Saturday, November 12th, 2011 at 7:49 pm  |  21 responses

Players to Meet Monday to Mull New Proposal

Player reps will meet in New York on Monday to make a decision on the NBA’s revised proposal. Signs are not looking bright, as the union leadership reportedly left the negotiations Thursday, objecting to several “system issues.” From SI: “The National Basketball Players’ Association will meet with its 30 player representatives Monday morning in New York to discuss the owners’ latest proposal, multiple sources confirmed to SI.com. With NBA commissioner David Stern claiming the owners are done negotiating and threatening to drastically worsen their offer if it is not accepted by the players, the players’ meeting will likely determine the fate of the 2011-12 season. Players are faced with a host of unappealing options, from taking the proposal to a league-wide vote, to filing for decertification of the union and enduring a lengthy legal battle, to continuing to negotiate with the owners.”

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  • Heals

    Dig deep fam and fuuk the public backlash or opinions of media lemmings. They’re like leafs in the wind at this point. I encourage folks to listen to JWhitlocks RealTalk on the Lockout. Regardless of your opinion of’im it’s just what the title says on this one. The shame is once again the narrative of “the players’ hold the season in their hands” is already forming, when anybody with an active braincell knows they’ve conceded more than enough to have started the season (i.e. sign a CBA deal) over a week ago…

  • Jeremy(Georgia Boy)

    Let Me keep it trill and say Sign The Got damn deal please!

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

    It doesn’t matter if they have already conceded – the owners are always going to dictate how the lockout goes, because they have a lot less to lose than players do. Yeah, players can show all the resolve they want as a collective unit, but when those paychecks don’t show up with each passing month, the middle and lower guys will be like ants on fire. The higher up guys with secure contracts will do okay, but how can someone on the lower end of the totem pole get paid without any work for a year (which is how long decertification and litigation is going to drag this thing)? The owners (and Stern and Hunter for that matter) are handsomely paid through other means, and are well stacked financially. Someone like Paul Allen can easily cover the costs he loses by not operating the Blazers for a year. In fact, the only owner I can see griping about waiting out this lockout is Michael Jordan cause he’s not really that rich compared to the others.

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

    And honestly, the players are fighting a pointless battle – its very unlikely they will get more than this. They are going to lose regardless of what action they take legally because they don’t really have a case that will hold up well in court (especially considering that there are no precedents to compare this situation to). The owners have (technically) bargained “in good faith” and hey have made some concessions of their own, no matter how small it is. At this point, the players are screwing themselves over, because you know the owners are eventually going to offer a low ball deal when the players start crawling back just begging for the season to start.

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

    Essentially, this is why I side with the owners with each passing day:

    “Someone who takes a risk and invests millions of dollars into an organization, pays lots of people a decent wage, generates revenue for the city they live in, and gives the consumer a great product is not greedy, they just want a return on their investment. Why should it be up to their employees to determine what their return on their investment will be?”

    It doesn’t matter if the players bring in the fans, just getting the organization where it is, paying the right people to bring in the right players, taking care of the player’s nutrition and workout through strength coaches/chefs, etc, all starts with the owners. It is not as if the players are going to make nothing – the owners just want to save themselves from….themselves. It’s their money and risk, why shouldn’t they have a hard cap, rollbacks in salary, and increased parity?

  • Evolutionary

    The players should take the deal and begin to build a long-term strategy around developing a player-owned league. Until they develop a viable strategy that doesn’t involve the owners will they have any leverage with the owners. The system is broken. It’s time to change the game…

  • BBaller

    Bounce pass @off the backboard and SLAM dunk!

  • Exile

    I’m with “Off The Backboard.” End this.

  • T-Money

    Offthebaclboard. Once you will realize that players are not replaceable employees but irreplaceable talent, e.g. they dont make the product bur are the product like singers or actors, you will unerstand why they want a big portion of the pie. Any comparison to a regular company is pointless. Heck, its even easier to find a new consortium to buy Miami or LA than it is to find a new Kobe or LeBron. The players do not owe the fans to agree to a bad deal.

