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Monday, February 23rd, 2009 at 9:00 am  |  45 responses

David Falk Predicts Labor Armageddon in the NBA

by Marcel Mutoni

During All-Star weekend, David Stern and Billy Hunter told reporters that, in light of the currently toxic economic climate, preliminary talks had begun between the League and the Players’ Union about re-negotiating the collective bargaining agreement — more than two years before its expiry.

David Falk doesn’t foresee the negotiations going over well. The NY Times caught up with the legendary player agent, and according to Falk, we should all prepare ourselves for the oncoming war:

The N.B.A.’s system is broken, Falk says, and fixing it will require radical measures that almost guarantee a standoff in 2011, when the collective bargaining agreement expires. “I think it’s going to be very, very extreme,” Falk said, “because I think that the times are extreme.”

How extreme? Falk said he believed Stern, the commissioner, would push for a hard salary cap, shorter contracts, a higher age limit on incoming players, elimination of the midlevel cap exception and an overall reduction in the players’ percentage of revenue. And, Falk said, Stern will probably get what he wants.

“The owners have the economic wherewithal to shut the thing down for two years, whatever it takes, to get a system that will work long term,” he said in an extensive interview to discuss his new book. “The players do not have the economic wherewithal to sit out one year.”

Of course, whether or not this is little more than a blatant attempt by Falk to generate interest in his new book, The Bald Truth, is anyone’s guess. But it would be wise to at least listen to the man’s warnings, as he has been around the NBA block a few times.

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  • http://iwantoutofokc.com/ James the balla

    first …

  • RM

    Let’s hope it doesn’t come to this.

  • http://iwantoutofokc.com/ James the balla

    A minimal contract is still alot of money for these guys. They won’t get my sympathy!!

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    I see this happening to multiple leagues, not just the NBA.

  • MalevolentKing7242

    At least the economy isnt hurting us like it is to MLB or the NFL

  • http://www.alllooksame.com Tarzan Cooper

    funny how i didnt know anything about a book of his until you plugged it for him marcel. you getting a percentage?

  • http://www.lkz.ch Darksaber

    “wherewithal” twice, huh David? Take it easy, Falk!

  • http://www.lkz.ch Darksaber

    And TAD is right on the money: check out Europe’s B-Ball league’s and how they are all backpedaling from the summer spending they did. Europe scooped up mid level Nba talent by the dozen in ’08, and now they can’t pay them.

  • http://www.alllooksame.com Tarzan Cooper

    im sure otis smith is so happy he gave ‘shard 118 mil.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Justin Walsh

    higher age limit on the players doesn’t economically help, that statement is bull. If Stern raises the age limit, nothing good will come of it. Nobody likes the rule as it is now, and the only people cheering on Stern for it are Jay Bilas and a couple other NCAA analysts who want better competition.

  • http://www.lkz.ch Darksaber

    And the NCAA organisation which doesn’t mind expoiting the talented players for a longer time period (read: cha chinggg!)

  • http://www.lkz.ch Darksaber

    expoiting?? wtf? exploiting!!!

  • http://slamonline.com Ben Osborne

    Possibly an attempt by Falk to stay relevant.

  • http://www.lkz.ch Darksaber

    Yeah, Ahmad just called, Dave. The date for the MJ-Jockriders reunion party got changed, please get back to him asap.

  • BigWalt206

    What a smart dave…cuz that lockout worked out great…If I have to look at one more pic of Shawn Bradley golfing…

  • http://www.lkz.ch Darksaber

    ahhh, the nightmares that pic generated back in the day… Shawn on the links… Gaaaaahhh

  • http://www.slamonline.com Ryan Jones

    Word, Ben. Falk has a lot of opinions, but does he still have any clients?

  • http://sfjdkldf.com Jukai

    No no no, no worries. Obama will have fixed everything by 2010.

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com/ BETCATS

    lookin for trouble?

  • http://www.slamonline.com Ryan Jones

    That Falk looks like a giant pen*s is not a coincidence.

  • http://slamonline.com Russ Bengtson

    I think it bears paying attention to. The cap IS going to drop—attendance and advertising are down, and one suspects the next TV deal won’t be nearly as sweet—but meanwhile players are still operating on contracts they signed during an entirely different economy. If the cap drops by, say, $10 mil, will Boston be able to keep their big three together? Will San Antonio? And the next contracts Wade and LeBron sign might be for less than the ones they’re playing for right now. Not to mention it’ll be awfully interesting to see what kind of offers guys like Sheed and AI get this summer.

  • http://www.ravingblacklunatic.blogspot.com Allenp

    Salaries are going to have to get adjusted. We’re in a recession headed towards a depression, it makes sense.

