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It’s time for the owners to give, get a deal done… but they won’t

Nov 4, 2011, 12:06 PM EDT

National Basketball Association commissioner David Stern answers questions from members of the media regarding failed contract negotiations between the NBA and the players association in New York Reuters

It’s the paradox of perception during the NBA lockout — the NBA players have offered to give the NBA owners $1 billion back in salary over the life of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement. Yet ask a casual fan and they will tell you the players are the greedy ones (or, more often, that both sides are greedy).

In the real world, if a deal is going to get done soon, both sides are going to have to give a little more. That’s not going to sit well with some players, but if they come down to 51 percent of basketball related income (BRI) that’s where the deal is. It’s where pretty much everyone following the lockout has said the deal would be at since July. And if you put that to a vote of the union — approve 51/49 split and we start playing tomorrow — you’d get it approved.

But the owners might not approve that deal. The hardline owners, they are the ones standing in the way. They are the ones not giving.

J.A. Adande illustrates this well with some stories in his ESPN column.

“I think we’ve reached a really ugly stage,” an NBA team executive said. “I was the biggest optimist going, but I sense a gravitational pull toward, ‘Let’s keep taking money away from them.'”

“David’s going to have a hard time selling 50,” another team executive said. “I don’t think it’s a slam dunk, but it’s doable.”

Make no mistake, the NBA hardliners are driving the bus on that side. And it only takes 16 of them to form a majority and drag this lockout out. How long?

Now this story was related to me second-hand, not by an eyewitness. But according to the source, when some owners discussed earlier this year the possibility of missing the entire season, one owner said he was willing to miss two seasons. An incredulous David Stern asked him, in effect, “What will you come back to?”

Things look bleak. I want to hold out hope that when the two sides get together Saturday sanity will prevail, a sense of wanting to get the season started and stop hurting the league will prevail. I want to hold out hope that both sides will give a little and get the deal done at 51/49.

But I see little evidence that makes me hopeful.

  1. yournuts - Nov 4, 2011 at 12:38 PM

    Kurt it’s time for you to stop being the players voice and start being impartial. Reporters are supposed to write and not give their opinions. Everyone knows that your up the players jockstraps. Start acting like an impartial observer that your supposed to be.
    IMPARTIAL- detached, disinterested, dispassionate, equal, equitable, evenhanded, fair-minded, impersonal, just, middle-of-the-road, neutral, nondiscriminating, nondiscriminatory, nonpartisan, objective, on-the-fence, open-minded, unbiased, unbigoted, uncolored, unslanted, without favor.


    • derekjetersmansion - Nov 4, 2011 at 12:47 PM

      It’s a blog, not investigative journalism (at least, in this post).

    • skids003 - Nov 4, 2011 at 1:10 PM

      Reporters nor the media in general are impartial anymore, especially MSNBC. They are always claiming to be “for the people,” In truth they are for themselves and their agendas. I think it’s time for the players to get a deal. They already have it awfully well.

      • danielcp0303 - Nov 4, 2011 at 2:07 PM

        “especially MSNBC” right…because they are soooo much worse than Fox News (sarcasm)

  2. 8man - Nov 4, 2011 at 12:42 PM

    The owners might as well hold out for everything they want, because with each passing day and each game lost, they are losing more and more money. And even the most ardent fans are moving to other sources of entertainment.

    “Honey, have you seen my porn collection?”

    • ghelton03 - Nov 4, 2011 at 10:03 PM

      Be sure to boycott after the lockout ends. It will impact the owners more than the players.

  3. yournuts - Nov 4, 2011 at 12:51 PM

    You act as if the owners have to give the players a bone or something like that. The bone to me is 50/50. Personally maybe they should offer 40% of BMI! The old agreement ended and the owners do not have to start the bidding where it was during the last contract. It was a disaster for them. If I was an owner I wouldn’t even offer 50%. The owners made the league and the players. The players would be playing for free and nobody would be an star or an international star without the League.Of course the league and owners promote them and the game but the game is bigger than the players and the players forgot that. They think they are bigger than the game!

    David Stern was wrong in offering the players 50/50 on BMI. Now David is the bad guy and he made the game what it is today. I guess the players are not going to learn from the NHL walkout. It is to bad because this is fair and the players are pissing off the fans. The players have completely forgotten the fans.

    • snoopy2014 - Nov 4, 2011 at 3:53 PM

      lmao what the hell is BMI? You want Eddy Curry to donate half his obesity to Dan Gilbert?

