Tag: NBA Labor Talks

Hunter and Fisher of the NBA speak during news conference to reject NBA's latest offer in New York

NBA players will vote on new labor deal Wednesday

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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.

NBA players focused on the PR game during lockout


Heading into Wednesday’s negotiations, maybe the most frustrating thing about the NBA lockout is that both sides seem more focused on winning the public relations battle than ending the labor strife that threatens the season.

Frankly, the public relations battle can’t be won by either the owners or players if regular season games are lost. But that isn’t stopping both sides from trying.

That includes the players union talking to players in hopes avoiding the kind of gaffs the players had during the last lockout. Howard Beck broke it down at the New York Times.

“It was a huge emphasis,” Derek Fisher, the president of the National Basketball Players Association, said in a telephone interview. “The reality is, we’re in a great position, where guys have worked to put themselves in this place where they can potentially earn millions of dollars.”

And fans, generally speaking, do not want to hear about the woes of millionaire athletes — or the billionaire owners who pay them.

At Fisher’s direction, the union last fall distributed a 56-page lockout handbook to its 400-plus players. … But the key point, perhaps, is this simple reminder: “Please be sensitive about interviews or other media displays of a luxurious lifestyle.”

Last time around, Patrick Ewing said that players make a lot of money but they spend a lot of money, too. Kenny Anderson joked that the lockout might force him to sell one of his eight luxury cars. Then there was an All-Star charity game designed to raise money for the players (that money was donated to charity after a backlash). All of that was bad public relations — and that in a pre-Internet era. Today that kind of thing would break twitter.

Here’s the thing about the public relations battle — it does nothing to end the lockout. It’s just trying to get the goodwill of fans.

As Tim Donahue said well at Eight Points Nine Seconds, the fans dont care, they only want one thing — games. They will back whichever side, whatever proposals they think will get them games faster. And in the end they will be angry with both sides for costing them games.

Not just missing games, but missing games during a recession with record unemployment. Both sides seem to be underestimating the backlash that will come their way. The reaction will be worse than any previous lockout.

Players union may now seek collusion charge

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David Stern announced good news for teams and players today — that the salary cap next year is probably going to be $56.1 million, several million higher than expected. That’s more money to spend this summer.

But the players union sees nefarious deeds afloat. Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo was first with the news.

After the NBA released a memo last July that warned teams the salary cap for the 2010-11 season could drop as far as $50.6 million, the union countered the projection could be a mechanism to scare teams from signing free agents.

“A memo of this nature can have a chilling effect on the market for free agent and rookie signings,” Hunter said last July. “If it later turns out that the league did not have a good faith basis for making these projections, the NBPA will pursue all available legal remedies, including a treble damages claim for collusion.”

Welcome to another skirmish in the war that is the Collective Bargaining Agreement coming in 2011.

The salary cap is going down next year by a little over $1 million from this year’s figure. But that’s a sign that the economy has rebounded some, that the doom and gloom of a year ago didn’t quite come to pass.

Isn’t that what we all thought last year? That things sucked but were going to get worse? Were the dire salary cap projections really about keeping salaries down or was it prudent planning in the midst of a recession where nobody knew how deep it would go? It doesn’t seem unrealistic.

But everything is a battle in the upcoming war.

His name is David Stern and this is his collective bargaining boomstick


The owners want to take a far greater percentage of the basketball-related income. They want to pay millions less for maximum deals and shorten contracts. Most of all, they want a hard salary cap and assurances that protect themselves against a diminished economy and, well, themselves. Everything is hurtling toward a 2011 lockout, a negotiation that’ll likely feel far more like a standoff.

Via Yahoo! Sports’ Andrian Wojnarowski

The Owners are out for blood in 2011. The economic recession was thought to be a reasonable cause for the players to accept a certain number of compromises in return for a few things on their wish list being cleared in return. Instead, the owners have decided to use the economy as a tool to attempt not just significant alterations to the existing structure, but a drastic realignment of the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

A hard cap brings with it a leveling of the playing field for smaller market teams, which would stem the tide of losses for certain teams. However, it’s hard to find a scenario where the union agrees to mimic the NFL agreement, which means non-guaranteed contracts, bloated rookie contracts for players who have done nothing in the league, and would result in the elimination of exemptions like the Mid-Level Exception.

This kind of a hard line is obviously just the starting point of one end of the spectrum, but judging from Adonal Foyle’s response on behalf of the union, this one’s going to get ugly, fast, and stay ugly, long.