Thursday, September 29th, 2011 at 9:45 am  |  43 responses

Friday’s Labor Meeting to Determine Fate of NBA Season?

by Marcel Mutoni@marcel_mutoni

There’s a rather crucial labor meeting taking place on Friday in New York City. Most of the NBA big shots from both sides of the argument will be there, and according to David Stern, it could be a make-or-break moment for the 2011-’12 season.

Now, of course, this might just be a scare tactic on Stern’s end to make the players cave and quickly agree to a less than favorable deal, but who knows?

Despite increased talks and a greater (inevitable) sense of urgency, neither party sounds like they’re ready to reach an agreement.

From the NY Times :

About two dozen owners and players are expected in Manhattan on Friday for a bargaining meeting that will set the course for the next several months. If they make progress, there will be more talks on Saturday and Sunday. If the weekend ends without at least the framework of a deal, regular-season games will almost certainly be lost. “There are enormous consequences at play here on the basis of the weekend,” Commissioner David Stern said Wednesday after a four-hour meeting among the lead negotiators for both sides.

For the first time, Stern also hinted publicly at a threat that he has, until now, only made privately to the players union: that owners will cancel the season rather than continue under the current system. Referring to this weekend’s talks, Stern said: “It won’t be a question of just starting the season on time; it will be a lot at risk from the absence of progress.” He said the parties would be working to determine “whether they can either have a season or not have a season.”

We’ll have to wait and see what — if anything — the weekend’s meetings will produce.

Should both sides fail to make progress, the time for idle threats may come to an abrupt, painful end for all concerned.

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  • kbj


  • http://www.slamonline.com Max


  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    I’m really getting sick and tired of this ish.
    Even though I believe the players deserve a bigger piece of the pie, why can’t both sides just agree on a 50/50 split?

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


  • bike

    Excludophobia: The fear that somehow, at sometime, an NBA season is canceled.


    I’m willing to wave goodbye to an NBA season to avoid a hard cap, parity and the enabling of underperforming small market teams. There is always plenty of NFL and college hoops on the horizon for me to watch without NBA. With that said, good luck to both sides somehow finding a way to make a new CBA happen. If not, may this be the beginning of NEW professional basketball league for large market teams, and may the small market teams create a lil’ league of their own.

  • robb

    I’m gonna go crazy if there’s no season, but it seems that’s exactly what’s gonna happen. Welcome home (Sanitarium)

  • http://redoftoothandclaw.ca/ niQ

    It all comes down to this?

  • http://www.dropstep.com rubens

    JTaylor didn’t the playersofferd 50/50 and the owners said no?

  • EtheKnickFan

    Aye Carumba!

  • http://itsahardwoodlife.blogspot.com omphalos

    I honestly don’t know what I’d do if I had to go a whole year without NBA.

  • http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/7021031/the-nets-nba-economics Allenp

    The players have offered 54 percent, appear willing to go down to 52 percent.
    The owners want them at 46 percent.
    And, they still want to make all those changes with the luxury tap, mid-level exception and possible salary rollbacks.
    I wouldn’t take that deal. YOu are going to reduce my percentage by 13 percent, and then add on even more rule that are guaranteed to reduce my revenue to correct an imbalance created by your own flawed decision making? And the fact that you have a financial imbalance that you are only taking middling steps to correct?
    That’s a sucker deal. I would have a hard time enjoying the season if the players got rump checked like that.

  • bike

    Maybe it’s time to let the season go. I can’t fathom Stern’s position that mandates that ‘every team must be gauranteed profitability’. Why? If the market is that bad for a city, then let it go. If the owners can’t stop themselves from making bad decisions, then what good will any agreement do? Maybe the model is too badly broken to fix.

  • Fat Lever

    And it all falls down….

  • http://www.dropstep.com rubens

    Let’s be real, most owners wanna go the NHL route: cancel season, have players desperate for new deal next season…

  • http://www.twitter.com/nflem41 Nicolas Fleming

    Gun, knife, pills or injection?

