 home, 1 away)
• Play 4 teams 3 times (1 home, 2 away)

Non-Conference Games: 18
• Play 3 teams 2 times (1 home, 1 away)
• Play 6 teams 1 time at home
• Play 6 teams 1 time away

Back to Back to Backs: All teams with at least 1; no more than 3
Playoff Back to Backs: Possible in second round

Source: Lakers.com

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Get your fantasy basketball draft sheet here

Now that the NBA season is set to begin, fantasy basketball commissioners have been busy emailing league invites.

It's time to look at the pre-draft player rankings and fine tune your drafting skills by partaking in a mock draft or two. 

We've created an easy to follow fantasy basketball draft sheet for your mock drafts and live draft experiences. As you know, keeping your picks in order and staying organized is key to a successful draft.

Click on the image or HERE to download the draft sheet.

Good luck to all fantasy basketball players! It should be interesting with the upcoming shortened season.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Let the games [tentatively] begin

Somebody please pinch me. Is the 2011-12 NBA season actually going to happen? Yes but with slight hesitance. I disfavor the word "tentative" when used in big announcements because it sneaks in the certainty of being uncertain. Debbie Downer party of 1? Yes I'm right here.

NBA Commissioner David Stern did use the word tentative in his statement today saying this:

"We expect our labor relations committee to endorse this deal, this tentative agreement, and we expect our Board of Governors, at a meeting we will call after that, to endorse the deal.”

Again, words like "expect" and "tentative" do not lead to a definite conclusion. This is why I'm reserving my jumping the couch moment. Quite frankly, all fans should be reluctant to dust off their jerseys. Lets not be quick to forget the run-around we all got. Yes, no, maybe. I mean come on, anything that looked like forward progress only manifested into backward movement. Today's announcement is definitely the biggest positive yet but lets be reminded that it can easily lead to another familiar diversion.

I'm just saying, while many fans are jumping up and down like they just won a car on Oprah, I remain cautiously smiling. Here's another reason for my back being against the wall at tonight's dance.

NBPA President Derek Fisher said this [unenthusiastically]:

“For myself, it’s great to be a part of this particular moment, in terms of giving our fans what it is that they so badly wanted and want to see”

There's really not much to dissect in his words and body language. He said it perfectly and with no expression, "...giving our fans what it is they so badly wanted...", insinuating that the players huddled around and agreed to just disagree for the fans. Whether this reflects on their individual performances, time will tell. I really hope the players know in their hearts that this is truly the right thing to do, not just for the fans but more importantly for the game. Pioneers have paved the way for today's generation of athletes and the unbelievable talent they bring to the court. Lets not put a blockade.

I will never question Fisher's heart or work ethic, I'm just a little concerned that some players might have felt forced in accepting unwavering terms and conditions in efforts to save the season. This may produce a shortened mediocre NBA season where amazing might not happen.

The loss of 16 regular-season games and the preseason cost the owners and players an estimated $400 million each. If there wasn't a bigger reason to endorse the new CBA quickly to make things less tentative I don't know what is.

If/when the season officially starts we can expect training camp to start December 9th. followed with a free agency that will make Black Friday look like a peaceful walk in the park. The season is scheduled to begin on Christmas day.

NBA Lockout Chronology
  • July 1, 2011: The lockout begins.
  • September 23, 2011: The NBA canceled training camp, which was to begin.
  • October 3, and the first week of preseason games, which were to run October 9 through 15.
  • October 4, 2011: The NBA canceled the remainder of the preseason.
  • October 10, 2011: The first two weeks of the regular season canceled.
  • October 28, 2011: All games through November 30 canceled.
  • November 14, 2011: The NBPA dissolves labor union into a trade association.
  • November 15, 2011: The NBA canceled all games through.
  • December 15. Players filed antitrust lawsuits against the NBA in California and Minnesota federal courts.
  • November 26, 2011: The NBA owners and players reached a tentative agreement to end the lock 
Sources: New York Times, Wikipedia

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving and giving thanks to Jim Quinn

With the dust settling from the recent tug of war battle that ended with the rope ripping and leaving no winners, a new player comes into the picture just like a Michael Bay production where the main character slowly walks out of a dramatic fiery explosion. With every forward step comes a more focused view of the incoming silhouette.

