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Tuesday, August 2nd, 2011 at 11:04 am  |  88 responses

Breaking: NBA Files Lawsuit Against NBPA


Yesterday, the NBA lockout took a turn for the worse, with David Stern accusing the players of  “bad-faith bargaining,” Today, the situation hit an even lower point, as the NBA announced it is filing a lawsuit against the NBPA for “unfair labor practices” with the National Labor Relations Board, a move that could potentially set back negotiations for weeks, if not months. Below is the full press release:

The NBA filed two claims today against the National Basketball Players Association: an unfair labor practice charge before the National Labor Relations Board, and a lawsuit in federal district court in New York. The unfair labor practice charge asserts that the Players Association has failed to bargain in good faith by virtue of its unlawful threats to commence a sham “decertification” and an antitrust lawsuit challenging the NBA’s lockout. The federal lawsuit seeks to establish, among other things, that the NBA’s lockout does not violate federal antitrust laws and that if the Players Association’s “decertification” were found to be lawful, all existing player contracts would become void and unenforceable.

“These claims were filed in an effort to eliminate the use of impermissible pressure tactics by the union which are impeding the parties’ ability to negotiate a new collective bargaining agreement,” said NBA Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer Adam Silver. “For the parties to reach agreement on a new CBA, the union must commit to the collective bargaining process fully and in good faith.”

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  • http://bulls.com airs

    great.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Max

    Is this good or bad?

  • Riggs

    @Max: Bad. Incredibly bad, and it just enforced whose side i’m on now.

  • LA Huey

    I was worried what would come of them publicly mentioning decertification. No 2011-12 season.

  • Yesse

    This is an outrage. I really feel bad for the players.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Now that’s a preemptive strike for you a)ss right there.
    Stern and owners wanted this lockout and they are playing to win. The threat of voiding all current contracts makes it impossible to decertify, without decertification you can’t file a lawsuit, without a lawsuit you can’t have a court examine the NBA’s books and decide on their labor practice. Which means you have to only negotiate with them. And accept what they give you.
    That’s hardball.

  • T-Money

    why does stern want to go out tony montana-style? decertification is not a “sham”, see nfl labour negotiations. i find it mildly amusing that the nba is accusing the players of negotiating in bad faith when the owners have not put anything new on the table for months. it’s clear to me, david stern is ready to wipe out the season to make sure the players’ pockets start hurting real bad so that they will cave on everything. starting negotiations by accusing the other party of bad faith means that you don’t want resolution any time soon. btw, david stern makes 20 mil+ a year so he’s straight either way.

  • http://slam.com Chris Mullin’s Accent

    Good for the NBA owners. They deserve to make money too. The hypocritical NBPA has acknowledged the loss of money, but seem to think it shouldn’t have an effect on the astronomical salaries they are rewarded to play (some subpar). I realize the owners deserve much of the blame for the situation because of the overpaying of certain players, but the current extremely player friendly system also deserves some blame. It needs to be changed to better the quality of play on the court by making the players earn more of the money they are making through continued success/improvement on the court. Let’s hope they can make the necessary changes as quickly as possible, but I’m not very hopeful for some reason.

  • T-Money

    allen: slow down though, that’s assuming the nba wins its case. i’d be willing to bet good money that it won’t get a ruling in its favor re decertification and voiding contracts.

  • Riggs

    They make money hand over fist with the lockout on, the players do not. Good for the NBA owners? do you actually know what’s going on?

  • http://slam.com Chris Mullin’s Accent

    The players have the option of playing somewhere else for much less money and much worse treatment if they like since they don’t want a small decrease in their million dollar salaries. And the owners aren’t making money either. They haven’t been making money the entire previous CBA, and they definitely aren’t making any with their product off the shelf.

  • http://www.specialolympics.org/ Felix

    Man I was going to beg my mom to get league pass again…mu%^#$&*$#ing lockout… Are the TV guys ever going to weigh in with the players? Does anyone know whose side Turner and ESPN are on? I can’t imagine they want to pay for broadcasting rights for a season that doesn’t happen…

  • http://facebook.com Aaron

    ookay,, time for a new hobby!

