Tag: NBA Collective Bargaining Agreement

Miami Heat owner Micky Arison arrives for the NBA labor negotiations in New York

Miami Heat owner casts protest vote against new CBA


Micky Arison was supposed to be one of he doves. He took a $500,000 fine for tweeting he was not one of the hardline owners.

He was one of the owners who wanted to make a deal and get back to basketball. Or so we thought. Then comes this note:

Heat owner Micky Arison is revealing that he cast a ballot against passing the NBA’s new collective bargaining agreement.

Arison says it was “a protest vote” primarily in response to the way revenue-sharing components of the deal will be structured….

Arison declined to say if he would have cast the “no” vote if the CBA wasn’t already assured of passage. Enough votes to pass were already secured by the time Miami made its selection.

So Arison and Mavs owner Mark Cuban are two of the 5 no votes. Big market owners whose teams played in the finals. Interesting.

Owners get a new “LeBron Rule” in NBA labor deal

LeBron James

There was a whole lot about the NBA lockout that was really about LeBron James. About who has the power, the owners or players.

But some things are more specific than others. Like this note from the Sports Business Journal (via Eye on Basketball).

NBA players are now prohibited from holding an ownership stake in a player-management firm or from acting as National Basketball Players Association-certified agents under a provision in the league’s new collective-bargaining agreement.

The provision was something NBA owners asked for and players agreed to as one of the so-called B-list items, terms that were collectively bargained after the NBPA re-formed as a union, according to a union source.

This is very directly aimed at LeBron James and his marketing arm LRMR, the marketing firm he and his buddies founded, which last year merged with the Fenway Sports Group. Neither LRMR nor Fenway represent any players in terms of negotiations — they are marketing arms, not agents — but that line is kind of blurred for players now (agents help set up marketing deals all the time) so the owners decided to try and rein it in.

And we have a “LeBron James rule” that tries to limit players power and potential income, something that comes at the request of the owners. Sounds about right.

NBA labor deal officially approved, camps set to open

NBA And Players Representatives Meet To Discuss Possible Settlement

In all the excitement over Chris Paul going to the Lakers Chris Paul staying with the New Orleans Hornets, one little thing happened on Thursday not many people noticed:

The players and owners approved the new NBA labor deal. It is in place and training camps are set to open Friday (even if not everyone is going to show up).

“I am pleased to announce that we have concluded the collective bargaining process and have reached an agreement that addresses many significant issues that were challenges to our league,” said NBA Commissioner David Stern in a released statement. “This collective bargaining agreement will help us move toward a better business model, a more competitive league and better alignment between compensation and performance.”

Just as a reminder, here are your highlights:

• This is a 10-year deal but both sides can opt out after six.

• League revenues (basketball related income) will be split 50/50 between owners and players (well, after the owners take a few hundred million off the top for “expenses,” with the players able to get up to 51 percent of the BRI if the league exceeds projections. This will save owners about $300 million a year compared to the old labor deal.

• There is a soft salary cap, however there are fewer exceptions that allow teams to exceed it than there were in the previous deal.

• Player contracts are up to four years if teams are signing a free agent, five years if teams are re-signing with the same team (Bird rights). Teams can also give larger raises when their ign their own.

• There will be a more stiff luxury tax for owners who exceed the tax threshold. However, it does not start for two years.

• There will be increased drug testing of players.

League finds way to make bad PR situation worse by killing trade

David Stern

The only public relations move worse than the league allowing Chris Paul to be traded to the Lakers after a five-month lockout allegedly about “competitive balance” is to have David Stern come in with an iron fist and kill the deal because owners complained.

Well done NBA. Well done indeed.

David Stern and the league painted itself into a corner here by trying to be rational — if we learned one thing from the lockout it is that the NBA owners are not rational.

Stern let Hornets GM Dell Demps try to work out the best deal for his team. After talking to anyone and everyone that called, Demps came up with a three-team deal that would have netted the Hornets Lamar Odom, Luis Scola, Kevin Martin and a draft pick for Paul. That’s not a bad haul — those are guys that can make the team competitive now and be good trade chips going forward as the team will start to rebuild. This was the first move of many in the Hornets rebuilding.

But all some owners saw was Chris Paul going to the Lakers.

We just missed a couple months of the NBA season because Stern was telling us small market owners didn’t want to just keep sending their big stars to big markets like some kind of glorified farm system. “Competitive balance” was the owners’ mantra through this entire labor dispute.

Those owners saw the trade as a black eye and pressured the league to kill it.

What they did was make things worse. And made themselves look foolish in the process.

The league denies this is how things went down, with league spokesman Mike Bass saying the owners never discussed it as a group and the decision to kill the trade was made for “basketball reasons.”

Wrong. Demps made the trade he did for basketball reasons. He looked at about 100 trade options teams put before him and selected (and helped create) the one that he thought helped his team the most. He wanted to trade Paul for basketball reasons — he watched what happened to the Nuggets last year and didn’t want that to happen to his team.

But the league killed the deal anyway. Good luck finding a better one. Or any deal for that matter.

And while we’re at it — this Pau Gasol trade was a bad one, but Pau Gasol for Kwame Brown was OK? Really?

“Competitive balance” was always smokescreen, a myth that could not be obtained by any new Collective Bargaining Agreement. No system can save bad owners from themselves. Put simply, smart management wins in the NBA, and by smart management we mean smart drafting to start. You can win and be profitable in a small market, as San Antonio and Oklahoma City have and are proving, as the Memphis Grizzlies showed us last playoffs.

But the biggest stars will always gravitate toward the brightest lights. Los Angeles, New York and Miami have inherent advantages as a destination that Indianapolis cannot match. Small markets can overcome that, if they are managed well. The Hornets were not for years — thanks again Gorge Shinn! — and now Demps has to clean up the mess.

But the league wouldn’t let him do his job. They listened to whiny owners.

Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch said the league looked like it was run by the Keystone Cops tonight. That sounds about right.

More details of labor deal NBA players are voting on

Billy Hunter
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For the players, the polls have opened. NBA owners will vote on the new NBA Collective Bargaining Ageement on Thursday. Both sides are expected to pass this — not unanimously but clearly — and by Friday we can talk trades and training camp.

But first, one last look at what the two sides are voting on.

We remember the major deal points — essentially a 50/50 split of league revenues (basketball related income, or BRI, officially), plus a modified soft-cap salary system.

But there were some minor deal points as well still to be hammered out. For example, a discussion of the draft age limit. That will remain at age 19 for now and the two sides will form a committee to study the issue and possibly recommend changes, but later when there is time to do so.

Chris Sheridan has a good rundown of other changes over at Sheridanhoops.com.

One change is D-League assigments. Now, players can be sent down during their first three years in the league (it had been two) and they still get their full NBA salary. Older players also now can be sent down if there is mutual agreement (picture a one-game rehab stint for injured players).

Here are other things Sheridan lists from union director Billy Hunter’s memo to the players.

• An expected increase in annual collective salaries and benefits from the current $2.17 billion to more than $3 billion by the end of the 10-year agreement.
• Neutral review of commissioner David Stern’s financial discipline for players’ on-court conduct.
• A new benefits pool funded by BRI that permits players to receive post-career health and welfare benefits.
• A new optional annuity under which players, beginning in 2012-13, will have the option to directly defer portions of their salary to an annuity plan with favorable interest rates to be paid to the player upon retirement.
• Players can agree to wear a microphone for one nationally televised game per month, one locally televised game per month, and up to two playoff games per round, and no player can be subject to discipline for content captured as a result of wearing a microphone.