Blog Entry

League, union to meet next week

Posted on: August 25, 2011 12:46 pm
Edited on: August 25, 2011 1:04 pm
NEW YORK -- While owners and players are not expected to hold the second full bargaining session of the lockout until next month, a high-level meeting of top negotiators for both sides will take place next week, a person with knowledge of the meeting confirmed to on Thursday.

The session is expected to include only the highest-level people from both sides, likely limited to commisioner David Stern, deputy commissioner Adam Silver, union chief Billy Hunter and president Derek Fisher, the person said. Also possibly in attendance could be Spurs owner Peter Holt, the chairman of the owners' labor relations committee.

The limited number of people in the room and the fact that both sides are trying to keep the meeting quiet -- not even divulging the date or location in an effort to avoid media coverage -- should be seen as positive signs. Though full bargaining sessions featuring multiple owners and players get more public attention, smaller sessions -- especially involving the lead negotiators -- typically are more conducive to serious negotiation.

The sides have convened only one full bargaining session since owners imposed the lockout on July 1, and the day after that session, the NBA filed an unfair labor practices charge and federal lawsuit against the National Basketball Players Association.

There is no indication that either side's position has changed. In fact, to the contrary, as NBPA officials travel the country informing players of the status of talks, the rhetoric from both sides has reached an unhealthy level. Players have beome incensed with Stern's public characterization of the owners' position in various media appearances, and their latest retort came Wednesday from union vice president Maurice Evans, who took Stern to task for his portrayal of the owners' latest offer.

 "In the proposals we've given them, the players have compromised over $650 million into the owners' pockets over six years," Evans said. "You say you're losing money, and we've offered over $100 million a year to take out of our pockets and they say, 'That's all? That's all? Just a modest $100 million a year?' That's just not bargaining in good faith. It's hard to get anything done that way."

No significant movement is expected until the players' unfair labor practices complaint is acted upon by the National Labor Relations Board or the two sides get close enough to a time when regular season games would be jeopardized. As in the 1998-99 lockout, mid-October represents the timeframe when the league would have to begin canceling games.

A complaint from the NLRB against the league on the players' charge of failing to bargain in good faith, which could come in the next 30 days, would provide leverage for the NBPA in the form of a possible federal injunction lifting the lockout. Conversely, a failure in the players' bid to get the NLRB to issue a complaint would bolster the owners' position. Either result would be likely to spur more serious bargaining and enhance the chances of compromise. 

Until then, a small meeting of the most important minds involved in the process couldn't hurt. 

Since: Jul 13, 2011
Posted on: August 28, 2011 11:26 pm

League, union to meet next week


Everybody (players & teams) talks about the fans. Well, if the fans are most important, let’s all face the music & compromise, while at the same time accept the reality and allow big teams to cover/pay for their mistakes and keep more of their money. More importantly this might help small market teams be competitive. Here are some ideas.

-Establish new Soft cap (I propose 50-53% of BRI) –Let us assume this is $60 mil next year.

-Establish new “Floor” –i.e. minimum salary (I propose 40-45%). In order to help small market teams - increase TV revenue sharing.


-Bi-annual exemption: eliminate it;

-Mid-level exemption: Allowed only every 2<sup>nd</sup> year. Max contract: 10% of current cap


-Free agency

a) If a team wants to sign its own free agent it can do so under Bird rules & exceed cap once every 1-3 years –subject to new agreement, I think 2 years would be OK. (E.g. Memphis could not sign both Gasol & Randolph (actually neither this year because they gave Rudy Gay max contract last year) ;

-In order to “help home team keep its own free agents” team can sign a player to 5 years (ALL guaranteed IFF the player stays with the same team for the duration of contract);

Also the “home team” would be allowed to give say 5-10% annual raise to such player (again as long as the player is with the same team).

-If such a player is traded at any time the last year automatically becomes a team option. For E.g.: Knicks could have traded Curry in his 4<sup>th</sup> year at trade deadline. His 5<sup>th</sup> year would be team option & thus he could be waived by the 1<sup>st</sup> day of free agency the following year & thus no money (This would “encourage” such players to “keep in shape”).

-The absolute max contract for any player can be “capped” at 25% of previous year salary cap; If we assume the cap to be $60 mil –the max contract would be $15 mil & no annual increases.


b) If a team signs another team’s free agent in a sign & trade: Max contract would be only 4 years (all 4 years guaranteed IFF the player remains with the same team.

-If he is traded at any point 4th year becomes new team’s option; Also the team could give only 2-5% annual increase (subject to new agreement);


c) If the team signs outright another team’s player as a free agent (assuming the new team is under the cap): Max contract would be for 3 years only –ALL guaranteed no annual increases.

-If the player is traded at any point –new team assumes the contract (i.e. no early termination).


Since: May 6, 2011
Posted on: August 28, 2011 1:52 pm

League, union to meet next week

Come guys, wrap this up and get a deal done, for the love of the NBA.

Since: Oct 19, 2007
Posted on: August 28, 2011 8:03 am

League, union to meet next week

I agree with MTIGKZ,Cut roster size from 15 down to 12,with 10  dressing for games.
This, along with other less important negotiated items,would probably get back the 300mil the owners
"say they are losing".The best players still are getting paid,we're still getting our game.
 An added + would be a stronger NBDL & a better free agent pool when injuries occur.
 Somehow, I don't think Maurice Evans would like this idea though.He might/probably be on the
 outside looking in.

Since: Nov 14, 2010
Posted on: August 27, 2011 2:50 pm

League, union to meet next week

Yes, get a deal done.

Since: Feb 7, 2008
Posted on: August 27, 2011 12:41 am

League, union to meet next week

The only thing I care about is the parking attendants, the arena vendors, the ticket takers, etc...they need their jobs and the money. Unfortunately, these are the people who the players & owners could care less about, as they are all set for life (or should be), and have been told how wonderful they are most of their pompus arrogant lives. If I never see another magical mystical smoke filled dancing press conference announcing a free agent signing again, I'll be happy

Since: Feb 15, 2011
Posted on: August 27, 2011 12:33 am

League, union to meet next week

Why do people insist on the owners showing the books?
This is like a grocery clerk asking you to show a bank statement before you buy hamburger... you can afford better. You are being responsible for the money you earn. 

Players have offered 100 million a year? 
Owners should counter with a 9 man roster - cap should be the same average per player reduce the 4+
players. Which of us have not had to take on additional work in cutback times.
What is the avg. salary? 3 million? Guessing on teams 32?
76 player lay-off
Savings of 228 million in salary+++++ travel, benefits ...........etc down to handtowels.

Lebron, Anthony keep their money... the others.... just throw-ins.

Bet the lower tier would vote differently........

Since: Nov 21, 2006
Posted on: August 26, 2011 12:06 pm

League, union to meet next week

The lack of comments on this story tells you everything you want to know...NO ONE CARES!!! That's why the NBA is broken, it could fade away and no one would notice.

Since: Jun 10, 2011
Posted on: August 26, 2011 2:03 am

League, union to meet next week

I agree with mike_linebacker, both sides need to work this out and get a deal done.

Since: Aug 25, 2011
Posted on: August 25, 2011 9:26 pm

League, union to meet next week

One owner is only a possibility for this meeting? Sounds like Stern is 100% with the owners and getting ready to try to bully the players. Stand strong players! Until the owners are ready to disclose their profits and losses, so everyone can see what the problems are for teams losing money, the players should not concede one dime.

Since: Aug 30, 2010
Posted on: August 25, 2011 8:27 pm

League, union to meet next week

Get a deal done.

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