Randy Hollis: Gap between NBA players, owners as big as Barkley's backside

Published: Saturday, July 2 2011 6:00 p.m. MDT

For the time being, players can't communicate with team personnel at any level, and players are banned from using any team facilities. Front-office officials face the threat of a $1 million fine if they discuss the lockout publicly.

"My wife likes to keep the checkbook, and I don't want to have to write one (to the league)," Jazz general manager Kevin O'Connor said the day following the NBA Draft.

The lockout has far-reaching implications. More than 130 free agents are now hanging in limbo; no trades or signings are allowed; paychecks and league-paid health care benefits will be suspended; the Las Vegas summer league has already been canceled, and NBATV resorted to showing old slam dunk contests from 1994 and earlier — before any of today's players were in the league — on Saturday.

How long it will last is anybody's guess. But right now, things don't look very promising.

"I don't think we're closer," Stern told the AP regarding recent labor negotiations. "In fact, it worries me that we're not closer. We have a huge philosophical divide."

Billy Hunter, chief of the players union, agreed.

"The problem is that there's such a gap in terms of the numbers, where they are and where we are," he told the AP, "and we just can't find a way to bridge that gap."

Yes, right now, it's a gap as wide as Charles Barkley's backside.

So we'll sit back, wait and hope for a resolution, knowing it could be a long, frustrating wait.

And in the meantime, we'll start stretching, searching for some XXXL spandex and practicing our best moves for those Jazz Dancer auditions.

email: rhollis@desnews.com

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