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    The owners have the option of hiring less talented employees and attempt to convince fans to pay ridiculous prices for tickets to see those players play.
    The owners agreed to the previous CBA because they thought it was a favorable deal. They signed players to ridiculous deals. And now, they’ve had buyers’ remorse, and they feel like the players should fix things. Even as they refuse to make any decisions on revenue sharing similar to what baseball, a League with no salary cap and multiple $25 million per year player deals, has already implemented.
    That’s bad faith. People keep saying the NBA model can’t work, despite the fact that baseball works just fine. Something isn’t computing. Revenue is up. Popularity is up. Somebody isn’t handling their business correctly.

  • Riggs

    Owners are still making money from their tv contracts (which can’t be voided due to the lockout)

  • T-Money

    ya’ll are sheeps. the nba has shifted the paradigm without you even noticing. owning an nba team was never about making a net profit, it’s much, much more than that. the problem is now you have these broke-ass owners who borrowed tons of money to own an nba team and whose main sources of revenue can’t cover anymore. for example, dan gilbert would have never been able to secure a deal for a casino in downtown cleveland if he weren’t owning the cavs – that’s an extremely profitable business opportunity who will not show up in the books. henry abbott from truehoop wrote an excellent article about this. think micky arison, james dolan, jerry buss, mark cuban, prokhorov, kroenke are worried about turning a profit? these are the guys that should be owning teams – billionaires who want to leverage the prestige of owning pro teams. broke-ass dudes like the maloofs have no business owning teams.

  • IAMORANGE4EVER

    I’ve been waitin for something to happen. One side had to strike first. Now let’s get it on!!!

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    ^Real talk.
    But, NBA owners, the older ones, allowed these new cats to come in because they were willing to shell out ridiculous amounts to be owners. Why do you think Bob Johnson sold as quickly as he did? The money ain’t what he thought.
    People buy teams for the prestige and power of being an owner. If you’re buying a team to make money, you’re probably going to have issues these days just like if you buy a house a full market value and expect to flip it for big bucks in three years. That ain’t how the game works.
    When the owners got their deal in 1999, everybody said that the players lost. Now, all of sudden, it was a horrible deal. Idiots.

  • http://slam.com Chris Mullin’s Accent

    It would be great if every franchise had a Mark Cuban-type owner, but the reality is they don’t and never will. There will always be owners with less money, love for the game, knowledge, etc., and the fans of teams owned by these owners shouldn’t have to suffer (or jump on bandwagons) because of it.

  • greg

    some teams make money others dont it isnt the players fault, the talent level in the nba is at the highest its ever been. i know the raptors suck because owners werent willing to go into luxury to get talent on the floor, so the talent we did have(bosh carter, tmac, davis, stoudamire, chauncey billups we traded) teams like memphis went out and spent the money and they ended up with a great run this year, look at philladelphia in footbal just now. some owners are good some are bad, i thought america was a capitalist nation. those who are not as talented shouldnt be rewarded they should actually get their act together by drafting well, and signing good people like the spurs did.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Sigh. There is that “suffer” word.
    I don’t get it. The NBA has never been about parity. The Lakers and Celtics have won more than half of the titles handed out by the League. Fans of teams in smaller markets have always seen their squads struggle even before free agency and massive contracts.
    Hell, even in football, the parity idea is somewhat overblown since certain teams are always doormats.
    Fans are suffering because teams are making poor basketball decisions. Look at what OKC has done. Even if they hadn’t gotten Durant they still would have been competitive becuase they made smart basketball choices.
    Personally, I don’t have a problem with deals that say that players can have their pay cut, or be cut if they underperform. As long as the deals also stipulate that players must be paid MORE if they out perform their deals. That’s the inherent unfairness in the NFL system. If you suck, you suffer, if you shine, you get nothing.

  • http://slam.com Chris Mullin’s Accent

    If you’re an owner that believes you’re getting screwed by the schlongs of the giant players do you keep getting screwed or do you kindly ask David Stern to screw the players with his tiny weiner? I’d take the latter.

  • Chris

    I knew the Mavericks winning a title would mark the end of all things….

