NBA Scrambles to Replace Player Photos During Lockout

July 22, 2011

The NBA lockout arrived seemingly without warning, leaving webmasters of and NBA team websites having to scramble to replace content for entire sites, thanks to a stipulation within the expired collective bargaining agreement that requires images and videos of players to be removed from all NBA-owned digital properties.

However, there’s a lot of grey area in these rules, and according to the report, “different teams have different interpretations of this particular stipulation.”

Unfortunately, webmasters are an inherently lazy group of people, and if given the option to take a shortcut, they often will.

This has resulted in some shoddy patchwork to replace photos containing the likenesses of NBA players, as in the case of this pregame workout photo taken from the Detroit Pistons website.

The webmaster has obviously swapped out the active NBA players in this photo with the Harlem Globetrotters from Scooby Doo, thinking no one would notice. And they’d have gotten away with it too, if it wasn’t for…well, you know.

Here’s another example. Look closely at this photo supposedly taken from this year’s NBA All-Star Weekend Slam Dunk Contest.

This one’s a little more tricky. If you focus your eyes on the scoreboard at the top in the background, you’ll notice that it has “Beavers” listed as the home team. Everyone knows there are no “Beavers” in the NBA. An obvious forgery.

Hey, Dallas Mavericks fans, did you enjoy your team’s improbable and inspirational run to the title? Well, I hope you took your own pictures of the downtown parade and championship celebration.

That‘s right, because they’ve all been replaced on the Mavs’ site with pictures of the winning screen from Double Dribble.

I don’t even know how to explain this one.

All I know is if the purpose of swapping out photos was to avoid a lawsuit, this one is not going to help.

Some photos have also been replaced by images of WNBA players, which has not caused as much of a stir because no one has been able to tell the difference from the old images.

The WNBA images are usable though. The league has been free from labor strife since 2003, when a last-minute collective bargaining agreement was reached that included perks like free deodorant and hair brushes following practices and games.