Archive for October 7th, 2011
Last week, when the NBA Players Union and the NBA Team owners announced that they would work throughout the weekend if necessary in order to reach an agreement, many NBA fans, myself included, began to believe that these guys might reach a new collective bargaining agreement very soon. Little did we know that the differences between both parties kept getting bigger and bigger. On Tuesday, both parties again met for 4 hours of talks, but at the end, they were nowhere near to reaching an agreement.
Even on a scenario were a 50-50 split of the basketball-related income had been discussed the owners and the players couldn’t reach an agreement. After a fruitless negotiation the NBA Commissioner, David Stern, came out on Wednesday to announce that considering the current situation and the lack of progress made in the negotiation of a new Collective Bargaining Agreement, he was going to order the suspension of the rest of the of the preseason. Not only that, he also went on to say that if by Monday, October 10th, no agreement was reached he will be forced to officially suspend the first two weeks of the regular season, scheduled to begin on Nov. 1st.
Here is the thing with this current Collective Bargaining Agreement: these guys are just very far away from reaching an agreement on money. First, we must understand that this is quite a different situation from what we as fans experienced with the NFL lockout. For starters, only a handful of NFL teams were reporting red figures at the end of the season. On the other hand, allegedly 23 out of the 30 NBA teams finished the previous season with a financial lose. It’s quite a distinct take. Of course many will argue that these numbers are a bit oversold. The players have recognized that some teams are indeed in financial difficulties and they are willing to cut some slack on that department. But they believe that it’s a matter of 5-7 teams, not 22, ending the fiscal year on red figures.
The owners began the negotiations offering the Players a 45.5% of the basketball related income. The Players on the other hand began with an asking price of 54% of the basketball-related income but came down to 53% on Tuesday. Now, considering we are talking somewhere around a 300-400 million dollar difference, it’s really hard to break ground on this negotiations.
At one point, David Stern came to the players with a prospective offer. He took his 50-50 proposal to the players but it just didn’t add up and the players said they wouldn’t be willing to reach such an agreement. Interestingly enough, this was exactly what broke up the talks, but quite frankly, you might want to consider that Stern hadn’t even taken this proposal to the team owners before braking it to the Players.
We need to accept that the owners have worked their way around some issues, including working an alternative system to the salary hard-cap, and that guaranteed contracts would be accepted and that there would be no role-backs on existing salaries and that players would be able to opt-out after seven years when they sign a 10-year contract with a team. But still, they are nowhere close to figuring out who’s going to get what when it comes to the basketball-related income. The regular season is officially in danger of been played.