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Friday, October 22nd, 2010 at 9:00 am  |  92 responses

NBA to Explore Contraction?

by Marcel Mutoni / @marcel_mutoni

David Stern went on the offensive yesterday, telling the media that he and the 30 NBA team owners are hell-bent on making the League profitable.

Stern’s goals include the slicing of player salaries and benefits by one-third (the NBA says it spends somewhere in the neighborhood of $2 billion annually on pay for its players), and to make the finances work, the League may consider getting rid of some teams.

CBS Sports reports:

A person with knowledge of the owners’ discussions said the league “will continue to be open to contraction” as a possible mechanism for restoring the league to profitability. The owners’ ongoing talks about competitive balance, profitability and revenue sharing have included the notion of whether teams are operating in “the best available markets,” the person said, and whether reducing the number of teams from the current 30 would help improve the product and the bottom line.

Stern and deputy commissioner Adam Silver spoke after completing two days of meetings with league owners, who are seeking major changes to the current CBA that expires June 30. Silver said the league has told the union that owners are in a “diseconomic situation,” with projected losses of about $340 million to $350 million this season. Even though season ticket sales are up, both insisted that no matter how well the league does at the box office, it won’t change the fact that an overhaul is necessary. “There’s no chance we can change the fundamental economics regardless of our success because it just costs us too much money to generate those sales,” Silver said.

One recurring complaint from fans and media is that the NBA isn’t as competitive today as it used to be, and its rapid expansion over the years is often blamed for this. Perhaps a contraction wouldn’t just be a good thing for its economic health.

And if getting rid of struggling franchises can help avoid a lockout next summer, it’s an option definitely worthy of serious consideration.

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  • floe

    a contraction would result in more money in the pockets of these fat cat owners. i refuse to believe these spinoff numbers that the NBA presents. because what we don’t see are the multiple companies that are setup behind the teams to siphon out revenue and take profits off the book. anybody who doesn’t believe this theory is a billionaire’s whore.

  • Ganchan

    The best thing for basketball would be to have two divisions, top 15 teams play in the NBA and the bottom 15 play in the NBA B-League. Whoever wins the B-League gets to play in the NBA and whoever comes 15th gets relegated to the B-league.

  • Morgan

    @Ganchan – they already have a B-League…its called the D League and I doubt that would draw any more revenue for any clubs than what the teams are already making. It also wouldn’t draw that much more attention from fans and leads to the NBA having less games + shorter seasons. There are a lot of options they can try before having to resort to dropping teams and all this is simply posturing before the CBA. After the CBA has been signed we’ll probably see a report that “Stern says league has never been healthier”

  • BBaller

    @ Ganchan,don’t you think the bottom 10 teams are/would be more relevant in the current system?The more decent teams the merrier.Whatever works that avoids a lockout, anything but a lockout.

  • EJ

    If they are gonna cut 1/3 of the players salaries, then they shouldn’t give that money to the team owners, they should give it to charity. And Stern’s salary should be cut by 1/3 and ticket prices should be cut by 1/3. The owners are ridiculously rich, and the players are too, but not nearly as rich as the team owners, so if they are gonna cut their salaries, use it to help people, and Stern’s salary should go down 1/3 and so should the ticket prices. Actually they should just get rid of Stern.

  • Groves

    @morgan… the D-League isn’t a B-League… it’s a D-League, thats why its called a D-League!!!… Do Not Contract the NBA 30 teams are fine!.. develop better players around the world

  • kev

    lets cut toronto, charlotte, New orleans, Memphis, okc, and the clippers!

  • IAMORANGE4EVER

    Trim the fat.

