Thursday, July 7, 2011

NBA Lockout Day 7 & The Most Important Work Stoppage Video of 1998

This 17-minute clip is quite a masterpiece, and a must watch for any basketball enthusiast. It's not because of Hannah Storm's haircut that I spent 13 years trying to forget either.

During halftime on May 24, 1998 of Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals (where the Jazz were about to sweep the Lakers), the basketball world got a detailed explanation of many issues and concerns that would be apart of the impending work stoppage. You saw the economics of the situation and got the perspectives from several points of view.

When the NBA owners signed the new 6-year Collective Bargaining Agreement back in 1995, they knew there was an option after year 3 to change the deal if the players were making too large of a revenue percentage. '98 came and that scenario had come into full effect. Peter Vecsey actually did a good reporting job for a change.

Sitting down with people such as Russ Granik and Billy Hunter, discussing stuff like the Larry Bird exception and rookie salary changes. Notice Latrell Sprewell gets discarded like a piece of trash.
Kevin Garnett had the largest contract at the time at $126 million.

The first truly hilariously sad moment belongs to Antoine Walker when he mentions how he wishes he could make near the amount of money as KG. Fast forward a bit and now we all know that The 'Toine went broke a few years ago, having squandered over $100 million in career earnings. Former Magic player (current Knick at the time), and now assistant coach, Patrick Ewing spoke with a lot of composure and wisdom on the situation. In case you forgot, Ewing would have his prostitution scandal later in time.

Then you have Jayson Williams, the man convicted of manslaughter, popping up with his "fair market value" quote. If the NBA Players Association were to see this video now, they would all cringe. Finally, you have Isiah Thomas who had his hands all over the league during that decade putting in his very valuable and respected two cents.

Remember, this is when people still liked him and didn't think he was crazy. Matt Guokas being silent the entire halftime (Obviously the clip is edited, but still) and just looking at Vecsey babble is an enjoyable sight.

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