  • DieselMechanic

    I hope there is a season but most importantly I hope the players will get a deal that they will be able to survive with and provide for their families. Oh how I worry for them.

  • CubicleWorker

    Ugh.. again…. so bike, if they contract the amount of teams in the league then the amount of players playing in the NBA is going to decrease. Neither the players, owners or fans want that. Please think more……Allenp you actually hit the nail with this comment “reduce my revenue to correct an imbalance created by your own flawed decision making”. Exactly.. the owners made terrible decisions in the previous CBA and like any good businessman would do, you’d evaluate your investment from a strategic standpoint and make corrective decision making. The fact that the measures that need to be taken to correct the system are so drastic (11% not 13%, lets not fail basic math) just reflect how good the players have had it for the past 5 years

  • http://www.optimabbc.be Max

    What if there won’t be a deal made in 2011-2012, can the 2012-2013 season be cancelled also because they still don’t have an agreement?

  • CubicleWorker

    Players will cave if there’s no season, the only way they won’t cave would be if the top 20% of earners subsidize the other 80%. That would buy the union another year, but I hardly doubt that the top 20% would have enough to subsidize themselves for two years and the rest for one year…. look @ the NHL in 2004 for what happens to a players union when the season is lost

  • CubicleWorker

    I really, really don’t understand what the players think they will accomplish by waiting a year. It just means more income lost, less fans, an even greater resentment from the public towards the greed of athletes(yes, owners too but players are the ones with fans remember?), and even bitter owners (the guys who sign the checks).

  • CubicleWorker

    Worst case scenario the league brings in replacement players, in 5 years the league will have a fresh crop of superstars and loyal fanbases.

  • Hoop

    ^Your previous comment was good, but this makes no sense.

  • http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/7021031/the-nets-nba-economics Allenp

    Cubicle you continue to take as fact the unprofitablity of the NBA, and assume that the only correction for the situation are concessions by employees.
    Not a surprising take, but one that ignores the obvious.
    The owners have a solution for stabilizing revenue for small market teams. It would just require sacrifice on their part. They overwhelmingly reject that sacrifice and would prefer if others sacrificed so they could reach their goals.
    That pretty much sums up America, and human beings in general.
    Just because something is a standard business practice does not mean it is just or equitable. It just means it’s the status quo. The status quo almost always benefits those already in power because the status quo is designed to keep them in power.
    When the owners got the last CBA, the rhetoric at the time was the the players got a bad deal because they couldn’t handle not getting those steady massive paychecks. Now, the revisionist rhetoric is that the players got a great deal because the owners are complaining about being poor.
    That type of logic is horrible. It ignores all the decisions by the owners, ignores the state of the current economy and assumes facts where there is no basis. The players DID NOT get a great deal compared to what they already had. They got a great deal compared to the current pile of dog crap the owners are proposing. There is a clear difference.

  • CubicleWorker

    I said in a comment earlier today on another article that I support revenue sharing of the increased luxury taxes. Set a cap and charge the luxury taxes at 4 to 1 then distribute those penalties to teams who are under the salary cap. That’s an equitable solution. Straight up revenue sharing would be destructive to initivation and initiative. At some point good business practice must be rewarded ex. buying a team in a good market, drafting, FA signings, good marketing. If teams just share revenues it takes away from entreprenuerial efforts. Either way, whether last deal was better or worse than the previous deal, this entire summer has shown that NBA players salaries are extremely inflated. Even if the average salary was somewhere around $3-3.5M the system would be economically feasible to a much greater extent than now; all parties would be making millions and fans would have an NBA to watch.

