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Thursday, August 25th, 2011 at 9:00 am  |  79 responses

NBA Players Union: Owners’ Proposals are ‘Pathetic’


by Marcel Mutoni@marcel_mutoni

NBA players are holding regional meetings with the union to discuss the lockout, and will maybe even meet with owners in a rare bargaining session next week.

But none of that should fool you into believing that any sort of progress is being made in this labor battle.

If anything, the divide between both parties is only growing wider and nastier.

Players union vice president Maurice Evans accuses NBA commissioner David Stern of lying about the facts — including his salary — in a recent podcast, and claims that offers being made by the owners are “pathetic.”

Evans, much like LaMarcus Aldridge, says that players are willing to sit out for as long as it takes to get a fair deal.

From SI:

The owners’ proposal, Evans made clear, will simply never be accepted even if its means losing “this season and more.” … “The deal we’ve been offered would so drastically alter the game as we know it today. The offers have been so pathetic that it’s hard to even talk about it when we’re informing the guys. We’re $7.6 billion apart [over the life of the proposed deal]. Again, when you realize all the components that they’re trying to take away, and trying to take out of the [collective bargaining agreement] that’s already in effect — the guaranteed contracts, grandfathering in [contracts], the [salary-cap] exceptions, Larry Bird [rights]. You and I have already talked about this many times, but [players] are really starting to get it and they’re willing to sit out for as long as necessary to get us a fair deal.”

“The last [players'] offer was [a giveback of] $630 million over a six-year period. That’s over a $100 million a year and they told us that it was pathetic. …If they think that’s what this negotiation is about, then they’re miscalculating. Again, even with the 57 percent of BRI — when you total out the total revenue, we receive 50 percent [in the old system]. We allow them to deduct expenses and deduct things, so when they overpay coaches and fire them and then they have three coaches on payroll that, in effect, goes into BRI. We’ve never told them that they could take that out, even though it’s one of the highest expenses. We don’t want anyone to take a loss, not even the owners. But they seem to be hellbent on contracting [teams] and, as David Stern said, have a huge reset [of the entire system]. If we’re going to reset … then they’re going to have to reset the entire league. And even they’re going to have to take a reset. We’re unified with the agents. We’re getting them back on track, getting the players back on track, so now we just need to get the owners back on track.”

I strongly encourage you to read the entire Q&A with Mo Evans. It’s a detailed, fascinating look at the players’ side of the argument.

Just don’t get your hopes up about a resolution to the impasse anytime soon.

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  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    Why do both sides continue to have “bargaining sessions” when they are so far apart. Why don’t they come out and say f*ck the other side instead of always sugar coating the situation.
    Also, what the hell does David Stern do for him to be raking in 20+ mill a year? I understand he’s the commish and all but if he died today the NBA will be fine, if Kobe, Dirk, Wade or Bron died today, the NBA would see a dip in popularity and revenue.
    It’s all about the players, everyone knows this except for the owners and stern.

  • http://slamonline.com Tae

    Exactly Jtaylor, its all about tha players. They could learn something from tha NFL situation. Their owners n everyone realized that its all about tha players. At least we’ll have football

  • http://www.slamonline.com UNFROZEN CAVEMAN LAWYER

    IS IT TIME FOR MIDNIGHT MADNESS YET?

  • CubicleWorker

    JTaylor, your argument about David Stern’s salary is moot. The first reason is because he said in a podcast that he makes less than half that and is the lowest paid commissioner in sports. The second reason your argument is moot is because then we’d have to enter a debate about executive compensation as a whole; truth of the matter is that none of us can even begin to comprehend the amount of work and responsibility David Stern has. If there’s 450 players, but only 1 comissioner, it makes sense for him to be paid higher than the average NBA baller. Let alone the fact that he has a law degree and 30+ years experience. His $10M out of $4B BRI doesn’t affect the big picture

  • CubicleWorker

    They’ve got some pretty suspect math calculating that $7.6B too

  • Saku 39

    I want to hear more from Mo Evans than Billy Hunter. He sounds very informed and more willing to work out a deal. Good Q&A.