    Seriously though, the biggest tragedy in all of this is the revenue lost by non-owners and non-players. Stadium employees, local vendors, everyone will suffer. This is a horrific economic period to be scrapping over millions and costing people their jobs.

  • http://slam.com Chris Mullin’s Accent

    *replace suffer with any of the following, you choose: stomach, bear, tolerate, endure

  • DRock

    The reality is the owners locked themselves into a bad position where there were going to be haves and have nots because of a lack of revenue sharing and then providing terrible contract after contract.

    Like the individual above said, revenue is up, popularity is up but teams are losing money???? That is a business management issue.

    As a business consultant (which I am) the first thing I would do is look at how teams are fiscally managing their budget, and look at discretionary expenses.

    Because payroll is the largest expense, I would look at how I allocated contracts and what the estimated return on those contracts were.

    In sports THE PLAYERS ARE THE PRODUCT so to use any form of analogy as if was a regular joe job just doesn’t fly. Does there have to be a shift in the model, definitely, but should the players have to take 80% plus of the burden, I don’t think so.

  • http://slam.com Chris Mullin’s Accent

    Look, I’m not trying to paint the owners out as some innocent victim. I am jealous of both the players and owners (be it their insane wealth, insane talent, or both) and believe both sides are being unreasonable and squandering a great situation for pennies on the dollar. In my opinion, however, I see the players as being the more unreasonable of the two, and therefore have decided to side with the owners. We can disagree. It makes for good arguments. We can all agree, at least the hardcore fans that have no lives (I’m sure we all merit lives for some reason), that this lockout really sucks. Please save us David Stern, Amen.

  • LA Huey

    I think the league will get a favorable verdict in the suit. It was filed in the 2nd district and (according to ESPN) it’s favorable to the league.

  • T-Money

    the players are more unreasonable?! wow. and the whole idea that a lower salary cap and shorter contracts will bring parity is a fraud. everybody has a shot in the nba when they make smart basketball decisions, e.g. san antonio and okc. no matter what the money is, if it’s the same everywhere, players will still go to nyc, la, miami, dallas, phoenix when they hit free agency. milwaukee and cleveland will not stop being milwaukee and cleveland. markets that are not as attractive will still need to get better through drafts and trades. cleveland and toronto didn’t lose bron and bosh because they couldn’t match miami’s offer. denver didn’t lose melo because they couldn’t match ny’s offer. actually, under the current cba, these teams could offer even more money. if it’S about dollars, then it’s about dollars – don’t bring parity in there. moreover, there are no credible studies that prove that parity is good for the league’s bottom line.

  • T-Money

    chris mullin: you’re looking for stern to be the savior? you are aware that the players didn’t lock themselves out, right? filing a lawsuit for unfair labour practices after ONE day of negotiating is the epitome of bad faith negotiating! if you’re looking for stern to “save” the season, you better brush up on your ncaa knowledge.

  • hiphopcop

    Well, looks like I’m going to have to study up on my College Ball in the next month, cause this NBA season is a straight up FAIL.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Chris Mullin
    Sure, we can agree to disagree. But I’d like to hear your reasoning for why you believe the players are being more unreasonable. I have a sinking feeling that your arguments may rely on concepts like “gratitude” and “luck”.
    I’ve found that many people see the players playing basketball for money and wish we could be in their place. We think we would do their jobs for far less money and perks. And that’s true.
    But, nobody wants to see us play. Also, most of us really, REALLY don’t have the dedication or talent needed to do their jobs. Because while talent is important, it’s also about hard work. And many, many people lack the willingness to make the sacrifices most NBA players have made to get where they are. I know this because most of us don’t do it in our regular lives.
    Anyway, I don’t think NBA players are lucky or fortunate. I think they have talent that they worked to develop and now they are being paid for their efforts. That’s how America is supposed to work, I thought.

  • Chris

    ^^We can stay home this weekend, Allenp, you just preached a word son

  • BAWSE

    ITs only a issue in the NBA because the players dont look like Peyton and Tom Brady. Dont for a second be fooled and think that the NBA isnt making money. That is a flat out lie. Your always going to have a few teams that arent making as much as they want but they are ALL MAKING MONEY.