      The players and owners have forgotten about the fans. Has Jerry Reinsdorf called you recently to apologize? Please.

      Jesus. I love how people come on here to bash Kurt, and clearly have no clue what they’re talking about. Ignorance would be funny if it wasn’t so sad.

    • ghelton03 - Nov 4, 2011 at 7:45 PM

      There is no 50/50 deal. The owners want to take $600M right off the top of the BRI for expenses and then split what’s left. In addition they don’t want to say what the expenses are for. But it will include interest payments that a new owner makes on his team purchase. So an owner can pay way too much for his fanchise. Then ask the players to help make the payments. Of course when he sells the team he will keep it all, thank you very much. In addition the owners don’t want to report or include all basketball related income, such as the money they get from luxury suites, the revenue that they get from NBA TV or League Pass or any other new revenue streams that may surface. So, the 50/50 is far from 50/50 and far from fair to the players.

    • ghelton03 - Nov 4, 2011 at 9:41 PM

      I have heard a part of your argument a few times, or arguments very similar. “The owners made the league.” I might point out that the current owners made nothing in the NBA. True, there were originally a group of owners who got together and put a league together which lead to what we have today. And cudos to those guys. But the owners we have today deserve no credit in the making of the NBA. There business skills and money came from elsewhere. They have not made their wealth by being great basketball minds. Some owners have been good for the league. But the majority are leaches who are sucking the life out of the NBA.

  4. leearmon - Nov 4, 2011 at 1:17 PM

    BMI? Really? In any event, if you are going to call Kurt the “voice of the players” are you then the voice of the owners? Exactly how do you figure the league deserves 60% of the “BMI”? I have posted this before, but how do you explain the popularity of the Clippers this past season? Im 28 years old, and for the majority of my life with the exception of about 4-5 years, the Clips havent been a national draw. Could sell out their own arena. Never was on national television. And never had national endorsements or high jersey sells. However all of that changed this past season. Do you think it was because of Donald Sterling? Im sure the Clippers marketing department is filled with hard, smart workers but honestly, I could market Blake Griffin dunking on a 7’2 Russian.

    In New York, a team that was swept out of the playoffs mind you, they increased season ticket prices by 60%! And they still sold out. Why? Not because of James Dolan. Because unlike years past, there were TWO stars on the team that people will pay to see. You can’t increase ticket sales by 60% with your best players being Wilson Chandler and David Lee. Add Amar’e and Melo to the equation you can.

    Its the reality of the league. Star bring in the money, not just at the box office, but the real money. The television deals. The players know the current T.V. deal is about to expire, the owners know this too. Most fans don’t go to see Shane Battier play amazing defense, although you could argue they should. No one goes to see Carl Landry giving his body up each game. Or the steady improvement Nicholas Batum, or Trevor Booker, or Wesley Matthews. People pay money to see Lebron, Kobe, Durant, Dwight, Dirk, Rose etc. Once we all can be honest and look at things from a realistic standpoint things should start to move.

    The owners want a league in which they have protection from their self. They want the majority of the “BMI” They want to increase ticket sales, they want to guarantee a profit and they want fans to come back once all the mess is cleared. You can’t have your cake and eat it to.

    • therealhtj - Nov 4, 2011 at 2:30 PM

      You already pretty much made the owners case for them. Unless they can draft a transcendent talent or attract them via free agency, they’re not even gonna sniff a championship, much less be a highly profitable organization.

      The owners are trying to protect themselves from shark agents and contract-year performers weighing down their franchises with albatross contracts. Small markets want to prevent big markets from being able to get all the prime FA’s. The contenders want to get back on the court. Dan Gilbert wants to stick it to Lebron.

      The players are trying to preserve their precious guaranteed contracts and soft cap that’ll just lead to more albatross contracts. Billy Hunter wants to preserve his job. Fish wants to make sure he lands a cushy gig courtesy of commandant Stern.

      This entire lockout has been a blatant grab for self interests.

      As a lifelong fan, it makes me pretty sick. I did see some college BBall highlights the other day, and you know what? It didn’t look half bad.

      • ghelton03 - Nov 4, 2011 at 10:44 PM

        There aren’t enough of the type of players that you guys are talking about to make the entire league competitive. There are only about 10-15 of these guys in the entire league. If you put one on each team, there are not enough to go around. So, changing the system, changing what players can make, or teams can spend, hard caps, soft caps, luxury tax, fanchise tags, none of these things will ever make Charlotte a contendor. The only way to make the league more competitve is to get rid of teams like Charlotte.