  • kev

    lets cut toronto, charlotte, New orleans, Memphis, okc, and the clippers! its true that their isn’t enough talent to have any sort of competitive balance in the nba and, the gap just continues to grow as nba teams trade their best pieces to contenders a la gasol to the lakers. Oh and while we are at it lets cut the cavaliers too. These teams play in less than desirable locations and aren’t able to sign top free agents. The clippers will always be the red headed step child of LA and not many people line up to see their games. It would really be sad for true fans of these teams but I would prefer to see an NBA where there’s more than 4 teams that actually have a shot at the title. Thats why the NFL is so captivating to fans because you never know who might win. I know this will never happen but while we are at it, lets cut the number of games in a season down to 50 or 60. This will make each game mean more and the regular season would be much more competitive.

  • Groves

    don’t cut any team!… move the Clippers?.. and move the Cavaliers.. to Seattle, San Diego, Kansas City, St Louis, Pittsburgh or Louisville?

  • Groves

    okay, i’ll concede that if contraction is to happen the clips and cavs should be two to go.. 28 team league isn’t too bad… 24 teams would suck

  • JD

    The players association would still be upset by contraction seeing as it would see many of them out of work, so they’d still want a lockout probably move them if neccesary but dont cut them. They’d could always explore David Sterns ambition of moving teams to big cities in Europe or other big cities in the world, that may prove a way to do it

  • JD

    Agree with limiting number of games

  • http://slamonline.com YKnot

    I can’t keep up with mortgage and gas prices and look to entertainment to take my mind off it for a couple hours. Do I really care if millionaire players and billionaire owners lose some money? Lockout next season and see if we watch again. Ask NHL how that worked out for them.

  • KB8toSG8

    Hmmm.I wouldn’t want Clippers to go defunct since they’ve just started showing signs of improvement. Vast improvement. Cleveland, Toronto and hmmm…..new orleans?

  • EJ

    Limiting the number of games? If they do that, they need to figure out something else for the NBA players to do. They are getting ridiculously overpaid, and they don’t have work days as often, and their work is something they love. So why the hell should they have less work days? Make them do community work instead of those games if they are cut down to 58 or something. Or cut their salaries, but I don’t like the ownershaving that money either.

  • http://www.davidsparks.me David Sparks

    horse shit.
    i dont buy it, no way this happens. I live in memphis and have grizzlies season tickets. i’m not delusional about the team but i’ll never watch an nba game again if they just up and took my team away from me. I’ll be all Tigers and all college ball.

    and this bullshit about the league not being profitable seems to be only coming from the owners. outside reports state that the nba is in good health. these ass hats have lost their minds.

  • Jumper

    Cut teams that you know good and well do not have a serious shot at the playoffs. In fact, you know what would really spark ratings and money. After the playoffs start, have the teams that didnt make the playoffs play to stay in the nba. Losing team gets dissolved.

    Send that check to Jumper!

    Thanks

  • http://www.slamonline.com Migs

    I get why you’d want to cut certain teams, but Toronto? What’s that based on? The Raptors are actually in the upper half in the league in terms of team value and profit… Seriously, some of y’all gotta stop being so ignorant.

  • Brian

    It seems to me that most of the NBA’s problems stem from the decisions made by the NBA and its’ owners over the years.

  • http://brimartin13@gmail.com Brion

    Take it from a Seattle native it stings to have your team cut.

  • BBaller

    With the USA having won Gold at every age level, the NBA should be expanding not contracting. How many good players are there seriously? 400, 500!

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Even though I support contraction, I know this is just a scare tactic to get he union worried about 15-30 jobs disappearing. So they’ll capitulate.
    What owner is just going to abandon their NBA revenue stream when they could sell their team for hunderds of millions of dollars?
    Too bad people are gullible enough to believe this.

  • BBaller

    @ Brion, are the WNBA side the storm a viable sports organisation in Seattle?, if so, why can’t the Supersonics come back! I miss the team Logo

  • Ganchan

    Ya I suppose you would need 16 teams so that playoffs would be possible. Add a couple of more bottom dwellers to make it work, hell form a C-league too while we are at it!! How have I not been hired as the commish yet?

  • MikeC.