  • http://philosopher.view@blogspot.com The Philosopher

    I don’t blame The League for getting in the players’ @sses.
    My whole thing, which I’ve been saying for a while, and in which Chris Mullin alluded to is, if players are going to take a pay cut in a bush league, why won’t they take a pay cut for the best League in the world?
    A League that affords all of the benefits (outside money, endorsements, doctors, etc.,) even WITH a lesser contract? (the owners’ proposition)
    At the end of the day, if a person is worth money, they will get money.
    Maybe if people had their degrees, they’d be less worried about things, and people would make their money, anyway. Even after their playing career is over.
    By the way, Derek Fisher sounds like he is smarter than Billy Hunter.
    Hunter is looking even further more like he’s BEEN in over his head with this for the past decade plus…
    In my opinion.
    I’m on the fence though, because, if I’m a player, I too would attempt to milk the cow until I cannot milk it any longer.
    Shout out to more over seas bets next season…

  • piq

    I dont know if i missed something, but this seems like a sudden move by the NBA. Is there anyone who can write an article about all this, with some explanation how did this decertification lawsuit come into picture. Gloves are off too soon.

  • g

    Get Stern outta here man he’s turning the league into the WNBA with all these B.S. calls just ruining the NBA i am pissed off we need an NBA season next year!!

  • MikeC.

    I think Stern just remembered that he has a law degree and wants to see if he remembers how to use it.

  • http://philosopher.view@blogspot.com The Philosopher

    All of the guys with the supposed leverage have degrees in something.
    Many of the guys without the degrees are relying on Billy Hunter.

  • http://philosopher.view@blogspot.com The Philosopher

    Hunter is still getting paid.
    While he possesses a degree, as well…

  • bike

    This is just the beginning of the squeeze on the players. The players will eventually give in–they have way more to lose than the owners. It’s tough, it’s not right in principle, but the players just don’t have enough leverage. The players threats to go overseas are childish. The outcome will be the same whether it is settled now or 12 months from now. The difference will be the long-term damage as the result of a season lost.

  • T-Money

    the philosopher: you’re oversimplifying things. short money is better than no money… as a sideline. deron, for example, would never accept to play for 5 mil a year for an extended period of time – he’s doing this because he has a much bigger contract with the nets that will resume as soon as the lockout ends (even if it gets restructured). nhl players did the same during their lockout when a lot of them went to russia. nfl dudes didn’t have that option because there is no secondary football league that can pay enough to get guys like manning or brady (top cfl players make $ 500k). playing in turkey for 1 or 2 months can’t be interpreted as a player setting his new market value at that figure.

  • http://www.twitter.com/dfrance21 dfrance21

    Other than lowering the cap and length of deals, what else do the owners want from the players? I think fans side with the owners because they feel like the owners just want the players to give up some money and the players are saying now. I can see where you would side with the owners in that regard because the players look greedy saying ‘I want an $80mil deal, instead of a $60mil deal.” So please tell me its not that simple.

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.l.brewer3 BlackPhantom

    *sigh*.At least the NFL is back.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Well, I think anybody with an understanding of the power and wealth dynamic in the NBA understood who was going to win this fight. After all, for many owners, these NBA teams are just expensive toys, not their actual businesses.
    But, by taking an extended stand, the players could make a point. And, if they got the courts involved, they might be able to sway public opinion enough to really put pressure on the owners. Without the courts they are in trouble.
    And to me, taking a paycut to make a point is far different from taking a pay cut in perpetuity as the standard operating procedure. Players understand that lesser leagues have lesser dollars to hand out. The NBA is not in the same boat regardless of what owners are saying. Revenue sharing would make every team profitable. Period.

  • http://philosopher.view@blogspot.com The Philosopher

    T-Money:
    Interesting points.
    I respect the value of short money. I believe that all money that is legal is good money.
    However, let us say that the lock out ends in 8 weeks. The players and the owners even come to an agreement to where the players take a pay cut. Percentages are irrelevant. Do you really believe that a base contract in the States will still be substantially more lucrative than that of an over seas base contract? Considering the “alleged” global financial status?
    And Please do not think that I would think that a deal from elsewhere would set a value on a player. If I implied that, I did not mean to.
    As is such, the owners are really outclassing people right now.
    And wouldn’t it, at least, portray the player as committing a double standard in taking less money in a lesser league?
    Even if for a short period of time? Hell, that in itself would support the owners’ arguments in regards to shorter contracts, no?

