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NBA AM: FIBA To Meet With NBA
Posted By Steve Kyler On July 18, 2011 @ 11:32 am In All,NBA | No Comments
Meeting With Stern: Patrick Baumann serves as FIBA’s Secretary General. He is the closest thing to the top dog in international basketball. While Baumann’s primary function is to overseas the Olympics and the International qualifiers that lead up to it, FIBA also acts as the beat cop for almost the entire basketball world outside of the NBA.
Baumann is expected to meet with NBA commissioner David Stern this week in hopes of crafting guidance for its member teams and federations on how to handle not only NBA players seeking jobs abroad, but also how to deal with the insurance issues that are surfacing with regards to national teams and the upcoming Olympic qualifiers.
Under a long standing agreement between the NBA and FIBA, the NBA covers one third of the insurance costs associated with NBA players playing in national team competitions and tournaments, another third is covered by the national team and the final third is covered by FIBA.
Since the NBA’s imposed Lockout on July 1st, the NBA is no longer willing to cover those costs.
“The lockout is very bad news for the basketball fans in the US and around the world,” Baumann said recently. “But it is obvious that a sustainable business model, fair to all parties, is needed, especially in these times of gloomy economic environment.”
“This is not valid only in the US, but everywhere in the basketball world in order for our sport to continue its growth. We hope that the parties will find rapidly a solution, but above all we hope that the situation will not have a negative effect on the Olympic qualifiers this summer. We will do everything to support the players and our members in their desire to fulfill their Olympic dream.”
Most national teams are simply accepting that the new higher insurance costs are simply a part of doing business and are seeking additional funds from their national sports budgets or seeking sponsors to underwrite the new costs. The smaller teams that are not as well funded are really struggling with this issue and have pushed back on FIBA for help.
Baumann’s meetings with the NBA are expected to focus mainly on planning around this summer’s Olympic qualifiers and next year’s 2012 Olympic Games in London, the two parties are also expected to address how FIBA will handle clearing locked out NBA players.
FIBA has yet to issue guidance to its member teams on how contracts should be constructed and while FIBA can’t outright block a player from being signed, it can make players who do not fit their criteria ineligible for FIBA tournaments such as the EuroCup and EuroLeague play.
The NBA has said several times it did not plan to block players from playing abroad, in fact there have been some that have hinted that the NBA would like to see its players on rosters abroad if only to reinforce how good NBA players have it in the NBA.
The NBA is a huge supporter of FIBA and not only lends man power and brand support, but funding to the organization as a member.
It will be interesting to see what comes out of Baumann’s meeting with the NBA. If FIBA drops the hammer on locked out players, the NBA can always say it had nothing to do with the decision and let Baumann be the bad guy.
The US and Great Britain have already qualified for the 2012 Olympics; the US by virtue of winning the 2010 World Championship and Great Britain for being the host country.
The remaining spots will be filled by the 2011 FIBA Americas Championship winner and runner-up, 2011 EuroBasket winner and runner-up, 2011 FIBA Africa Championship winner, 2011 FIBA Asia Championship winner, 2011 FIBA Oceania Championship winner and three to four additional places from Qualifier tournaments leading up to the games in London.
The 2011 FIBA Americas Championship will be held Mar del Plata, Argentina, from August 30 to September 11, 2011.
The 2011 EuroBasket tournament will be hosted across Lithuania from August 31st to September 31st and will feature 24 teams vying for two Olympic spots.
The 2011 FIBA Africa Championship will be hosted in Madagascar from August 17th to the 28th.
The 2011 FIBA Asia Championship will be held from September 15th to September 25th in Wuhan, Hubei, China.
The 2011 FIBA Oceania Championship will be a three game series between Australia and New Zealand in the Australian cities of Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney on September 7th, 9th and 11th.
The 2012 Olympic Games are set to open in London on July 27th and will run through August 12th.
Is Dwight Pondering Europe Too? Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard told reporters recently at a charity event that he was indeed interested in playing aboard if the NBA’s 18 day old lockout stretches into the regular season. When pressed for details the 6 10′ Howard refused to name names, but says he’s keeping his options open.
“I’m not at liberty to talk about it,” Howard said to George Henry of the Associated Press., “but there’s a huge possibility about me going to China or me going overseas to play basketball.”
“The big thing for me is not giving too much information away, but at the same time I still need to let people know what’s going on with me,” Howard said. “I don’t want to just sit over here and forget about basketball and waste, you know, opportunities for me to get better.”
“If I decide to go overseas, the main thing is for me to continue to get better, not to do the things that I normally do, but do better at the things I’m not good at,” Howard said. “So I can use that talent to go overseas, working on my skills and staying in great shape.”
Howard recently interviewed shooting coaches and plans to focus a lot of his off season on improving as a shooter not only at the foul line but to add some range to his game.
Howard is actually a pretty decent three point shooter, but like many things in Dwight’s game, until he is 100% confident in the move he is reluctant to use it in games.
While Howard is in demand as brand endorser and has a full calendar of promotional events already scheduled, he does keep a fairly strict workout routine even when on the road. Most of Howard’s trainers either travel with him or provide him workouts to do while on the road.
Dudley Talks Lockout: Phoenix’s Jared Dudley is a smart guy. He has an entrepreneurial spirit and he’s been smart with his money. When his playing days are over, it’s not going to be surprising to see Jared start the next great internet website or spin up a hot cable channel.
It’s that knack for business that got Jared nominated to represent the veterans of the Phoenix Suns interests in the Player’s Union as the Suns’ Player representative.
Dudley has taken his role seriously and has attended a number of the bargaining sessions between the players and the owners and been briefed fully on what’s in the proposals that have changed hands in this process.
To say that Dudley is concerned is an understatement.
“There’s no negotiating,” Dudley told HOOPSWORLD’s Alex Kennedy. “Until the owners are willing to negotiate, we’re going to be locked out. The reason that the players have to do this is because if we took their deal, it would be the worst deal that any players association has ever accepted – not only in basketball, but in baseball, football and hockey as well.”
“They don’t want any guaranteed deals. They want to have a hard cap. They want the highest paid player to make $13 million, when Kobe Bryant is supposed to make $25 million next season. They want to move our revenue sharing from 57 percent to 47 percent. They want to guarantee that every owner makes a profit of at least $10 million each year, no matter what. That’s the biggest one. Even if the owner hires a terrible general manager and doesn’t run the team well, they will still gain a profit. You can’t have that. You really can’t have that because there has to be consequences for every action. If you were a bad writer and interviewed the wrong people, you would get fired from your job. There has to be consequences.”
“If they refuse to change their views, we would lock out the whole year, maybe even two years,” Dudley said. “That would be better for players than agreeing to their deal.”
The staff for the NBA and staff for the Players’ Association are expected to meet on Friday and map out a negotiating schedule for future talks and bargaining sessions.
But with the stance Dudley says is being taken, the odds of a quick resolution seems slim, but as we saw in the NFL… talks can turn quickly if both sides want to make a deal.
The key date to keep in mind is September 15th, if the labor talks are not headed in a progressive direction by then, the odds of Training Camps opening on time is in real jeopardy.
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