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Team executives cut and paste the 2011 NBA lockout

Published November 7, 2011 11:23 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2011, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Jazz president Randy Rigby issued a "message to Utah fans" Friday, following the NBA's announcement that training camps for all 30 teams have been postponed and preseason games scheduled from Oct. 9-15 have been cancelled.

Rigby's entire letter is below, as are sections from personal letters to fans from Portland's Larry Miller, Houston's Tad Brown and Atlanta's Bob Williams. All four letters appear to rely upon NBA talking points concerning ongoing collective bargaining agreement negotiations, with each executive inserting small individual sections about their teams in their messages. The sentence "The NBA's goal is to secure a sustainable business model that enables all 30 teams to compete for a championship, fairly compensates players, and ensures a world-class experience for our fans," appears almost word for word in all four letters.

Prior to today's announcement about cancellations, NBA employees had not been allowed to publicly speak about the lockout. Anyone who discussed the work stoppage was fined.

Rigby's letter:

We appreciate your continued patience as the NBA and the NBA Players Association negotiate a new collective bargaining agreement. Since no such agreement has been reached at this time, the league has postponed player training camps and cancelled preseason games scheduled through October 15, 2011.

Please know that you are a vital part of the Utah Jazz, and we value your support.

We want to assure you that the league's efforts are focused on reaching an agreement that benefits all parties involved. The NBA's goal is to secure a sustainable business model that enables all 30 teams to compete for a championship, fairly compensates players, and ensures a world-class experience for our fans.

We recognize that without our fans, there would be no NBA. Your passion for the game is what motivates us, and we do not take your support for granted. The league will continue to work toward a new collective bargaining agreement so that we can get back to enjoying the excitement of NBA basketball.

For more information, visit NBA.com's Labor Central page.

Thank you again for your support and your continued loyalty to the Utah Jazz.

Sincerely,

Randy Rigby

Excerpts from Miller's letter to Portland fans:

We appreciate your continued patience as the NBA and the NBA Players Association negotiate a new collective bargaining agreement. ...Today, since no such agreement has been reached, the league has postponed player training camps and cancelled preseason games scheduled through October 15, 2011. …We want to assure you that the league's efforts are focused on reaching an agreement that benefits all parties involved. The NBA's goal is to secure a sustainable business model that enables all 30 teams to compete for a championship, fairly compensates players, and ensures a world-class experience for our fans. Excerpts from Brown's letter:…Unfortunately, negotiations between the NBA and NBA Players Association have not produced a new collective bargaining agreement to date, and the league has taken the difficult but necessary step to postpone player training camps and cancel preseason games scheduled through October 15.

... We want to assure you that all the league's efforts are focused on reaching an agreement that provides a sustainable business model that allows all 30 teams to be able to compete for a championship, fairly compensates the players, and ensures a world-class experience for our fans.

Excerpts from Williams' letter:

We appreciate your continued patience as the NBA and the NBA Players Association work towards reaching a new collective bargaining agreement. Because no such agreement has been reached at this time, the league made the difficult decision to cancel all preseason games scheduled through October 15, 2011.

... As I have mentioned before, the ultimate goal is to find a sustainable business model that enables all 30 teams to compete for a championship, fairly compensates players, and ensures a world-class experience for our fans and the NBA will continue to work to reach that goal.

We will continue to keep you informed as we become aware of changes and updates.Thank you for your support and your continued loyalty to the Atlanta Hawks.

Brian T. Smith

bsmith@sltrib.comTwitter: @tribjazzfacebook.com/tribjazz