The NBA lockout didn’t garner the same kind of media coverage as the NFL lockout, even though it lasted longer and it stole a portion of the 2011-12 season. I think many fans were just turned off by the millionaires and billionaires squabbling, after seeing it played out for so many months before football finally kicked off. To bring a unique perspective on the NBA lockout I talked with Lamond Murray who was a player during the last NBA lockout in 1998.
Murray played 11 years in the NBA for 4 different teams, and was the 7th overall pick in 1994 by the Los Angeles Clippers. The collegiate 3rd team All American while playing at Cal is now working with NSCA Athletic Recruiting to help educate and assist high school student-athletes to maximize their scholarship and life potential.
Check out the interview below.
We Got This Covered (WGTC) - The public perception is that the players caved in to the owners’ demands. As a former player do you share that sentiment?
Lamond Murray (LM) - No, the players did not cave, due to the fact that they fought this long and even took the fight as far to decertify. Taking their fight to the courts where the books would have been opened, showed how far they wanted to take the fight. Then, miraculously, the owners came back to the bargaining table because they knew that time was of the essence. With court proceedings, the season would have been lost.
WGTC - What are your thoughts on the “Derrick Rose Rule”, that allows young players with less than 6 years experience that meet certain performances to receive more in max money?
LM - This is one of the best rules for the game, due to past players’ abuse of the guaranteed contracts. Now, you can get rewarded for your performance, and that will makes players strive for excellence rather than get a long term deal then not perform until the last year of that deal.
WGTC - After going through the lockout as a player in the 98-99 season, were you surprised this lockout lasted as long as it did?
LM - Not at all. Knowing how long we had to get a deal done in 98-99 was the benchmark for this deal. I knew this would be around the time they would reach an agreement.
In the 1998-99 season, the NBA played a reduced 50 game schedule (from the usual 82 games.) This year, the season will be 66 games long.
WGTC - How much of an impact do you expect the Amnesty Clause to have this year? The Amnesty Clause basically allows each team to cut a player and have their salary be removed from their 2011-12 salary cap.
LM - That has yet to been seen since this would impact teams in the first two years of the contract. Making the teams not able to dump those contracts in the first two season is good.
WGTC - The 66 game season will include at least one 3 games in a row stretch for each team, but no more than three of the back to back to backs. With possible back to backs during the playoffs, do you think younger teams like the Bulls and Thunder will have an advantage come playoff time?
LM - But teams that have been deep in the playoffs like the Bulls, I don’t consider them to be a young team. I believe the older teams with the deepest benches will have the best outcome in terms of wins. Due to the fact there is no learning curve and they will be in the best pre camp condition. The younger teams will not know who’s even going to start from game to game, or their roles on the team, let alone how to win.
Thanks again to Lamond for taking the time to answer some of our questions.
I can’t tell you how glad I am that the NBA Lockout is over. Reading actual basketball news online and in the newspapers is refreshing. I love the free agent talk, the trade scenarios, and the season predictions. To steal an old slogan, I love this game.