  • http://www.ravingblacklunatic.blogspot.com Allenp

    If the fans are smart, they’ll make sure the owners adjust their ticket prices when they start reducing how much they pay players. But, I doubt that will happen.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Ryan Jones

    Shut up, Russ.

  • http://slamonline.com Russ Bengtson

    *shuts up*

  • http://slamonline.com Russ Bengtson

    *bashes dead guy instead*

  • http://docfunk.blogspot.com Doc Funk

    If this goes through, can we call it the “Jerome James Rule”?

  • Rich

    I hope it doesn’t boil down to this. But you see, the NFL is about to get hammered, whether they know it or not. Good free agents in the MLB are still looking for work. The NHL… Anyway, the NBA has to realize you can’t pay folks like Brian Cardinal and Malik Rose over $6 million, for ANY reason. The owners got crazy a few years ago overpaying. It’ll be hard to change now.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Ryan Jones

    Well played, my still-bearded friend.

  • Alan Paul

    He is right on. Most players are expendable and interchangeable and should be paid as such. American public won’t tolerate athletes making so much money if bad times continue. I think baseball will take a big hit, too. Football seems more immune.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Ryan Jones

    AP with the reacquainted ex-pat perspective. I like it.

  • Michael

    I think the economic downturn is a perfect opportunity to downsize the league, cut out one team per division (of the top of my head – bucks, nets, bobcats, grizz, thunder, clippers – no offense to any fans), hold a contraction draft, concentrate the talent a bit more, then the total revenue share for the playing group can shrink but the marquee names and franchise players (who generate the ticket and merchandise sales) can retain the same salary opportunities and role players can earn 1 – 2mm per year instead of 4 – 6mm.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Ryan Jones

    I never ever understand the compulsion to cut teams from the league for the sake of quality. The international influx of players has probably quadrupled the potential NBA talent pool. Why do we need fewer teams? I’m not saying it couldn’t happen, but the idea that it’s necessary just doesn’t jibe.

  • http://www.hibachi20.blogspot.com BETCATS

    Rasheed Wallace and Allen Iverson will both reunite with their favorite coach, Larry Brown, this summer and give the Bobcats a championship

  • http://www.hibachi20.blogspot.com BETCATS

    Micheal should change his name to ‘Dead to me’ because that is exactly what he is!

  • http://slamonline.com Russ Bengtson

    NBA teams are a luxury that many areas will simply no longer be able to afford. Certainly not on the scale they’re used to. That’s a reason we might see contraction. And I can’t imagine public finacing for new stadiums going over well as tens of thousands of people are losing jobs every week.

  • http://idunkonthem.blogspot.com/ albie1kenobi

    is there a reason why owners keep asking their cities to fund for new arenas? i never understood that. case in point: seattle.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Ryan Jones

    albie: They’re capitalists.

  • Michael

    i am not saying we cut the league just to increase the quality – just that it would be a potential byproduct. My argument was more to do with the fact that the league cant sustain 30 teams in the current climate. @Bet, sorry i was just trying to pick the team in each division that is the most likely candidate to go if this ever happened (which it most likely will not). The economic situation we are experiencing and will continue to experience is almost unprecedented. The players are kidding themselves if they think they will be better off after the next CBA.

  • http://www.hibachi20.blogspot.com BETCATS

    if their is 1 team to destroy it would be the clippers. Great players on a terrible team under terrible coaching and owned by a terrible person. Death to the clippers!

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  • http://idunkonthem.blogspot.com/ albie1kenobi

    @Ryan: yeah i understand the “public funding” part, but i don’t get the “new arena” part. i suppose that question goes to Stern too. “NBA-ready arena”. psssh.

  • http://www.myspace.com/hemantsbeats what

    “The players do not have the economic wherewithal to sit out one year.” … not if they all go to Europe and ESPN starts televising Euroleague games.

  • http://www.triplejunearthed.com/dacre Dacre

    Basically everything works out exactly as it can if EVERYONE just deals with the fact that things need to be cheaper – wages, ticket prices and profit margins. A player cannot possibly understand a recession if their still signing up for anything around a million dollars a year. If they CANNOT live on the kind of contracts that are projected to develop then there is a bigger problem at hand that every young athlete needs to examine. HOW TO LOOK AFTER THEIR CASH FLOW.
    Athletes need to see themselves as business men and professionals and deal accordingly. The thing an NBA baller often forgets is that sports are a lifestyle choice not a necessity and the NBA as a product could quite easily be drastically reduced (as far as it’s impact in our lives) if a fiscal-push came to shove.

  • http://www.reenata.com/seo-blog/ sinkrociklotrono

    Happy Labor Day Weekend!

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