    Just because the Raptors routinely trot out bad teams doesn’t mean they’re not profitable. The Raptors have a very devoted fanbase, play in one of the best arenas in the league and don’t lose money. Why would they need to be contracted? Contract the teams that play in half-empty arenas. New Jersey and Cleveland come to mind. If Seattle can get a new arena, move the Nets to Seattle and we can have the Sonics again. I’d give the Kings a two-year window to see if they can crack the playoffs in the West. A good Kings team brings out a wild fanbase in Sacramento. If they’re still struggling financially, move them to a city where they can be successful. It’s time Stern took the shackles off and let a team move to Vegas.

  • SWIFTboy

    Are people just saying Toronto because it’s in Canada? You guys realize it’s the fourth largest city in North America behind NY, LA and Chicago right?

  • http://staticseth.blogspot.com Seth

    I’m not sure which teams would get the axe, but the L could prob do without the Clippers and Raptors. The Raps just hopeless.

  • burnt_chicken

    no SWIFTboy, they have no idea. In fact, I bet most of the posters calling for Toronto to get cut have never been out of their county, let alone state. Ignorance is bliss!

  • http://itsahardwoodlife.blogspot.com omphalos

    No, please don’t lose teams… if you are going to do that, at least combine a couple of teams and bring the Supersonics back.

  • Exile

    Co-Sign SWIFT boy. Contraction would be about economic feasability. Toronto would remain as they are the 4th largest market (city wise) in the L. Toronto would also keep more Canadians interested, keeping the L “global.” Doesn’t matter how good the team is… the determining factor will be location.

  • MikeC.

    People need to stop acting like Toronto is a small-market team that’s losing money. Toronto is one of the biggest cities in North America. The Raptors make money. They’re not one of the unprofitable teams. The struggling teams are the ones playing in half-empty arenas like the Nets, Pacers and Kings. However, it is true that the Raptors stink and don’t seem to have the ability to attract and retain talent. This could lead to a dwindling fanbase in the future. The Spurs could be in trouble after Duncan retires too. They have great fans and great management, but things could change when they don’t have the robot to build around.

  • PapaBearATL

    OKC could be considered small market but they were packing them in last year and seem to have a loyal fanbase. I persnally think small market teams like Cleveland and Minnesota could go away and not cause much stir. I am embarrassed personally by the Hawks fans enthusiasm and attendance. I would move teams before I shut them down. Move Cavs to Vegas, Clippers to Orange County, Nets to Seattle, put a team in Hawii!

  • PapaBearATL

    Major market cities without a pro team:San Jose, San Diego, Jacksonville, El Paso, Las Vegas, Albuquerque, Louisville! Just some suggestions! Expand don’t Contract.

  • Noel

    Goodbye Celtics!

  • Love4Humanity

    Las Vega is the only one that makes any since on that list. The Jaguars are on the verge of moving in the NFL why would the city need another pro team

  • bakers’-dozen

    Contraction is a stupid idea.
    Not only do you lose several market regions (whether large, medium, or small it doesn’t matter), you lose fan base, filtered down revenue from apparel sales, etc. The players salaries are what is causing the NBA to lose money. Sure the owners make a ton of $$$, but why do you think ticket prices and food are so high at games? Somebody has to pay the salaries of the team, and it comes directly from the fans. They need to reorganize how salaries are done. Back in the 80′s, it was insane to think that rookies and guys who had potential not proven would be making more than the all-stars and champions. Players are getting paid based on potential instead of output. They need to go back to the basics and have rookie contracts maxed out at x$ per year for x years. From that point on, have salary tiers for players with 3-6 years of experience, 7-10, and so on. Have a league mandated formula to have bonuses for different milestones reached. It would be league set (not individual team set) so it would create equal markets for all teams instead of giving larger markets the cornerstone of all players who want to make the most money. Think about it this way, if Melo wants to go to the Knicks, he would be making the same amount there as he could with the Nuggets. All salary structures would make it super easy for trades and subsequently get rid of the luxury tax for teams. It makes it easier, and all teams benefit from this, not just the elite few.