  • http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/7021031/the-nets-nba-economics Allenp

    David Aldridge proposed a plan that allowed owners to keep all of the revenue they generate through local sources, but gave smaller market teams a bigger piece of the buy in the national deals. That’s fair and straight up revenue sharing.
    Also, I don’t oppose the tiered luxury tax, or the MLE reduction. I also support shorter contracts.
    I don’t support a BRI split that leaves players with less than 50 percent and I don’t support a hard cap.
    I also think that if players have inflated salaries, then owners have inflated profits.
    You’re basically arguing that the owners are entitled to inflated profits, but players should be willing to reduce their inflated salaries. Where is the logic in that stance besides the simple fact that you appear to believe that the owners “deserve” their money more because it involves business savvy.
    Only that’s based in a reality where the NBA does not operate like a monopoly, does not enjoy public subsidies, and has not created guidelines that fly in the face of capitalism. The owners became successful initially by implementing a punitive salary system that prevented players from enjoying the same free market rights of all other private employees. Some of those same rules still apply, like the draft.
    Treating the owners are exceptional capitalists and rewarding them as such conflicts with the reality that they do not operate within a capitalist system and have the decks stacked remarkably in their favor already. They hole all the leverage when negotiating contracts and the true problem is that just like in the real world when you have to bid against other people, you can’t shaft your workers. Period.

  • Heals

    Caveman nailed it. Just another hyperbolic statement to add to the list of countless others. I hope the players know otherwise, Stern and the owners certainly know otherwise, most fans know otherwise and the media knows otherwise (even if they pretend not to); which is why so many share JT’s sentiments. Instead of talking about the latest proposal or economic hurdle we continue to hear slogans and doomsday rhetoric…

  • http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/7021031/the-nets-nba-economics Allenp

    so many typos

  • RaZkOL

    We still got NBA2k11 guys ( I say 2k11 because y buy 2k12 when it has no rookies? What’s the point? save the money and keep 2k11, it’s the same thing!)

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

    ^ Why does it have no rookies? Is it because they technically aren’t under contract, or what?

  • http://www.dropstep.com rubens

    @RaZkOL maybe cos 2k12 is a much better game. And someone will create the rookie class for download…

    @Teddy exactly

  • dp

    if the players are truly not greedy i have a crazy idea for them, they should just give in… but no one should sign anymore contracts… the retired players with money and active players with alot of money, should put their money together and start their own league with free agents and other available players until the players still under contract are free to play in their league. it might take time but the NBA wasn’t always this profitable. this could possibly be an african american ran organisation, the money won’t go to rich white guys, the league will be what they make of it and the proceeds (if they really aren’t greedy) can be used to uplift the african american community… and maybe the game will be better, no more focusing on dress code and maybe players can show emotion again – no matter what anyone says, african american players have made the game what it is today, sorry aint no one gonna pay big$$$ to watch white boys play fundemental basketball, hit layups and shoot open j’s – it’s nice but you’re not going to pay money to watch someone do something you, with the right coaching could do. but until the players are able to break free from this new form of ‘slavery’ for now they have to just follow the rules the rich white folks set for them and trust me when i say that most of the owners didn’t get this rich by thinking about what was best for the employees first, so this isn’t any different – in a smaller scale if you were the head chef at a restuarant and it became hugely successful and making a ton of money, you will always just be making a wage – at best you might get a pay increase. so like most chef’s, they open their own restaurant, coz just like the players their talents are what people pay for. crazy idea i know and you’re probably thinking it would be way to hard to do this, but nothing in life that is great comes easy, most nba players would know this already… but just try to imagine it, something like this could change the world….

  • Pindajung

    @Dp What does slavery have to do with anything in this context?! Geesh. I think your comment is xenofoob and I’m a black dude for crying out loud.

    Another thing, if the players break with the NBA and start their own all-black league the white greedy owners will just be replaced by black greedy owners. Don’t fool yourself boy, money is money and people are people. Skin collar don’t matter. The only color that matters is green son.

  • dp

    @pindajung you sound like a smart guy so i totally agree with what you’re saying, i guess if the players share the same sentiments as you then they will end up getting what they deserve. you the man pops!