  • http://philosopher.view@blogspot.com The Philosopher

    Allenp getting it in…

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    I will continue to say this until someone gets rid of him; F*ck David Stern
    What the hell is a lawyer doing running the greatest sports league in the first place? How bout someone like Bill Russell or Dr. J as commissioner? You know, guys that actually know a thing or two about basketball.

  • http://slamonline.com Bryan Crawford

    This thread was entertaining, to say the least.
    One side says the owners are to blame, the other says the players are at fault for this lockout.
    The way I see it, both sides have shown an unwillingness to negotiate in “good faith,” but it’s the owners who have all of the leverage in this situation.
    Like Allen said, for some owners, this is an expensive toy or hobby. They have other revenue streams to sustain them if their NBA venture generates zero dollars for the next year. But for cats in the NBA, this is their livlihood. This is how they “eat” and “feed their families.”
    Once the checks stop coming for the “middle class” NBA guys and if/when they see the “upper class” guys overseas and making a million per month (or whatever ridiculous offers have allegedly been floating around), there will be a willingness to negotiate on the the part of the players because there will be dissension and in-fighting between “classes” and the owners know this.

  • T-Money

    the philosopher: i didn’t understand your point, could you rephrase? / dfrance21: i sorta see what you’re saying – the players are already rich and thus they get no sympathy from fans. but what i don’t get is that the owners are billionaires (not millionaires like the players), why do fans care about their bottom lines then? and if the nba is bad business, why is there always 4-5 groups ready to buy as soon as a team hits the market? maybe because turning a net profit was never the point of owning an nba team? maybe because owning a team is not an end in itself but a mean to have access to other business opportunities that would not be accessible without the cachet and the contacts that come with owning a team?

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    DFrance
    The owners want a hard salary cap. They want partial to fully non-guaranteed contracts and shorter contract lengths. They also want different rules regarding free agency and how players can sign with other teams. Those are the three main items.

  • http://slamonline.com Bryan Crawford

    JTaylor, you’re complaining about Stern’s credentials as an attorney? Uhm, how about you do some research on Billy Hunter and then holla back.

  • LA Huey

    @JTaylor, just because you know how to play hoops doesn’t mean you know how to operate a basketball-related business. His Airness could show you that.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    This move is designed to prevent the players from getting to the courts for a few months if they decided to decertify. Delay is the best move for the owners, and they know that. They also want to keep this argument away from a judge, not because they would lose in court because they probably wouldn’t, but because lots of info would come out about how the League handles things.
    On another note, taking money overseas as a short term way to gain leverage while you attempt to get a better deal from your current employer is not hypocritical. It’s not more hypocritical than NBA owners renting out their arenas to various events when they would normally be hosting basketball games. Or running their other businesses to support themselves. Players have to pursue other revenue options, or they will be force to capitulate completely. But, Bryan is right, and I’ve said it before, the players will turn on each long before they owners do the same.

  • http://philosopher.view@blogspot.com The Philosopher

    T-Money:
    Basically my point is that, isn’t it questionable whether or not a restructured deal in the States would be considerably larger than an over seas deal? As you mentioned that it would be. I was just questioning that because, I don’t know.

  • T-Money

    bryan: i agree with one caveat – the owners are not looking for a willingness to negotiate from the players (they already have that), what they want is for the players to cave in and take their proposal as is. that’s a big difference. and i do agree that the “middle class” in the nba is an issue. if we’re being real, as david falk was pointing out, kobe and lebron are severly underpaid. these two guys generate so much revenue for the league, they should be making 40 million a year at the very least. on the other hand, guys like chris bosh and pau gasol are severly overpaid when looking at what they bring in. in a completely free market, half of one team’s salary cap would go to its superstar. it’s funny to think about the nba has a pseudo-socialist system.

  • http://philosopher.view@blogspot.com The Philosopher

    Allen:
    But wouldn’t the players still make more money in the States, Even with the smaller contracts? There is too much money in the States. Too much opportunity for their brand. More than abroad, no?

