Blog Entry

No counter from players; 'one more shot' at deal

Posted on: June 24, 2011 6:21 pm
Edited on: June 24, 2011 8:10 pm
NEW YORK – NBA owners and players ended a contentious week of negotiations and rhetoric Friday without a counter-offer from the players, leaving a slim chance that a deal can be reached by the June 30 expiration of the current collective bargaining agreement.

Despite reaching a stalemate on economic issues and the split of the league’s $4 billion in annual revenues, the two sides agreed to meet again Wednesday in Manhattan for one, or possibly two more days of bargaining before the current CBA expires at 12:01 a.m. ET Friday.

"We think we’ll have one more shot at it," National Basketball Players Association executive director Billy Hunter said. "Obviously, we’ll have some idea as to where they are in terms of owners -- whether there’s a chance to make a deal or whether there isn't."

Practically speaking, sources said it would be nearly impossible to write a new CBA in that time frame, leaving only two likely scenarios – a lockout imposed by the owners that would shut the sport down for the first time since the 1998-99 season, or an extension of the deadline to negotiate, which neither side has ruled out. But the latter option would require progress on narrowing the gap between the two sides’ bargaining positions, which remains hundreds of millions of dollars a year – and billions over the length of a new deal.

“There's still such a large gap,” said NBPA president Derek Fisher of the Lakers. “We feel that any move for us is real dollars we'd be giving back from where we currently stand, as opposed to where our owners have proposed numbers that in our estimation don’t exist right now. They're asking us to go to the place where they want us to go. We've expressed our reasons why we don't want to continue to move economically.”

In a display of unity and force that commissioner David Stern said he welcomed, more than 30 players arrived for meetings at the Omni Berkshire Hotel wearing tan NBPA T-shirts with the word, “STAND” printed on the front. The bargaining session included various player representatives who previously had only been briefed by union officials and executive committee members on the progress – or lack thereof – in negotiations.

The players streamed out onto 52nd Street around 3:30 p.m. after a four-hour bargaining session, many of them boarding a luxury touring bus and declining to comment. Several stopped to sign autographs. The scene – including a throng of media camped out on the sidewalk – caused such a spectacle that at one point, former New York Gov. Mario Cuomo cut a swath through the crowd and was noticed by only a couple of reporters.

Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett of the Celtics, among the most vocal players in the room Friday and the players who devised the T-shirt idea, were driven away in a black SUV with executive committee member Theo Ratliff. In the meeting, Pierce accused the owners of taking a disingenuous stance by disguising their insistence on slashing salaries under the cloak of creating a new system that would allow more teams to be competitive.

“Is it more about money or being competitive?” Pierce said to the owners, according to Suns player rep Jared Dudley. “What does this have to do with? If it’s about being competitive, let’s come up with a system we can all be competitive in. If it’s about money, that’s a different story that we’re talking about.”

Hunter reiterated that he expects the owners to vote on imposing a lockout during the meeting of their full Board of Governors Tuesday in Dallas, but sources said there were no plans for such a vote – which would be procedural, anyway, and no surprise to anyone given that the threat of a lockout has loomed over the negotiations for more than two years. But with the attendance and engagement of a large group of players Friday, Hunter said owners “may find it difficult to pull the trigger” on a lockout vote.

“Even though we didn’t make an progress, I think they felt that the energy and attitude within the room was such that it might necessitate further discussion,” Hunter said.

In a softening of the rhetoric that marked the week of labor meetings -- the tone of which Stern said became "incendiary" at times -- Stern declined to discuss details of Friday's bargaining points. It was his public revelation of a $62 million "flex cap" system proposed by owners, along with a guarantee of no less than $2 billion in salary and benefits during the league's 10-year CBA proposal, that infuriated union officials who felt blindsided -- and subsequently conducted one small and one large media briefing to go on the attack.

Stern also sidestepped the possibility of a lockout vote, which typically would be taken by the Board of Governors to authorize the owners’ labor relations committee to impose one upon expiration of the current CBA.

“We can do whatever we need to do, whenever we need to do it, however we need to do it,” Stern said. “It's not about the formality of a meeting. … For us, the best time we're going to spend next week hopefully is on a meeting with the players on Wednesday that with any luck goes over to Thursday. And that’s where we are.”