  • CubicleWorker

    Though some of the owners demands seem unreasonable too, although we don’t know exactly the terms. Evans said that the players wont get a cut of the Lakers TV deal, but its not like that money is given all up from. That’s spread over 20 years so an annualized portion of that would be included in BRI. It just seems like to me, if you have these players and former players involved in this process and being vocal about things they don’t fully understand. It just seems like they are regurgitating information that’s been passed on to them without really understanding it. All in all I’m just sick of this whole thing, the sides aren’t going to meet 50/50, I’ve thought all along the players will have to come 75%, the owners 25%. Lets do this now before there’s any significant damage.

  • CubicleWorker

    And just before people get on Stern for taking a vacay, remember that Derek Fisher took like three weeks to Bermuda before the lockout even started, that was time where both sides could have been pushing to get a deal done.

  • http://www.slamonline.com UNFROZEN CAVEMAN LAWYER

    MO EVANS IS SO MUCH BETTER AT THIS THAN FLOPPIN FISHER

  • http://www.slamonline.com UNFROZEN CAVEMAN LAWYER

    CUBICLEWORKER, STOP MAKING THINGS UP. THE TV DEAL IS NOT PART OF THE BRI. THEY DONT FULLY UNDERSTAND?? MO EVANS UNDERSTANDS FAR MORE THAN YOU

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Eff his law degree and experience.
    Thousands of Americans have law degrees and experience. Only one American can play basketball like Kobe Bryant, or LeBron James. Nobody in the world does what Dirk does. They make so much money because their skill sets are unique in the world. Stern’s is not. Period.
    Second, Evans, who has access to the info about STern’s contract, says his numbers are bogus and explains why. I’m curious why we should take Stern’s word over Evans’ word?
    Also, why is it off the table to discuss the validity of Stern’s salary, but ok to discuss the validity of the players’ salaries? That makes no sense. Do you think Stern has to put in more work to maintain his position than the players? Ridiculous. Given the physical, mental and emotional demands on basketball players I think it’s asinine to say that Stern has a more difficult job than them. His job utilizes other skills, but it’s not more difficult. It’s just different, particularly when you’re talking about elite players, and players struggling to stay in the League.
    Evans lays out the owners’ proposal: elimination of guaranteed contracts, rollback of existing contracts, a shrinking of the BRI split, which would continue to shrink int he owners’ favor in future years, and a hard cap.
    I laid out how BRI is calculated on another post, and if you read it, it was clear that the owners have several lucrative revenue streams that are not fully included in the BRI and are a net gain for them. Particularly sponsorships and luxury suites, which produce huge revenue, and are only possible because of the performance of players, but are not fully included in BRI calculations.
    It’s clear that the players need to be more active in disseminating information and stating their case. It won’t change every mind, but I think that the more information is released, the more it becomes obvious that the owners’ are seeking a full capitulation, not a negotiation.

  • CubicleWorker

    What is included in Basketball Related Income (BRI)?
    Basketball Related Income (BRI) essentially includes any income received by the NBA, NBA Properties or NBA Media Ventures. This includes:

    •Broadcast rights

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    Word!! Plug in any chap with a law degree and I’m betting he could perform equally if not better than Stern. People are acting like Stern’s out there making all the deals and calculating the numbers, it’s actually the behind the scenes people aka accountants, lawyers and staff that do all the work.

  • CubicleWorker

    Stern’s skill set is not unique?? His law degree is from Columbia University, one of the most elite law schools in US. That in itself is impressive but doesn’t fully justify $20M. What does is actually 45 years of experience in the NBA. That gives him such a broad and complex understanding of everything in the NBA. Nobody else in the world has that much experience in dealing with the NBA so in that sense, yes he does have an extremely unique skill set and his value is worthy of being paid in the range of elite players. The difference is we can’t directly observe his value, the board of governors can and obviously they haven’t fired him and we’ve seen the NBA product grow internationally. Put it this way, any professional with 45+ years experience is going to be making sick $, his value in the open market as a regular lawyer would likely be around $5M/annually working for a big law firm. Once again, his experience and skill set is extremely unique. Does he deserve to get paid more than TJ Ford? Jose Calderon? Gilbert Arenas? Ben Wallace? LaMarcus Aldridge? etc etc etc? Yes, yes, yes and yes. I would say Stern has more value than pretty much any individual player that wasn’t mentioned in your post (LBJ, KB24, Dirk).

