Union: Players Unwilling to Accept Hard Cap or Salary Cuts

The latest salvo in the increasingly depressing fight between players and owners was launched yesterday, as Billy Hunter shouted down the proposed hard cap by the League, and presented his own counter-proposal. NBA.com has the details: “The National Basketball Players Association, in an address to its members last week, said it’s willing and ready to negotiate with the NBA over a new collective bargaining agreement. But don’t try to force players to accept a hard salary cap or salary rollbacks. NBPA executive director Billy Hunter made those points and more in a podcast sent to the entire union membership detailing the union stance, sources familiar with the proposal told NBA.com … The NBPA has offered to negotiate a reduced ‘floor’ in its guaranteed piece of the revenue pie, commonly referred to as Basketball Related Income (BRI), while keeping the ‘ceiling’ at its current level. Players are guaranteed 57 percent of BRI in the existing agreement, which expires at the end of the season. The union agreed with the league that increased revenue sharing is needed among clubs, too. But the players are holding firm on certain tent-pole principles. ‘The union will not agree to a hard cap on the heels of the league generating record revenues year after year,’ Hunter told the players. Any insistence on a hard cap could well be the major sticking point in the negotiations, and could lead to a work stoppage next summer. Hunter recently said that he’s ’99 percent sure’ a lockout is coming after the CBA expires. NBA spokesman Mike Bass issued the following statement Wednesday with regards to collective bargaining: ‘Our goal remains the same: a sustainable business model that encourages teams to make necessary investments and provides the opportunity for all 30 teams to compete for a championship.'”