Monday, November 14th, 2011 at 11:00 am  |  26 responses

Roadblocks to Labor Deal: Team Contraction, More Drug Testing?

According to Yahoo! Sports, some of the biggest issues standing between the League and its players’ union include contraction of teams in the future, and more rigid drug-testing (items that weren’t really discussed during this weekend’s aggressive media blitz): “One of the most prominent issues that has been raised in talks includes the NBA’s desire to cut into the players’ share of the revenue split should owners decide to contract teams over the proposed 10-year deal, sources said. The owners are offering a 50-50 split of revenue, but the possible elimination of two teams would cause the BRI to be adjusted with a smaller percentage for the players, sources said. The NBA also wants to be able to contract teams without consulting the union. In a coordinated Twitter push on Sunday, Stern and deputy commissioner Adam Silver were said to be answering questions for fans. In an answer to a question about team contraction, the league officials responded that it ‘had been discussed,’ and that it was not a ‘complete solution.’ Also, the NBA wants to conduct out-of-season drug testing of players, including testing for some drugs and performance-enhancing substances that could only be done through blood samples. Currently, the NBA does random in-season testing of urine samples for such drugs as marijuana and cocaine. If the players were to vote to accept the terms of the owners’ current proposal, the litany of B-list issues – including contraction, drug testing, Developmental League assignments and draft age eligibility – would still have to be agreed upon. There’s a growing belief that Stern doesn’t have the ownership support to pass the very proposal he’s been pushing all weekend, and that owners would ultimately kill this deal with the list of non-negotiable B-list issues the players would oppose. This way, the league can say it worked hard to cut a fairer deal with players, but in the end, the owners will get the draconian ‘reset’ proposal that many of them have wanted all along.”

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  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    Wow. So giving them back 7% of their BRI isn’t enough, the owners want to dig into the player’s BRI whenever teams are contracted. The owners have yet to make one concession and it seems like their proposal has gotten 10 times worse. The nerve of these guys.

  • http://www.optimabbc.be Max

    The owners are some acting so stoopid

  • http://sportsnickel.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/silvastpierre.jpg Jukai

    The drug thing ain’t that bad, sorry Howard wont be able to toke up the weekend.
    The BRI thing is insanity. Real, hardcore insanity. Decertify already.

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


  • furiousfunkfanatic

    1. Everything is a staged drama – the owners will begin to negotiate in January. All so called offers that have been made so far are unfair. The owners just hope, that the players give up, because they are stupid, fear the public preassure or need money.

    2. David Stern is an artist, when it comes to lying. He never tells the truth (remember the Sonics?). So here a few facts:
    -the majority of the teams are doing fine, they are not losing money
    -owning an NBA team was never meant to be profitable
    -a league with 30 teams, where you need 2 of the top-20 players to compete, can never be balanced. Just do the math 20:2=10 good teams, the rest are bad teams or very bad teams.
    -decertification ist a very good option for the players
    -the players do not have to accept any offer, they can always say no and wait for a better offer

  • http://nbasobrietystrike.blogspot.com/ CoolWhip

    I have a suggestion for the League. If they’re going to add the ‘D-League Clause’ where teams can send players down to D-League at reduced pay then they should make a reality show out of it. Every month each team puts one player on the ‘chopping block’ and fans get to vote players ‘off the island’, and back down to the D-League.

  • http://slamonline BossTerry

    Cosign Jukai.. IMO people making millions of dollars should be able to pass a p!ss test.. (and blood test, and hair test) Save it for the off season.

  • LA Huey

    1. Get marijuana testing out of there. It’s irrelevant. In exchange, players can get their blood tested for PEDs (Will there be a “Kobe Exemption” for what he did this summer?)
    2. Co-sign CoolWhip’s idea
    3. Teams can get sent to the D-League as well and be lose their share of the BRI.

    Why should the player’s get cut out of the BRI if a team is contracted? More owner BS.

  • heals

    I hear ya CAVEMAN. We going to drastically alter the age when some people will have the opportunity to earn an income, but no big deal. Just one less contract year to pay and way to get another year of free scouting to me. If you can’t judge a players’ skill or potential at 19 years that’s on you…

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    I guarantee you the off-season drug testing is a huge issue to the players. What Josh Howard said about the off-season is 100% true.

  • Patrick

    WTF are player’s currently tested for marijuana? That’s garbage..if i was a player this would scare me more than the 50/50 bri split.

  • heals

    SLAM where 3 f’s equal an A+…

  • http://theurbangriot.com The Nupe

    I don’t fault owners for taking the risk and wanting a bigger portion of the pot, just like I don’t fault players for wanting to at least keep as much of what they’ve had, if not improve financial position. Drug testing should be a non-issue IMO, as long as blood work is needed for performance enhancing drugs (as oppose to illicit drugs). Contraction should be a non-issue as well in my book. The only way this happens is if the league/team are ‘truly’ losing money. Neither side would want this, but just like any company that closes down a plant/factory/operation, business need and profitabilty should overide union’s issues. As painful as it is, sometimes the best thing for a business is to ‘contract’. I’m not fully sure I understand the whole D-league issue though. IMO, a team should be able to place anybody on the D-league team who they believe should be there. However, I think the team should still be on the hook to pay the guranteed contract. IMO, whatever happens around an individual’s salary as it relates to being placed in the D-league should be based upon what that player negotiates and shouldn’t be a bargaining issue at all. Certain players would negotiate no d-league provisions while other players may accept the risk of being sent to d-league for non-performance. Contract gurantees versus risk of losing salary or moving to the d-league should not be bargained through the CBA and instead should be options that a player and team negotiate. Items such as how to treat a players salary who is sent to the d-league against the salary cap etc. should be league rules to clarify, but ultimately sliding salary scale for performance or ‘contract nullification’ for certain types of behaviour or non-performance should be negotiatied between team and player. Ultimately during free agency etc, the player can take whatever deal they feel best about. This can also help some players get a chance to prove themselves. I could see more easily see a team taking a chance on AI if some kind of performance/beaviour clause was added. I think that if a stronger clause was included Agent 0′s contract thnings could have turned out differently as well.

