Saturday, July 23rd, 2011 at 11:33 am  |  10 responses

NBA Audit: Negotiated Salaries Declined $100M

by Ryne Nelson

The NBA and Players Association issued a press release detailing both good and bad news (mostly bad news, though) regarding basketball-related income (BRI) in ’10-11.

The good news: BRI and player compensation each increased by 4.8 percent this past season. The bad news: That the entire 4.8 percent increase was due to a compensation guarantee in the old CBA. Player salaries also declined by $100 million in total last season, their lowest level in five years.

CBS Sports points out the details:

As part of the old rules, the league withheld a certain percentage of salary (8 percent last season) and would keep a portion of it or give it back so player salaries and benefits equaled 57 percent of BRI. In every prior year of the CBA, negotiated salaries — the contracts offered by owners and signed by players — rose and the owners kept most or (as in the case of the 2008-09 season) all of the escrow.

What does this mean? Well, to some degree, it means that owners became more judicious in the contracts they doled out. On another level, it means that many teams — like the Kings and Timberwolves, who hovered near the league-minimum salary, and the Pistons, who did not make a single roster transaction last season — simply folded up the tents in anticipation of the lockout, a looming ownership change, or both.

So the evidence seems to be getting twisted, as it often does. Sure, the popularity of the NBA last season helped. But the BRI guarantee—which automatically gives that money to players—helped much more.

The costs to generate that 4.8 percent revenue increase were too steep. And, as CBS notes, “A deficit reduction compromise and debt-ceiling deal almost certainly will come out of Washington, D.C., before a resolution to the NBA’s labor impasse.”

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  • greg

    does this lockout mean a bunch of people who work in arenas are going to get laid off? my friend works at the air canada center during the year and its most basketball and hockey going on. would places that have hoops as their main attraction start downsizing. this is really selfish by both sides, these guys are going to be rich no matter what they agree on

  • jarrett

    so what exactly does this mean? Who has the leverage in this news, the players or owners?

  • fastlbr

    This is getting rediculous. Millions of americans have been hit hard by the recession. This lockout crap is millionaires vs billionaires. Can they not meet in the middle somewhere? Greed all around

  • http://slamonline.com Ugh

    So, if I read this right, the NBA made 4.8% more money this year than last, and paid $100 million less in new salaries.
    So surely the league is getting harder and harder to take seriously.

  • dma

    what i don’t get is how and why the NBA would continue to operate for the supposed 10 years at such huge losses. tricky accounting if you ask me.

  • http://www.kb24.com The Seed

    NBA needs to stop it. Players are set for life!!

  • http://slamonline.com Ugh

    Needs to stop what, exactly?

  • RunNGun

    I’d like to know which teams operated for a loss.


    I could easily list a few without even having the accounting info.
    Wolves,Pistons, and Kings