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    It would be much larger and impact far more players.
    In order to meet Deron Williams’ salary demands that Turkish team had to get a special sponsor. And Williams’ salary was what Mike Miller might get over here.
    Even with a $45 million hard cap, which is what the owners originally proposed, you would still have players at the top of the pyramid making big bucks. The people who would suffer the most are your mid-level guys like Varejo, Miller and Perkins. Now way do you spend $8 million on Kendrick Perkins if that represents nearly 20 percent of your total cap space.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Philosopher
    They would be locked into a less favorable deal for the foreseeable future and likely forever. With their overseas deals it’s a short term sacrifice in pursuit of a long term benefit. If they accept similar terms in the NBA, its a total loss.
    More importantly, why should players bear the brunt of the responsibility for insuring that NBA owners turn a profit? Teams basically want a new deal that guarantees that whatever they do each year they will be profitable, but without having to share any money between themselves. That’s ludicrous. Total revenue in the NBA increases last year. They had to pay players an escrow check because of it. That means that overall, there is more money for everybody. The real problem is how they are dividing up the existing pie. I think players should agree to roll back their percentage of league revenues to 50-52 percent. I think they should agree to a maximum contract length of four years. And I think they should mandate a new revenue sharing model be implemented immediately. And that’s it. Those are all the changes I support.

  • T-Money

    the philosopher: deron’s current contract would pay him 16 mil this year, i think it’s safe to say that, under a new cba, he would still make more than one third of that.

  • bull22

    HAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHHAHAHHAHAHHA to all you bozos taking sides because they dont care about our opinion… i give props to all the players that are not trying to destroy the nba product by saying “we are going to europe”.

  • T-Money

    i do agree that 7-year contracts are too long. you never know when you’ll sign a JO that will lose his legs midway through the contract. what i would like his 4 guaranteed years and then 3 optional years (options for both the team and the players – if one pary wants to opt out then the deal is off).

  • LA Huey

    The problem to me (for the NBA’s bottom line), is the contracts of the middle class players of the NBA. If you look at it as a business, they’re paid beyond their values. NBA games are like movies, the general public are interested in watching movies/games featuring superstar actors/players. People pay to see Steve Carrell star in “Dinner for Schmucks” and Derrick Rose play for the Chicago Bulls. As important a role as Paul Rudd/Luol Deng might play in the final product, paying them even half of Carrell/Rose’s cut is too much. The team’s that want to turn a profit need to weigh the impact of each signing on the standings and the bottom line.

  • bull22

    i feel only for the players that are against this lockout and want to play nba ball. but no sympathy for those jackarse players who don’t earn their keep, nor do i have any sympathy for those who want to play overseas…

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    BC/LA Huey, I understand where y’all are coming from but I think it would be better for the L and fans in general having a cat who’s played pro ball running things. Basically we have a commish who only cares about pleasing the owners and the bottim line. He doesn’t care about improving the level of play or the well being of the product aka the players.

  • http://philosopher.view@blogspot.com The Philosopher

    Allen:
    I can respect that perspective.
    T-Money:
    Okay. Say he gets half. Is that still considerably bigger?
    I guess it would be, depending on one’s outlook or perspective.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    LA Huey
    The problem is that you can’t build a team without those quality middle class guys because there are only so many true superstars. Teams typically have issues when they compete for middle class guys, or marginal stars because some owner is ALWAYS willing to overpay to get a certain player they think will put them over the top. Typically it’s your big market teams, who have the revenue to recover from those mistakes, but too often small market teams market teams make the same mistake trying to keep up with the Joneses. To be honest, OKC overpaid Perkins to keep Durant happy. Cleveland overpaid Varejo to keep LeBron happy.
    David Lee is overpaid because people were convinced he was a budding star. it’s a tough business, and I understand that. But owners need to learn to have the balls to stand up to fans and say “We can’t make that move.”