  • Heals

    Props on the well-rounded, easy-to-read argument Backboard. It’s obvious we see this a little bit differently, so I’ll just offer a couple points of contention.
    1) It does matter what the players’ have conceded thus far, it’s more than enough to keep the league running the next 3-4 years and see if the revenue losses continue as the owners claim
    2) Cuban, Arison, Buss, Groubeck, Orl, OKC, Prokhorov (sp?), Sterling, plus numerour others have more than gripe about missing the season (and a title chance, Stars in final years of their deals)
    3) It’s pointless battle to you cause it isn’t your money. This is far from pointless and really leaning towards becoming more of stand on principle rather than income
    4) Fans buy tickets to see players, buy jersey’s of players, vote for the players for the ASG, bet on game outcomes, etc.
    5) “the owners just want to save themselves from….themselves.” – that ain’t on the NBAPA. You run a team poorly, you lose it’s capitalism? Then why are teams taking money from player salaries to compensate for the losses their poor decsisons created
    6)”It’s their money and risk, why shouldn’t they have a hard cap, rollbacks in salary, and increased parity?” – there’s no guarantee those things will create parity. Unless Cha, Mil, Cle draft “that guy” or make incredible trades they have no real shot at signing key FA’s and drawing in compensatory talent
    7) “The owners have (technically) bargained “in good faith” and hey have made some concessions of their own, no matter how small it is.” – What have they conceded? How are the arbitrary deadlines and “take it or the split gets worse” approaches considered in good faith?
    I think I gunna try and cash in some of that T-money now…

  • http://www.slamonline.com Dagger

    Simply put: the owners are trying to broaden their middle class by eliminating the middle class of players. The players benefit from a highly stratified collection of owners while the owners benefit from a highly stratified collection of players. Ironically, I think the average fan benefits from the expansion of a “middle class” among both players and owners. Still: the players aren’t winning this one. This is not like usual labour negotiations, pitting workers against corporations. Instead, players are pitted against the owners of those corporations, who have often bought those corporations as a side-pursuit, a hobby that, while ideally profitable, is of secondary importance to them financially. The players have absolutely zero leverage, and if they sacrifice the season to pursue decertification they will lose far more than they’d lose with the worst possible agreement signed today. From a financial and professional standpoint – irrespective of the morality of what the owners are doing or the supposed precedent an agreement would create – what the players are contemplating right now is suicide.

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

    The players have already lost because they have made huge concessions to the owners, while the owners have given back virtually nothing in return.

    The owners win, the players lose. But the owners should be asking themselves what the aftermath of their victory is going to be. Can 400+ highly disgruntled players, who now hate the owners and David Stern, possibly be good for the game? There is going to be some blowback, which will damage the reputation of the League, the owners and the players as well. In that respect, there are going to be to winners in this battle, only losers.

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

    @novamike – These players love playing the game of basketball, and are still paid quite well to do that. Yes, there are hard caps and rollbacks that will occur, but unless its a shortened season with players arriving to camp out of shape, the product will not suffer. The NHL lockout of 2004-2005 is a good barometer. The only reason the owners would be losing is because this lockout is going to drive the casual fans away, at least until the Finals roll around or if the Heat or Lakers are doing well. Most people I talk to who are casual fans just really don’t care about when the NBA returns.

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

    Great arguments, guys – this is fun.

    @TMoney – The reality is that the NBA is a business, and despite a player’s talent, he is still “selling” his talent to help run a business. This is the reason why the dress code was put in place, or why rule changes were made to speed up the game after the slow paced Finals featuring teams like the Spurs and Pistons – to earn more profit by appealing more to what they believed the “consumer” wants. Everything the league does is done for the sole purpose of gaining a higher profit. All-Star games? Profit. Slam Dunk contest? Profit. It may not look like a traditional business, but it is. The players are talents just like upper management employees within corporations are talents. You have your highly skilled employees who are geniuses at say, computer programming, and then you have your mid-to-low cubicle workers who do a variety of other “role” jobs that help keep the company humming. In a traditional business, the upper level guys aren’t easily “replaceable” either, but they are in fact employees who drive the company to success, much like the NBA. Regardless, all of it is possible due to the owner/CEO who is hiring the right talent to help run the company.

    I understand that its a matter of principle. I meant “pointless” in the sense that it is a valiant effort, but the chances of them “winning” the lockout against the majority of owners hell bent on reducing their risk is quite the uphill battle. Also, the point that “it isn’t my money” could work for both sides of the argument. For example, fans siding with the players need to realize that it is the owner’s money that is being spent here. While I don’t believe 22 of 30 teams are losing money, as followers of the league, you and I know at least a big chunk of teams (such as Milwaukee or Charlotte) have to be losing money. Nobody cares about those teams – at least not enough to make some money. I’m from Toronto, and we’re lucky to have had a solid fan base that cares about these Raptors, but can you imagine the amount of revenue the Raptors would generate if we had a team that could compete with the help of hard caps that enforced parity? Why is that a bad thing? Why are the owners in the wrong for wanting to set up a system where each team has a fair shot of winning any given year? The NHL, which operates on a hard cap, has had 7 different championship teams in 7 years, and this is somehow bad for the league?

