Tag: NBA Collective Bargaining Agreement

David Stern

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


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.

NBA players will vote on new labor deal Wednesday

Hunter and Fisher of the NBA speak during news conference to reject NBA's latest offer in New York
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The polls open on Wednesday. By Friday, we will have basketball. (Well, training camps and free agency, at least.)

That is the schedule for the week, according to Sam Amick of Sports Illustrated. After some marathon bargaining sessions over the weekend — 28 hours of talks over two days, a source told ProBasketballTalk — the NBA’s Collective Bargaining Agreement will be presented to players Wednesday for a vote.

With the tentative agreement expected to be ratified and training camps unofficially set to open Friday, the memo from National Basketball Players Association head Billy Hunter to players states that electronic voting will begin at 1 p.m. ET on Wednesday and continue until 4 p.m. Thursday. The NBPA will hold a meeting with players in New York on Wednesday to discuss the proposed CBA, as well as a conference call later that evening for those who can not attend. A “detailed term-sheet” of the CBA will be e-mailed to players by Wednesday as well.

The owners will have a separate vote to approve the deal.

The vote will not be unanimous on either side, but it is expected to pass easily. The labor deal is for 10 years but both sides have an opt-out after six years.