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There are NBA owners who need next season to happen

Jul 5, 2011, 12:48 PM EDT

Philadelphia 76ers v Miami Heat Getty Images

The hardliners always get the headlines (have you watched much political news coverage?). It’s true of the NBA lockout as well — there are hardline owners that in the last decade leveraged themselves to pay hundreds of millions for a mid-to-small market NBA team and they need the business model to change. They are willing to miss part or all of a season to make that happen.

But they are not every owner. There are owners that need next season to happen for reasons e as basketball fans get.

For example, here is what Miami Herald columnist Israel Gutierrez had to say about the Miami Heat’s owner Micky Arison.

You’re coming off an NBA Finals where your team fell painfully short of its second world championship, and you have only three more years of guaranteed time with the LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade before their player options come up, giving all three the freedom to head elsewhere if this isn’t working out as planned.

Is this really the time for labor strife to potentially cost you a full season? Isn’t this the worst possible time to consider bonding with these newer, more desperate owners around the league for the sake of shared health? Wouldn’t a potential lost season put a huge dent into this perfect model you essentially have spent four years planning for and building?

Does Mark Cuban and his band of merry veterans want to lose out on a full season? Can Jerry Buss lose a season while Kobe Bryant gets a year older? Can the Celtics spend another season with their veterans aging and not playing? That’s a few easy examples of a long list of powerful owners who cannot afford a lost season.

There are cooler headed owners out there. They are not getting the headlines right now, but there are owners who understand that the momentum lost by a lockout that costs games in the middle of a recession would take longer to bounce back from then anyone wants to admit.

There will be pressure on the owners (and the players) to settle this thing. Unfortunately, that is not until about when everyone heads back to school in the fall. Which makes this one long summer

  1. craigw24 - Jul 5, 2011 at 1:39 PM

    Kurt,
    I agree we are not hearing from the owners who stand to lose in this ‘war’. They are also the ones who have learned how to be quiet and work behind the scenes – the more experienced owners.

    My biggest issue is that I feel the owners have to resolve their revenue sharing issue BEFORE they come to any agreement with the players. That way they could point to what they have done to flatten out the extremes in the league and request the players to meet them at a place where both could profit. Of course this is the area where these older, more experienced owners have the least incentive to make changes. Aggggggh!

  2. wiLQ - Jul 5, 2011 at 2:04 PM

    “There are NBA owners who need next season to happen”
    Unfortunately most of them don’t…

    BTW, if someone is interested in ownership history of any team I recommend this list:

    http://weaksideawareness.wordpress.com/2011/07/05/buying-nba-team-ownership-timeline-history-with-prices/

  3. themohel - Jul 5, 2011 at 2:07 PM

    Question

    Given that NBA contracts are guaranteed, does a one year lockout “toll” the running of the contract? If a player has two years left on the contract right now and next year is missed because of the lockout, will the player still have two years left?

    • Kurt Helin - Jul 5, 2011 at 7:10 PM

      The clock on contracts keeps running during the lockout, the players just are not paid. So, in theory, if you had one year left on your deal covering next season and the entire season is lost to the lockout, you would become a free agent when the lockout ends.

  4. tashkalucy - Jul 5, 2011 at 2:09 PM

    Yes, having the meter expiring on James, Wade and Bosh winning a championship in Miami is hurting the Heat owner.

    However, since most owners are pretty upset about what those players did, they’re in no hurry to resume the season. As far as they’e concerned, screw the Heat owner and those 3 players as well.

    I’ll repeat what I keep saying and what Charles Barkley said last week – this idea that star players go play with their friends in glamour markets is not going down well with the 20-23 ownership groups that see that they’re becoming nothing more than feeder teams so that ESPN and TNT have super team matchups to broadcast, and the agents and sponsors wind up being bigger movers-and-shakers then the owners and their front offices; while the fans in the 20-23 markets watch their star players leave….not exactly a way to build loyalty with the fan base. Like MLB the fans in those areas will show up when the team is winning, and stay away when they’re not.

    The entire way free agency is handled in the NBA is going to change. And it’s going to take a lot of pain for the players to accept it. And that pain is going to have to occur for a long, long time.

    • craigw24 - Jul 5, 2011 at 2:21 PM

      You seem to feel the owners are the aggrieved party in this negotiation. The players were forced to accept the owners terms in 1998 and they made some headway in the next CBA, however, now people think they should just knuckle under because they make a lot of money and don’t own the team. Take a look at labor history in this country. It is not a pretty story – on either side. However, it is the owners who have had the most to do with creating unions in their midst, due to their greed and desire for monopoly. This is no less true today, with the current NBA owners.

      First they need to get their own house in order – solve the revenue sharing issues among themselves. Only after they finish this bit of business can they honestly come at the players and request the concessions that the players are going to inevitably have to give up.

      Since we don’t like the players earning so much as a group, should we then say the owners should have this or any increasing revenue from future tv deals? The total revenue pie is determined by the demands of us fans – tv rights, merchandise sales, stadium attendance, etc. Whatever it is the union and owners have to figure out how to split that up. If that is too much money, then I suggest we fans should just stop supporting these products, not blame the players or owners for their salaries/profits.

  5. savocabol1 - Jul 5, 2011 at 2:12 PM

    “Does Mark Cuban and his band of merry veterans want to lose out on a full season?”
    -Of course not, no one wants to lose a full season. You can insert any tean owner for Mark Cuban in your example. Not very insightful. In fact, a team that has been together awhile will not be hindered in a lockout due to the fact they know each other and their game so well.

    “Can Jerry Buss lose a season while Kobe Bryant gets a year older? Can the Celtics spend another eason with their veterans aging and not playing?”
    -Could Kobe and the “aging” Celtics benefit from extra rest to fully heal all of their ailments? I am pretty sure I don’t need to answer that one.

    I would like to hear how many people have sympathy for the Heat and their owner if a portion of the seaon is lost. Pooooooooor Miami.

    • ac0117 - Jul 5, 2011 at 4:11 PM

      Yeah because a year of rust and age on the treads is good for all of those teams

      • savocabol1 - Jul 5, 2011 at 4:31 PM

        Right, because these guys are all going to be sitting on their couches blogging and planking for the entire year instead of working out. Right.

  6. SmackSaw - Jul 5, 2011 at 2:14 PM

    Can Donald Sterling spend a full year not pursuing the draft lottery?

  7. accfanto - Jul 5, 2011 at 5:40 PM

    Why is it that all the national media can do is blather on about the same few teams and their needs. There are 29 teams that don’t have Wade and his merry band, why do they really care that the clock is running on those three?

    When the season was on, that’s all the media could talk about. The Big 3. I, for one, am enjoying a break from the big 3.

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