  • bigmatto1

    get rid of the heat

  • http://futureprobe.blogspot.com Future Guy

    Contraction is a good idea. There are far too many teams that have never been good because they have cheap owners who don’t want to pay for good talent, or stupid owners that wouldn’t know good talent if it walked up to them and and punched them in the face. I say those owners deserve to have their teams liquidated.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/officerbarbrady what

    The NBA is fundamentally different from other sports in that you can’t just assemble a team of several good players and expect to win a title, like you can in football and baseball. If you don’t have a superstar, you are pretty much out of luck, and there simply are not enough superstars to fill the needs of 30 teams. For this reason alone the NBA needs contraction. The talent pool is spread too thin as it is.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/officerbarbrady what

    And it’s not so much a small market vs. big market issue. It’s just an overall talent issue.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/officerbarbrady what

    @Swiftboy — where the hell are you getting that from? Greater Toronto has 5.5 million people. Atlanta, the 9th largest metro area in the USA, has 6 million people. How exactly is Toronto the continent’s 4th largest city? Not only are at least 10 metros in the USA bigger, but so is at least one Latin American city (Mexico City).

  • http://www.need4sheed.com Tarzan Cooper

    Not gonna happen

  • bakers’-dozen

    How can taking teams away help the situation? You need to make your product stronger, and taking teams away places the league in a weaker position altogther.

  • http://theurbangriot.com The Nupe

    Contraction makes sense, but which team(s) get contracted (and how the owners get paid out) would be the difficult question. A team can go from profitable to un-profitable, and the inverse, relatively easily. Cleveland would be a good example of that, just by the acquisition and loss of one player. Over the last 10 years the Cavs have been one of the more profitable teams, even over the last 25 years, so it’s hard to justify giving them the axe. OKC is an unlikely place to see a team really thrive, but they are likely going to be pretty darn good the next several years because of KD, what happens when he leaves? It’s hard for me to consider OKC a great location or any better than Indi, Det, Cle, Mil, or many other ‘small’ markets. Cities like Jacksonville or Las Vegas seem to be logical places for teams because they are ‘large’ markets and many would say desirable locations. But like contraction, not sure who you move or how to base the decision. The only teams that makes sense to move or contract the Clippers and Nets. Both are in great locations, but the NBA already have a strong presence witht the Lakers and Knicks. Profitability, and location/new markets where they can expand have to be part of the equation. But, contration is unlikely to happen anyway, I see some significant salary cuts coming instead (but not 30%).

  • dave19

    @bakers

    Okay I don’t want teams gone any more than you, but that would help financially for sure. It’s just like a franchise closing failing locations. It’s what it is. It would help the league as a whole if a team like the Timberwolves disappeared I’d say. Would most fans really even notice? And most franchises could get restarted later, in a healthier economy.

    That said, I think the numbers Stern is showing are garbage. I’m sure there is plenty going on for these teams.

    The only thing I’m in favor of (at least considering) contraction is to help get more Talent onto teams so they’ll be stronger.

    You guys should really look into which teams turn a profit. Youd be surprised. I believe the Grizzlies and Clippers, along with the Cavaliers are some of the most financially consistent franchises out there. Cavs have lost LeBron James of course, so well see how it goes. But none the less, it’ll be the teams that can’t make money that will disappear.

  • Sparty’s Law

    Cut Toronto? A city of 5 million people with a TV audience of more than 30 million? Not to mention a fanbase that pays some of the highest ticket prices in the league and a wealthy, stable ownership group. Not happening.

