The first victim of the lockout was Summer League. The second? The NBA’s annual Rookie Transition Program. Via a tweet from Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports, the program has been postponed because of the lockout.
The event was scheduled for Aug. 9-11.
This shouldn’t come as any surprise with the way the league has handled things so far. With the scrubbing of NBA.com, the white-washing of NBA TV and threats of $1 million fines for any team employee that speaks a player’s name, the fact the league has postponed this event was expected. Still, the NFL — whose lockout I realize was totally different — went ahead with its Rookie Symposium anyway, though it was put together by the players’ union. The NBA means business when it says everything shuts down.
The program is probably most famous for bad behavior more than anything. You’ll recall a couple years ago Michael Beasley was fined $50,000 for being involved in whatever Darrell Arthur and Mario Chalmers did in 2008 to get sent home. So it’s a shame we’ll be missing out on that.
But it’s a good thing, really. The players all show up without their entourages, without their agents, without designer clothes and all sit in a seminar for a couple days learning about life in the NBA. Former players, executives and coaches all speak about situations to avoid, caution about decision-making and explain how easy it is to blow through that rookie scale contract.
It’ll be rescheduled eventually, but there will have to be a new CBA signed before that happens. So who knows when this year’s crop will get educated.
And who knows, maybe in this year’s rundown, they could’ve added, “How to prepare yourself for a lockout.” I’m sure that one would’ve been heavily attended.