Blog Entry

Union wants meeting, but do hard-line owners?

Posted on: November 7, 2011 10:50 am
Edited on: November 7, 2011 11:31 am
NEW YORK -- Officials from the players' union would like to arrange one more round of bargaining with the league before Wednesday's deadline to accept the owners' latest proposal or face a far worse one, sources confirmed to Monday.

But there are fears on both sides that hard-line owners who aren't comfortable with the deal as it stands now will resist such a meeting because they prefer the 47 percent deal with a more restrictive salary cap -- the deal commissioner David Stern said Sunday would be on the table if the union rejected the existing proposal.

The delicate state of negotiations faced increasing pressure from hard liners on both sides Monday, with players and agents pushing for union decertification continuing to organize those efforts and hard-line owners believing this is the last chance for a more liberal proposal before they gain control.

"I think, at the end of the day, this group (of hard-line owners) said, 'OK, we will let you do it your way up until Wednesday,'" a person in contact with ownership told Monday.

If the players didn't accept by Wednesday, those owners would say, "We do a deal on our terms," the person said. 

In addition to a 47 percent share of revenues for the players and a flex cap, those terms also would include a relinquishing of guaranteed contracts and a rollback of existing salaries, sources familiar with the hard-line owners' position said.

The deal on the table for the players to accept by Wednesday includes a 50-50 split of revenues, which a significant number of mid-level players are believed to be amenable to and which superstar Kobe Bryant also would be willing to accept, reported. The proposal includes a band of 49-51 percent for the players, which union attorney Jeffrey Kessler characterized Sunday morning as "a fraud" because revenues would have to explode with 20 percent annual growth for the players ever to receive 51 percent. The union has proposed a 51-49 split in favor of the players, with 1 percent going to benefits for retired players.

It seems unlikely that the union would accept the current deal and recommend it to the players for a vote before Wednesday, but members of the executive committee were scheduled to speak Monday afternoon on a conference call to plot their next move ahead of a mandatory meeting of all 30 player reps Tuesday in New York. Union leaders' key objections center around system issues that they feel league negotiators did not go far enough in addressing during the most recent round of bargaining that led to Sunday morning's ultimatum. As reported, union negotiators feel that with a few tweaks to the remaining unresolved system issues, they would feel more comfortable recommending the proposal for a vote rather than risk having the process co-opted by radicals on both sides.

A successful decertification movement combined with the hard-line owners taking over with their 47 percent offer would throw the talks into chaos and imperil the entire 2011-12 season.

Some of the differences between the two sides' positions on outstanding system issues are so minor that fear is growing among a significant number of moderate agents who do not favor decertification that the season could be lost over issues that would have little impact on the financial state of the league and efforts to improve competitive balance. For example, the two sides are only 50 cents apart on the additional luxury tax that would be imposed for teams that spend up to $10 million over the tax line and have identical proposals for a $1 additional tax for teams that spend more than $10 million over.

The two sides' disagreement over whether tax-paying teams should be allowed to engage in sign-and-trade transactions also is largely irrelevant. According to a union source, there were only five transactions in which tax-payers took on a signed-and-traded player during the entire six-year CBA that expired July 1.

On two more key unresolved issues that the union views as paramount to an acceptable deal, the league already has met the players halfway. In the owners' existing proposal, teams that wade into the luxury tax would receive 50 percent of the tax payments foregone by making the move above the tax. And on mid-level contracts for tax-paying teams, the compromise proposed by the league calls for tax teams to be able to offer two-year deals starting at $2.5 million every other year. The union's most recent proposal called for four-year mid-level deals starting at $5 million for tax teams.

But efforts to close the gap on those final issues could be imperiled by the players' decertification movement and by intransigence among the original group of hard-line owners, who have tried in recent weeks to recruit more owners to their side. According to a person familiar with ownership dynamics, the so-called "original" hard-line teams were Atlanta, Charlotte, Cleveland, Milwaukee, Memphis, Philadelphia, Washington, Portland and Minnesota. There has been growing support in recent weeks for the hard-liners' position that Stern has given up too much in the negotiations -- thus, the ultimatum and subsequent shift to a more severe proposal if the players fail to accept the deal on the table by the close of business Wednesday.


