David Stern says the league needs more of it. Small market teams say it is essential to maintain a competitive league.
But at the end of the day, “increased revenue sharing” means being Robin Hood, taking from the rich and giving to the poor. Corporate socialism. The kind of things the rich big market teams of every sport try to limit.
But in a sign of unity, the Lakers are on board, according to Kevin Ding of the Orange County Register.
“Not only are we not going to fight it, we’ll support it,” Lakers spokesman John Black said Sunday night, “due to the benevolence of our owner, who is willing to sacrifice for the overall good of our league.”
The Lakers are certainly a big market, big revenue team. They gross about $2 million a game, according to Forbes, which is three and four times what some smaller markets make. They also have large local television deals.
When Stern was in town last week he said what the big market owners want is ways to make sure the money that trickles down gets invested back into the business. In baseball, there is a problem with small market owners just pocketing that money and putting a lesser product out on the field.
Exactly how this is going to shake out remains a big question. As Stern correctly stated, it has to be a work in progress because you can’t have the details of revenue sharing without knowing with the new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) will bring. You also can’t have the details of a new CBA without knowing what the revenue sharing will look like. The two have to happen together.
That would be hard if the big-market owners fight it. But at least one seems to be on board.