LOOK out for the NBA Lock OUT!!

By Stephfon Guidry

Courts grow cobwebs as the basketball players of the NBA battle it out in the courtroom rather than on the court. Three parties, the Players, the owners, and stand to lose or gain from this tumultuous turn of events in having the NBA 2011-2012 season.  Everyone is passing the buck, players say “Don’t Blame Us” owners chant “Give us time to think” and fans chant “What is going to happen to our season?” The bottom line of the issue leads down to two major debates the salary-cap structure and the split of basketball related income. In the wake of the 2010-2011 season the NBA league lost a total of $300 million, motivation enough for all parties involved for change.

Seconds on the clock, time is a factor as negotiations grow tedious and taxing for the owners and players; the NBA Commissioner stated on October 4, 2011 that the preseason games are currently cancelled. David Stern ironic & iconic name NBA Commissioner formally stated to the press at the NBA labor negotiations press conference, “By Monday, we will have no choice but to cancel the first two weeks of the season”. (CNN.com) $200 million is the revenue loss that would be taken by first two weeks—a total of 114 games—of the regular season possible cancellation. Stern also stated, “We know our backs are against the wall in terms of regular season games and what those consequences will be.”

Follow the Money and answers follow! The players union is currently lobbying for an increase in the average player salary from its current average of $5 million per player to $7 million per player. Owners also want to increase their shares in the revenue while there is discussion on strengthening the salary cap. Negotiations have caused mixed reactions from players.

After three months of legal negotiations the question arises; what do the players think? NBA Players proactively decide to go abroad or not. Kenyon Martin (Denver Nuggets), Tony Parker (San Antonio Spurs), Deron Williams (New Jersey Nets) and many more already secured deals with countries like Spain, France, and Chain. Others opposed the thought of going overseas for instance Matt Barnes (L.A. Lakers), Chris Bosch (Miami Heat) and LeBron King James (Miami Heat) all state they are not pursuing international deal (ESPN.com). David Stern recently interviewed with CNN to talk about the progress in the NBA labor negotiations, “We need to reset our business model which not only gives our teams an opportunity to be profitable…because as the union has made, I think, clear and I agree with them, we need a more robust revenue sharing plan.” Clearly there is much to be done in the courtroom and hopefully soon back on the court as NBA fans patiently await the key to unlock this lockout!

From the Court to the Runway: Ballers and Fashion

By Ibrahim Malik

Front rows aren’t just reserved for Fashionistas and Editors, but Ballers are front and center at the all the Hottest Shows. Athletes are trading their cleats and jerseys for designer labels. No longer are the days when athletes splurge, million dollar contract just on Fast Cars and even Faster Women (on some Boys too) but invest in Tailored suits and custom kicks. Michael Jordan is a household name not just because of his sick jump shot but his Iconic Shoes. Nowadays athletes like Amare Stoudemire, LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, and DeWayne Wade are exceeding way beyond just a shoe endorsement. This past New York Fashion week, they towered over in the front rows at shows such as Tommy Hilfiger, Michael Bastian, and others. These fashion houses and designers look at it as a true win-win situation giving an easy mainstream appeal.  Joe Zee, Creative Director of Elle even contributed “In the last few years, fashion shows have become as much a spectator sport as about the fashion, with blinding paparazzi snapping celebs in every front row.”

Lockouts in the NFL and now the NBA, allow ballers more time to divert their attention from the court to fashion. It is been a true emergence of athletes showing of the impeccable physiques in amazing editorials and eye-catching ads. We still won’t forget Kobe Bryant Amish-Inspired 2010 photo shoot in LA Times Magazine. More recently Carmelo Anthony and Dwayne Wade have spreads in Vogue Italia and VMan respectively. So if this current lockout doesn’t turn out so hot, they can fall back on Modeling (so LaLa and Gabrielle Union don’t fret). Amare Stoudemire turned his hustle up a notch with his current collaboration with Rachel Roy. “I was never a designer or anything like that, but as far as putting together what I was going to wear, I was a fashion rebel, always mixing it up,” said Stoudemire. The collection itself is meant to be the best of both worlds: Fashion & Sports. Rachel Roy had this to say about their line “What does Gisele wear when she goes to see her man [New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady] play? What would Kate Moss wear? Those images are the inspiration as we’re designing.” It’s a toss-up when the next NBA season will start but the players just might be changing in the locker rooms from shorts to tailored shirts by designers from around the globe.