Economists: ‘The NBA is Reasonably Healthy’

by October 12, 2010

A couple of smart folks who crunch the numbers for a living tell the Boston Globe that the L is doing just fine economically — how else could you explain Darko’s contract? Zing! — and that a lockout would be unreasonable. Here’s a blurb, but you should read the entire thing: “Two noted sports economists believe the owners’ most likely weapon toward achieving such labor control is a lockout, something the Players Association is convinced will occur. But the question is whether a lockout will shift the power to the owners or ruin a league that may be entering its most captivating era in its 60-plus-year history. The National Hockey League allowed labor strife to cancel the 2004-05 season and the league has never fully recovered. Therein lies the risk for NBA owners. Last February, Stern said the league’s owners would lose nearly $400 million for the 2009-10 season, an assertion union president Billy Hunter called ‘baloney.’ Stanford economics professor Roger Noll, who wrote ‘Sports Economics after Fifty Years’ in 2006, does not believe the NBA is mired in debt. ‘I think the NBA is reasonably healthy,’ said Noll. ‘If you extract the fact that it’s the worst recession in the lifetime of anybody who’s thinking about it, the league is healthy. I do not anticipate there will be a strike or lockout. I do not anticipate the next agreement will differ materially from the present agreement. Both sides blow smoke in the run-up to collective bargaining. But you shouldn’t pay any attention to what they say. They are jockeying for position and trying to put pressure on the other side through the media. Nothing they say now about the state of the league or the state of the collective bargaining negotiations has any particular truth value.'”