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David Stern: Owners want to cut overall player salaries by one-third or more

Oct 21, 2010, 3:19 PM EDT

Image (1) davidstern-ap-thumb-250x315-5594.jpg for post 89

And you wonder why we keep hearing that a lockout is coming….

David Stern, during a press conference following two days of Board of Governor meetings Thursday, said there had been “no quantifiable progress” toward a new Collective Bargaining Agreement and that the owners wish to cut between $750 million and $800 million a year in payroll, as reported by the Associated Press.

The league’s total payroll this season will be about $2.1 billion, which would make those cuts more than one third of the money currently going to players.

This season players will get about 57 percent of “basketball related income” the league generates. Owners have said they are losing money – as much as $400 million a year in this economy — and that players salaries need to be reduced.

Players dispute the volume of losses, pointing to the number of people lining up to buy teams and this summer’s massive free agent spending spree by the owners. Players also note they get none of the profit owners make when they sell teams.

There is no way the NBA Players Association is going to allow that kind of salary reduction. With the NBA about to experience a boom year, a lockout might be the most stupid thing that can happen. But we keep hearing it’s going to happen. That this is going to be a nasty fight.

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