It has been one of the more interesting sidebars to the entire NBA lockout:
From the start the NBA owners have said they lost $300 million last year, $400 million the year before and money pretty much every year in the past decade. The players and plenty of others have called that, um, well let’s say fertilizer. They note that the losses include debt service on loans to buy teams and when owners do things like own the arena and team there’s plenty of ways to have the money shift pockets.
In an article at Forbes.com Wednesday talking about the lockout math, the magazine once again took shots at the owners’ claims of loss. (Hat tip to Zach Lowe.)
When you tally the aggregate projected operating incomes of all 30 NBA teams, this yields a surplus of $182.6 million. Granted, Forbes may not be privy to all the financial data that ultimately determine a team’s financial position…and their estimates have come under scrutiny before for this reason.
But $482.6 million off? That seems a stretch. Even if Forbes’ operating income estimates are inflated by 25% (which I seriously doubt), you’re still looking at $137 million in aggregate profits.
I don’t think you’ll find anyone who isn’t paid to slide on an NBA uniform who didn’t think the old NBA Collective Bargaining Agreement needed changing. There were issues. But the idea that the owners needed to damage the game like this because of the massive financial losses they incurred remains questionable. At best. Which makes their hardline fighting all the more ridiculous.
David Stern threw down an ultimatum last Saturday night (early Sunday morning, actually) — accept our deal by 5 p.m. Wednesday or we are going to replace it with a deal so bad for players we might as well cancel the season. Okay, he didn’t say anything about canceling the season, but he might as well have.
Well the deadline has come and gone…. and nothing.
The owners and players are still negotiating in New York through the deadline. They had met for more than four hours Wednesday as of this writing. The reality is the deadline was artificial anyway, so long as the sides are talking and making some progress they will keep going at it. Consider it the Alan Jackson/Jimmy Buffett theory — It’s 5 O’ clock Somewhere.
If the talks blow up again maybe Stern will pull the current offer and put off the rollback offer out there, but for now nothing.
For now, we wait.
The players rejected the owners offer as is saying they would consider a 50/50 basketball related income split so long as the owners gave more on system issues such as the mid-level exception and luxury tax issues. Stern can make some tweaks to the offer, but not big ones.
We sit and wait to see if that is enough.
The venom players have directed at Michael Jordan and his role as a lockout hardliner continue. They are frustrated witha guy that stays quiet in meetings then talks tough later. Nick Young said hewouldn’t wear Jordan-brand shoes any longer and question the GOAT.
And now Stephen Marbury has entered the fray with his usual subtleness. Marbury tweeted this Tuesday night (via Ball Don’t Lie).
MJ went from MJ the black cat to a guy who forgot he was a player. Sell your team if you can’t make a profit.. Your just a regular dude now!
Micheal Fake Jordan is a sell out. #Period. He forgot which hole he came out of. I said it “Stephon X Marbury”
As our own Matt Moore talked about over the weekend (and other writers have noted as well): This is just Jordan being Jordan. He is out for himself and must win at everything. That made him a great player. It works out less well in other aspects of his life.
But now he’s an owner, so he wants to crush the players. Marbury can say Jordan has forgotten where he came from, but nothing here is out of character.
We could all use a little laugh, a little levity while we wait for word from the NBA owners and players union as they try to save the NBA season and start acting like adults.
For that, we turn to Team Coco — the Conan O’Brien show. There Andy Richter does a bit talking sports, even though he knows nothing about sports. But it feels like a sports talk show. Up this week was the NBA lockout… which becomes a ranking of fall foliage.
Hat tip to Ball Don’t Lie for the video.
In a lockout filled with — at times seemingly defined by — empty threats, this is my new favorite.
There are agents and players out there very frustrated with the hardline NBA owners. Understandably. Those are the owners who think even the 50/50 deal the sides are close to making is too soft a play. Guys who seem not to care about the games.
Which has led to a lot of rumblings like Alex Kennedy reported at Hoopsworld:
“I don’t want any of my clients playing for Michael Jordan, Paul Allen, Robert Sarver, Dan Gilbert or Peter Holt,” said one agent. “We won’t sign with them, unless they’re willing to really overpay. That’s going to be the only way these hardline owners are going to land any free agents after the way they’ve handled these negotiations.”
I call bull….
Money talks. The same way it talks in getting the lockout solved it will talk when the lockout ends and free agency opens up.
The first chance this agent has to get one of his clients a good payday in Charlotte or Portland he will push the player to sign. It’s always about money and opportunity for players, not which rich guys sits in the luxury box (or courtside).
But go ahead and rant if it makes you feel better. That’s what my five-year-old does.