    • yournuts - Nov 4, 2011 at 8:13 PM

      I see it differently. Lets say that the top 50 basketball players left the NBA. The NBA would still survive. Where would these 50 guys that have no more money go? I guess they can go get other jobst? So less people would go to the NBA games but they would be able to promote the new crop of players and eventually, the league would be better and we would have a new crop of stars. You wouldn’t go to anymore games but I would. I love the Knicks. You don’t have to tell me that the owners raised some seats by 60%, this has nothing to do with anything. I would and have gone to see the knick when they sucked and when they were champs. Of course I want the best players to play but I don’t need people who make up to 30 million to complain that they don’t make enough money or that 50/50 isn’t fair.

      • ghelton03 - Nov 4, 2011 at 10:01 PM

        There are only about 10-15 franchise players in the entire league. You may get 1 or 2 of these guys coming into the league a year, if your lucky. Many years you get 0. If you just lose the top 15, you will be at least 15 years replacing them. By then, the NBA will be only a memory.

        Try to imagine the NBA without, Nowitski, Rose, Durant, LeBron, Wade, Melo, C Paul, Amare, Kobe, D. Howard, D. Williams, S Nash, B Griffin, K Love, R. Allen. There are alot of good players left. But, I have been a BBall fan for more than 50 years and no way I am tuning in to watch what is left.

      • somekat - Nov 5, 2011 at 3:48 PM

        How would it take 15 years to replace them? Take out Ray Allen (now idea how he made that list anyway, it’s not 8 years ago), and Nash, and all those guys are within 5 years of each other

  5. zidanevalor - Nov 4, 2011 at 1:17 PM

    Reading the comments on this blog the last few months remind me of a study I read on word play a while back. Someone did a survey asking if labor unions should be able to negotiate their pay, and it was approx. 70+% in favor of that. But then they added one and only one word to the question: should labor unions be able to negotiate for higher pay, and the response was below 50%. Did that 20% difference think that unions were going to negotiate for LOWER pay?

    I’m not saying the players have no guilt in this, especially with the decertification “bluff” reported in the last 24 hours, but I’m still amazed at the percentage of the general public that feels this is 100% the players fault. Yes it is millionaires vs. billionaires, but I would think that the public would sympathetize with the players that they have been cheering for years over the owners. Especially since the players have already given back nearly 8% of their salaries already. Maybe it’s because the public sees the players on a regular basis and not the owners.

    I still give the players a large chunk of the blame, probably 50% of the blame, but I’m amazed at just how little the general public has really turned on the owners so far.

    • danielcp0303 - Nov 4, 2011 at 2:12 PM

      Agree with you. Honestly I think some people want the owners to get a really good deal, because they think that will help the owners build a better team. Only they don’t understand that some owners and GM’s are just terrible at their jobs. They’ll always give out the stupid contracts, no matter how much revenue they are getting. The owners did this to themselves. They agreed to the last deal that they gripe about all the time, and they haven’t run their league well enough to make a substantial profit. If I’m Joe Johnson and some idiot is gonna give me 128 million dollars or whatever it was, why the hell wouldn’t I take it?

      • snoopy2014 - Nov 4, 2011 at 3:58 PM

        +1. I understand fans of small-market teams wanting a fair shot. But I’m going to laugh when they realize that even a hard cap won’t stop Kahn from handing out awful contracts. Enabling these owners’ demands may increase parity a tiny bit, but the difference won’t be huge. There is no substitute for good management.

        The owners don’t give a damn about the fans. Everyone – players, owners – has been in it for their own self-interest.

    • ghelton03 - Nov 4, 2011 at 8:50 PM

      I don’t think decerticification is a bluff. In fact, I think the players would be better off to decertify. Can you imagine what players salaries would be without a cap? Sure some of the borderline players will suffer, but star salaried will go throught the roof. I think it is a very real threat and the owners should be very worried. Oh, and by the way, no way will the owners void contracts. No way, LeBron, Wade, Rose, Kobe, Melo, Durant, Howard, Nowitski, D Williams, Griffin and others are going out on a free and open market.

