NBA Lockout Cinema: What's Been Happening Behind the Scenes
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
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
Pulp Fiction Version of the NBA Lockout
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
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
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)
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
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
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.
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.