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    I didn’t say anything about Broadcast rights. But, to be clear, I’m pretty sure the individual broadcast deals worked out locally by teams are handled differently than revenue from national deals with Turner and ESPN. After all, if all the revenue from the individual deals of massive teams like the Lakers, Knicks and Bulls was included in the BRI, that would alleviate much of the concern over revenue sharing. I believe the local deals are for the local teams, and the national deals are split between everyone. But, I would need to verify that information.
    However, I mentioned luxury suites and corporate sponsorships. Those are HUGE revenue streams, and only half of them are included in the big pot, and the owners get 43 percent of that money back. Do the math on that.
    Basically, the owners are seeking to change the entire labor dynamic in the League, they are not just seeking to tweak the existing deal. And to justify this massive change, they are releasing information that states that the League is in huge trouble, even though they refuse to release the raw financial data, and independent examinations of the data released have shown some serious flaws in it.
    So, if you’re lining up with the owners, what you’re really saying is that you think basketball players don’t deserve to be equal partners with the owners, and they don’t deserve job protection, and you would prefer if the NBA was more like the NFL where players are used and discarded on a whim and have almost no leverage in their dealings.
    That’s fine if that’s what you support, but let’s not pretend that the players are the ones being unreasonable.

  • CubicleWorker

    JTaylor, you’re argument could go for any CEO then. By that definition the CEO of Ford doesn’t deserve $10M/year because he doesn’t actually build the cars. Not any “chap with a law degree” has 45 years of direct NBA experience, which is why Stern hasn’t been replaced by the board of directors. Neither you nor I can begin to comprehend Stern’s value. That’s for the board of directors to do, who have access to all the financial information and who have a way better top level view of the organization. They are the ones that set his salary.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Who said Stern didn’t deserve to get paid more than T.J. Ford?
    I said his salary was $20 million and your claim that his skillset was unique in the world is asinine.
    Yes, he has experience with the NBA, and that’s great, but his job is to be a representative for the owners to the players and negotiate business transactions that benefit the NBA as a whole.
    More importantly, the NBA as an organization was STRUGGLING and FLOUNDERING under Stern’s leadership until two transcendent players were drafted by the two most bitter rivals in the League, and they happened to tap into America’s always present racial dynamics. Magic Johnson and Larry Bird made the NBA special. Michael Jordan took it over the top.
    It has always been about the players, not Stern. He’s is the steward, he is not the driving cause behind the growth. Let’s get real.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    He doesn’t make $10 million. He makes $20 million.
    That’s like only calculating the salary of the CEO of Home Depot by using base salary. That’s bulls)hit. You have to calculate all revenue streams to get a true picture of what he earns. Like most CEOs his base salary is only the starting point, the extra benefits are where things get serious.

  • CubicleWorker

    Allenp, if you go to the article about “Billy Hunter may have his own agenda” I clarified a lot of the misinterpretations that seem to be prevalent among the general publics view of the economic issues. You didn’t respond to it but I had kind of posted after the thread was dying.
    Although those items may generate large income streams, neither of us know the extent of those streams or the relativity of those revenues to underlying expenses. If you go to the thread mentioned above I explained the difference between revenue and profit. The owners don’t just take 43% and throw it in their pocket. That 43% goes to all of the expenses then what’s left over is considered profits. Right now they claim there is none, bottom line is there is shady accounting going on from both sides. The players will need to concede a lot more though.

  • CubicleWorker

    I know but the extra benefits are also tied to league success, just as the players would get more money if the revenues exceed their salaries (after the 57% kind of thing)

  • CubicleWorker

    Here is an excerpt from my response, starting with a quote from you…

    **Furthermore, you have 30 owners dividing up 43 percent of all income except for that income that does not go into the pot, while you have 342 players dividing up 57 percent of all income. By ANY objective measure, the owners have the better end of the deal even though they have the smaller percentage**
    Allenp, understand the difference between INCOME and REVENUE. Revenue is the aggregate sum of money received by a business before paying expenses. Income is what’s left over after expenses have been paid, you either get Net Income (a profit) or a Net Loss (a loss).
    Ok so now let’s revisit your argument, you have 342 players sharing 57% of all REVENUE.
    Furthermore you have 43% of the remaining revenue going to;
    *all the office staff
    *marketing expenses
    *CEO salaries
    *The presidents
    *gm’s
    *Everyday workers for the teams (concession workers, guys who change the ice from hockey games into hardwood for basketball games, people who swipe your ticket etc etc etc)
    *promotions
    *equipment
    *the teams private jets (which im sure as f$&^ the players enjoy)
    *pilots for that jet
    *flight staff
    *coaches
    *assistant coaches
    *training staff
    *cheerleaders
    *security guards
    *David Stern
    *all NBA executive staff
    *all lower level NBA staff
    THEN, after ALL EXPENSES have been paid, if there is money left over, the owners get their share of NET INCOME/NET LOSS…. The NBA is claiming 22 teams are not making money after all of these expenses are paid. You can see now how amazing the players have it, 342 players are literally sharing 57% of all revenue, while thousands upon thousands are sharing the remaining 43% and the owners only MAKE money if there is anything left over. Apparently last year all of those expenses added up to $300Million more than total revenue… now you can see why there is such a major need for CBA reform