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

    If you aren’t taking drugs then whats the big deal?

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    A huge % of them smoke pot in the offseason.

  • http://www.huffingtonpost.com/gabriel-a-feldman/the-legal-issues-behind-t_2_b_1081107.html Allenp

    I don’t have a problem with drug testing. Lay off the damn pot.
    Then again, LOTS of Americans in all types of jobs smoke pot and nobody drug tests most of them.
    And I would support the D-League issue if it wasn’t for the salary reduction. When MLB players go to the D-League they make the same salary.
    And I supported contracts that allowed reductions AND increases in salaries. Owners apparently only wanted reductions.

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

    Co-sign LA Huey. Marijuana and cocaine testing should never have been implemented in the first place. But testing for performance-enhancing drugs seems reasonable.

  • LA Huey

    Erm..Teddy, I’m only against the weed-testing because it gives you neither a competitive edge nor does it really affect your play. But most importantly, aint nobody gonna be the Len Bias of weed. It’s in the league’s interest to make sure their players aren’t widely seen as drug abusers so I understand that. But with weed, understand that it’s not really hurting anybody and just suspended and fine them hard if they get caught with it.

  • http://www.novalight-imaging.com novamike

    The players have already agreed to shift 3 billion dollars over the life of the agreement from their pockets into the owners pockets. It’s a tribute to the effective propaganda war David Stern and League have waged that so many people are still calling the players ‘selfish.’ How does giving up 300 million per year make them selfish?

    What the owners are overlooking is this: even if they succeed in turning fans completely against the players, what happens after all this is finally resolved and games start again? How do the owners now get the fans to love the ‘selfish’ players again enough to buy the NBA’s products? To buy the jerseys? The tickets? The TV packages? How do the owners salvage their own brand after working so hard to undermine it?

    A word to the owners: ‘be careful what you wish for, because you just may get it.’

  • http://www.offthebackboard.wordpress.com Off The Backboard

    Cocaine testing should have never been implemented? What? Drug tests should be administered for both things, and for performance enhancers as well. Drugs/cocaine make the NBA look bad and results in poorer performance when addiction starts to kick in (obviously only regarding cocaine). These guys are multimillionaires paid to keep their bodies finely tuned to play basketball at the highest level. They are paid as much for their health and well being as they are for their skills.

  • YoLu

    You know Bird, MJ, and Magic were hitting up Earvin’s medicinal marijuana the whole time they were Dream Teamin… and that’s considered the greatest team ever.

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

    Yes, cocaine (and marijuana) testing should never have been implemented. PEDs I can understand because they give athletes unfair advantages; they’re actually relevant to the sport.
    Cocaine and marijuana aren’t taken to improve performance directly on the court so they should not be tested for. It should NOT be the league’s job, or the job of any other employer, to police its employees beyond the workplace. What you do on your own time, outside of work, is your own business–these are grown men who can handle the consequences of their decisions.
    As for poorer performance, again, that’s still the players’ business, and the team can punish that player accordingly; again, the player is NOT a child and can deal with the consequences of either under-performing or being caught the way most drug users are. Repeated drug testing (for those substances) is completely unnecessary either way you look at it.
    That’s just my opinion, of course.

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

    That’s not factoring in things like public relations, etc. Marijuana damages players’ reputations too, sadly.

  • Justin

    Uhhh…you’re sort of forgetting that weed (while obviously not as harsh as cocaine) is still illegal. Allenp, yes a lot of people in other jobs don’t smoke pot but most other jobs don’t influence kids around the world. The league had a major problem with this stuff in the 70′s and they’ve worked hard to change the image of an NBA player. Any kind of drug shines a negative light on the league and it runs the risk of losing sponsorship. What company in their right mind wants to be associated with a bunch of rich drug taking athletes?

  • LA Huey

    I would disagree with an employer telling the cops that an employee failed a drug test. But I think simply testing their employees is totally their right if they want to do it. I work for medical facility and I understand if they don’t want to employ folks that are doing hard drugs. A drug addict at work could be particularly damaging to the company. But weed is no more harmful than alcohol so I don’t really care if anyone does that regardless of its status. That’s my last bit.

  • http://www.huffingtonpost.com/gabriel-a-feldman/the-legal-issues-behind-t_2_b_1081107.html Allenp

    I believe I said I support drug testing.
    Just pointing out that it’s a tad ridiculous that we don’t drug test EVERYONE if we think it’s so important.
    And the role model argument doesn’t fly with me because kids pattern their behaviors after the people closest to them first. So, if you want to impact kids, get their parents off drugs. Lol.