Lockout 1999


The 1998/99 NBA season was the 53rd season of the National Basketball Association. Due to a lockout – it was the third lockout our of four in the NBA history – the regular season did not begin until February 5, 1999, after an agreement was reached between the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) on January 18, 1999.

The NBPA opposed the owners’ plans and wanted raises for players who earned the league’s minimum salary. After the two sides failed to reach an agreement, the owners began the lockout. The dispute received a tepid response from sports fans, and provoked criticism from media members. It continued into January 1999, threatening cancellation of the entire season.

Finally, a total of 29 teams took part in the shortened regular season. Each team played 50 games. The eight best of each conference qualified for the NBA playoffs. On June 25th the season ended with the NBA Finals. The San Antonio Spurs beat the New York Knicks 4-1 in the NBA finals and became NBA champions for the first time in club history.

More background information regarding the NBA 1999 Lockout is available on Wikipedia.

All-Star Weekend

Due to the late agreement between the NBA and the NBPA, there was not enough time left for the NBA All-Star Weekend, which was scheduled for February 14, 1999, in Philadelphia. The All-Star Event returned to Philadelphia in 2002.

“The All-Star Game is the latest casualty of the NBA lockout. The only thing left to save is the season itself. Ending a 47-year-old tradition of bringing its top talent together for a special showcase, the NBA on Tuesday canceled the All-Star Game, which had been set for Feb. 14 in Philadelphia.

“This is just a result of the inexorable march of the calendar,” commissioner David Stern said. There just isn’t enough time left to have a season with an All-Star Game. “We apologize to the city of Philadelphia, but we promise to bring the All-Star Weekend back as soon as possible.” Stern called Mayor Edward Rendell to break the news, but it really didn’t come as a surprise.

The cancellation meant Philadelphia would lose an estimated $35 million in business associated with the game.

– Associated Press, Wednesday, December 9, 1998 –


The lockout also impacted the rookies. 1999 rookies – Elton Brand, Steve Francis, Richard Hamilton or Baron Davis for example – couldn’t play their All-Star Game in 1999 since there was no All-Star Weekend. As a consequence, the 1999 rookie class became a new chance in 2000 with the format change to the Rookie Challenge.

The 1999 rookies could play the 2000 Rising Challenge in the Sophomores team.