The Unspoken Victims Of A Lockout

Little word is leaking out after the NBA Board of Governors meeting Tuesday where the labor committee met with all the NBA owners to give an update on the negotiating process. Officially, the owners have not decided to lock out the players. However, the players union decided to cancel a planned meeting for Wednesday to plan more for the big meeting Thursday before the midnight expiration of the collective bargaining agreement.

One way or another something is going to get resolved by Thursday night. Either there is going to be a lockout or a temporary reprieve in the form of a deadline extension.

That is hardly any relief for NBA fans hoping to avoid a brutal lockout like the one the NFL is fighting its way through or like the one from 1998. It is not any relief either to the non-team personnel who work for the 30 NBA franchises. Fans should start seeing the after effects of a lockout very shortly after it is implemented.

Kevin Arnovitz of TrueHoop reports that once the collective bargaining agreement expires, NBA Web sites will be working over time to take down photos of players and maybe even the mere mention of players on team Web sites have to be taken down. That is because most of the photos of players are licensed through the NBPA. And after the lockout is instituted, the teams lose the right to use those photos.

That is putting a lot of work on teams to rebuild their Web sites in anticipation of this apocalypse.

Arnovitz reports the league has prepared skeleton Web sites, resembling Web pages from the early days of the Internet, for each of the 30 teams while the house cleaning is completed. That is going to take a while considering the thousands of pages already made.

The new NBA Web sites are going to look like the old ones (really old ones) with one Web site administrator describing the framework the NBA has created as sending the Web pages “back to the stone ages.”

So what happens in the lockout when the Web sites revert to a shell of their former selves? Expect a lot of content on the various community outreach events teams do. Follow the team’s mascot and dance team around town. So long as no players are mentioned.

It is going to be very slow going for NBA news on the NBA’s Web sites.

That is going to make life difficult for a lot of the people who spend their days working on content for the Web sites (unless they have a WNBA team, then there is still some work to do). Not to mention the people who sell tickets and work on the business side of the NBA. There is a lot of flux in a work stoppage beyond the players not playing, even though the players and owners are the ones trying to figure out how to get this whole issue resolved.

The Lakers, one of the teams apparently making money, have already informed their scouts and training staff that they will not be retained for next season. Many of the assistant coaches were free agents at the end of last season, Phil Jackson retirement notwithstanding. Expect similar stories to surface as the lockout begins and lasts.

The effects of the lockout are going to be felt far beyond the players and the owners. A lot is on the line.

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About Philip Rossman-Reich

Philip Rossman-Reich is the managing editor for Crossover Chronicles and Orlando Magic Daily. You can follow him on twitter @OMagicDaily