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    However, fans and their proxies in the media put a lot of pressure on teams to make splashy moves, which leads to problems.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    JTaylor
    The Commish is the employee of the owners. No matter who had the job, that would be his role.
    The NBA is both a grouping of independent businesses and a single entity. It all depends on who they are talking to.
    Either way, the Commish is paid by the owners. There is no way he cannot be beholden to them no matter who “he” is.

  • LA Huey

    Allenp, I agree with you. Teams do keep overpaying the Rob Schneiders so that Adam Sandlers stay happy. The owners seem to want to reap successful business profits without operating like one would. I do agree with your proposed changes though. Seems “fair” to all involved. Shorter contracts mean we get to see “contract year” effort more often and BRI split the players get right now is pretty lopsided.

  • LA Huey

    The union is about to get owned though (no pun intended). They’re going to get a raw deal because the owners have all the leverage.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    AllenP, I see your point but how is that formula good for a sports league?
    Having a commissioner that only cares about keeping the owners happy aka “fattening their pockets” is not good for any business let alone a league that needs to put out good products on the court for the fans to come. Most owners are satisfied with losing as long as they are making money, teams like the clippers have traded away good player after good player just so they don’t have to pay them in the name of saving a buck.
    If that’s the case, the NBA should have two different entities running the show. One side that strictly represents the owner’s interests and another that looks out for the players. No, I’m not talking about the current system we have today, where one side (the commissioner) controls everything and has the say so on player conduct, rules on the court and control of revenue streams aka jersey sales and tv contracts. Both sides should have equal control over everything that goes on in the League.

  • T-Money

    the philosopher: half is actually extreme. what’s more likely is a 20% roll back. but what is your point exactly?

  • CubicleWorker

    Let’s take some of the wildest assumptions by readers on this site and explore them from an economics point of view.

    “The NBA didn’t lose money”
    “Owners are greedy”

    Even so, the owners have put their own money (or taken highly leveraged positions) to purchase a franchise. If they don’t feel the business is earning them an acceptable ROI then it’s their perogative to try to make their business more profitable.

    At the same time the players have the right to try to secure themselves the best possible employment arrangement. The players won the last CBA and the economics have proven that that arrangement was not mutually beneficial. Even though it sucks to take a pay cut, it’s either that or play in Turkey, Europe, China, Australia etc for even less pay and worse living conditions.

    My prediction is that a significant amount (or all) of the NBA season is lost and players play internationally which will in turn force the owners to concede some of their demands. In the end, the owners will be clear cut winners of this CBA.

    THE ONLY WAY the players win this CBA is if the owners are bluffing about the losses, in which case we’ll see a last minute deal. But if 22/30 teams are losing money, they won’t hesitate to wait for a CBA that provides them with a more profitable economic landscape.

    Put it this way, the players need the NBA more than the owners do…

  • http://www.slamonline.com spit hot fiyah

    Allenp = mvp of this thread

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    1. It is revisionist history to say that players won the last CBA. Nobody believed that at the time, and the perception was that the players caved because they had managed their finances so poorly they couldn’t survive without their bloated paychecks. Check the record.
    2. Business owners have the right to attempt to maximize their profits. When they do that at the expense of their employees, it’s called greed. The owners could all turn a profit if they agreed to a better revenue sharing model similar to what MLB does. They have refused because the larger owners don’t want to subsidize the smaller ones. So, they’d rather end basketball to break the player’s union so they can all make even more money. As of right now, the only people to offer to give up anything have been the players who have already agreed to rollback their share of the BRI to 54 percent from 57 percent.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    JTaylor
    Unless the players want to chip in on Stern’s salary the current model for the commissioner will persist. But, as a larger issue, the NBA, MLB and NFL are organizations created by rich men to scratch an itch or make money. The players are their employees, not equals. The commissioner is the representative who handles the daily operations of the business, and keeps the employees in line. I would imagine that the owners want somebody disconnected from a basketball lineage because his loyalties would be divided. This is their League and they want somebody to represent their interests.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    AllenP, all fair points but how are the players not equals to the owners when the only reason fans come to a game or watch it on TV is because of the players. In my opinion that makes them superior to the owners because without the services of the Kobes, Durants, and Howards, no one, I repeat, no one would watch or come to games.
    Look at what KD did at Rucker Park, everyone’s talking about it including every major sports channel. I don’t ever remember anyone reporting on the restaurant Mark Cuban visited last week or the 9 holes of golf Mikhail Prokhorov played. The owners should be grateful that guys like Wilt, Russell, Kareem, Magic, Bird, MJ, and others put in the dedication and time in the gym to become the sole reason why so many people around the world love NBA basketball today.