  • Brian

    Why do people look at NBA players like victims and the owners as a-holes? Look at the CEO or owner of your company… isn’t he making a hell of a lot more money than you? In any business the front line workers make the company profitable. But, why does the CEO of Home Depot make more money than the cashiers, truck drivers, stock guys, etc… The CEO couldn’t do their job, just like Jerry Reisdorf couldn’t suit up and fill the void that Jordan left. The lowest paid NBA player still makes as much money as a cardiologist… which is plenty. If salaries were cut by 1/3 a max deal would be 80 million instead of 120. If you say that’s not enough money… you need your head examined.

  • Sparty’s Law
  • onlyclipsfanonslam

    Clippers always make money every year. Our owner may be dumb, but he is a better business man than 95% of the owners in the L.

  • Jumper

    So if these terrible teams are pots of gold, whats the reason for the “Loss”?

  • Sparty’s Law

    If the biggest problem is players’ salaries, which it appears to be, then it seems the best remedy would be not to reduce the number of players but to lower the salaries all around. The NBAPA will have to agree to either a league-wide percentage-based paycut or to the implementation of an NFL-like system of no guaranteed contracts which would allow teams to cut players who do nothing except eat up cap space.

  • http://www.twitter.com/JoshElam JE

    If they try to cut teams AND salaries, we’ll have a lockout for more than a season, and start losing legitimate All-Star talent to Europe.

  • Exile

    Cutting Teams is the answer to NOT cutting salaries… Stern is making people aware of options, not saying he wants it all. Besides, this is all going to get uglier before it gets better… so hold on to your hats.

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

    This is getting stupid, STERN, WE KNOW THE LEAGUE IS AS RICH AS EVER. SHUT UP.

  • http://www.twitter.com/gerardhimself Gerard Himself

    kev: “let’s cut OKC”? Whether or not I agree with Stern, why the hell would you cut OKC of all teams? One of the few teams that gets a full house every night, and one of the teams who will be relevant every single year (barring injuries) in the next decade.

  • Aaron

    The owners want to put all of the risk onto the players with smaller and only partially- guaranteed contracts, thus indemnifying themselves from their own stupidity. The NBPA won’t bend nearly as much as the owners are asking them to, so don’t be surprised if there’s a lockout. How much of the NBA’s reported loss is from running the WNBA?

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    If they cut teams it won’t be more then 4. At most the league would cut, Sac – NOH – Cha – Mem…when really it should be Cleveland (no offense everyone but seriously that team is screwed)

  • LD

    They took our jobs!

  • http://www.need4sheed.com Tarzan Cooper

    Jumper, there is no loss, its fake. Overall, the league makes money by the ton(like c-bo). Owners hide as much money through as many backchannels as possible. Stern is lying and he knows it. Billy hunter knows it. If the league is losing money, then why send teams to europe and china to play games? ……… …. … .Heres somn fun. Lets say an nba arena has 20,000 seats. And lets severely underestimate and say avg cost is 100 a seat. Thats 2mil a game x 41=80mil. And thats a disgusting underestimation. Also factor in merch and food profits. Lets round up to 100 mil a season per team. Multiply that by 30 and you get a steaming pile of lies coming from sterns mouth…………………. ….. …… ….. …. …. … Maybe the owners forgot that they set the market for player salaries. No one else was gonna give darko 20mil, so why did minny? They could have got him for 12… Why did atl max jj? No one else would have. The owners want to make all the money and not have to take responsibility for their own stupid business decisions.

  • Danny J

    Can’t help but laugh at everybody saying the Raptors or Nets should be contracted. Toronto is huge, the team is owned by the second largest sports empire in North America (after the Yankees) and while they struggle to attract/keep talent, contract a few teams and leave players fewer options to run to. Just wait and see how much easier it’s going to be to keep top guys. As for the Nets, did they not just get bought by a Russian Billionaire? And are they not moving into one new arena right now, and possibly another one in the continent’s biggest city in a couple years? Why the hell would you NOT want that?!

