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Union for players advises them to receive checks over 18 months instead of 12 to prepare for possible lockout

Jul 1, 2014, 1:04 PM EDT

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When the NBA owners have locked out the players to negotiate more favorable terms under a new collecting bargaining agreement in the past, they have typically had an unfair leverage advantage the longer those talks dragged on.

Players stopped receiving paychecks for the new season on Nov. 15 in the absence of an agreement, and since many hadn’t planned for this contingency, the personal financial squeeze was enough for them to cave to a new, less favorable deal, perhaps prematurely.

In an effort to prepare for a potential work-stoppage following the 2017 season, when both players and owners will have the right to opt out of the current deal to form a new one, the union is advising players who are free agents this summer to consider taking payments over a longer schedule when structuring their new contracts.

From Scott Soshnick of Bloomberg:

National Basketball Association free agents, including All-StarsLeBron James and Carmelo Anthony, are being advised by their union to take paychecks over 18 months instead of the usual six or 12 as a way of preparing for a possible lockout.

Owners and players can opt out of the existing labor contract after the 2016-17 season.

An 18-month payment schedule would allow a player to continue receiving paychecks through the 2017-18 season, even if games aren’t played because of a work stoppage, according to an e-mail sent to players and agents by acting union Executive Director Ron Klempner, a copy of which was obtained by Bloomberg News.

“As we have learned in the past, the owners have made provisions with the TV networks to continue to receive rights fees throughout a work stoppage, and there is no reason the players should not make every effort to take the same precaution,” the e-mail said.

This is bad financial advice, obviously, because in theory one would want to receive the most money possible at the earliest possible moment, in order to maximize the opportunity to invest those funds to gain even the most modest of returns.

Kobe Bryant, for example, receives 80 percent of his annual salary in a lump sum payment at the beginning of each season.

But the reality is that there are plenty of players who struggle to properly manage their finances, and have monthly expenses that would quickly cut into any savings if those paychecks were to cease for an extended period of time. For that reason, the NBPA believes it’s making the smart move by advising its players to make sure the cash keeps coming in when (not if) the next work stoppage takes place.

  1. shaner329 - Jul 1, 2014 at 1:13 PM

    Or you can teach them to live within the means of their salary… hard to feel bad for people who have million dollar contracts who can’t manage their money appropriately.

    • nbascreed - Jul 1, 2014 at 1:36 PM

      Agreed. It’s sad but true and just illustrates why Silver will eat their lunch again in 2017. Any rationale economic actor would take 6 months, not 12 or 18.

      This is sad.

  2. clevelandrox - Jul 1, 2014 at 1:40 PM

    dam Kobe, 80% up front….dam

    • antistratfordian - Jul 1, 2014 at 1:52 PM

      Yeah, so $18 million up front this year – still won’t give his mom 400k for a house.

      • Professor Fate - Jul 1, 2014 at 4:36 PM

        You sound like a Republican strategist: Just repeating the same tired, debunked lies over and over. Bryant bought his parents a house a long time ago. The only thing more pathetic than your man-crush on Lebron James is your creepy distraction with Bryant.

      • antistratfordian - Jul 1, 2014 at 4:39 PM

        So he can’t buy his mom another one if she wants one? My mom has two houses – Kobe’s mom can only have one? If my mother wanted 7 houses I would buy her 7 houses. I would do anything for her, really. I owe everything to her.

        Kobe doesn’t feel that way about his mother. He resents her, which is probably why he doesn’t date black women.

      • deadeyedesign23 - Jul 1, 2014 at 10:49 PM

        If you think Kobe didn’t break off his parents multiple times over you’re crazy. That was 100% someone having their hand out one too many times.

      • antistratfordian - Jul 1, 2014 at 11:00 PM

        We’re not talking about his sister or a friend. That’s his mother. She can have her hand out as much as she damn well pleases. But he’d rather buy himself a Ferrari – that’s where his priorities are at. That’s why he’s a loner and has no friends.

      • deadeyedesign23 - Jul 1, 2014 at 11:48 PM

        Clearly she can’t. Dudes married with a kid…he’s got a more important family to take care of. It’s not like his mom is out earning the money they she no doubt has already received. Kobe’s the one on the court, in the weight room, rehabbing, playing in the game…if his mom wants a dozen houses and her son won’t give it to her then she can go get that money herself.

        None of the Bryants are starving so this idea of Kobe’s mother being a little sister of the poor is silly. She’s living better than everyone reading this by virtue of having a successful child.

      • antistratfordian - Jul 1, 2014 at 11:51 PM

        Kobe is religious, isn’t he? Seems like a solid, religious, Orange County conservative. He’ll have to answer to God. I hope the Ferrari was worth it.

      • deadeyedesign23 - Jul 2, 2014 at 7:13 AM

        Well I wouldn’t worry about that because God’s not real and if he were I’d maybe start to concern yourself with the fact that you’re buying your mother 2 houses…seems like a pretty greedy thing to do on her part. I’m sure there is plenty of needy person on that street that would be much more thankful to have that home that is purely luxury. Hope it was worth it.

      • antistratfordian - Jul 2, 2014 at 3:56 PM

        Well then it would be even more greedy to ignore not only the needy person on the street, but also to ignore your own mother, and instead buy yourself a 400k toy.

        I don’t think it is unreasonable at all for the mother of a son who is worth 220 million dollars to ask for a 400k house. Maybe I’m just crazy, but Kobe should be giving those things to her as gifts anyway just to show his appreciation.

  3. hwatt - Jul 1, 2014 at 1:40 PM

    most nba players aren’t investing in sht. it’s good financial advice for most of the league.

    • fanofthegame79 - Jul 1, 2014 at 2:41 PM

      I agree. It’s sound advice for most of the population getting said advice. Sure, you have those players that are smart with their money (and don’t need this advice), but most people live up to their means (yes, rich people included) so having a little less in each pay check, but actually getting paid over the duration of the potential lock out is very smart. It also gives the players the leverage they were lacking this last lock out (a regular paycheck coming in).

  4. rrhoe - Jul 1, 2014 at 2:08 PM

    If players cannot get through a lockout its no wonder they cannot get through life after their careers are over.Smh

  5. bougin89 - Jul 1, 2014 at 2:51 PM

    It would be like a second full time job trying to live paycheck to paycheck making the amount of money NBA players make.

  6. paleihe - Jul 1, 2014 at 2:56 PM

    It’s truly sad that so many players go broke.

    Broke NBA players, I work in personal finance…hire me. I’m sure that’ll get their attention.

  7. mortalkondek - Jul 1, 2014 at 4:15 PM

    Yes, take your 20 million dollar paychecks and prepare for the worst.

  8. marcusfitzhugh - Jul 1, 2014 at 10:11 PM

    The last 5 years have seen a tremendous financial run up in the market. The players who can’t hire a GOOD financial planner, will be broke regardless.

  9. sumkat - Jul 1, 2014 at 10:12 PM

    why would you try to convince Melo and LeBron? I doubt those 2 are going to cave because of financial reasons. This seems like something you would want to push to the “average” player

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