NBA Lockout is on | lockout Q&A via PBT

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 6 years ago '08        #1
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NBA Lockout is on | lockout Q&A via PBT
 

 
League and Union were in Manhattan in a meeting, Woj posted an update



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NBA Lockout Q&A: PBT explains it all (well, almost)
Kurt Helin Jun 30, 2011, 8:37 PM EDT

Reuters
Welcome to the NBA lockout. Pull up a chair, make yourself comfortable, you’re going to be here a while. If we’re all lucky it will be for just the summer, but it could be longer. Much longer.

I understand you all have questions about how we got here, where we are at and what is next. We don’t have all the answers, but let’s try to answer those questions as best we can.

Why is the league locking out now, after a season when ratings, attendance and interest in the league are at the highest levels in decades?

July 1 is when the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) between the owners and the players union runs out. It was not so much they chose right now as this was the time the old deal was up and a new one needed to be hammered out. Both sides have known for years that this would be a tough negotiations — that the owners were going to look for big changes to the system — and both sides have anticipated for a couple years a lockout would come now.

That it came on the heels of a fantastic season for the league was a coincidence, but it may be the one thing that saves next season. Both sides understand the need to get a deal done that does not cost games next season or all that newfound momentum will be lost and it will take years and years just to get back to this point.

What are the two sides disagreeing over?

Everything. Much like the negotiations at the end of the Vietnam War, I’m not sure the two sides could agree on the shape of the table they should sit down at to negotiate.

But as always the big issue is money. Specifically how to divide up the money that comes into the league. That money is called “basketball related income” (BRI). That is the money from ticket sales, national television contracts, local television deals, luxury boxes, concessions, jersey sales — basically everything tied to basketball.

Currently the players get 57 percent of the gross BRI — 57 cents on every dollar that comes into the league goes to the players in salary. The owners want to change that number dramatically, their proposal would have the players in the low 40s percent wise in a decade. The players have agreed to go down to about 54 percent in their proposals.

In that gap is hundreds of millions of dollars per season. The two sides are nowhere near close – they can’t even agree on how to define BRI (the owners want to start taking a number of expenses out of it so it is more net than gross that is divided between them).

What are the owners proposing?

The owners want a radical change in the system. They want to put in a “flex cap” of $62 million per team. For some perspective, the Dallas Mavericks payroll last season was $86.2 million (the team with the lowest payroll was Sacramento at about $44 million). Teams could not exceed that $62 million number except to sign their own free agents, and even then teams could not exceed a second figure that would not be more than a few million higher.

What David Stern will gladly tell you is that this number guarantees the players about $2 billion a year in salary, which is not much below the $2.17 billion they made last year. The difference is the owners want to lock that figure in for a decade — even as revenues rise for the league the salary cap would remain flat. All that additional revenue goes to the owners.

The owners also want to reduce the length of contracts by two years when handed out (from five to three for signing a free agent, for example), so they don’t end up stuck with terrible choices and bad deals as long. (Yes, the owners want the CBA to protect them from themselves.)

What is the owners’ sales pitch?

For fans, they are selling parity. This season the Lakers spent more than $90 million on salary, with the luxury tax they spent more than $110 million. And as a franchise they will still turn a profit. Smaller market teams have a hard time competing with teams willing to spend like that. What this harder salary cap would do is put teams on a more even playing field financially.

Now will parity work in the NBA as a practical matter or in marketing manner like it does in the NFL? That’s a harder sell. The best times for the NBA were when Michael Jordan’s Bulls dominated the league, or when Magic and Bird ran the show. Parity has never sold the same in the NBA like it has for the NFL.

What do the players say about the owners’ plan?

What would you say if your boss asked you to take a pay cut then told you they expect record growth for the company in the next decade but you’d see none of the rewards? Yes, NBA players are very well paid, but they also realize that they are the product that drives the league and they should see money from any growth in the league’s business.

What do the players propose?