  • http://Egotastic.com Michael

    Get rid of the WNBA problem solved.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    they aren’t covering for the WNBA anymore. They are independent like a destiny’s child song

  • feez22

    Contraction is about 1 thing: Money. the secondary and tertiary gains are the infusion of more talent and the lessening of inferior talent. however the NBA isn’t going to cut teams that are actually making money. Portland, Toronto, OKC… all of these teams are making money. why would they need to be contracted. if you want to contract do it to the grizzlies, timberwolves, bobcats… the teams that have dwindling fanbases and are in small markets that don’t make money. btw @tarzan cooper the knicks were ready to max out joe johnson man… don’t you remember? imo they should have just let him go they aren’t winning anything any time soon with the state of the eastern conference but w/e they decided to stay competitive. to do that you need a primary option even if he is more of a secondary guy.

  • http://www.need4sheed.com Tarzan Cooper

    You dont know that nbk. same goes for fez, you dont know knicks would have gave him the max…. Anyways, my larger points stand.

  • TrailBlazing&SportingLisbon

    Gerard Himself, cause that team was plain stolen,they should get the fu(k out, it does not mean Kd and the rest of the young talent would go away

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    Well if the article I read that said the NBA stopped covering for the wnba at the end of 08 beginning of 09 was a lie then yes I don’t know what I’m talking about

  • http://www.youtube.com/officerbarbrady what

    @Sparty’s Law — the list you linked to talks about city populations, not metro area populations. Television markets are all about metro areas. If it was just about cities, Jacksonville and Columbus would have NBA teams while Atlanta and Minneapolis wouldn’t because they have more people within their city’s geographic area. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_United_States_cities_by_population

  • http://www.youtube.com/officerbarbrady what

    And although I disagree with Tarzan that nobody else would have maxed out Joe — the Knicks definitely would have, and I think the Nets would have after they missed out on everyone else — he is right that this is ultimately just a ploy by the owners and GMs not to take responsibility for bad decisions. Doesn’t stop it from being a good idea, but I’m not fooled into thinking the owners are doing this for the good of the game. The age limit was instituted for the same reason.

  • ALEX 80

    @ swiftboy DUMBASS !!!!!!!

  • http://www.google.com/news BETCATS

    Why not just make a 1 on 1 league where Kobe plays Lebron and they make 2 cents a game, that costs $59 for the worst seats, while merchandise is sold at rates of $200 for jerseys and $100 for a tee shirt that looks like a jersey! Anything else would be less than profitable for the league and it is in their best interests to do it.

  • Ryan

    Toronto was ranked the second best city to live in north America. People honestly have no clue what they are talking about if they think it’s undesirable lol

  • Jose

    Minnesota, Cleveland….Or ,i have not read all these comments but i assume maybe someone had this idea…Normal regular season and playoff births, but those not in the Actual playoffs play to stay in the L (teams 9-15), Double series elimination;maybe a 5 game series,then the losers play another series to decide who bounces out. itll bring extra cash in too heck..

  • Danny J

    Also just wanna toss out there that Montreal sold out the Bell Center for an exhibition game between the Raptors and Knicks. Viable moving option?

  • http://google c_cantrell

    ^kev..
    cut okc?? what the hell are u thinkin?? do u not realize they are the 2nd best team in the west u moron?? cut okc.. man thats some sh*t dude thats jus some stupid sh*t

  • MBE18

    The competition would be so much better if the league could eliminate 4-6 teams!

  • Clay

    Cut the Kings. Make the league an even 30.

  • http://google c_cantrell

    ^uhh the league is an even 30 dude..

  • http://slamonline.com MVPballer

    Guys, we want Toronto to get cut ’cause they’re a shit team. Not because they don’t make money, that’s probably the one thing the Raps are good at.

  • http://google c_cantrell

    ^MBE18..
    i really do feel that the nba could do without some teams (such as cleveland, minny, goldenstate, new jersey) n yeah i honestly think the competition would be better.. jus look at how it was before the nba added all these expansion teams

  • The Cult of Carlos Cabezas

    Hmmm let me see, there’s a chance to get rid of teams like Minnesota, Memphis & maybe Toronto? I say “What are you waiting for?” —
    I think Stern wants to cut two teams, I say get rid of 4 or 5 teams. Does the NBA really need Golden State in order to survive? No!

