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David Stern utters the "C" word


Viper

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Major League Baseball was the first to seriously flirt with it in recent years.

Amazingly the NHL never really did, though some on these boards - myself included - thought they should have.

Now, it's the NBA's turn.

NEW YORK -- NBA Commissioner David Stern said Friday he thinks eliminating teams will be on the table during collective bargaining as a way to solve the league's financial woes.

[...]

CBSSports.com first reported Thursday that the league would "continue to be open to contraction," after Stern said he wanted player costs reduced by $700-800 million.

So, who will end up on the wrong side of the chopping block? Goodbye, Grizzles? Ciao, Clippers? Buh-bye, Bucks? Ta-ta, T'Wolves? Avada kedavra, Wizards? Not long to live, the Kings? No one, it seems, is safe.

Stay tuned...

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Pains me to say it but Memphis probably isn't a pro sports town, especially when the pro team is an NBA team up against a powerhouse college team that plays in the same gym. (Come to think of it, the Memphis Tigers basketball team is probably just as financially compensated as the Grizzlies, hush-hush.) The basketball isn't as good, of course, and no there is and never will be an argument as to which league is superior, but it's cheaper and probably sends the fans home happier. If the most delicious barbecue in America were a criterion for having a team, the Grizz would be right there, but the Memphis tri-state area isn't all that large and it isn't all that rich. Vancouver wasn't a good idea either, and St. Louis would've been a bad idea. I honestly don't think there are 30 (well, 28) NBA towns in North America.

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Believe it or not, the Clips are actually profitable, primarily because of Sterling's historic refusal to spend more than the minimum on the franchise (although he did seriously persue LeBron and also had a state-of-the-art practice facility built for the team recently). He doesn't even have to spend very much on stadium costs as he's sharing an arena with three other franchises. Plus, they're in a top-two media market, they've got young talent that is drawing praise from the media, and the franchise's reputation is on the rise. If the Clippers get it together and make a couple serious playoff runs, they still probably won't challenge the Lakers but they'll get a lot more attention. At very least, the LA Times beat writers will cover the whole season instead of bailing at the All-Star break every year. I don't think they'll be contracted.

The Timberwolves, however, would be the first on my list to contract. They're playing in a football town with no dedicated fanbase, there hasn't been any semblance of a franchise player since KG left, the drafts have been atrocious, David Kahn is a leaguewide joke, and they're the team that every other franchise swindles out of their last remaining good players. Essentially, they now occupy the "total embarrassment to the league" role that the Clippers held from the move to San Diego until the playoff run with Sam Cassell. There's no real incentive in sight for fans to show up in Minnesota, so there's no real incentive to keep the T-Wolves around.

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No one will. This and the "cut payroll by a third" hogwash are all posturing in advance of the inevitable lockout. The NBA is making craptons of money, but wants to pretend it's in worse financial shape than the NHL. After a season off, hey, who knows, it might be.

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I imagine the Hornets are high up on the list. Shame since they have such a nice look. Guess that means one team is finally out of the possible Jazz-Bobcats-Hornets name trade that comes up on the boards so often.

Oh, and...

"Get the Seaward out of here."

"I'll leave when I'm ready!"

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No one will. This and the "cut payroll by a third" hogwash are all posturing in advance of the inevitable lockout. The NBA is making craptons of money, but wants to pretend it's in worse financial shape than the NHL. After a season off, hey, who knows, it might be.

Exactly. The NBA is just fine (especially considering that teams are being sold for WAY more than what they were bought & the fact that this year's version of the Miami Heat is gonna be like a stimulus package that the league doesn't even need.), this contraction talk is posturing. I'd say there's probably a .01% chance of a team getting contracted.

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No one will. This and the "cut payroll by a third" hogwash are all posturing in advance of the inevitable lockout. The NBA is making craptons of money, but wants to pretend it's in worse financial shape than the NHL. After a season off, hey, who knows, it might be.

As long as owners never open up their books, then the players have no reason to believe them. There will be a reduced cap, but not to that degree.

Sacramento's lease ends after the 2013 season.

Memphis has a clause in which the debt service must be paid off by a new owner in they move. I will look into if there is a contraction clause.

Hornets runs through 2014. The city wants the ASG that year, but the NBA has not committed past this year's game.

The Pacers run through 2019.

Stern could c-word the Cavs. Right now, no one would even notice.

That made me giggle.

EDIT: With this statement today, when will Stern or the other guy mess up and talk about international expansion?