      • somekat - Nov 5, 2011 at 3:54 PM

        lol, all league contracts are negotiated within rules set with the union. If they de certify, they are toast. Right away the NBA can declare all contracts void. It amazes me how people who know nothing about law insist on suggesting idiotic things like this
        The nfl situation and the nba situation is completely different

    • somekat - Nov 5, 2011 at 3:51 PM

      Because the owners put out money, and SHOULD expect to make money. Even a “fan” (as if that makes them lesser people), know if they put out hundreds of millions for a team, and millions every year to run that team, they would expect to make money too.
      Meanwhile, players make a ridiculous amount of money to do a job (play a game) that they love (a job you love is something most people already don’t have), and they are complaining because they are only ridiculously rich, instead of absurdly rich

      70% players, 30% owners, and I only say 30% owners because it was their own fault for letting the system get this bad in the first place

  6. dcipher80 - Nov 4, 2011 at 1:24 PM

    The players want to be business partners, do wouldn’t a true partnership entail a 50/50 split? I don’t understand the logic behind opposing it. Also, do the players want to protect the “right” for certain teams to become super teams so bad that they’d kill an otherwise palatable deal? In the 90’s the league was competitive… I know the Bulls ran the roost, but you had great teams in both conferences throughout. Now we have, what, 10 consistently good teams in the league. Unless you like those teams, you have to realize the old system is horrid (I’d argue that every non knicks/ laker team should hate the old system).

  7. 202folife - Nov 4, 2011 at 1:46 PM

    Anyone siding with the owners on this IMO is just simply blind. The players are giving back a Billion over the life of this deal. For anyone to say the players already make too much money, how much do you think the owners are raking in? A bad cocaine habit can make KG or Kobe go through their money in 5 years. The owners have wealth, which can be handed down from generation to generation. That’s what’s wrong with the US right now, the top 1% doesn’t pay taxes, live by a different set of rules/laws and us blind 99% just keep letting them beat the system while we keep the slave mentality. Look at who we elect to public office, millionaires and billionaires. Truly sad.

    • yournuts - Nov 4, 2011 at 7:52 PM

      Excuse me but being a business owner, I can say that the owners are taking all the risks. The players don’t have any money at risk and the owners have 100%. They put up the money to make the league, they pay for the insurance, they pay for al the travel expenses, the training, the paycheck, the taxes, the concessions and they HIRE people to play basketball. Yea, I think that anyone who has a business see that running a business is difficult and DON’T want to be partners with their employees. A basketball player is an employee. Nothing more. He gets paid and gets a W-4.
      What the owners make doesn’t matter. This isn’t about being a commune or an committee ownership where the employees share in the profits.

      • 202folife - Nov 4, 2011 at 8:22 PM

        You’re comparing apples & oranges, mr. business owner. I’m sure you can do whatever it is your workers can do(packing nuts?). NBA owners however can’t shoot 3’s, defend or dunk! When I go to an NBA game I go to see LBJ, Kobe and Duncan. Not Micky Arison, Mark Cuban or Dan Gilbert. What the NBA needs to do to ensure every franchise profits is contract 6 to 8 teams. The NBA has always been a star driven league.

      • ghelton03 - Nov 4, 2011 at 9:03 PM

        Sounds like you are a business owner similar to the NBA owners. It’s your business and you want to dicate to your workers how it’s going to be and they can take it or leave it. That’s how the NBA owners think. Difference is, the NBA has a players union. And the owners use the union as much if not more, than the players. It is because the union exists, that the owners can set limits on how much a player can earn. They can dictate where a new employee coming into their business is going to work. They can dictate how much a competitor can spend on their business. These all exist because there is a union. Without the union these are all unlawful practices. So the owners want the benefits of the union but like you, they believe the union should have no say. Fortunatley, that is not how it works.

    • somekat - Nov 5, 2011 at 3:58 PM

      lol, how much are the owners raking in? Easy, 43%

      Compare the % nba gets with every other league, it isn’t even close. Meanwhile, the nba athletes are just as talented, but nowhere near as skilled as any of the other leagues

      You don’t see any other league with less fundamentals in their given sport, and they make a large chunk higher percentage than any of the other leagues. Kudos to the union for getting as much as they did in the past. But if someone is ripping you off for years, then keeps ripping you off, just for not as much, that doesn’t make it a good situation

  8. santolonius - Nov 4, 2011 at 1:56 PM

    do sports writers say that the players have done more than enough and the owners are in the wrong because they know if they don’t take the players’ side they won’t be in the cool club and get the plum interviews with stars when all this inevitably blows over? i’m just asking?