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    I have said this before but it is worth repeating.
    The average Americans sees an executive in a high ranking position, and while they may envy their salaries, they assume the deserve them. After all, the have all the established markers of competence. A degree from a prestigious university, impeccable references and often, years of experience.
    Conversely, they see an athlete, usually a large, muscle-bound black athlete, and they wonder if their success is only due to their God-given gifts that they lucked into in the genetic lottery. They grudgingly acknowledge that NBA players have to practice, but in the back of their minds, these fans think that THEY practiced really hard too at one point, or one of their friends did, and that person couldn’t make it to the NBA because he didn’t hit the genetic lottery. So, they downplay the importance of the work players put in.
    That is a mistake. Yes, genetics play a role in making the NBA, but the role of hardwork and discipline are more important. There are a vast number of people with physical gifts similar to those of many of the players in the NBA. Many of them lack a similar work ethic, or they couldn’t avoid injury, or they never found the right team and the right time. There are only 450 spots available in the NBA, and there is a fierce competition for those spots every year.
    As long as people continue to overvalue the achievements of executives and undervalue the achievements of athletes, they will never be able to appreciate why players deserve an equal share of the benefits reaped by the NBA. It just won’t make sense to them.

  • CubicleWorker

    and Stern’s leadership in the NBA started the same year that those players were drafted. I’m not giving him credit for making the NBA what it is today, but to say that anybody with a law degree can come in and do the same job is absolutely ridiculous.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    Without Magic/Bird in the 80s and MJ in the 90s, the league wouldn’t be at where it is today in terms of revenue and global popularity. You could have replaced Stern with Mr. Ed and the league still would have exploded in terms of popularity in the 80s and 90s.
    Look at China, the reason why basketball is so popular has nothing to do with David Stern and everything to do with Kobe/Bron along with Nike going there every off-season to promote the game.

  • CubicleWorker

    Don’t think that getting a bachelors degree from a prestigous enough university and with high enough marks to get into Columbia Law, then graduating from Columbia Law and climbing your way through an internationally acclaimed organization for twenty years before you get to the top takes less effort than making the NBA either…. I’ve never said that players should get paid 50K/year or w.e, I’m all in favour of creating an economically feasible system where all parties can profit in the league. Although I do understand that the NBA related losses are relatively small to the owners, even losing $10M/year is pretty expensive season tickets.

  • CubicleWorker

    JTaylor you’re right, and that’s why LeBron had a $90 million deal with Nike before he even played in the NBA. That’s why Kobe gets ridiculous endorsements, they deserve them and receive them. I’ve never disputed that.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Did you read the list I provided you of BRI? (Also, there are 450 spots in the NBA, not 342. That was my mistake.)
    You know what, let me get it again:
    Basketball Related Income (BRI) essentially includes any income received by the NBA, NBA Properties or NBA Media Ventures. This includes:

    * Regular season gate receipts
    * Broadcast rights
    * Exhibition game proceeds
    * Playoff gate receipts
    * Novelty, program and concession sales (at the arena and in team-identified stores within proximity of an NBA arena)
    * Parking
    * Proceeds from team sponsorships
    * Proceeds from team promotions
    * Arena club revenues
    * Proceeds from summer camps
    * Proceeds from non-NBA basketball tournaments
    * Proceeds from mascot and dance team appearances
    * Proceeds from beverage sale rights
    * 40% of proceeds from arena signage
    * 40% of proceeds from luxury suites
    * 45% – 50% of proceeds from arena naming rights
    * Proceeds from other premium seat licenses
    * Proceeds received by NBA Properties, including international television, sponsorships, revenues from NBA Entertainment, the All-Star Game, the McDonald’s Championship and other NBA special events.