  • MikeC.

    The main flaw in the current system, as I see it, is the exceptions. Mid-level exception, bi-annual exception, veteran’s exception. Too many loopholes in the cap. Paying a star $15-20mil/year isn’t hurting teams. Paying Jerome James and Al Harrington $6mil/yr is killing teams. Sure, the owners gave out those contracts and they should be bound to the terms of existing contracts. Changes are needed. Rolling back existing salaries shouldn’t be on the table. They should be grandfathered in. I’d like to see the Allan Houston rule brought back again. Cut one player, pay out the contract, but it’s off the cap. The player gets the money, so it’s fair, and the team gets to eliminate their biggest mistake. Removing all the exceptions to the cap could solve a lot of issues. Another suggestion would be a limitation on the Bird rules(this might not work at all, I’m just spitballing). Teams can only exceed the cap to re-sign a player if that signing keeps the total salary below a certain threshold. It would keep teams from overspending on players they’re not absolutely sure of. Fans also need to relax a bit. Don’t call for a GM’s head if they let a player walk. Sometimes they make the wrong move out of fear of fan and media backlash. Would any Hawks fan be pissed if Joe Johnson walked? No Jazz fans are throwing firebombs over Boozer being let go. This lockout isn’t so much about limiting the big money to legit stars. It’s about not being held off a balcony for not signing a 3rd tier star to a huge contract. I can’t argue that KD, Lebron, etc aren’t worth $20mil/yr. Joe Johnson? Not so much. As a longtime Knick fan, I’ve seen what the power of spending can do. On both sides of the coin. I’m rambling and I forget my original point.

  • LA Huey

    MikeC, I’d like limitations on Bird rights too. I’d like to cap the number of players a team can retain via Bird rights. That way teams will only use them for something like 2-4 players they consider to be their core. Guys that don’t even crack the starting 5 should not get Bird rights.

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

    What professional sports needs is a Communist revolution.

  • http://jkasflf.com Jukai

    You know… it just keeps getting more hatable… I was hating the way the players were simply refusing to negotiate anything, thinking what they have is what they should remain to have. And I read this and I thought the owners were suing over the lack of negotiations by the players. Now I learn they’re suing to take away every tool that the players have during the lockout. I mean, really. This is driving me away as a basketball fan.

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.l.brewer3 BlackPhantom

    I usually don’t take much part in these threads, because I don’t wanna make myself look stupid.

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.l.brewer3 BlackPhantom

    I mean don’t get me wrong, I’m very interested, but I’m not experienced in business…..at all to this point I’m sure there are some things I don’t know about the lockout.

  • O

    Co-sign MikeC. As a lifelong Knicks fan, i’ve seen our team hand out some of theeee worst contracts in sports history for a single franchise. Allen Houston, Jerome James, Lenny Wilkins, Eddy Curry, Stephon Marbury, Larry Brown, Jared Jefferies and MAYBE Amare Stoudemire (depending on how his knees, eye and now back holds up for the next 4 years). There definitely needs to be something in the new CBA where we drop one bad contract. I’d drop Ronaldo Balkman with the swiftness. How many years do we have that burgerduck for??? Sidenote: Watching The Exorcist 2: The Heritic. Linda Blair was type smashable in this flick. Just sayin’…

  • vince

    weirdest thing about this is Stern who is trying to take money away from players reportidly is making 23 million a year which ahh is way more than every player except like kobe and a couple others

  • http://dodgers.com Joey E.

    kcuF the NBA man. this isnt fair to us fans. these guys are all millionaires and billionaires. dont make us normal folk miss out.

  • HH

    this is a public announcement

    who will be sorry for guys who make 6 or 7 or even 8 figures a year putting a ball in a basket when the average american make $40000????

    stop kidding!!

  • CubicleWorker

    O I actually like your idea, drop 1 bad contract per season

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