The primary purpose of the owners’ meetings in Dallas Tuesday is for the labor relations committee – featuring such big-market representatives as the Knicks’ James Dolan and Lakers’ Jeanie Buss and small-market owners such as the Thunder’s Clay Bennett and Spurs’ Peter Holt, the committee chairman – to update representatives from all 30 teams about the state of negotiations. The owners’ planning committee also will brief the board on the status of a new revenue sharing plan, the lack of inclusion of which in the bargaining process has been an irritant for union officials.

Hunter told reporters this week that owners have not divulged “one iota” of their plans to enhance the sharing of revenue as a way to help small-market teams compete, and that rancor among high- and low-revenue teams continues to divide the owners. Stern disputed that notion Friday, saying, “We’ve had a full discussion with the players about everything, and we're prepared to discuss everything with them.”

The players and union officials have tried to get the owners to include their revenue-sharing plan as part of the new CBA, saying competitive balance could be improved through sharing more revenue – such as gate receipts and local broadcast revenues – without trying to solve the league’s stated annual losses of at least $300 million strictly through salary reductions.

“As we've said repeatedly, if we lose money on an aggregate basis, we can’t possibly revenue-share our way to profitability,” deputy commissioner Adam Silver said.

Stern would not divulge whether owners would reveal to the players the substance of their revenue-sharing plan that will be discussed among owners in Dallas. And sources told that the union seems disinclined to use a legal tool at their disposal – asking a court to rule on whether revenue-sharing should be included as a “mandatory subject” in collective bargaining.

“We can’t make the final sort of push on revenue sharing until we know what the yield or not of the labor deal is,” Stern said. “… The revenue sharing is moving as well. We're setting things up, I would hope, on both fronts.”

Setting things up for a deal or a lockout? After two years of negotiations with no results, you be the judge.

little ceasars
Since: Jan 1, 2009
Posted on: June 27, 2011 4:17 pm
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Since: Sep 5, 2008
Posted on: June 26, 2011 10:17 pm

No counter from players; 'one more shot' at deal

I am a union member and we had are pay frozen for 3 years! I don't make millions a year though! They can handle it

Since: Apr 27, 2011
Posted on: June 26, 2011 8:29 pm
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Since: Dec 18, 2006
Posted on: June 26, 2011 7:21 pm

No counter from players; 'one more shot' at deal

Its true the Nfl does have success but keep in mind that success is only in one country and one country alone. all success the nfl has is due to one thing and one thing alone. Fantasy Football and if you try say thats not treue your fooling your self without fantasy football nfl would've never blew up the way it is.  Just look at how fantasy has grown Nfl has grown without before Fantasy I would watch one or two teams and thats about it not that many. But with Fantasy most Americans find themselves watching more and more games do to their fantasy players following them. That and Taht alone has made NFL so big.  NBA is in alot of trouble as far as players salaries are concerned unlike the NFL in football NFL players have no where else to turn , where they going to play CFL or the New league just starting up, I guess they can and make what 30K maybe 100K not sure how much those leagues pay but sure it isnt that much. Si the NFL Lockout is a Joke owners just need to say this is your deal take it or leave it players have no where to go to make money like they do.

That is why the NBA is in alot of trouble owners cant say to them take it or leave it where can you go make money like this. Unlike the Football, Basketball is truely a global sport played in almost every country and some leagues paying big money.  For Instance Iverson making almost 3million dollars playing in europe thats Iverson a washed up player, couple yrs ago Josh childress didnt get no good offers went over seas a made tons of money a few million a yr with round trip flights, house a maid and tax free income. NBa players have a choice they have other leagues that will still pay them millions. This is something I feel is getting strongly overlooked when people are comparing the two sports CBA agreements. IM pretty sure Dwight Howard Lebron James KOBe and all other NBa stars will still make millions over seas. Where Brady, Manning Vick have no where to make that kind of money, Also NFL has done a great job in building stars in college level easier done due to not competing for ratings. Im sure they can start up another league with tonsd of the college kids they allready built up if the really wanted.

