“We certainly didn’t achieve all we needed to achieve. I’ve said it multiple times that in the old CBA, financially, teams were drowning in 10 feet of water, now we’re drowning in two feet of water. It’ll be interesting. Obviously the Nets just went out and spent a boatload of money. It’ll be interesting to see if that works for them or against them.”
— Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban talking about the lockout that almost cost the league last season, on ESPN Radio in Dallas (an interview we’ve already quoted a couple times), via Sports Radio Interviews.
The NBA owners want more money — no matter how much they have they will want a bigger slice of the pie. In the last lockout they got a lot from players and really tried to shift the finances of the league. But as Cuban pointed out the Nets will have a massive, long-term payroll and the Lakers next year (and likely the next couple years) will spend $17 million more than anyone else to field a team. You think small market owners think they can still compete? You think that will not fuel them to push for more changes that will not benefit players?
We don’t know what the financial landscape of the NBA will be in five years when either side (owners or players) can opt out of the current CBA. But you can bet one side will. And as Cuban says, the owners don’t think they got enough yet… although if they are drowning in two feet of water, that’s on them.