    • ghelton03 - Nov 4, 2011 at 8:26 PM

      Which sport writer said that?

  9. rreducla1 - Nov 4, 2011 at 2:27 PM

    do sports writers say that the players have done more than enough and the owners are in the wrong because they know if they don’t take the players’ side they won’t be in the cool club and get the plum interviews with stars when all this inevitably blows over? i’m just asking?


    Mostly they say it becuase the players have given back five percentage points of the BRI, and also–for about the tenth time–because the fact that the owners have not worked out revenue sharing yet and didn’t push for a franchise tag shows that this really isn’t about “competitive balance.” It’s about small-market owners using their leverage to get as much money back from the players as they can to ensure profitability.

    If the players were still loudly insisting on 57-43, I am sure Kurt would be criticizing them. They’re not, so he isn’t.

    They owners are doing this in spite of the fact that revenues have been on the rise for the last few years and according to the owners’ own numbers, the league as a whole was profitable. That doesn’t make them evil or anything, but people should call it what it is instead of hiding behind foolish emtionalisms or buying Stern’s narratives that he sells the media.

    And, from the looks of the thumbs up/thumbs down votes, people here who get that are starting to speak up. There are still a few clownshoes guys around here, like yournuts, who are just lashing out out of ignorance and anger, of course.

    The reality is simple: the league needs the players, and the players need the league, You notice that the owners never threaten to use replacement players, simply because they CAN’T replace the top 50 or so guys in the league, much less the top 10 or 12.

    • yournuts - Nov 5, 2011 at 2:03 AM

      again there is nothing to give back. The contract that was in place is OVER. There is no language in the OLD contract that said that there was going to be a starting point on the BMI. The BMI is a separate issue that is being discussed now. Many owners only want to give the players 47% of the BMI. If the players don’t accept the 50% tomorrow I think that the owners will go down to 47% for the players cut.

      If you don’t want to go to the games then don’t go. Only a player or someone from his posse would be on this site trying to sway public opinion in the players favor. Where I am from the public opinion is 85% to 15% in favor of the owners.

      This is my thinking, The owners are taking all the risks. The players don’t have any of their money at risk and the owners have 100%. They put up the money to make the league what it is, they pay for the insurance, the travel expenses, the training, the paychecks, the taxes, the concessions, the PR people that promote the game, the security and they HIRE players to play basketball. Yes, I don’t think that any owner wants to be partners with their employees. A basketball player is an employee. Nothing more. He gets paid and gets a W-4. He does not tell the owners what they can make or how to run the business. No employee does that! If you think that a player who is a star that was created by the NBA owners is going to get away with that then I have a bridge to sell you in Brooklyn!

      The bottom line is “who is in charge.” The owners or the players? You will never live to see the day that the players are in charge. Never, in a million years. You guys are stubborn, I can’t believe that you keep harping that the players are giving up 5 points on the BMI. THE OLD CONTRACT IS OVER. THE OLD BMI IS NOT A STARTING POINT. As a negotiator I can guarantee you that. I don’t understand why you keep bringing this up in your arguments.

      I can’t wait to see this season and all the players lose their whole years paycheck. How many years of earning NBA money do the players have? The owners will survive and the sport will survive, but the players will rue the day they didn’t sign at 50/50. It’s more than generous at this stage of the game.

      • leearmon - Nov 5, 2011 at 4:43 PM

        Last time I checked the owners wanted to own a team, meaning they fully understand all of the expenses and risks involved. Its so funny listening to people take the side of billionaires. If I were to start my own business I would know there are no guarantees of me seeing a profit. Why then should we feel sympathy for owners who don’t come in the green? If owners can’t or don’t have the capital to run a team, they should sell it. Period. In addition, the owners aren’t actually taking “all the risks” last time I checked the players are the ones putting their bodies on the line.

        Look, im not encouraging feeling sorry for the players or the owners, but lets get real. The NBA is run off of players. Think of it as a new restaurant. The main attraction to the new spot is the Master Chef who prepares the food. Yes the ambiance is nice, its in a great location, but the main attraction is the food, and who prepares it. Now the owner of said restaurant charges high $$ for the food, and in return, pays for advertisements, rent, bills you know up keep. But his main priority should be, to keep his commodity happy. Now if the Master Chef leaves the restaurant, because he feels he’s underpaid, what happens? The business will fold. Its no different than the NBA. The NBA without its players, the main commodity, its rec ball at the YMCA. Or that gosh awful “Slam Ball” that was on SPIKE a few years back. No one will watch, no station will pay to broadcast etc.

