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Sources: NBA sends '09-'10 data to union

Posted on: March 30, 2011 5:12 pm
NEW YORK -- In another baby step in NBA labor talks, the league has furnished long-awaited financial data for the 2009-10 season to the National Basketball Players Association, which has begun a review of the documents, two people familiar with the situation told Tuesday.

The data are crucial to both sides as they prepare for more heated negotiations that center on the financial health of the sport. Owners are seeking massive changes to the collective bargaining agreement, which expires June 30, based on their contention that the current model is not sustainable due to annual league-wide losses approaching $400 million. The NBPA, however, contends that the sport is healthier than the owners are willing to admit, citing last season's record revenues -- which are detailed in the documents furnished to the union in recent days.

Sources told that high-ranking union officials have yet to analyze the documents, which will be added to a treasure trove of financial data the NBA has turned over to support its case for a massive reduction in player salaries and a hard salary cap to replace the current luxury tax-based system loaded with spending exceptions. Unlike the NFL in its labor fight with players, the NBA has been forthcoming with financial data, including audited tax returns from all 30 teams.

While the 2009-10 data are expected to support the union's belief that revenues remain robust and at record levels, the owners' case hinges on their assertion that costs are too high. While the '09-'10 data have not been fully vetted, they are expected to reflect an approximately $100 million decline in gate receipts, which was offset by a $130 million increase in non-ticket revenues, according to a person familiar with the league's finances. The $30 million net increase in revenues represents approximately a 1 percent rise from 2008-09, during the depths of the economic recession. During the same period, negotiated player salaries have decreased $120 million, the person familiar with league finances said.

While owners and league negotiators have long countered that a decrease in negotiated salaries is irrelevant because players are guaranteed 57 percent of basketball-related income (BRI), the players' association indicated in its July 1 proposal a willingness to negotiate a reduction in that guarantee. Nine months later, the owners have yet to come back to the table with a formal counterproposal.

NBPA executive director Billy Hunter, who had been out of the office and was unaware the league had sent the '09-'10 financial data when he spoke recently with on various labor issues, is said to be preparing for an April meeting with commissioner David Stern and deputy commissioner Adam Silver. Such a meeting, which has yet to be officially scheduled, could set the tone for negotiators on both sides as time begins to run out to achieve a compromise before a lockout would occur upon the expiration of the current agreement at midnight June 30. 

It is unclear when the heavy hitters in the NBA's labor fight will have clarity about the success or failure of the NFL players' attempt to thwart a lockout by decertifying their union. A hearing in the NFL decertification case is scheduled for April 6 in federal court in Minneapolis, but a ruling could take several weeks, sources say.

Since: Oct 11, 2010
Posted on: March 31, 2011 10:51 pm
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Since: Dec 5, 2006
Posted on: March 31, 2011 1:19 am

Sources: NBA sends '09-'10 data to union

The use of league financial data by the NBAPA is different than the use of league financial data by the NFLPA. The major differences are that the NFL has a hard cap and uses revenue shareing. Using revenue sharing adjusts the revenues throughout the league so that audited financial statements for the league reflect accurately the data needed for salary -ownership split. In the NBA the soft cap and the absence of revenue sharing has much different data with the league crying for help because the small market teams are losing money. To substrantiate this claim it is necessary to provide audited fianancial statements for each club. Incidently there are no "audited tax returns from all 30 teams". The tax returns would likely have been included by they are not audited by the club CPA, only the club's financial statements. In those audited finanical statements the indelendent CPAs would have examined the tax returns to determine if any undisclosed tax liability is evident but they do not audit the returns. That would be the hated IRS' job.

The NBA naturally wants to provide a profitable business opportunity for each of its franchises. The players can counter that small market franchises still are being conveyed to new owners at record sums and these franchise value gains need to be part of the equation that establishes the owner's return on capital.

Since: Oct 22, 2007
Posted on: March 30, 2011 11:16 pm

Sources: NBA sends '09-'10 data to union

Very smart move by the owners.  Let the players think the owners are caving but what they don't know is these owners have excellent accountants

Hell JJ, the cat's out of the bag now! So much for the owners' secret weapon.

Since: Jun 25, 2009
Posted on: March 30, 2011 10:56 pm

Sources: NBA sends '09-'10 data to union

The NBA desperately needs a lockout and a missed season.  Only 5 or 6 teams have a prayer's chance in hell of winning it all.... that's just not good enough.  I'm not saying that parity to the point of 30 teams having a chance is necessary because that obviously can't happen but the NBA is way too predictable.    And of all sports, these owners make far less then anybody else.. or at least profit a lot less.  I don't care how good their accountants are, the union has the resources and I'm certain has some damn good accountants and lawyers reviewing these documents.   Even if that 400 million dollar league loss is zero, a lockout is still necessary.   Can't be the only people that profit are the players.... if that's the case then let them pool their money together and start their own league....  there has to be a lockout.... just has to be.  No way around it since there is no way the union is giving up 400 million bucks ..... or at least they won't until they miss a season and their membership is suffering financially.... then and only then will the union be on their knees.

Since: Dec 21, 2006
Posted on: March 30, 2011 9:34 pm

Sources: NBA sends '09-'10 data to union

Since: Mar 7, 2010
Posted on: March 30, 2011 7:11 pm

Sources: NBA sends '09-'10 data to union

good move for nba and the owners!!!

Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: March 30, 2011 6:13 pm

Sources: NBA sends '09-'10 data to union

Lol.........Very smart move by the owners.  Let the players think the owners are caving but what they don't know is these owners have excellent accountants

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