    Some of the things specifically not included in BRI are proceeds from the grant of expansion teams, fines, and revenue sharing (e.g. luxury tax).
    Notice what is included and what is not. Also, the expenses you noted are all EASILY controlled by the owners, who just FIRED tons of staff to save money.
    Furthermore, as some other news sources have reported, NBA owners often include SALARIES FOR THEMSELVES as part of the team’s expenses. So, they pay themselves on the balance sheet, and then collect any profits left over after the all expenses are paid.
    This is a common practice. Moreoever, that $300 million figure you’re using has been debunked MULTIPLE times. Revenue has grown by 3 to 6 percent for the past decade. Owners control costs. Exactly whose fault is it if your revenue has continued to increase by you’ve failed to practice smart business and have allowed you expenses to outstrip your revenue? Whose fault is is that large market teams, who benefit from the existence of smaller market teams, refuse to share their larger revenue streams?
    Bottom line, the MLB has no salary cap, and pays some players $25 million per year. Yet, with revenue sharing and arbitration, their League remains competitive and popular. Why hasn’t that model been considered?

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Columbia is an awesome school.
    You don’t need a degree from Colombia to be NBA commissioner.
    That’s a plus for Stern. The number on the table is $20 million for Stern.

  • CubicleWorker

    Honestly the biggest issue are long/guaranteed contracts. If the players are willing to concede in that department all of the other negotiating areas will fall in place quickly. They may even be able to negotiate better terms on all other areas of the CBA if they give up guaranteed contracts. Guaranteed contracts are what really hurts the system right now, you can argue that owners sign players to these contracts but under the current CBA those contracts have been inflated to reflect market value. If Atlanta didn’t give JJ a max deal, some other team would have because elite (or even above average) proven talent in the NBA is rare. By enforcing accountability through reduced contract lengths or even a “two-way arbitration” both relevant/performing players and owners would benefit. The only guys that will stand to lose are bums.

  • bike

    This labor dispute needs to get jarred out of the current mode. The current mode is all about leverage, not finding solutions. Losing games or an entire season may make this happen although it seems like the players stand to lose more if that happens. If the players really want to go for it, then going public with a clear and concise statement of their position might stand an outside chance of swaying public opinion in their direction. Make the owners look like they are hiding something. All players, from the stars down to the benchwarmers, need to be saying the same thing. Can they do this? Are they really willing to risk losing an entire season’s pay plus a significant chunk of their career over this? How unified are the players really?

  • CubicleWorker

    “Revenue has grown by 3-6%/annum”
    That’s basically inline with inflation, and the players salaries are tied to that growth as well. Assuming inflation of around 4%/annum, that still means that even if growth was 6%, all other expenses rise by 4% as well, its not that big of growth. Furthermore those items you listed that are not included in BRI are small relative to the other income streams. And you can’t just say “owners can control the costs you listed” because those ARE the other costs from players salaries, you can’t just fire everybody and have only 15 players. You still need pilots/bus drivers/accountants/lawyers/cheerleaders/transportation costs/arena leases/practice facility expenses… trust me there are a lot of expenses that widdle that 43% down to less than 5%.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    I have no problem with arbitration.
    Or shortening guaranteed contracts, or reducing the BRI split.
    I have a problem with non-guaranteed contracts that bestow too much power on owners, like in the NFL.
    If owners want to dock a player for underperformance, or cut him, then they need to be forced to pay MORE for over performance. And they cannot restrict a player’s movement if they don’t want to pay him.
    The NFL contract structure allows owners to refuse to pay players who outplay their contracts, restrict them from seeking other options, and cut them as soon as they are deemed expendable. It’s like being a migrant worker, only with exponentially better pay. The structure is the same, only the pay differs. And so do the health risks.

  • LA Huey

    It seems the players’ problem with Stern’s salary is that he’s got a ton of incentives and bonuses built onto his base salary so the more money the league makes, Stern makes. The players are not paid a percentage of league profit or revenue, so if the league’s popularity keeps growing as most of us expect, they’ll see their salaries actually drop based on the owner’s new proposal.

