Since the NBA Lockout went into effect back on July 1, we have heard plenty from representatives for the NBA players as well as from NBA Team Owners. On Monday,”Sports Illustrated” printed a copy of a letter to all players and Team Owners from Michael Goldberg, who is the Executive Director of the NBA Coaches Association. The director of the Association sent out a plea to both sides to re-open negotiations to approve a new NBA Collective Bargaining Agreement, and finally end the work stoppage that has delayed the start of the 2011-2012 NBA campaign.
The director; who has been part of pro-basketball for over 35 years wrote that both sides are risking the good of the game, while they haggle over a division of revenue. Goldberg wrote “There is no time to waste. History has proven that all sports labor conflicts are ultimately solved. No doubt all sides are concerned about their financial well-being and rightly so. But everyone involved must now think beyond their own interests, check out the daily financial headlines, and work towards a negotiated solution now. Short of this all parties will risk killing the goose that lays so many golden eggs for so many connected with it.
He also reminded both sides the damage suffered by the NHL during their last work-stoppage. He wrote “Partial or lost seasons are a huge mistake and a blow to any sport that requires years of painful business rebuilding to get back on track. We all know this and know that damage has already taken place. The recent lost NHL season is an example whereby the end result was a damaged sport and fallout that fractured its union and cost hundreds of millions of dollars lost by the league, its players and its teams, to say nothing of the financial pain suffered by non-player (league and team) employees, suppliers and allied businesses. Similar results have affected every sport that has shut down due to labor/management issues.”
The negotiations are currently in limbo after the players rejected the last offer by NBA Team Owners and decided to decertify the NBA Players Association. There have been two anti-trust suits filed against the Association since the players union was decertified. So far neither the Association or the players have responded to Goldberg’s plea.