        You also keep saying its a “50/50 split” when in actuality it isn’t. The owners get $600 million off the top, then want to split the rest in half? How exactly is that a 50/50 deal? But this entire problem falls at the feet of Billy Hunter for lack of leadership. He has said for some time now, he knew the owners wanted radical changes back in the early 2000’s. If thats the case, he should have provided each team with a financial advisor. John Wall has stated to the Washington Post, that he put 30% of each check away for this very reason. And he was a rookie. Can you imagine if every player did just half of that for a decade? Poor leadership. In addition he should have telegraphed a possible long work stoppage especially after the NHL’s lost season. You mean to tell me Phil Knight a young up and coming business man couldn’t put some money together with Hunter or some other faction to provide a capable alternative just in case this happened? Nike has already said their losing money thanks to lack of basketball sales.

  10. fenway9999 - Nov 4, 2011 at 4:48 PM

    I am going to preface my comments by saying I place the full blame on the lockout on both sides, 50-50 blame for sure. I believe both sides are right and wrong at the same time for many reasons, but…… I have been reading all of the articles and comments for awhile now and I see a lot of opinions that the players have given back enough. The old deal is gone so why does the negotiating have to start at 57%? If the deal is trluy over, which we all know it is, there is no reason at all to say they had to start at those numbers. The economy and such was in a much better position when the last deal was agreed upon so the numbers should have been higher, but now the economy also needs to be accounted for. Just because the players were overwhelmingly the winners during the last negotiation, it shouldn’t mean they have to be again. The owners lost plenty during the last deal and now with the economy being terrible they stand to lose even more. No business can operate that way and stay solvent for long.
    If the business that you or I work for hits bad times there are layoffs and salary cuts across the board, so why shouldn’t the NBA be the same? The palyers have guaranteed contracts regardless of the economy or the teams business health so there is no risk for them. If Eddy Curry gets a huge contract and goes into the toilet once he gets paid, how can the BUSINESS forecast or recover from that? I know this probably sounds like I am on the owners side, but I believe the SYSTEM worked for the players during the last deal so the owners do deserve their chance to make it better for the business.
    With all that being said, there is a deal to be made here. I personally believe the 50-50 split is fair, but in reality I know nothing of the behind the scenes crap that is going on.

    • rreducla1 - Nov 4, 2011 at 7:42 PM

      Again: Revenues have been going up and went up again last year. Again: Look at Larry Coon’s website for the numbers.

      And, again, the league’s own numbers said that the NBA as a whole was profitable.

      Some small-market teams are probably losing money, and the owners don’t wat to agree on revenue sharing until they have won the CBA, and small-market owners, perhaps lead by Michael Jordan, want to get as much as they can from the players. If you are in favor of that, fine. But that is all that is going on here, and all that has ever been going on here.

      As far as “why it starts at 57” the answer is simple: that is how negotiation works. The players would have been happy to extend the CBA; the owners wanted a new one. The players were not going to walk into the room and offer to take huge cuts. The only argument for, “57 has nothing to do with this” is “I think the owners should be able to get whatever they want, and the players should have no say in it at all.”

      And, of course, all the “what about other compnaies” or “in my business” stuff is silly. The NBA is a monopolistic cartel, and the players are a highly-skilled, unique, largely irreplaceable labor force with a limited number of companies to which to sell their services, which can then sell their product based on those service to tens of millions of people simultaneously in a wide variety of ways. Few occupations are anything at all like that

      • yournuts - Nov 5, 2011 at 2:19 AM

        #1. No the numbers said that 30 teams lost money.
        #2 rreducia1, you make me laugh. The players can sell their services anywhere that they can get someone to pay them. In the NBA, the CBA, The spanish league, Greece, Russia or even Burger King. The NBA is not a cartel? The players are playing a sport. Highly skilled to me is a Scientist, a surgeon, an Astronaut. A basketball player is a basketball player who gets a W-4. Most are not even good at being a role model. You can sell your crap to some idiot but don’t tell me that a basketball player is part of a highly skilled , unique, irreplaceable work force. This is the biggest insult you can make to people who are educated, highly skilled, unique and irreplaceable. I don’t want to bash basketball players but I’m not going to believe that they are gods answer either. They are JUST basketball players. (Employees to the owners of the teams, nothing more.