  • LA Huey

    I’m with AllenP on shortening the possible length of contracts but keeping them guranteed. I consider the NFL’s contract structure heavily in favor of the owners and that’s what the NBA owners are trying to work towards.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    No one is arguing about player’s salaries or endorsements. I’m asking what has David Stern done for him to receive 20+ mill a year? That seems a little high for a commissioner that swears the NBA is “hemorrhaging” money. That’s another thing I hate about Stern, he says one thing while doing another. He claimed that the League is losing vast amounts of money yet he’s always talking about expanding to Europe and Asia. He talks about how 22 out of 30 teams are losing money yet last season was one of the most popular and lucrative seasons ever. The man continues to pull the wool over some people’s eyes but he’s not fooling me.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Before I address you points, 5 percent of 4 billion dollars is $200 million divided between 30 owners. That is $6.6 million in pure profit, not including the 50 percent they kept from sponsorships, the luxury tax and fine money received, and the 50 percent they get from luxury suites that does not go into the BRI.
    So, yeah, they are doing just freaking fine as far as money, and that’s before you account for the practice of including salaries for owners in the balance sheet.
    Moreoever, the number of scouts, cheerleaders, and the like is controllable. The biggest problem is a more management of the salary cap which results in putrid fan attendance, which results in losses. There is no reason your team should be horrible and you should be spending a lot of money. Some of that is player failure, but a lot of executive failure. Not to mention the revolving door of coaches, whose salaries are still guaranteed, even though they’ve been fired. Executives too. Are we changing their salary structures as well?

  • CubicleWorker

    But yes lets get back to solutions, read my second last comment. I really don’t understand why two-way arbitration isn’t discussed more frequently. It would give a chance to have an independent evaluator analyze the situation and come up with an amicable solution while creating accountability on the players. I would like to see players under injury be protected under a progressive system; say injuries lasting <1 season be paid at 100%, 1-2 seasons @ 75%, 3 seasons @50%, 3< seasons @ 25%. That way if you have a guy like Oden sitting there rotting you aren't paying for it and having a less competitive team. Or for players whose contracts prove to be failed, have the option of giving them a severance package (say (1/X)*S where "X" represents the years remaining on the contract and "S" represents amount remaning on the contract) with a salary cap hit amortized over "X" years.
    *For example, say Gilbert Arenas has 5 years $80 million left on his contract and he's deemed unable to perform up to those standards by an arbitrator, he can take a new contract figure given by the arbitrator or a severance package of $16/million. That severance package would have a hit of $3.2M against the team per year for the next 5 years. In this sense you still have some of the accountability that the NFL has on its players, but a more humanitarian approach where players still get taken care of.
    *Another example, Andrea Bargnani has $42M remaning over four years, he would get a $10.5M severance package and the raptors would have a $2.625M/year salary cap hit.
    Any ideas??

  • CubicleWorker

    Under two-way abritration players that are significantly under or over-performing their contracts will get compensated accordingly.

  • CubicleWorker

    I would love to hear Billy Hunters take on this, because too me this would solve almost all of the problems..

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    I have no problem with the suggestion. How did you arrive at the $16 million dollar figure for Arenas, and how would you decide what level of play is worthy of $80 million?
    Also, who would decide if the fault for a player’s underperformance lies with his team or with the player? In baseball, because it’s such an individual sport, it’s easier to guage player performance regardless of team performance. In basketball, players can be more or less valuable than their stats project. How do you address that? I think that’s one of the reasons arbitration hasn’t been discussed.

  • CubicleWorker

    JTaylor, that’s where you have to look at the big picture and why Stern’s experience/insight has been deemed valuable by the board of directors. Say they play a few games in Europe over the year and lose money on those games, but jersey sales and NBA league pass sales increase dramatically in Europe, that’s an investment with a nice ROI.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    I think players would be more than willing to eliminate the salary cap, like baseball, and replace the current free agency model with arbitration based on years of experience.
    But, I doubt the owners want that set up, mainly because baseball is hugely dependent on revenue sharing to maintain financial equity. The owners would much rather follow the NFL model, which has minimal revenue sharing, but strips players of their benefits and pay. It requires less bending on the part of owners and would likely produce larger profits.
    So, that’s why the owners haven’t even mentioned it as well.

  • LA Huey

    I don’t think you can crap on Stern for wanting to expand into Europe. Business leaders often look at both improving what they already have while still trying to do more. I know Sony has a practice of spending a certain percentage of its profits on R&D for brand new lines of product (ie. not their next TV but something that would replace TVs).

