NBA Lockout Cinema: What's Been Happening Behind the Scenes

Reservoir GodCorrespondent IIOctober 26, 2011

NBA Lockout Cinema: What's Been Happening Behind the Scenes

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    Everyone knows what happened after the collective bargaining meetings were over, but what happened behind closed doors between the players and owners?

    Since reporters weren't allowed in the meetings, the best way to explain last week's mediation between the NBPA and NBA is to recreate negotiations during the NBA lockout using scenes from Hollywood movies and television shows.

    Note: Some videos contain profanities.

The Boondocks on Collective Bargaining over Basketball-Related Income

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    If the NBA lockout was a movie, then it definitely started off like this clip from Aaron McGruder's cartoon, The Boondocks. There's a good chance when the NBA initially offered to reduce the players' percentage of basketball-related income (BRI) from 57 percent to 39, they had the same reaction as Riley Freeman.



    Alistair Ripley as David Stern

    Riley Freeman (Regina King) as Billy Hunter

The Sopranos Version of the NBA Lockout

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    On Part One of the October 15 HEATcast, Alfredo Arteaga from said the NBA owners' compromises during collective bargaining remind him of a scene from the Sopranos when Tony was negotiating with Phil Leotardo. 



    Phil Leotardo as David Stern

    Tony Soprano as Billy Hunter

Pulp Fiction Version of the NBA Lockout

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    Larry Coon, author of the cbafaq.comretweeted a comparison of the NBA lockout and the restaurant robbery in Pulp Fiction. 



    Robbers (Tim Roth and Amanda Plummer) plays the NBA owners

    Customers play the NBA fans

    Jules (Samuel L. Jackson) plays the NBPA

    Jules' case plays 53% of basketball-related income (BRI)

    Jules' wallet plays the role of "system" issues like the luxury tax, salary cap exceptions and length of player contracts

Goodfellas Version of the NBA Lockout

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    An analogy on Part Two of the October 15 HEATcast compared the lockout to the bust out scene from Goodfellas. This version of collective bargaining goes like this ...

    The NBA got 10 new owners as partners since the last lockout. Any financial problems, the NBA can go to these new owners.

    Trouble financing NBA offices around the globe? They can call the new owners. 

    Trouble funding investment in digital properties for marketing? They can call the new owners.

    But now the NBA's gotta come up with the owners' profit every year, no matter what, because they borrowed so much money to pay the NBA's inflated franchise prices. 

    Malice in the Palace hurting attendance? Eff you, pay me. 

    Low NBA Finals ratings after Michael Jordan's retirement reduced the TV revenue? Eff you, pay me. 

    Global recession, huh? Eff you, pay me.

    And finally, when the NBA can't borrow another dollar from the banks to cover their paper losses, what do they do? They lock the players out and blow up the season.


    Sonny Bunz, nightclub owner (Tony Darrow) as the NBA

    Paulie (Paul Sorvino) as the Owners

    Tommy DeVito, mobster setting fire to the nightclub (Joe Pesci) as David Stern

Rocky IV Version of Mediation

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    Billy Hunter, the Executive Director of the National Basketball Players Association, reiterates at every press conference that the goal of the NBA lockout is to break the union.

    Reporting that San Antonio Spurs CEO Peter Holt told players they "haven't felt enough pain yet" only reinforces this notion.


    Drago as the NBA

    Rocky as the NBPA

Batman Version of the NBA Lockout (Tim Burton Edition)

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    After mediation broke down last week, there are reports that NBA owners aren't united in their quest to break the union.

    In a column for the Miami Herald, Dan Le Batard said the NBA lockout isn't really about NBA owners vs. NBA players but owners vs. owners.

    Le Batard said the lockout is being driven by a division between owners like the Miami Heat's Micky Arison, whose franchise's value increased 17 percent after signing LeBron James while Dan Gilbert saw the value of the Cleveland Cavaliers decrease by 26 percent.

    As games continue to be canceled while commissioner David Stern yells, "Eff you, pay me" to Billy Hunter, apparently Gilbert is in the back saying "Never rub another man's rhubarb" to Arison and New York Knicks owner James Dolan.


    Bruce Wayne (Michael Keaton) as Micky Arison

    Joker (Jack Nicholson) as Dan Gilbert

The Boondocks Version of the NBA Lockout's Endgame

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    Since the federal mediator could not broker an agreement between the NBA and NBPA, then how will this stalemate end?

    It will probably end the way it began — like a scene from The Boondocks.

    It's just a matter of whether both sides will just knock each other unconscious.


    Huey Freeman (Regina King) as the NBPA

    Riley Freeman (Regina King) as the NBA

The Boondocks Version of the NBA Lockout: Alternative Ending

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    Since the federal mediator could not broker an agreement between the NBA and NBPA, then how will this stalemate end? It will probably end the way it began—like a scene from The Boondocks.

    A shootout between the NBA, NBPA, the agents and the Feds where only the players escape alive.


    British crew as the NBA

    Riley Freeman's crew as the NBPA

    Mobsters as the agents

    FBI as the National Labor Relations Board


    Then again, maybe I've seen too many movies and watched too much television.