    • danielcp0303 - Nov 4, 2011 at 7:43 PM

      To your first paragraph….that’s just how the negotiating for anything works. You base it off of the last deal. Same thing with players contracts, GM’s, really any sort of job. The players have given back over a billion, that’s a lot. And you’re naive if you think the owners are losing money. They just aren’t making enough in their opinions. And many of those problems about money are their own fault.

      And to the second part about Eddy Curry…I put contracts like that on the owners and GM’s. 99% of fans know when a contract is bad. Rudy Gay, Joe Johnson, Eddy Curry…I could name plenty. Also…if the system worked for the players and the big stink in this deal is the BRI, then doesn’t that make the owners more incompetent? This is the NBA, you’re dealing with athletes. Risk is always involved, even when a player is fully healthy. Nobody’s holding these front offices accountable for their bad decisions.

      • yournuts - Nov 4, 2011 at 8:02 PM

        Sorry daniel0303, I do negotiations all the time. When a contract ends it’s over unless mutually agreed that they base it upon the last deal. In the contract if it didn’t state clearly that it would be based upon the last deal then it means NOTHING.
        Bad decisions are also something that can happen when a player goes to another team and doesn’t buy into the team concept or doesn’t play up to his potential. Someone who may be bad on one team might excel on another. It could be the system. Sorry I don’t buy that the owners are incompetent. I see that the players are jealous about what the owners makes. They are just employees that get a W-4 at the end of each year. I will say this that the players do not have to play. They can get another job if they don’t like the pay in the NBA.

      • danielcp0303 - Nov 4, 2011 at 8:19 PM

        Yournuts…it’s “you’re” by the way. Obviously the contract ends, but you certainly wouldn’t to walk in and the negotiation to start at 8 dollars an hour if you were already making 20. You’re giving the owners way too much credit. And understand that the OWNERS are the ones that agreed to a bad deal, and are currently looking for another bad deal. They aren’t trying to overhaul the system to make it work, they are just looking at BRI. Instead of dealing with the real problem, they wanna win the pr war. (both sides do)

      • ghelton03 - Nov 4, 2011 at 11:19 PM

        So yournuts, how does it work? Do the owners, player reps and attorneys go into a room with a blank sheet of paper and come out with a new CBA, or do you think they take the old CBA and decide what changes they want to make to it?

    • ghelton03 - Nov 4, 2011 at 8:24 PM

      The truth is, there is no 50/50 deal. The owners want to take $600M right of the top of the BRI and split what’s left. They also don’t want to say what the expenses are for or account for them. In addition, they do not report all revenue, like income from luxury suites, NBATV or League Pass or any other new revenue stream. The 50/50 was a great marketing ploy by Stern because it is something that sounds fair and even, but it is neither.

  11. ghelton03 - Nov 4, 2011 at 7:36 PM

    The owners don’t want to negotiate with the players/union and don’t think they should have to. Many people who comment on this board would agree. On the other hand, they want all the benefits that having a union affords them, such as the ability to set salary limits, to collude with the other owners to agree upon hiring practices, etc. They want it both ways, but the players should not let them have it that way. The owners either need to begin seriuos negotiating, which means coming off the so called 50/50 (it’s really not 50/50) and compromising with the players. Otherwise, the players should move full speed toward decertification on Monday morning.

  12. ghelton03 - Nov 4, 2011 at 7:59 PM

    It is unfortunate that the owners don’t have to prove their numbers. They throw numbers around and expect everyone to take them at their word. How did they arrive at 47%? How do we know that the 52.5% that the players have offered is not more than enough to cover the owners losses? How do we know they are reporting all income? How do we know that their expense claims are not completely bogus or expenses that the players should not be responsible for. It seems to me, that it would be much more productive to be able to look at the data, see where the revenue is coming from and the expenses are going and figure out how to make both the owners and the players prosperous. This could be done through independent and confidential audits, that accumulated league data, so that individual owners could maintain their privacy. I know what the players are earning. It’s in black & white. I have no idea what the owners are making. So, I side with the players, because I know their numbers are real and the owners numbers most likely are inflated or bogus.

  13. jcarne9014 - Nov 4, 2011 at 8:30 PM

    The players have no leverage here…NONE. Regardless of what anyone thinks about what is fair or right, the league is run by the owners. What part of the definition of “owner” is unclear. The players are employees…nothing more. If the league blows up, the players lives are screwed. Half the league would likely end up in jail. The owners, on the other hand, would just have to find other hobbies. Sign what is presented to you, players, and just shut up. You all sound so petulant and stupid.

