Summary of “”It Was All About Money”: An Oral History of the 1998-99 NBA Lockout”

Game 6 of the 1998 Finals, the last NBA game that would be played for more than six months, was a satisfying end to an era.
With volatile personalities at the forefront and backbiting among players, owners, and agents, the 1998-99 NBA lockout spanned 204 days and resulted in the loss of about $500 million in total player salaries and more than $1 billion overall.
Founded in 1954, the National Basketball Players Association didn’t accomplish much until the 1964 NBA All-Star Game, which the players threatened to boycott unless certain demands were met: a pension plan, a formal recognition that the NBPA was the exclusive bargaining agent of the players, and a per diem of $8 per day.
“The answer is now well established,” NBA commissioner David Stern said following the decision, “You cannot choke your boss and hold your job unless you play in the NBA and you are subject to arbitrator Feerick’s jurisdiction.”
Danny Schayes: David Falk’s theory about the NBA was that it was star-driven and that the labor agreement should reflect that: there should be unlimited contracts for the superstars; most of the other players were interchangeable parts; the bulk of the money should go to the players he represents; and the rest of the players would divide up what’s left.
Mario Elie: There was a place here in Houston called the Westside Tennis Club and a lot of NBA players would get together and play pickup.
“The Game on Showtime,” an exhibition held in Atlantic City broadcast on Showtime, with proceeds going to UNICEF and needy NBA players, was perceived as a test run of sorts; the money all went to charity following a public uproar.
I met Billy and made a suggestion to him that because of different business contacts that we had, we had the ability to stage games so that the players could continue to play and make money and try to lessen the damage that the lockout was causing and put up a strong front on behalf of the players.

The orginal article.