NBA: Salary Cap Elimination Billy Hunter’s Idea, Not Mark Cuban’s

by October 26, 2011

To no one’s surprise, the League sprang into damage control mode when news came out that Mark Cuban proposed getting rid of the salary cap, and said it was instead Billy Hunter who brought it up first. From the AP: “The NBA players’ association, not Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, proposed the elimination of the salary cap during negotiations aimed at ending months of labor strife, a league official said Tuesday. NBA senior vice president Mike Bass said union executive director Billy Hunter made “several misstatements” during an hour-long podcast with on Monday. Among them was the revelation of the salary cap plan, which Bass said was actually an exception to the cap, not the elimination of it. Hunter said that, during a meeting last week, Cuban proposed what he called a ‘game changer’ — a plan to replace the salary cap with a heavy tax for teams that spent to a certain level. Hunter said the players were interested in discussing it further and that two or three other owners in the room were really excited about it, but then were told by the owners they wouldn’t pursue it. ‘On behalf of the league, Mark Cuban proposed adding a new salary cap exception, not eliminating the salary cap,’ Bass said. ‘It was the union that, in response, proposed eliminating the salary cap, a proposal that was even worse for the NBA than the union’s prior proposals.’ Hunter speculated during the podcast that owners backed away from the idea of eliminating the salary cap because it had been implemented under Commissioner David Stern long ago.”