National Basketball Players Association executive director Michele Roberts responded Thursday to League commissioner Adam Silver’s assertion that a “significant number of teams” are losing money.
Roberts, though careful to avoid getting into a public debate between millionaire players and billionaire owners, tactfully called bullsh*t on the commish and his bosses.
NBPA executive director Michele Roberts has issued point-by-point rebuttal of Adam Silver's comments on the health of the NBA business.
— Ken Berger (@KBergCBS) July 16, 2015
The union says they’d be more than happy to pore over League financials before the next
lockout labor talks begin.
“We agreed not to debate the finer points of negotiation in public and aren’t going to change that approach now, in response to some remarks by [commissioner Adam Silver] on Tuesday,” Roberts said. “We are, however, going to take him up on his offer to share the audited financials with the union.”
The collective bargaining agreement between owners and the union stipulates that players receive a fixed percentage of the NBA’s overall revenue. The precise number was a battleground in the last negotiation between owners and players. If the aggregate salaries committed to players fall short of that amount — as they currently do — the owners make up the difference. Silver said the league, despite being flush with revenue, is bracing for such a result. […] “There are projections that for next year we could be writing a check moving close to half a billion dollars to the players’ association,” Silver said. “That’s not of course the ideal outcome from our standpoint. It’s not something we predicted when we went into this collective bargaining agreement.”
Roberts emphasized the union’s belief that calculations of basketball-related income, or BRI, which determines the parameters of the NBA’s salary cap, often omit proceeds generated from NBA facilities. […] “New and renovated arenas around the league have proven to be revenue drivers, profit centers and franchise-valuation boosters,” Roberts said. “That has been the case over the past few years in Orlando, Brooklyn and New York, to name a few. In some instances, owners receive arena revenues that are not included in BRI.”