The players are essentially playing goalie in these negotiations — they want to keep the system pretty much the way it is now. They like the “soft cap” which allows teams to spend well over the cap to keep their own free agents and has a host of other exceptions (a mid-level exception, a veterans exception, and more).

The players have proposed a reduction in the percent of BRI they get down to 54 percent, which would be a give back of about $100 million per season. They say that is their percentage of the losses they admit some owners are suffering. But aside that they want even more flexibility for teams to make trades (not as restricted by matching salaries) and other steps to increase player movement.

What about revenue sharing?

This is the players’ other big push — they want the owners of big market teams to share much more revenue with smaller market teams. They also point to the NFL where about 70 percent of league revenue is shared; where in the case of the NBA it’s about 25 percent. (That is primarily because the NFL has much larger national television deals.)

For example, the Lakers new local television deal that kicks in for the fall of 2012 will pay the team upwards of $150 million a year, the Sacramento Kings made about $11 million last season on their local television deal. None of that revenue is shared right now, the players say it should be and they want to know the numbers.

The owners are talking about revenue sharing amongst themselves, but they say it is not part of the CBA negotiations and the players do not have a seat at that table.

So is the NBA lockout like the NFL lockout?

No. Not at all… well, in one key way yes.

But not in the details. The bottom line is the NFL is a league that is still making gobs and gobs of money, it’s just that the owners are not making as much as they used to so they are locked out. But at the end of the day, that argument truly is about how to divide the profits.

The NBA has lost money for several years in a row, and even though the players dispute the owners figures they do not dispute the losses overall. The losses this past season as a league were around $300 million according to Stern. And that is the key difference between the two lockouts — the NBA has far more serious issues to deal with, real revenue and expenditure issues to deal with. Because of that the two sides are farther apart than they ever were in the NFL. A few minor issues are the same but the big issues are different in the two lockouts.

So how are the NBA and NFL lockouts alike?

The arc of how the problems will be solved.

The NFL has been locked out for more than 100 days but only now are we starting to see some real progress towards a deal, in time to save this season. (How much progress depends on who you ask.) The bottom line is this — in any negotiations, from teachers unions to longshoremen to sports leagues, nothing actually gets done until there is pressure on one or both sides to compromise. In the NFL, with the owners seeing the threat of lost games and the players fearing lost paychecks, the negotiations are getting serious.

It will be the same with the NBA. With the start of the lockout, the two sides will move farther apart. They have both known this lockout is coming for years — there have been proposals on the table since the 2010 All-Star Game in Dallas — and they have dug in their heels. Don’t be shocked if the owners start talking about going back to their original proposal of a $45 million hard salary cap.

But as we move into the second half of August and September, when the threat of lost games starts to become more real, then we will see movement and the two sides start to negotiate in earnest.

Then we will see the resolve of the two sides.

How and when does this end?

The when is unpredictable. I want to believe there will be a full season next year. But there are hardline owners — smaller market owners who leveraged themselves in recent years to buy these teams and who need a change in the business model — who are willing to lose some or all of a season to reshape the financial landscape of the NBA.

The players are going to come out of these negotiations with less money then when they went in (even under their own plans), the question is how far back will they go and how hard are the owners as a group willing to push for a deal they want? We’ll start to get a feel for that in August and September.

If we get to mid to late September and the two sides are nowhere near a deal like they are now, then my friends we may not see the NBA for a long while.


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136 comments for "NBA Lockout is on | lockout Q&A via PBT"

 6 years ago '06        #2
ThaShark316 86 heat pts86
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NBA can go fu*k itself. I won't shed one tear if they NEVER came back and the league folded.
 06-30-2011, 02:19 PM         #3
Dr Seuss 
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we're done yo...nfl and nba...i guess its hockey
 6 years ago '10        #4
mlim420 29 heat pts29
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damn....
 6 years ago '10        #5
stv18 22 heat pts22
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Damn no NBA or NFL could be a long couple months.
 06-30-2011, 02:26 PM         #6
P Griff 
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 06-30-2011, 02:27 PM         #7
Tempus # 1 
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 stv18 said:
Damn no NBA or NFL could be a long couple months.
Seems like Nfl will be back in a few more weeks. I could give a damn about the Nba though. College basketball give me something to watch while its gone
 6 years ago '10        #8
Ambassador 444 heat pts444
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 6 years ago '06        #9
Soraci7 34 heat pts34
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NFL will be back because there is too much money to be lost in advertising on Sundays.

