Tuesday, November 15th, 2011 at 4:00 pm  |  36 responses

Shaq on Lockout: ‘Do the 50-50 Split’

by Abe Schwadron / @abe_squad

Yesterday, the NBAPA announced it had rejected the owners’ offer and would disband, taking the lockout fight to the courts.

Shaquille O’Neal, never one to hold his tongue, is in New York City, promoting his book (Shaq: Uncut) and the launch of Shaq.com. Today, SLAM sat down with the Big Fella to get his thoughts on the latest lockout news, among other things.

Shaq was a big-time player in the ’98-99 lockout process, and helped get things on track. So when asked how he would, hypothetically, end the lockout, as a mediator, Shaq had this to say:

I would talk business. You know, the owners talk about how they lose money. So I would tell them that maybe they need to do their own deal, so they can create ways to make money. Second, I would realize that we’re in a recession, so why don’t we do the 50-50 split, and if we get to a certain number [of overall league revenue], then escalate the BRI back up. Instead of focusing on one number that’s going to last for 10 years—we don’t know what the economy is going to be like—so leave it at 50-50, and if we reach a certain number as a league and it raises up, then just keep raising us up. With the economy being what it is, that’s what I would say.

When pressed, Shaq added that were he still a player, he knows the “tactic” he would use, but “I’m not going to diclose that.”

Then again, he admitted to “not really paying that close attention” to the news, so perhaps it’s simply a case of Shaq being Shaq. Look out for much more from this sit-down with O’Neal later this week.

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  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Because you don’t have anything to do on Thursday Nights Shaq.

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

    What he said is somewhat plausible. Of course, it doesn’t matter now. Owners have their pride and ego, and players have their misplaced “resolve”. Fantastic.

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

    the players proposed starting at 51 percent and having a the chance to increase to 53 percent based on improvement.
    The owners wanted to start at 49 and end at 51, but only if the League met some pretty lofty revenue goals.
    And owners still have not ratified revenue sharing. But let’s all pretend that’s not important.

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

    AllenP, the players are already fully compensated based on their salaries, which is millions in income. They are very well paid with an average league salary of 8 million a year. They are largely responsible for the BRI income (ticket sales, etc) as well, but given the current league economics, a 50/50 split is not atrocious and helps sustain a stable economic model moving forward. BRI is based on gross revenue and does not factor in expenses incurred by the owners to increase ticket sales, for example. The owners are not only giving players half of the pie, but are also taking less from that split since their half of the BRI will be less due to incurred expenses while what the players receive will not. It is a pretty fair deal.

  • LA Huey

    co-sign nbk
    Also, the players seem like they would go with the BRI split from the most recent proposal but it’s the system issues they don’t like. And based on the league’s popularity, it appears the system’s fine as it is.

  • bike

    They should have asked him about the luxury tax and free agency rights. Methinks Shaq would frown on someone telling him where he could and could not go. Note to retired players weighing in on all this: we respect your opinion but you don’t have a dog in the fight any more.

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

    By expenses, I mean things like marketing and promotion to increase ticket sales, for example.

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

    Actually, the players’ 51 percent proposal dedicated 1 percent of that 51 percent to retired players. $38 million a year. But, nobody really reported on that.

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

    Ahh, my comments aren’t going through. Damn you SLAM!

  • Kilo

    ESPN does not report anything that the players do right. It like they are Fox News.

  • robb

    I’m getting really depressed by all this, it may sound stupid to some people but I just can’t imagine a year without NBA, i’m gonna be bitter as f*ck.

  • http://www.offthebackboard.wordpress.com OTB

    Essentially, this: “What the NBA, particularly the players, failed to realize is that there’s a difference between valuable and necessary. Yes, fans and sponsors are willing to pay a high price for the product. But they’re also capable of living without it. It’s not essential. That’s why the players had no leverage. Fans want to see them play, but they weren’t clamoring for it. No one set up tents outside the arenas and refused to leave until the lockout ended.

    It’s why the players were never going to get a deal they liked. Maybe they found the owners’ last offer too restrictive, with too many limits on what the higher-spending (and likely better) teams could do. It still was a better deal than the hard-cap, salary-rollback, mid-level-exception-eliminating proposal that had been forecast for months. I now believe those most onerous threats were just a long con by the owners, a protracted setup to make this version of the collective bargaining agreement seem benign.”

  • Patrick

    Decertify the union and never recertify it. That way the owners won’t have a union to “lockout”…ie. no more lockouts. And from there players and teams would just negogiate directly.

  • Dope(Georgia Boy)

    Yea ESPN on some “let’s paint the players as evil” type of Bullish That’s why I hate the media.

  • http://360special.blogspot.com/ dev0

    where was this kind of leadership during the negotiations?? Thanks Shaq!

  • B.C.

    Easy for this negro to say, he ain’t in the league no more, if he was still a player he wouldn’t agree to the 50-50 split. So Shaq you need to shut your fat ass up and go to sleep.

