Where NBA all 30 owners stand on the lockout

By Lance Pugmire, Mike Bresnahan and Broderick Turner

Los Angeles Times

Published: Monday, Oct. 24 2011 12:00 p.m. MDT

Thirty men, 30 opinions.

The NBA owners presiding over the league's increasingly bitter lockout of players aren't united behind the idea that it's better to lose an entire season rather than accept a bad labor deal.

For now, however, the hawks outnumber the more conciliatory owners, such as the Lakers' Jerry Buss, the New York Knicks' James Dolan, the Miami Heat's Micky Arison and the Dallas Mavericks' Mark Cuban.

Billy Hunter, executive director of the players' union, said those four want to make a deal.

But Thursday the latest negotiations came to an end. Union attorney Jeffrey Kessler said the negotiations were "hijacked" when Portland Trail Blazers owner Paul Allen made it clear that owners would not allow the players anything more than a 50-50 split of basketball-related income.

No new labor talks are scheduled, and more regular-season games almost certainly will be scrapped in the near future.

League executives are forbidden by the NBA from speaking about the labor dispute. But The Times surveyed front office executives, league officials, players, attorneys and others close to the game to get a sense of where the owners stand.


Paul Allen, Portland: The Microsoft cofounder is a billionaire, but Portland is a small market and Allen wants spending control among all owners.

David Stern, New Orleans: The Hornets are owned by the NBA, so Stern has an extra vote in his pocket.

Robert Sarver, Phoenix: Sarver is right next to Stern in demanding lower player salaries. The Suns would have lost about $15 million if the season had been played under the former salary structure, but only a few million if there is no 2011-12 season. Amare Stoudemire blames Sarver almost entirely for the divisive tone of talks with players.

Dan Gilbert, Cleveland: Gilbert watched LeBron James leave for South Beach, while the former title-contending Cavaliers finished last. One executive said Gilbert is "one of the tough owners who wants to break the players."

Ted Leonsis, Washington: Leonsis is a hard-line owner "who has been through this with his NHL team, the Washington Capitals, (and the) NHL missed an entire season," an NBA executive says.

Michael Heisley, Memphis: He's been trying to sell. The Grizzlies had a nice playoff run and their arena is one of the league's newest, but Heisley wants the big-city boys to start spending more like him.

Glen Taylor, Minnesota: Had one of the NBA's smallest payrolls and wants everyone else to face similar spending restrictions.

Gavin and Joe Maloof, Sacramento: The Maloofs are ringing the cowbell for cost control. The Kings have an outdated arena and a sagging franchise that might move to Anaheim.

Clay Bennett, Oklahoma City: Successful in a small market thanks to quality draft selections. But he wants some cost controls, plus he owes Stern for green-lighting his team's move from Seattle.

Peter Holt, San Antonio: Has done incredibly well in one of the NBA's smallest markets but wants to level the playing field with the big-city owners.

Greg Miller, Utah: Small-market franchise showing cracks in the foundation after the trade of Deron Williams and the "retirement" of Jerry Sloan.

Stan Kroenke, Denver: Lost Carmelo Anthony in a trade to the NBA's largest market. No fan of the old system. One executive noted Kroenke's determination: "Stan owns Walmart and he won a class-action lawsuit at the U.S. Supreme Court."

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