Since: Sep 24, 2006
Posted on: November 8, 2011 9:38 pm

Union wants meeting, but do hard-line owners?

I am loving this...i hate the NBA and it has been so nice not having to see any highlights or be forced to change the channel.  Here is hoping it continues for years to come.

Since: Oct 14, 2010
Posted on: November 8, 2011 5:47 pm

Union wants meeting, but do hard-line owners?

astromaniac, I was confused as to why I was energized to post and read these stories.  Now I know.  It is interesting to see the players allowing the union and agents to screw them.  I too am hooked on the lockout.  If there is a partial season it will be anti-climactic.

Since: Dec 17, 2009
Posted on: November 8, 2011 12:10 pm

Union wants meeting, but do hard-line owners?

You do know this in no way lowers prices on anything.  The money just goes in someone elses account.

Since: Jan 8, 2008
Posted on: November 8, 2011 12:05 pm

Union wants meeting, but do hard-line owners?

What if the season starts and they owners/players think the $$$ will start rolling in. They forget where the $$$ comes from and even though my share is only a drop in the bucket, there will be one less drop in it. Screw these people.

Since: Oct 13, 2011
Posted on: November 8, 2011 10:54 am

Union wants meeting, but do hard-line owners?

Wow. This guys are really going to pull the pin out of the greenade and blow up this whole season. I still maintain the owners have the most leverage in this thing and in the end the players grossly underestimated thier position. The greed exhibited by both sides has surfaced for all to see. We all knew it was there. I'm sure there are some owners and players who realize how this will hurt the NBA in the next 3 to 5 years after the lockout but they are a minority and the high stakes players in this chess game are only interested about thier bottom line. The NBA may even fall below MLB in popularity and the NHL will definately gain some ground.

I guess I will have to watch the NBA hardwood clasics on NBA this year. I have seen a few the last couple of weeks and it brings me back to a time when competition level was great. Players actually knew how to pass the ball and make jump shots as well play team ball. Maybe in the end this may be just what the NBA needed. Sadly at the expense of NBA fans. Thier is still a glimmer of hope this lockout will end Wednesday. But it won't be because these players and owners want to preserve the NBA, it will be motivated by the fear of lost paychecks and revenue, greed.

Since: Oct 14, 2009
Posted on: November 8, 2011 2:56 am

Union wants meeting, but do hard-line owners?

opps . hey collage basketball starts soon.Cool

Since: Jul 3, 2010
Posted on: November 8, 2011 1:22 am

Union wants meeting, but do hard-line owners?

This lockout is all about nothing....who cares????  "Boy"cott the freaking NBA and theach them boys who their daddy is....and then they will remember.  Uncle Jordan wishy-washy got rich and now he wants the boys to get in line for payday on the plantation.  I think Bryant Gumbel had it right and this is about the owners wanting their way and they should have it their way, for they are the owners of the league.  This is more abouts a street corner and who controls the puching of drugs on the street.  Word.

Since: Aug 30, 2006
Posted on: November 7, 2011 8:04 pm

Union wants meeting, but do hard-line owners?

I am hooked on the NBA lockout. This is infinitely more entertaining than the game has been in over a decade. Watching players flush what amounts to one seventh of their potential earnings over less than four percent of possible future earnings has me morbidly captivated. All the outside "players" (agents, union reps, city managers, etc.) are using these rich uneducated players with everything to gain and no risk. I can't wait until tomorrow, this is great!

Since: May 17, 2007
Posted on: November 7, 2011 5:21 pm

Union wants meeting, but do hard-line owners?

Well we are right back where we started with both sides talking nonsense!!!   Please shut it down so I don't have to hear this garbage anymore.

Since: Oct 11, 2011
Posted on: November 7, 2011 4:47 pm

hard line team owners, STAND FIRM! don't give

If you don't you will continue to lose money, be forced to put a half-talented team on the court, and maybe even back up and move over cover of night.  The Kings were forced to do it last year, the Pacers are next in line.  Don't give in.   Plus how is the luxary tax fair?  Its the NY Yankees and Dallas Cowboy way of trying to buy a championship, even when it fails for them it does not hurt them b/c they are in Teir I cities.  Tier II and III teams can't even take the risk.  Just cancel the season and make the players break! 

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or