  • CubicleWorker

    Allenp, what do you think of the latest proposal increasing the minimum spending from 75% of salary cap to 90%?

  • http://wikipedia.org Eddie1

    MSNBC paid by liberals, so they paint tha conservatives badly. Fox paid by the right wingers so lefties gettin tha shaft. CNN paid by the gays so god knows what they do. And ESPN paid by the league so players can’t win. But the unions ego couldn’t allow for it, so they decided to sink worst. So trust me when I say that in 3 years rookies gonna be making 75K and D league making 23 K +health care. HOLLA.

  • http://ZOGS.COM ZOGS

    SHAQ yet again you prove to the world what a genius you are

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    Give me lottery numbers Eddie.

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

    Eddie baahhahaa
    Much like when you breakup with a girl, only to realize she was fantastic then she won’t take you back because of the way you acted – the players are going to be fantasizing of the days when 50/50 was on the table.

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

    Actually, MSNBC, CNN, and FOX are all funded by the same advertisers; either the same company or similar companies. For instance, each mainstream news company has at least a few big banks in their pocket–Citibank is a common one. Which is why their reporting is abysmal.
    MSNBC’s parent company is General Electric which is one of the biggest war profiteers in the nation. So yeah, they’re “liberal” until it affects their pockets.

  • Heals

    Just caught CMannix on the DP show and it was the that first gasp of air you get when coming up from under water. If you haven’t already give it a listen (last segment, 1st hour). It’s not groundbreaking, but it is refreshing to hear this message getting out on such a widely listened to program. My bad for not keeping up with him during his mess. I figured he’d feel this way based on his past appraoches to covering the league. DP feels the same way so shame on him for not having Mannix on sooner (unfortunately I know the answer is a majority of his audience doesn’t care)…

  • http://Slamonline.com Milez Long

    There was actually an article (read it on my sportcenter APP) where an ESPN writer basically called stern on his BS. I almost thought Allenp hijacked Bristol and demanded HIS article was printed! Lol

  • hushabomb

    Shaq is right in saying that as it makes total sense. Having said that, its whether the 2 parties (owners and players) are willing to play ball on this (most probably not)

    And since the union has decertified, I now wonder how many will cross over the line and play under restrictions set by the owners. There was a movie with Gene Hackman and Keanu Reeves called “The Replacements” where the NFL locked out the players and used substitutes. Maybe the NBA will do that????

  • BBaller

    In recession times, you have Lazar Hayward on the Timberwolves making $1,097,520 a year! Who is he? How many minutes did he play? More money than the President makes per year! And the players want us to side with their cause.GTFOH.

  • Zabbah

    BBaller: it’s called capitalism. Want a piece of it? Learn to knock a jump shot. Oh, what’s that? You can’t? What about the prez? He can’t either? There ya go, makes sense how he’s making $1,097,520. I don’t think he deserves it but he certainly earned it.

  • BBaller

    Look at this link, preferably before dinner as you may vomit.


  • BBaller

    @Zabbah, earned it really? Capitalism is really working for ya isn’t it.How tall is Hayward?Sleep well at night mate, while people in Africa starve.

  • BBaller

    No i don’t want a piece of it, i make enough to provide for my family and do charity work for those that need it( Cancer victims). It’s called being a decent human being.

  • BBaller

    @Zabbah, one more thing, make a jump shot = $1 million plus, run a country =less $1 million.You need to get your priorities right.

  • http://slamonline.com Ugh

    The league proposed 50/50 IF the BRI increased an unprecedented 20% PA. Otherwise they got under 50%. So the NBA would have to make an extra $400million in ONE SEASON before the players would get above 49%
    An unprecedented and unlikely offer as that is not a real offer.

  • Justin

    And I’ve seen Obama shoot. He can knock down a jump shot

  • Justin

    Off the Backboard, while I agree with pretty much everything you’ve said I believe the average salary is $5.1M. However, the average is misleading when you have superstars in the game garnering over $20+M a year. I also hate when people compare that average to what athletes from other team sports make because teams are spreading their payrolls over 20+ players while the NBA I believe is 15. It all contributes to make a huge difference.

  • http://facebook.com/lijiabin justine bacnis

    I think Shaq’s right. they should understand that the american economy is in a recession.

  • http://theurbangriot.com The NUPE

    As a guy who made a lot of money and moved around quite a bit in the league, Shaq could/should have an interesting perspective. Too bad he doesn’t really articulate much in the article. One thing for certain, there are a lot of players who are o.k. with the last offer made by the owners. Although the new rules are more restrictive and the salaries may be lower, most players who only have 4-5 year NBA careers would rather have taken the deal than miss out on more checks. Veterans in their final years of playing (i.e. Jason Kidd) were also likely to have voted in favor of the last proposal as he they stand to lose out on what is likely thier last significant contract. I don’t necessarily believe the owners made a good/fair proposal from a player perspective, but I do think that the majority of players, would rather be playing right now under the terms of the proposal than sitting at home and missing the money and season. All players must show solidarity for the union and in public they are doing a good job, but if the players got a vote…