The texts and phone messages began pouring in to Andrew Goudelock at 2:30 in the morning. His friends and fans were reacting to the news Saturday that NBA owners and the disbanded NBA Players Association had come to a tentative agreement to end a lockout that has lasted almost five months. There still are details to be ironed out, but a 66-game season is expected to begin Christmas Day.
And that means Goudelock, the former College of Charleston star, can get on with his professional basketball life. Goudelock, the Cougars' career scoring leader with 2,571 points, was selected by the Los Angeles Lakers in the second round. He was the 46th overall pick in this year's draft and only the second College of Charleston player ever to be drafted (Anthony Johnson, 1997).
A week after the draft, the NBA owners announced a lockout while trying to forge a new collective bargaining agreement with the players. During that time, players and owners were forbidden to communicate, which meant Goudelock couldn't begin negotiating a contract.
He remained in Charleston and enrolled in two classes to continue working toward his degree in sociology. With the semester nearing an end, he now finds himself in another type of limbo. But he said he hopes to be able to work something out with his professors to finish the classes.
A week before the agreement, Goudelock and his agent, Austin Walton of Houston, were talking about the possibility of playing overseas.
"That's where my head was, and all of a sudden it ends," Goudelock said. "One day I didn't know anything, and the next day everything was going crazy."
If published reports are accurate, Walton said the new collective bargaining agreement might favor Goudelock.
The new CBA would restrict free agency, making it easier for smaller market teams to compete with those in the larger markets such as Los Angeles.
"I wish it had been done sooner, but I'm relieved they've gotten it done," Walton said. "I'm excited he will be in training camp. I'm very confident he's going to make the team and contribute, because one of the major areas they were lacking was in 3-point shooting."
Said Goudelock: "I'm a little nervous, but I'm ready. The only thing I know is we're supposed to report Dec. 9 for training camp, and I know the Lakers' season is supposed to start in Chicago on Christmas Day. Once they call me and I get my ticket to Los Angeles, it's all business. I don't care about anything except basketball."
THE NBA LOCKOUT
The lockout began July after NBA owners and the NBA Players Association were unable to come to terms over a new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). The CBA covers player contracts, salary cap, trades and revenue distribution. Much of the battle is over Basketball Related Income (BRI), which includes ticket sales, television contracts, concessions, parking and other things. According to the Washington Post, the new deal "would allow players to receive a 49 to 51 percent 'band' of basketball-related income, which would be linked to league profitability. The players received 57 percent last year, a concession that will give back nearly $3 billion to the owners over the length of the deal. Owners received a harsher salary cap system that punishes high-spending teams."