UPDATED: 7/1/2011, 9:30 a.m.
The NBA’s work stoppage became official Thursday and the longer it drags on, the more difficulty fans may have tracking down their favorite player highlights — or even remembering what their favorite player looks like.
When the league’s collective bargaining agreement expired, the NBA was legally stripped of its ownership the images of its athletes.
So if you’re hunting for that rim-rattling Dwight Howard dunk or rookie of the year Blake Griffin’s slam dunk contest spectacle, don’t go hunting on the league’s official Web site, NBA.com, or your favorite team’s official site.
Flip through the player pages on NBA.com and you’ll find team logos where player’s faces once resided. And a quick glance at the site’s video library reveals riveting titles like “Stern: What a Lockout Means” and “John Havlicek Highlights.” Nowhere will you find footage of Dirk Nowitzki and the Mavericks hoisting their first Larry O’Brien trophy.
An ESPN.com report from earlier this week explains:
“That’s because the moment the clock strikes midnight on the current CBA, all those images and videos of NBA players have to disappear off NBA-owned digital properties. Depending on how you interpret “fair use,” the prohibition could include the mere mention of a player’s name on an NBA-owned site, though different teams have different interpretations of this particular stipulation.”
And you can forget about reliving the NBA finals on the Mavericks’ league site. Instead, you can have all the Dallas Mavericks Dancers video highlights you’ll ever need.
One team’s website administrator may have said it best:
“We're going back to the stone ages of the Internet. It's all going to be very dumbed down.”
Here’s a quick look at the front page of all 30 NBA team Web sites this morning.