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I imagine the Hornets are high up on the list. Shame since they have such a nice look. Guess that means one team is finally out of the possible Jazz-Bobcats-Hornets name trade that comes up on the boards so often.

Oh, and...

"Get the Seaward out of here."

"I'll leave when I'm ready!"

Quality AD reference. Was getting ready to use that one myself.

Memphis and Sacramento. Those are my picks.

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I thought this was just another women's rights scandal. Nevermind, then.

Are the Wolves a major possibility for contraction? I mean, they suck, but I think they are a team that has potential to compete for the NBA title in a few years. I'm wondering what the criteria is for a contraction. No arena lease? Ticket sales? Fan base?

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Just get rid of the Timberwolves already. No one is a Timberwolves fan. There are more than 6 billion people in the world, 0 are T'Wolves fans.

Come to think of it, get rid of half the league. Most teams suck horribly anyway.

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I thought this was just another women's rights scandal. Nevermind, then.

Are the Wolves a major possibility for contraction? I mean, they suck, but I think they are a team that has potential to compete for the NBA title in a few years. I'm wondering what the criteria is for a contraction. No arena lease? Ticket sales? Fan base?

The Wolves gave up management control of Target Center to the city of Minneapolis in 2007. Glen Taylor wanted to own it, but he was going to use ticket surcharges to pay out the debt service, which the IRS stated was still taxable. Their lease runs through 2025.

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People are worried about no NFL season next year. With Billions at stake I know the NFL will work things out. However, the NBA is drawing trenches and battle lines and looking like NHL 2004/05. With millions being lost I see an entire season going down the drain next year.

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As Lights Out said, the Clippers are definitely profitable. Even though they suck, they draw pretty well, and whenever they play the Lakers it's a guaranteed sell-out.

On the other hand, New Orleans, Indiana, Minnesota, Sarcamento and Memphis could all disappear and their combined 14 fans would hardly miss then.

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Hmmm...

The Globe also spoke with University of Michigan sports economics professor Rodney Fort, and he wasn?t buying what the owners were selling either. "The argument somehow that owners are on the brink or anything of the kind is a little difficult to swallow, but that doesn?t mean they won?t posture themselves that way," said Fort, who authored a 544-page textbook, ?Sports Economics." ?But it doesn?t mean they won?t posture themselves that way to reduce the share of basketball-related income that?s going to players. They will argue that always, in any situation. Not because owners are going belly-up but because everybody likes more money than less."

Once again, I ain't buying that the league's having "financial woes" & needs to cut costs by cutting teams. NOPE. I could definitely see a couple of teams moving (especially the Kings), but the idea that teams are going to be contracted is pretty ridiculous. But hey, this is the type of talk you get when another work stoppage is imminent.

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I'm wondering what the criteria is for a contraction. No arena lease? Ticket sales? Fan base?

I think it would have to come down to financials. Which team(s) do they think will not be able to support its self financially in the future. All of those things you've mentioned would probably play a role. But in the end it will come down to the markets. If the NBA is seriously considering contraction they obviously feel that 30 basketball markets do not exist in North America. They will contract the teams that exist in the markets they no longer feel can support an NBA franchise.

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People are worried about no NFL season next year. With Billions at stake I know the NFL will work things out. However, the NBA is drawing trenches and battle lines and looking like NHL 2004/05. With millions being lost I see an entire season going down the drain next year.

You know, I wouldn't necessarily put it past Goodell and the NFL owners to scuttle a full season, if it means that come 2012, they've got an 18-game regular season and a players' union that isn't just neutered, but effectively obliterated.

The NFL is in a unique position. The NHL, MLB, and NBA all had to deal with peroids of lessened interest, and had to engage actively in fan outreach plans coming out of their strikes/lockouts. If the NFL were to mothball a full season, they could simply go the Michael Jordan route, send out a presser saying "We're back" in July 2012, and the ticket sales, TV ratings, merch sales, and satellite packages would all instantly return to levels as if 2011 had never occurred.

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People are worried about no NFL season next year. With Billions at stake I know the NFL will work things out. However, the NBA is drawing trenches and battle lines and looking like NHL 2004/05. With millions being lost I see an entire season going down the drain next year.

The NFL is at the same place, yet the NFL players do not have guaranteed contracts. As the ecyclopedia for the board and web, you need to know more about all CBAs.

To help you out, here is the current NBA CBA information for those not on the inside

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