PHOENIX, AZ - APRIL 13: Grant Hill #33 of the Phoenix Suns high fives teammates Steve Nash #13 and Marcin Gortat #4 after scoring against the San Antonio Spurs during the NBA game at US Airways Center on April 13, 2011 in Phoenix, Arizona. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

2011 NBA Offseason: No Marcin Gortat In Poland

The NBA has announced the 2011-12 preseason schedule, with the Suns playing all over the West Coast. For more on the Suns, check out Bright Side of the Sun.

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Marcin Gortat Says He Will Play In Russia If NBA Lockout Continues

Phoenix Suns center, Marcin Gortat, could join the growing list of NBA players to consider playing overseas if the NBA Lockout continues. According to Polish media reports, Gortat was in Gdansk Friday when he said that it's very probable he'll play in Russia. Gortat wouldn't name the specific team, but said it was in a "beautiful city".

Gortat is in Poland taking part in some kind of combo tennis / basketball exhibition with top Polish tennis players Mariusz Fyrstenberg and Marcin Matkowski. Marcin is touring the country meeting with kids as part of this camp and took advantage of the BNP Paribas Polish Open near Gdansk to show off his tennis skills. We can only imagine that he covers a lot of net with his seven-foot wing span.

Here's a Polish version of the news:

Marcin Gortat: I'll be playing in the Russian league - NBA - Sport INTERIA.PL
- Outdated is my opportunity to play in the Polish league, which is constantly evolving, but in terms of Russia's far inferior league. I do not want to reveal the details, I can only say that I played in a very nice city. July 22 is coming to Warsaw, my manager, and then probably give more information - Gortat said.

Gortat originally told SB Nation Arizona that it was unlikely he would play for the Polish national team this summer, citing issues with insurance and a desire to stay in the states and work on his game. But just a few days ago he seemed to reverse that decision.

FIBA – International basketball deals with lockout | FIBA.COM
"I'll be playing in the Polish squad," Gortat said.   "The condition, however, is that the Polish Basketball Federation pay the insurance which the Phoenix Suns provide me but doesn't apply during the lockout."

Marcin Gortat figures to be a big part of the Suns' plans for next season, but like other players he seems to be seeing the possibility of a extended lockout and exploring his options to play elsewhere.

Suns' swingman, Mickael Pietrus is facing a similar situation. His agent told the Arizona Republic that Pietrus has an offer to play in Turkey but hadn't made a decision yet. Pietrus will miss playing for the French team due to a minor knee surgery according to the report.

Here's some recent video of Marcin Gortat working with kids at one of his basketball camps:


NBA Lockout Begins With Stern Words

And so it begins...

The National Basketball Association announced that it will commence a lockout of its players, effective at 12:01 am ET on July 1, until a new collective bargaining agreement is reached with the National Basketball Players Association.

"The expiring collective bargaining agreement created a broken system that produced huge financial losses for our teams," said NBA Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver. "We need a sustainable business model that allows all 30 teams to be able to compete for a championship, fairly compensates our players, and provides teams, if well-managed, with an opportunity to be profitable."

[...] During the lockout, players will not receive their salaries; teams will not negotiate, sign or trade player contracts; players will not be able to use team facilities for any purpose; and teams will not conduct or facilitate any summer camps, exhibitions, practices, workouts, coaching sessions, or team meetings.


Phoenix Suns Prepare For Lockout; Layoffs Possible, Marketing Changes Certain

The Phoenix Suns, like the rest of the NBA, will soon be settling in for a long hibernation that will come with the pending lockout. No one can quite agree on how long with labor dispute will last, but with the two sides so far apart it doesn't look good.

The Suns, according to a report in the Phoenix Business Journal, won't furlough or layoff any of their front office staff like the Arizona Cardinals did during the NFL lockout. But that decision seems to only be good for the normally scheduled offseason. If the lockout extends into October and the games start getting missed, the impact could run much deeper than the well-paid players and wealthy team owners.

Phoenix Suns won’t furlough or layoff workers if NBA locks out players | Phoenix Business Journal
The Suns won’t take a similar path unless games are lost in the fall, according to two sources familiar with the team. The Suns looked at some furlough options, including a 4-day work week, but are opting not to go that path, according the officials.

One very visible change once the clock strikes "game over" for the current CBA, is the removal of any and all player references from team marketing materials. All the NBA web sites will have to be scrubbed of player names, pictures or video. Even posters or billboards around town that show a player in uniform will have to come down.

Even without the players you can expect to see the Suns working hard to try and keep their name out in front of the community. Events like this week's visit to Wet 'N Wild water park is part of what they are calling "Operation Orange"  which will keep the marketing and sales staff busy and possibly even generating a little income by sending the poor Gorilla into the hot Phoenix sun on missions of branding and promotion.

In the next few months the impact of the lockout will be minimal beyond that. 

With the NFL lockout that began in March, it appears the sides are close to a deal that would allow time to restart the free agency process and get the teams back together in time for a normal training camp season. For the NBA with a much shorter offseason, the two side only have until late August or mid-September before the normal routine starts getting postponed. 

There's always hope the two sides will find some sort of workable solution before that happens. But with the owners determined to dramatically roll back the players' pay and guarantee profits to even the league's most poorly run teams, that doesn't seem likely.  

Settle in folks, this could be a long one.


NBA Lockout 2011: David Stern's Latest Insane Proposal

The NBA lockout may be upon us, and David Stern isn't helping: the league's latest proposal is completely and utterly unreasonable. See what it would have done to the NBA over the last 10 years.


Be sure to read the Full Story Here


The NBA Lockout: It's Gonna Happen, And It's Gonna Be Worse Than The NFL

Let's talk about the Phoenix Suns Phoenix is the 14th largest metropolis in the country (when including surrounding areas covered by the same TV networks; Dallas is 4th, by the way), placing them right in the middle of the 30 NBA teams in terms of market size.

The Phoenix market compares more to San Antonio, Detroit and Minnesota than Dallas and LA. Robert Sarver spent a boatload on the Suns just 7 years ago and likely has not seen a healthy profit in any year since 2004-2005 when the Suns took the league by storm on the back of a relatively low payroll.

Sarver is one of the "young" owners who haven't seen the return they'd hoped for, but don't pretend that he's alone. Without better revenue sharing, the system is skewed toward the bigger markets being able to afford the highest payrolls year over year. The only penalty a team will incur for over-paying is the dollar-for-dollar "luxury" tax. Yet when the big markets make 5 times more money on local revenue (ie. on top of ticket sales), they can more than afford that penalty.

Full Story Here

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