    Teams I would cut:
    1. Memphis Grizzlies
    2. Toronto Raptors
    3. Minnesota T-wolves
    4. Golden State Warriors
    5. Washington Wizards

  • http://www.twitter.com/jtrain73 Jono

    I will kill David Stern if he takes away my Denver Nuggets.

  • matt

    already ppl say raps have 2 go, if u lived here you’d know that ppl actually go 2 raps games and watch the games. Teams that should be cut are ones that are doing bad financially, for example, indy, memphis, bobcats, maybe bucks. bucks have chance 2 do well with bjennings, indy maybe. But bobcats and memphis always do deals just 2 cut money. also, don’t be jealous of universal healthcare systems. maybe switch memphis and bobcats 4 montreal and van city.

  • grmike

    “@Swiftboy — where the hell are you getting that from? Greater Toronto has 5.5 million people. Atlanta, the 9th largest metro area in the USA, has 6 million people. How exactly is Toronto the continent’s 4th largest city? Not only are at least 10 metros in the USA bigger, but so is at least one Latin American city (Mexico City).”

    NOT TRUE !! the metro areas in the USA are allowed to cover land areas 10-20 times more than those in Canada. metro Chicago is comparable to the GOLDEN HORSESHOE AREA TORONTO. Toronto (golden horseshoe area) LAND AREA = 30,000 sq kms population = 9 million, Chicago LAND AREA = 30,000 sq kms population = 9.5 million.
    the greater Toronto that you’re comparing to metro Atlanta COVERS 3 TIMES MORE LAND AREA. not a fair comparison AT ALL. It’s like saying NYC has 9 million and Chicago has 9 million so they are the same size without checking the boundaries.

  • grmike

    before comparing metro population of American cities to Canadian cities make sure you understand that there is a big difference in the way both countries define metro area boundaries. In the USA metro areas are the outer limit, the cma, they cover everything in and around the city. Meto cities in Canada are 10-20 times smaller if you want a better comparison check areas defined as Golden Horseshoe Area (would be called metro Toronto if Toronto was in the USA) and green belts. Compare Vancouver Canada (2000 sq km’s) to Denver (25,000 sq km’s). saying they both have the same population does say much at all considering Vancouver has another 2-3 million people around the city within an area of 25,000 sq km’s.

  • Alan Abramowitz

    The hot players go to the richest franchises. It will be L.A., Boston, Miami every year forever. And people in Memphis, Charlotte, Oklahoma City will wake ip one say and realize their times will never play in June and stop coming.

  • k.d.

    All the major sports ought to lose 4-6 teams each. If you got a bunch of teams with less than a .400 winning percentage, that is not good

  • Mz. Preston

    I say cut, Toronto, Charlotte, Detroit, Memphis, LA Clippers, Golden State, Cleveland, and Sacramento, that leaves 22 franchises as opposed to the 30 franchises… 11 teams will represent each conference, it’s a good idea and the 8 teams above are clearly the most weakest markets.

  • Datboywonder

    There needs to exist a criteria for contracting a team. This criteria should not be because you don’t like a city (i.e. its not desirable). It should also not be because a given team currently has a good team.

    I use Oklahoma City as an example. Currently, OKC has a competitive team. Will they have a competitive team 10 years from now, 15 years from now, 20 years from now? What happens when there current nucleus of players (Durant and Westbrook) age out or decide to shop there talents else where to the likes of LA, Boston, Chicago, NYC, and Miami? Will OKC be able to rebuild their franchise and continually court a competitive team? Growing up, I remember Indianapolis used to have a competitive team with Reggie Miller. Charlotte used to have a competitive team with Larry Johnson and Alonzo Mourning. If you’re going to actually contract teams, all teams must be subject to the same judgement when making the decision. Attendance, Market Size, Regional Growth Projections, Economic Viability etc.