Who is this person that has respectively earned such an entrance to these late negotiations? Could this man be the leading force to saving the NBA season when others have tried time and again only to be defeated time and again? The man with the answer and a cape goes by the name of Jim Quinn.

Jim was recently hired on to help serve a neutral role in the NBA war between the owners and the players.

Howard Beck from NewYorkTimes.com writes this about Quinn:

He played a similar role in the 1998-99 lockout, entering the negotiations at a late stage and helping push through a deal that saved a 50-game season. He is known as a reasonable voice who commands the respect of key figures on both sides.

We all give a BIG thanks to Jim Quinn if he comes out of this weeks negotiations circling his index finger in the air letting the fans know that the players can circle the bases.

We would all be thankful for a 66-game season that will be scheduled to begin on Christmas day.

The league needs at least four weeks to prepare for opening day on December 25th and the shortened season would end late April with the NBA finals pushed back by a week.

Regardless, we will certainly see the conclusion to this saga soon, NBA season or not.

Have a happy Thanksgiving everyone and we hope you are able to spend it with your loved ones.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Lakers season cloudy with a chance of D-Fenders reign

For fans, the closest thing to catching a Lakers game this season is catching an L.A. D-Fenders D-League game. The Lakers founded and purchased their NBA Development League team in 2006 making them the first NBA franchise to ever own a D-League team.

The NBA lockout will not hinder the NBA D-League. In fact, the 50-game regular season tips-off this Friday, November 25th. The D-Fenders team is coached by Eric Musselman, former NBA coach of the Sacramento Kings and Golden State Warriors.

The team roster will predominantly showcase an array of young players who look to impress NBA scouts while reserving one spot for a seasoned veteran whose already earned his NBA stripes.

With the first overall pick in the 2011 NBA Development League Draft, the D-Fenders selected eight-year NBA veteran Jamaal Tinsley. Tinsley had his best NBA season in 2004 (40 games) where he averaged 15.4ppg. With the new addition of Jamaal coach Musselman is very optimistic of winning their first D-League Championship.

The closest the team has gotten to winning it all was in the 2007-08 season where they lost in the semifinals to the Idaho Stampede, 97-90

All D-Fender home games are scheduled to be held at the Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo.  

Click here to view the entire D-Fenders regular season and purchase tickets.

You may also contact Nima Behboodi at nbehboodi@d-fenders.com for tickets.

LakerLiker has no affiliation with the Los Angeles D-Fenders. For promo use only.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

2011-12 NBA season on the brink

The NBA Player’s Association needs to take the 50/50 offer and start anticipating the next round of negotiating - in 5-10 years. The NBPA should heed one of Sun Tzu’s tenets; “The general who wins the battle makes many calculations in his temple before the battle is fought. The general who loses makes but few calculations beforehand.” The NBPA needs to have better planning for the next offer.

A lost season for the NBA owners/players will not devastate them. A lost season for arena workers, local restaurants and fans will be hurtful to say the least. If this season is lost, the NBA should look forward to lower revenues and dissipating fan loyalty.

The NBPA has learned a painful lesson. Unfortunately, the employer will always win; the worker will need to accept the terms or quit. There are many talented college athletes that can replace some of the over-paid NBA players.

You know that things are getting heated when “National Basketball Players Association lead negotiator Jeffrey Kessler offered an apology on Wednesday for the inflammatory comments he made in the Washington Post, in which he said NBA owners were treating players like “plantation workers.” (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wizards-insider/post/nbpa-attorney-apologizes-for-plantation-workers-comment/2011/11/09/gIQAOU7f5M_blog.html)

Saturday, November 12, 2011

USS Carl Vinson - Carrier Classic

Photo credit: SI.com
What do you get when you cross an aircraft carrier and a hardwood basketball court? You get the 2011 Quicken Loans Carrier Classic of course. What better way to pay tribute and say thank you to all service men and women who've fought or are still fighting to preserve our country's freedom, especially on a unique Veterans Day of six consecutive 1's.

If you missed it, the scene was awe-inspiring. How in the world was a hardwood basketball court put on a flight deck of an aircraft carrier? Check out this edited time lapse video of the construction process.