Point is in the NFL players have no where to go Owners should hold their guns and players need to be humbled and relise they have no where else to go. In the NBa owners need to relize Players have other options to continue to make millions of dollars with or without the NBA, but most players need to relize where tghe league is standing financially and be open to cutting down salaries true they can make millions overseas. Buit still not as much as the NBa pays them they need to get the middle ground of what a star could get over seas like a dwight howard and just up it by 10 percent or so. Then set their salary caps. But owners starting at 45 million hard cap team that has 15players was a joke players would just go over seas. Hard cap could work but needs to be adjusted to insure that they still pay more money then the teams oversea.

Since: Dec 18, 2006
Posted on: June 26, 2011 7:02 pm

No counter from players; 'one more shot' at deal

Not sure if you have kids or not but teachers are heavilly under paid and under appreciated. You make claims that their greedy but without teachers to tend to your kids while you are working making money where would you be at.  Try home schooling your kids and see what its like not that easy and if your home schooling your kids how you going to go to work and make your money. not that easy at all. So dont place teachers in the same position as athletes they are not comparable. athletes are spoiled although they are talented they should not be making that kind of money. a hard cap is the best scenario but its also a joke and dosnt mean anything if you can give out signing bonuses like the nfl does. all you have to do is give bigger signing bonus and you work around the cap. so thaTS NOT THE ANSWER . THEIR CURRENT SYSTEM WORKS.  but must be tweeked lower the cap to about 40 million luxury about 55 to 60 million and hard cap at about 70 million  all teams must spend the 40 million cap.

Since: Aug 24, 2006
Posted on: June 26, 2011 7:16 am

No counter from players; 'one more shot' at deal

More common sense: Profit sharing among teams as part of CBA. Add in local broadcast revenues (minus advertising cost) to share at 50/50 team and league. That will cut down on the small market have-nots being so far behind. Big markets have to play someone.

Owners got themselves into this mess and need help getting out. But to try and strong-arm the players is somewhat foolish. For Stern to say a push on revenue sharing can't be done until after a labor deal is stupid. How much is shared sets how much is there for a salary cap. If teams are losing money, some could still lose money if the revenue sharing is less than fair. This is still one league, not 30 teams working against each other.

The NBA is an easy sport to duplicate and getting a place to play is not too hard. If someone wanted to start a new league, the NBA would be in trouble if the players left.

A new league of 12 teams with just the stars of the current NBA would make the NBA second rate in a hurry. TV revenue alone could make that new "ABA/USBA" work so gate receipts would be not very important for several years.

And players would be hurt if several current NBA teams folded. So everyone has something to lose. And a reason to use common sense.

I am willing to bet it does not happen.

Since: Aug 24, 2006
Posted on: June 26, 2011 6:53 am

No counter from players; 'one more shot' at deal

More common sense. If a player is hurt more than 2 consecutive full years, his contract can be bought out at half season rate. Greg Oden exhibit A.  Players still have the ability to get private insurance but teams must be barred from paying for it. Just as college players can, if they have the money. Any off season injury buy out is 25% rate. Can you say Aflac!

And teams should be able to buy out bad contracts at the half rate after 2 years if they file notice after first year. This would take care of the "contract year" players who can't be seen after they get a new deal. Puts players on notice and makes every other year a contract year.

These need to hard rules in all contracts,

Since: Aug 24, 2006
Posted on: June 26, 2011 6:40 am

No counter from players; 'one more shot' at deal

No common sense has come from CBA talks. Owners want to play games with flex cap. But they don't want to talk revenue sharing. That should come first before a CBA. But it is still all based on simple minded idea: Cut the pie bigger in our side.

Still no new ideas on how to do thing in any new fashion. And my idea the players would not bring up but make the most sense to start.
Rookie wage scale is a good idea and it works. But players need to share risk starting with how players are paid.

All NBA contracts should be with a half season guarantee. if a player misses a full season, he still gets half a seasons pay.

If a players misses 20 or games his pay should reflect it. play 42 to 62 games and pay for those games is on a per game basis. 63 or more means full salary. Teams still have to field a full team if players are out any large amount of time and that money should not be over the cap.

Since: Aug 24, 2006
Posted on: June 26, 2011 6:27 am

No counter from players; 'one more shot' at deal

Players need to share the risk in revenue sharing.  But owners are to blame for players paid being to high for their taste.

Since: Aug 24, 2006
Posted on: June 26, 2011 4:30 am

No counter from players; 'one more shot' at deal

Teachers Union? Easy Job? Can you be any more foolish?

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