    • ghelton03 - Nov 4, 2011 at 8:37 PM

      We’ll soon see.

      • ghelton03 - Nov 4, 2011 at 11:27 PM

        Who doesn’t want to soon see?

  14. rreducla1 - Nov 4, 2011 at 11:06 PM

    I see that the players are jealous about what the owners makes. They are just employees that get a W-4 at the end of each year. I will say this that the players do not have to play. They can get another job if they don’t like the pay in the NBA.


    You all sound so petulant and stupid.


    Like I said: ignorance and anger.

    Note that these guys never acknowledge any facts or anything; it’s just pure emotion and venting. Reallky bizarre.

  15. nwstreethawk - Nov 4, 2011 at 11:40 PM

    Minimum salary for an NBA player is approximately $480,000. This is almost 10 times the average household income. Every time I start to feel sorry for the poor picked on players and the evil owners I think about the fact they are getting paid at least this amount to PLAY A GAME. Players – get over yourselves because you are replaceable and what you are receiving is more than fair even at 1/10 the price. Oh, you know it’s true. :)

  16. marcusfitzhugh - Nov 5, 2011 at 12:18 AM

    @ghelton03, the owners do have to prove their numbers. The NBAPA is allowed to audit the books of teams of their (the NBAPA’s) choosing. Some teams legitimately ARE loosing money. Of course, from a fan’s standpoint I say, “That’s an owner’s problem. Not the fans & not the players” And to players who can’t get by on a players salary, I say the same thing. To both groups I say – Settle it and play ball.

    Think about this a second – these nitwits can’t divide a FOUR BILLION DOLLAR POT. This is crazy.

    • danielcp0303 - Nov 5, 2011 at 11:11 AM

      Actually they don’t have to prove their numbers, although the NBAPA should really press the issue. Deadspin had the numbers for a team that was “losing” money, but in reality they just moved everything around in the “books” and had a lot of their expenses paid for through tax breaks and other loop holes.

  17. rreducla1 - Nov 5, 2011 at 11:54 AM


    Your argument, such as it is, fails on one basic point: the owners aren’t threatening to use replacement players. If your take were accurate, they would be. You ignored that point, just as you ignored the point about rising revenues, since you can’t refute it. You lose.

    And I never said they were “role models” much less “gods.”

    As far as players being able to play in other countries, sure, some of them can, if they want, if they want to uproot/leave their families, take less money etc. Saying they can play in the CBA–classi. If the season burns down, some of them will do that,and there will be talk of a new league. That, like the fact the owners have leverage, is not news.

    As to the rest, you just proved my point again: you’re here to vent, nothing more.

    The really odd thing is that a guy like you would spend time at an NBA website. Like I said: bizarre.

  18. rreducla1 - Nov 5, 2011 at 1:17 PM


    No one who is being rational about this “feels sorry for” the players. That is just the flipside of the faux-tough guy/ownerclownboys like yournuts (They can work at Burger King!).

    The basic points are that:

    1. The league as a whole made money last year.
    2. Revenues have been rising.
    3. The players have made a lot of concessions and given back some income.
    4. The owners have not been able/willing to agree on revenue sharing, because they want to get more money out of the players, rather than focusing on league issues by working together.
    5. There is dispute about the owners’ numbers/accounting practices.
    6. The players, particularly the top ones, represent an irreplaceable resource and drive league revenues. People watch the NBA to see the best–there is only one DRose, one LeBron James, one Dwight Howard, etc.
    7. The owners have in effect a monopoly in the USA on the top bball talent in the USA and work tigether to control labor costs. That is in some respects necessary for the league as a commerical product; the issue is to balance these interests in an equitable way.

  19. rreducla1 - Nov 5, 2011 at 1:59 PM

    As to the quetion about league profitability, the numbers are in dispute. Based on NBA numbers I saw, I think the overall picture was good with some teams losing money. What is clear, though, is that revenue sharing is needed.

  20. rreducla1 - Nov 5, 2011 at 3:17 PM

    You can sell your crap to some idiot but don’t tell me that a basketball player is part of a highly skilled , unique, irreplaceable work force


    If this were true, we would have been asked to watch replacement players last week. You have never addressed that, either.

    Like I said: you lose.

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