Fighter jet replacements and NCAA preseason openers, No. 1-ranked  North Carolina Tar Heels and Big Ten Michigan State Spartans took center deck in the inaugural Carrier Classic aboard the USS Carl Vinson, U.S. Naval Air Station in Coronado, California. The USS Carl Vinson was the last place Osama Bin Laden's body was before he was buried at sea.

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle were the VIP guests for this commemorative event. They touched ground via Air Force One in hopes to only see One Forced Error (get it?). That would not be. The game was sloppy and the floor was slippery but the view was simply amazing. Even the players looked the part, sporting really cool military digital camo uniforms w/ matching shoes. Nice!
Condensation from the spectating sea and hovering grey clouds caused for sweat (or wet in this case) moppers to work in high gear. The floor decals were to blame by the commentators. You have to hold Mother Nature accountable for some of the slipperiness, especially when playing on a naval ship whose road is the North Pacific. Maybe the second annual Carrier Classic will be held alongside the Hawaiian shorelines where the only wet hazard is a spilled Mai Tai.

Photo credit: SI.com
Laker legends Magic and Worthy served as honorary captains representing their respective Alma maters. Magic recently donated $1-million to the MSU East Lansing athletic department and The James Worthy Foundation is active in providing support to veterans and their families who have made so many sacrifices for us.

So which team took the inaugural Carrier Classic trophy? UNC topped MSU, 67-55.

More on the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier.
Photos of the Carrier Classic 
The Magic Johnson Foundation
Sources: Bleacher Report.com and SI.com

Friday, November 11, 2011

10 Reasons for an NBA season

With a revised proposal of a 72-game NBA season tentatively starting 12/15/2011, the media and fans have been given yet another deadline to anticipate not being met. The defeated look on Sterns face from a recent interview says it all.

The main consensus in the Tweeting world is that all renewed hope the fans had for a forged CBA this week is sadly exhausted. With every passing day of no "Amazing" NBA action, a new fan falls like an autumn leaf. Soon enough the tree of hope will look as bare and frail as these negotiations.

The fans are left with nothing but spoken word from both parties. All of this chatter could produce another Egyptian pyramid. It's time to walk the walk. If there ever was a reason to get something drawn out, I'm giving you 10.

I came across an intriguing article from ZenCollegeLife.com. They write about the 9 businesses that were most impacted by the NBA lockout. Click on the link just above for the full article.
  1. Television
  2. Advertisers
  3. Shoe Companies
  4. Apparel Companies
  5. Video Game Makers
  6. Fantasy Basketball Sites
  7. Local Pubs and Restaurants
  8. Vendors/Concessionaires
  9. Ticket Brokers
I'm adding No. 10 to this list - The NBA basketball fan.

The above-mentioned businesses are fueled by the fans. The fans have been hit the hardest. They are the NBA's #1 client. Basketball enthusiasts are always finding ways to represent their favorite team.

Fans are eager to boast how well their team is playing whether through a cool looking NBA authentic jersey w/ matching cap, a fresh new pair of Nike Zoom Kobe 7 shoes, maybe even by playing an NBA 2K12 video game to fantasize they are their favorite NBA player by the push of a button, or perhaps even by staying up late at night rearranging their fantasy basketball team line-up, or by visiting a local bar to catch a game with friends, but most importantly for the league, by purchasing tickets to a game for a very entertaining night.

The owners, players and union need to be sensitive to the foreseeable consequence of these dead-end meetings. The longer this episode takes, the less interested the fans become.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

NBA Lockout Pictographic

Click to enlarge
Here's a cool pictographic courtesy of USDIRECT.com that sums up the inception of the current NBA lockout from June 21, 2005 through October 28, 2011. A time span of 6 years.

This makes you wonder why the heck it's taking the league and the players so long to get a new CBA signed? They've had all this time to work something out and still the season's first two months were pulled out.

We're already in the second week of this cancelled November month, and still the media and fans are in limbo waiting for a definitive yay or nay on the life of the 2011-12 NBA season.

Both parties are going back and forth, throwing verbal daggers at one another but with no resolve. Who do we point the finger to for all of this mess?

We needed the high profile NBA stars to show up in the preliminary stages of these negotiations. This was a critical missing piece right from the get-go. The [mis]representation of the NBA players early on allowed for the owners to feel less compelled to push and more at ease to leave negotiations on the table for yet another day, week, month, perhaps even a year. 