  • CubicleWorker

    I looked at it from he signed a $111M/6 years 3 years ago, so really thats like $18.5M. In hockey and baseball they have abitrators that increase the contracts, that can’t be much more difficult of an evaluation than a reduction of salary. If a coach is not utilizing the player, but the player is in shape, practicing etc then he should retain his value. But if you have a player who shows up out of shape, skips practices, shoots like 35% for the reason when he was shooting 45% when they got him etc etc etc these factors can play into a reduction of salary.

  • LA Huey

    @cubicleworker, I do like your injury compensation deal but I think it’d be difficult to gauge the performance end. In this age of advanced stats and metrics, it’s possible but I feel like we could all live with 3-4 year deals for everyone. Tim Thomas is rolling in his grave…

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    But those business aren’t according to Stern “hemorrhaging money” like the NBA is. That’s like the CEOs of Subway or Best Buy entertaining the idea of expanding to places like India all while their US-based company is losing vast amounts of money each year. That makes no sense at all from a business standpoint.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Again, I don’t disagree with this at all.
    I just don’t think that owners want that option. The NFL made $9 billion in revenue gross last year. Before the new deal, the owners would have received $1 billion off top, then split the remainder 60-40 with the players, with the players getting 60. It works out to the owners getting around $4.2 billion total, and the players getting $4.8 billion.
    And the owners still wanted more. So, basically, owners want more. That’s how it works.

  • manu

    players dont deserve more then 10 mil a yr…they bounce a mfin ball jesus

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Oh, I’m sorry, those figures are wrong.
    The players got 57 percent of “total revenue” but really only got 50 percent of “all revenue.”
    Because everything doesn’t go into the pot. And the owners still wanted more. And everybody wants to be like the NFL.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    And remember, as Evans noted, the owners don’ want to have a split of BRI any more. They want a total player salary cap of $2 billion not matter what happens to total revenues, and they want that number reduced if revenues slump.
    That is totally ludicrous.

  • http://www.opposingviews.com/i/nba-breakdown-cba-talk-revenue-sharing-salary-caps-and-lockouts Allenp

    Click my name for a quick and dirty primer that lays out where the two sides started in this debate and where they are now.

  • http://www.opposingviews.com/i/nba-breakdown-cba-talk-revenue-sharing-salary-caps-and-lockouts Allenp

    Manu
    The owners operate a League where you pay them to watch players bounce a ball.
    So, how much money should they be allowed to make? Will you be restricting their profits and establishing a cap on how much they can charge for tickets, parking and concessions? How much they can earn from television deals or merchandise sales?
    No, you will not because this is America and we don’t support plans that cap profits. Except when we’re talking about athletes, then we’re all for it.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    Don’t forget that there are about 1,500+ NFL players while there are only about 30+ owners. So that 4.8 billion needs to be split 1,500+ ways while 32 owners get to divide 4.2 billion. It breaks down to each owner getting a huge chunk while most NFL players gets a small slice. NFL owners basically robbed the players in broad daylight and will continue to do so for the next decade.

  • LA Huey

    JTaylor21, Squaresoft has the same practice. They maintained it even during their “dark age” when they were in the red from that awful Final Fantasy movie they produced. They got back into black by improving the process for product they already made, asking Sony to buy some of their shares, and expanding into other revenue streams. And yes, I’m a JRPG nerd.

  • T-Money

    It always makes me laugh how impressed people are by law degrees. Quite fascinating.

  • http://www.opposingviews.com/i/nba-breakdown-cba-talk-revenue-sharing-salary-caps-and-lockouts Allenp

    And you’re a lawyer. Lol.

  • Josh

    I feel stupid after reading all these comments. I think I’m going to college…..

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    LA Huey, fair enough. I just think that it doesn’t make sense for the NBA, which has a small talent pool to pick from, to be entertaining the idea of expansion. We already have enough teams as it is and in my opinion, it’s about 4 teams too many. Expanding to Europe and adding more teams would dilute the talent level even more.

  • LA Huey

    @JTaylor21, I agree. I think Stern plans on relocating teams to Europe. But maybe it’s the Seattle in me exerting it’s paranoia.