NBA season just ended there is plenty of time to resolve things, anybody that actually thought it would be resolved by today has downs syndrome.
 6 years ago '08        #10
Illuminati 194 heat pts194
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 Dr Seuss said:


we're done yo...nfl and nba...i guess its hockey
why dont you negros go back to school for a change? this is boxdens best opportunity to do something with their lives, dont engross yourself in another sport.
 6 years ago '04        #11
TniaS 7 heat pts
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$4,490 | Props total: 720 720
This is the year I've watched the least amount of basketball.... I dont know just not as entertaining... I wish player would stick with their teams so they could have an identity... Now its like if its not working out for a few months its time to move... Lame
 06-30-2011, 02:33 PM         #12
Ca$h Out 
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well......

at least alabama basketball looking good
 6 years ago '09        #13
DesertEagle 48 heat pts48
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 6 years ago '07        #14
Pistol Peter 33 heat pts33
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the nfl will be back sooner or later based on how much money the super bowl makes alone...the nba on the other hand
 6 years ago '04        #15
lilsnatch770|M 101 heat pts101
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$31,896 | Props total: 2006 2006
:applause::applause:

Bye-Bye NBA, you will not be missed!
 6 years ago '08        #16
Main Event 55 heat pts55
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College Basketball/Football ratings bout to sky rocket


BearDown
 6 years ago '11        #17
Backflipz 84 heat pts84
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 antoniob 321 said:
well......

at least alabama basketball looking good
hell yeah randolph and lacey... we good

2012 SEC champions n*gga


Last edited by Backflipz; 06-30-2011 at 02:46 PM..
 6 years ago '07        #18
ttime236 38 heat pts38
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@hockey/CBB fans applauding this sh*t

Thats my league yall, how am I gonna watch my wiz?
 6 years ago '06        #19
ClevelandRay 
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LOCKOUT HAS STARTED!!!

NEW YORK -- NBA players are locked out, possibly jeopardizing next season.
Union chief Billy Hunter said Thursday afternoon that owners had locked out the players after failing to reach a new collective bargaining agreement.
With this latest action, two of four major professional sports in the United States are locked out. The NFL locked out its players in March, and the two sides have been in discussions this week, trying to work toward a new deal.
Despite a three-hour meeting Thursday, the NBA and its players could not close the enormous gap that remained in their positions. The CBA was due to expire at midnight.
Hunter said the union made a "moderate" new financial proposal, but it wasn't enough to keep the two sides at the bargaining table.
Hunter said the two sides plan to meet again in the next two to three weeks.
All league business is officially on hold, starting with the free agency period that would have opened Friday, and games eventually could be lost, too. The last lockout reduced the 1998-99 season to just a 50-game schedule, the only time the NBA missed games for a work stoppage.
"We tried to avoid the lockout; unfortunately, we couldn't reach a deal," union executive committee member Matt Bonner said.
The sides remained far apart on just about every major issue, from salaries to the salary cap, revenues to revenue sharing.
Players, who previously offered to reduce their salaries by $500 million over five years, considered the owners' proposal for a "flex" cap, where each team would be targeted to spend $62 million, a hard cap. Although the league said total player compensation would never dip below $2 billion over the life of its proposed 10-year deal, that would amount to a pay cut for the players, who were paid more than $2.1 billion this season in salaries and benefits.
Owners also wanted a reduction in the players' guarantee of 57 percent of basketball revenues.


Question: if the lockout last the whole season, how will the draft work? will teams get the same picks or will they be redrawn?
 6 years ago '10        #20
Treylonn 1 heat pts
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