    4 Smallest Markets in the NBA – Metro Population/Growth Rates

    Salt Lake City (1,130,293) Growth Rate (+16.66%)
    New Orleans (1,189,981) Growth Rate (-9.61%)
    Oklahoma City (1,227,278) Growth Rate (+12.04%)
    Memphis (1,304,926) Growth Rate (+8.27%)

    Next 8 Smallest Markets in the NBA

    Milwaukee (1,559,667) Growth Rate (+3.93%)
    Indianapolis (1,743,658) Growth Rate (+14.33%)
    Charlotte (1,745,524) Growth Rate (+31.20%)
    San Antonio (2,072,128) Growth Rate (21.06%)
    Orlando (2,082,421) Growth Rate (26.62%)
    Cleveland (2,091,286) Growth Rate (-2.65%)
    Sacramento (2,127,355) Growth Rate (+18.39%)
    Portland (2,241,841) Growth Rate (+16.29%)

    Attendance is a tricky statistic to measure. Sometimes attendance is a direct result of the product being put on the court. Bad Teams have bad attendance. Sometimes attendance is a result of a historical apathetic fan base. Some cities inherently aren’t passionate sports towns like others.

    If I had to contract four teams I would contract the following:

    New Orleans
    Memphis
    Milwaukee
    Indianapolis

  • Najee12

    Realistically, if there is contraction it will be two teams. IMO, take out the two teams whose loss will be the least invasive to the NBA’s history. To me, that would be the Los Angeles Clippers and Toronto.

    The Clippers are obvious: arguably the worst franchise in sports the past 30 years. Only four playoff appearances since moving out to southern California. The only signature player to come from that franchise was Bob McAdoo, and that was when it was the Buffalo Braves. A long history of failed high draft picks, veterans whose careers were derailed there, talented young players who suffered major injuries — you name it, that franchise is cursed.

    And to top it off, a notoriously cheap owner who wouldn’t have been an owner if it wasn’t for the Lakers’ owner (who allows the Clippers to share space at the Staples Center because the Clippers owner is too cheap to get his own place) AND has had federal housing discrimination and sexual harassment lawsuits against him. Not to mention the only way Donald Sterling will part with the franchise is death, and he owns the Clippers only for tax considerations.

    For Toronto, it’s largely a train depot for players who plan to leave. The players are getting taxed from both the United States and Canada. Really, not a whole lot of team success (five playoff seasons in 16 years, no more than 47 wins in a season). The two signature players — Vince Carter and Chris Bosh — left and the team got virtually nothing for them.

    From there, relocate several teams. Allow the NBA to transfer Michael Jordan’s ownership from the Bobcats to the Hornets and bring the Hornets back to Charlotte.

    And let’s give some new markets a shot, and revisit another familiar market — Seattle.

    1.) Relocate the Bobcats to Cincinnati or Louisville, Ky.

    2.)Allow the Maloof brothers to move the Kings from Sacramento to Las Vegas.

    3.) Relocate the Grizzlies from Memphis to Seattle.

    4.) Allow the Warriors’ new management to move the team from Oakland to San Francisco or San Joe.

  • DavezZ

    Toronto has money end of story. That’s all you need to know. When their good, it’s gonna change some of the haters to fans. I don’t give a shiit what happens to any teams except the raps because I know things are about to change for the Toronto Raptors. They have a lot of fans and their not just in Canada.

  • Renaldo

    Most people on this site couldn’t even afford to live in Toronto let alone travel their. I think many people think their because Raptors are not on american tv that they must not make money. Go to forbes with is run by American and see the value of the raptors compare to teams you think have value. One thing tha make sense is Dollars and if you are not making it then stop trying to find way to put down those city that can. Players may not want to stay in Toronto but because our front row seat go for about 1000 they need to collect a check somewhere. m

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