To date, we've seen nothing but full ego's with empty results. One key point in a successful negotiation is to see the other party from their point of view. I feel this is a big part of why we don't have a new CBA today. I feel that if both parties truly took the effort to better understand each others POV, the realization and clear vision to get an executed contract would've taken place. Maybe a recognition triggered by the sympathy and appreciation for the fans.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

NBPA source - possible new CBA tomorrow

According to a recent tweet from Alex Kennedy from hoopsworld.com, an NBPA source is predicting a new CBA to be drawn out tomorrow after what seems to be a productive meeting between the players and the owners.

All we know so far is that dinner was ordered and delivered. This tells us that first, they're hungry, and secondly, this may be another lengthy meeting until the wee hours of the morning. Hopefully this time there will be a resolution.

50/50 BRI Split or Union Decertification

Today is a BIG day for the NBA and its fans. The players association has been given until 5PM EST to agree on the 50/50 BRI split w/ a luxury tax system or a lesser offer will be considered. Experts fear that if the offer is not accepted, the decertification of the union will be the next step and will inevitably murder the 2011-12 NBA season.

What are luxury taxes in relation to the NBA? Wikipedia: A luxury tax payment is required of teams whose payroll exceeds a certain "tax level," determined by a complicated formula, and teams exceeding it are punished by being forced to pay one dollar to the League for each dollar by which their payroll exceeds the tax level.

The actual amount of the salary cap varies on a year-to-year basis, and is calculated as a percentage of the league's revenue from the previous season. The salary cap for last season (2010–2011) was $58.044 million for each team. Lakers total 2011 roster payroll was $86,665,297. Without question larger markets have a stronger pull. For that reason, a potential hard cap has been thrown in these ongoing negotiations.

NBA soft cap - Allows teams to exceed the salary cap to sign players. This is done to allow teams to keep their own players, which, in theory, fosters fan support in each individual city.

If players choose to turn the other cheek today Stern intends to go back on an earlier proposal offering of 53-47 in favor of league owners. Many players do not mind splitting the BRI right down the middle, such as Lakers captain Kobe Bryant and co-captain Derek Fisher.

Since we know where the NBPA president stands with all of this, why can't we handle things like they did back in the day where kings, in this case lets say NBA commissioner Stern and NBPA president Fisher, had the power to overrule and conquer without a majority vote system. Ongoing, exhausting negotiations that jeopardize a sports season should have an exception rule to collective decisions (politics) that can't be made. Obviously mediating didn't work.

All parties will meet this afternoon at 1PM EST. Most likely the players will stick to their guns and move forward (funny, move forward) to the next series of re-negotiations.

NBPA president Derek Fisher said this, “Our orders are clear, right now, the current offer that is on the table from the NBA is not one that we can accept."

Will the NBA save its slogan by having a shortened season for the fans or will the new slogan read, "Where a Maze of Negotiations Happens"?

Sunday, November 6, 2011

New NBA Logo

Set aside your ego's and speak with some perspective in mind. A 49%-51% BRI cut sounds great! Just accept the deal already and stop hurting the fans. This is getting old real fast. We've already lost the month of November.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Union decertification will diminish hopes of an NBA season

Photo Source: Getty Images
The players need to take the 50/50 deal and get back to work. The meeting on November 5th seems to be make-or-break. The players should have been working on a deal more than a year before the end of the 2011 NBA season. It is too late for the players; they need to learn from their mistakes. One needs to assume that in 10 years, this saga will replay itself. The owners will want more, then offer the players 43% of BRI. A minimum BRI needs to be established to curtail future disputes.

Union decertification? Too late. Decertification will certainly cancel the 2011-12 season.

David Stern does not have his house in order. Mr. Stern needs to be fired. Any Corporate CEO/CFO would have been run out of town if they used the same business strategies as Mr. Stern. After having the most successful NBA season in history; we now have no NBA games.

According to the New York Times (11-4-11), Michael Jordan - owner of the Bobcats - is playing hard ball and is requesting additional cost cutting. While he was the highest paid NBA player in history, Jordan stated “If you can’t make a profit, you should sell your team.” Time to stand by your words Mr. Jordan.

NY Times source: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/05/sports/basketball/hard-line-factions-threaten-latest-nba-negotiations.html