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NBA says union, not Cuban, wanted to eliminate salary cap

Oct 25, 2011, 7:05 PM EDT

Dallas Mavericks v Miami Heat - Game Six Getty Images

Right now, the NBA and players and owners can’t even agree on who made ridiculous proposals that had no chance of ever coming to fruition. Just in case you thought there might be some progress and sanity anytime soon.

Here’s the story: After the last round of negotiations between the owners and players blew up last Thursday, NBA union head Billy Hunter said that Mavericks owner Mark Cuban suggested a plan that had no maximum salary whatsoever. The union was fond of this idea, but Hunter said the small market owners shot it down.

The league says that is all… um… fertilizer. From a cow. A male cow.

Here is what the Associated press (and Brian Mahoney) reports.

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….

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….

The NBA does not allow owners to comment on the negotiations. A person briefed on the content of the meetings said Cuban’s actual proposal was much different than what Hunter suggested, and was surprised the union ignored it given that it would have met much of what players were seeking.

Mark Cuban cannot comment. The union could say “Mark Cuban suggested every team put a strip club in the lobby of their arenas” and Cuban couldn’t deny it for fear of a David Stern fine. Well, we assume Cuban would deny the strip clubs. Maybe.

Point is, Hunter is playing the game, much like David Stern and the owners are playing the game. Which means take everything with a grain of salt. Including what Mark Cuban may have said or denied.

  1. jedtw - Oct 26, 2011 at 2:07 AM

    There is lying and there is spinning. We know that David Stern has lied to NBA fans in the past, and because of that I have a problem with his credibility. I don’t know that Billy Hunter has lied to the public. So when there is a disagreement over what was said in a meeting I believe it makes sense to take it all with a grain of salt, but give more credence to Mr. Hunter’s statements then Mr. Stern’s.

  2. nameisstan - Oct 26, 2011 at 6:59 AM

    This entire “mess” boils down to one thing. The owners can’t control themselves and the players became their pawns (expensive ones at that).
    This show is over.
    The owners have to make a profit. Period.
    The players have to be fairly compensated. Also period.
    Both sides have to sit down and give and take until this becomes resolved.
    No one can say “I WILL NOT”. The solidarity BS will destroy the negotiations.
    Keep moving toward the middle.
    50/50 BRI is incredibly fair. Where else can an employee get this?
    What I don’t understand is – what is BRI and what is not.

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