  • http://www.dropstep.com rubens

    BRI at a 50/50 split. Shorter contracts. Owners share TV revenue. Seems like a good start…

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

    The first issue I would want established is whether the owners are operating at a loss….
    the second issue is whether it is a real loss, a relative loss based on accounting and whether these financial losses with an owner off-setting an NBA team on their portfolio actually improves their tax return/tax refund situations each financial year….?
    No business, if they could help it would want their end-of-year statements to show a massive net profit, because thats going to mean more money for the tax man.
    Thats my beef – if the team owners are trying to convince the players that they aren’t making money and therefore neither should they, when it’s just a PAPER LOSS and not a real financial loss… thats the problem for me.
    It’s a business owner trying to get their labor workforce for a cheaper per hour rate….

  • http://twitter.com/#!/MichaelJR_NZ Michael NZ

    I’m over it. Don’t care which side ‘wins’, don’t care about blah blah blah. Just want the season to start on time, thats all.

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

    hey NZ… are you going for the Warriors this weekend?? I think every NRL fan in Australia wants to see Manly LOSE!!

  • http://www.tampax.com doyouwantmore

    DEAR DEREK FISHER, DAVID STERN, AND OWNERS (and World Wide Wes because he’s probably in there somewhere): If there is no regular season or at least shortened season with playoffs I will be done with the NBA. ——- The college game is looking pretty fun to get into right about now, and I spend money on jerseys, tickets, and nbatv. Me and probably a few others like me will spend money on other, more reliable, and more entertaining things. I’m a 20 year Kings fan. After Donaghy and the Sacramento/LA series, the Detroit Fight, Ron Artest’s influencing my 16 yr nephew that you can drink beer and play basketball, Isaiah Thomas STILL being allowed around the Knicks, Lebron’s “Go back to their same life” comment, and the fact that instead of overhauling the refereeing (which is the problem) you make up new rules so the players can’t express themselves. This ain’t golf. It’s ritualized combat and somewhere along the way someone forgot that. —- Commissioner Stern, I’ve always given you the benefit of the doubt. Always said you were doing a great job. You globalized the game! Globalization was a big thing fifteen years ago! But then you tried to “green” the game because of your liberal wife. Remember the new ball? Yeah that’s what happens when you lead from behind. It’s time for all of you to make it right. You’re rich. We have to “go back to our same lives” while you sleep in mansions. Commissioner, forget the politics. Forget whatever lame movement is trendy for New York liberals right now. Forget public opinion of the owners, and players. Fix your mess. The Mavs briefly made this league seem human again, and it hasn’t felt anything but glossy and plastic for a minute now if you ask me. We deserve continuity. If we are robbed of a season and everything that comes with it (jobs, an outlet, career stats of our favorite players being affected, etc.) then it is because you have CHOSEN to do that to us. There is NO excuse that will be good enough for many of us.

  • http://slamonline.com Neitel#2

    @ omphalos dude, there is plenty of PROAM basketball, AND 1 mixtapes, if you missed any of them, umm there is YouTube, and you can follow, Jashaun Agosto!! There is Basketball overseas, where kobe, deron, Drose, Durant and many others are or will play…there is another hobby besides watching NBA, and is collecting upper deck trading cards, which is fun, and it’s what i do, besides depending on NBATV…ummm, let me see, there is NCAA college hoops, and since there is no NBA, now you can really focus on the next young products coming up in ’12 AKA Austin Rivers, Michael Gilchrist, Andre Drummond and so on, so on…there is more to basketball than the NBA, trust me, Basketball just never stops with the NBA.

    Also, you can support your local HS Ballers or Community College Team.
    and finally, there is NBA2K12! Think about them apples kid!

  • Ali


  • tomtom

    Hahaha people are talking like business men and schollars again on this site, wait till we get a hip hop or streetball topic and its back to ‘dawg fkc dat ish yo’, this is the ish fo real homies…my man’ are you gangster or accountant? Make up ur minds fellas, slam-split personality dissorder in full effect!

  • http://www.tampax.com doyouwantmore

    I’m actually a producer and emcee. If you think being “hiphop” means talking like an idiot, then you don’t know the first thing about hiphop, dawg.