  • http://www.slamonline.com UNFROZEN CAVEMAN LAWYER

    EBOY CLAIMS TO BE A LAWYER, AND NOBODY IS IMPRESSED BY HIM

  • http://nba.com GP23

    You know, Stern was set on creating a franchise in London by 2015 or something like that. Not relocating one, but creating one, which means there would then be 31 teams in the league.

  • EJ

    The owners are a-holes. Just start offering smaller contracts in the next free agency, no need to put the season on ice cause you give dumbass contracts to scrubs.
    You’d think billionares would know how to handle their money better.

  • JL

    the owners lost me when they said they don’t understand why the players don’t like the proposal of only 7% cut of salary or something.

    http://espn.go.com/blog/truehoop/post/_/id/31668/nba-negotiations-in-a-handy-chart

    see this chart. i dont’ know how good it is but seriously the gap just becomes way wider if the “flex” cap doesn’t ever change.

  • Red

    How can’t the owners find a way around this? Your the owners for CS! Act like it!!

  • http://dskjfl.com Jukai

    I mean…. a law degree isn’t impressive. A law degree from Columbia is ludicrously impressive. David Stern deserves the 20 million, that is pretty crazy.
    I think the players are afraid to give a serious compromise because they’re worried the NBA is going to try and say “well let’s meet in the middle” from the players’ union’s serious compromise and the NBA’s zero compromise. It’s pretty bad. I really hope the players don’t cave.

  • Allenp

    $20 million is a lot of money. Using a popular argument I would bet there are thousands if not millions of people who would do his job for a lot less…
    See how stupid that sounds?

  • Donn

    What i take from all this is that both are sides are being unreasonable.

  • bull22

    the best players in the league are already getting good deals which is fine
    because they want to help their team win. the only players eager to cancel the season next year are those who have no chance of winning a title anytime soon or those sucky players who just want their good times to continue to roll with free paychecks they are not earning. its all about GREED..

  • bull22

    @donn, that has been my sentiments from the beginning, but you got some clowns who love to have their noses up a players rearend and will say otherwise…

  • LA Huey

    ^I don’t see you say anything about owners being greedy in your previous statement.

  • Soulquarian

    As much as I would hate to not have basketball this season, I’m with the players. They need to do whatever it takes to keep the essentials of the old CBA and not cave into the owners. The owners are not losing money by any means and are not negotiating in good faith. They pick on guys like Eddy Curry but ignore the fact that they signed these deals. Teams like Memphis are going to KEEP giving huge deals to guys like Mike Conley just to compete with the LA/NY/CHI markets because owners refuse to revenue share. They cry about the Eddy Curry deal but then why is Lebron James making pennies to the dollar of what he’s really worth? The elite guys bring in so much more money than they get paid that it easily subsidizes the OWNERS’ mistakes on bad contracts.

    David Stern acts nice with his smug smile and deliberate speech, but he is lying to our faces.

  • zach

    Why does bulls22 even bother to comment? He’s a moron.

  • Benjipen

    Nobody deserves 20M

    And im not saying these people deserve less. Im just passionate About THE fact alot of people deserve more

  • SikhWitIt

    AllenP @ 11:00 am got it right. Couldn’t have said it better.

  • tdot

    The argument that “anybody with a law degree” could do Stern’s job is so laughable that I’m not even going to bother going into it. Columbia law is not a joke.

    Also, the “players saved the league” argument doesn’t hold because there is ALWAYS going to be get, transcending players that come along. Its not just the players, its how you market the players and expand the NBA product globally that lead the NBA where it is now and a lot of that is directly a result of the decisions that Stern and his team have made during his reign.

  • tdot

    **there are ALWAYS going to be transcendent players that rise above the rest every decade…its like any other league.

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

    This is all T-Macs fault.

  • Jones

    Lol, people are only realizing now that Stern is a big fat liar?

    Kings vs Lakers WCF 2002. That is all.

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    Columbia Law is impressive but really doesn’t have much to do with being the commissioner of a sports league. That being said, Stern is clearly a talented fellow and has taken the NBA to new heights. There have always been talented stars in this league, unique as each individual is, but the marketing and globalization of basketball has only really happened under one commissioner. Saying the Sternbot is expendable to the league is like saying Greg Popovich is expendable to the Spurs.
    Although a lot of credit goes out to Nike and other endorsement agencies too. Despite their corrupt ways…

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