    @5 – Its not on the NBAPA, but its part of the business risk, which means that the players have to concede some to even out the losses. Think about it – when a guy like Joe Johnson goes on the free agent market like he did last year, the Hawks owner has 3 choices. He can either a) re-sign Johnson for more than he is worth and try to persuade fans that Johnson can help them win a ring, b) Let Johnson go and anger fans about losing one of the franchise cornerstones or c) try to get other FAs to come to Atlanta, which no superstar talent was willing to do. This same scenario plays out with other smaller market teams that really don’t have a choice. How can Milwaukee compete with, say, the Lakers under the current model? They can’t. The owners have to spend frivolously to keep the little talent they get because the way the league is set up, most players will just bolt to bigger cities (or tax free ones). If they want to keep a core together, owners have to overpay almost everyone to retain the “chemistry” a given team has. If they don’t pay someone who was instrumental in the team’s success, the fans gripe and stop coming to games, or the product suffers. For small market owners, it’s lose-lose, whether you don’t pay, or overpay. The hard cap and limitations on player movement would fix this. It doesn’t mean that their won’t be any player movement at all (again, see the NHL for comparison), but it just will make it easier for teams to retain the highest skilled talent without having to overpay them and cripple the team financially. Smaller contracts always teams stuck in the mud to “reset” their rosters fairly quickly and start over, rather than having to wait 5-7 years for all the bad contracts to be off the books.

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

    Sorry for the length of the argument, SLAM doesn’t allow paragraph breaks so I know it appears messy, but hopefully you and T-Money read through that essay haha.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    The court battle is not about good faith. It would bw about violating anti trust laws.
    The good faith issues is not really relevant.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    The representation of the owners’ position is ridiculous.
    The league as a whole hasthe seen its revenue increase every year for the past 16. SIXTEEN YEARS OF LEAGUE WIDE PROFITS WITH COSTS REMAINING FLAT.
    Teams have sold for record amounts.
    this is not because the owners ran great businesses it is because players like Kevin Garnett and Lo e and countless others have done the heavy lifting on the court to make the league more popular. To ignore this is crazy to me. The owners have claimed to have financial issues that re anus sharing wont fix but despite the players giving back $280 million in revenue they are holding up the season for rules that have nothing to do with poor finances.
    It is not about a business owner trying to survive at all.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Phone typos are hilarious

  • Heals

    Backboard, no need for apologies, your well though out argument is just that. I figured you meant “pointless,” as such I’m just trigger happy right now cause of how the media has chosen to cover this shht, my bad. Excellent points about parity! My feeling is that no matter what “buffers” are put in place, I’m just not sure how the smaller markets will consistently thrive given the advantages of major markets (not just the ability to spend more) unless they nail it with a LBJ, DH12 type draft pick. Correct me if I’m wrong (it’s been the case in baseball) but hasn’t the exchange rate been one of the major obstacles in Toronto’s (and Van too) attempts to land pivotal FA’s. Now that the dollar has plummeted, I think we’ll see a “fairer” playing field for Toronto. I agree with you in that many small market teams are in a no-win with JJohnson type situations, but I’d argue offering the Max deal isn’t the right answer. To me that’s a weak minded GM, he knows JJ isn’t worth that much, the #1 type and the fans may be upset, but he’s the GM. Be fiscally responsible and let him walk or let him play for less if he wants to stay. Atl is just as screwed overall because they undervalued CP3/overvalued MWilliams which is a GM/Owner decision that has been far more crippling to the franchise. PAllen wants to miss the season because of the BRoy and GOden contract situations (let alone that they chose to draft both players), but you didn’t hear the C’s calling for the CBA system to be restructured when Bias or Lewis died. It’s all about personnel decisions and until the ownwers decide to take responsibilty for how they’ve decreased the value of their franchises I’ll be defending the players…

  • Heals

    Allen I’m not sure they can get to the issue of “re anus” sharing before agreeing on the BRI split…

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    People are repeating NBA talking points like they have merit.
    1. No true financial information provided to public so we can judge extent of losses.
    2. No proof that less player movement and more parity among spending will equal more parity on court.
    3. No promises that owners will spend their increased windfalls on players and not just put it in their pockets.
    4. No promises on what revenue sharing will look like.
    Basically Stern has mouthpieced fans into believing him because they were already predisposed to the players getting less. He didn’t have to provide proof he just had to point people to a way to blame the players.