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The Lockout & the Raptors: Players approve CBA, Owners too! (1944)

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  • joey_hesketh wrote: View Post
    And this is what I was asking earlier .. whats being done to stop these owners from giving Eddy Curry $10M or $12M if, at the time, they feel he deserves it, and then he goes and f*cks the dog for 4 years?
    Or stopping them from giving Joe Johnson a MAX deal, after he's been an All-Star for 5 years in a row?

    The only thing that would fix this is Non-Guaranteed Contracts, and I don't see it happening.
    The players argue, and point to the NFL, where servicable, good, contributing players, are being released from their contract simply as a money saving move, and ultimately having nothing to do with their performance on the field.

    The system will remain broken long after these CBA negotiations. It will still be up to the owners to exercise Fiscal Restraint, and they have shown time and time again, they are NOT capable of doing that.
    I still haven't heard how this will be resolved.
    Until they figure this out, it will just get broken again.


    • Matt52 wrote: View Post
      I do not think the owners position is about spending, it is about retaining talent. Look at Carmelo Anthony already publicly trying to woo Chris Paul to New York. The players are not interested in competitive balance.
      - What is it you mean by competitive balance? Game to game? Season long? Over 5 years? 10 years? What's your measure? PLayoffs? Rings?

      - Do you honestly believe that a team without a superstar can win in the NBA? If yes, then how do you account for the past 30 years of NBA champions? If no, how do you ensure each team has a superstar each year (remember, you need 30 players better than the average All Star player)? If you aren't ensuring that, how do you achieve competitive balance?

      - What happens if another player like Jordan comes along? How do you compensate for him? Remember, we need "balance". Do we handicap that player like a horse? This isn't a joke question. How do you obtain balance in a league with a guy or guys like this?


      • slaw wrote: View Post
        - What is it you mean by competitive balance? Game to game? Season long? Over 5 years? 10 years? What's your measure? PLayoffs? Rings?

        - Do you honestly believe that a team without a superstar can win in the NBA? If yes, then how do you account for the past 30 years of NBA champions? If no, how do you ensure each team has a superstar each year (remember, you need 30 players better than the average All Star player)? If you aren't ensuring that, how do you achieve competitive balance?

        - What happens if another player like Jordan comes along? How do you compensate for him? Remember, we need "balance". Do we handicap that player like a horse? This isn't a joke question. How do you obtain balance in a league with a guy or guys like this?
        Great points, Slaw.


        • slaw wrote: View Post
          - What is it you mean by competitive balance? Game to game? Season long? Over 5 years? 10 years? What's your measure? PLayoffs? Rings?
          A system where all star players not making off season plans to join forces is a good start. Teams to having first opportunity and the best opportunity to keep homegrown talent. A system whereby a team that has invested in a player cannot lose that player to another team with the same amount of dollars (i.e. Carmelo Rule, no Sign and Trade, much lower contract to sign elsewhere). A system where players are accountable for their performance. A system where the most profitable and competitive teams cannot take on the best free agent role players with exemptions each year giving them an advantage over teams that cannot spend above and beyond the luxury tax.

          In doing these things I believe you would see more talent dispersed throughout the league causing a more competitive season and playoffs with more teams having a shot to make the playoffs each year and more Memphis-like situations whereby a lower seed can make a deep playoff run (Memphis truly was the exception to the rule this season).

          By having each team with the same payroll restraints, the teams that make the best decisions will thrive.

          - Do you honestly believe that a team without a superstar can win in the NBA? If yes, then how do you account for the past 30 years of NBA champions? If no, how do you ensure each team has a superstar each year (remember, you need 30 players better than the average All Star player)? If you aren't ensuring that, how do you achieve competitive balance?
          It is not likely but possible. The 2004 Pistons did it taking out Shaq and Kobe in their prime with an aged Payton and Malone.

          The current system allows the solid free agent role players/borderline stars to join teams that have acquired multiple all stars and/or franchise players through exemptions. It also allows star players to force a franchise to trade them where they want to go putting them in the situation of lose them for nothing or get 2 late first round draft picks as compensation.

          With a financial system in place that limits the amount of salary a team can accumulate and roll over each year, suddenly players are going to have to make a choice to team up with the best players: join Superstar X for less money and a chance to win or join Team X for more money but still have a chance to win.

          Despite Dallas' bloated payroll of overpaid yet solid players, they showed that the better team can overcome 2 1/2 superstars and an odd parts bin. Give Miami another 2 seasons of exemptions, however, and suddenly it is a different story as their payroll would easily exceed $100M in the just expired CBA.

          - What happens if another player like Jordan comes along? How do you compensate for him? Remember, we need "balance". Do we handicap that player like a horse? This isn't a joke question. How do you obtain balance in a league with a guy or guys like this?
          The Bulls were not made through free agency and exemptions. The team made great decisions with its roster and personnel. Look at the talent and complimentary pieces that Krause surrounded Jordan with. There is nothing wrong with a dynasty when it is created by shrewd management and a little luck. What players did Jordan recruit during the Olympics to play with him? What franchises lost their star players to create the success the Bulls had? The Bulls were built from the ground up and it took Jordan 8 years to win his first championship - he didn't bolt to play with Ewing or Drexler or Stockton/Malone or Larry or Magic or Robinson or Barkley or Reggie Miller.

          A different team winning the championship each year is not the competitive balance I speak of. Actually, thinking back to the Jordan years there were a lot of great teams and great basketball - and yes there were fewer teams as well so maybe contraction is something the league should be seriously thinking about.

          My definition of competitive balance all comes back to the system.

          The NHL system is what I refer to as competitive balance and hope that is what the owners hold out for.
          Last edited by mcHAPPY; Fri Oct 21, 2011, 10:41 PM.


          • GarbageTime wrote: View Post
            keep acting foolish Apollo. As I said before you have no interest in rationality here and are again, as always, using this to distract and avoid.
            Here you've be singing to the heavens for 52 pages that the owners won't let the players have access to the league's accounting suite yet you have no idea what they would do with it or what they would accomplish by doing whatever it is you think they're going to do... And please do us all a favor and explain to us what's irrational or distracting about asking you a direct question about something you've been talking about for the past month in this thread.


            • After NBA labor talks broke down Thursday night, Holt was asked if owners might be willing to sit out a year to get the changes they crave.

              "The competitive issues and the economic issues, certainly we don't want to lose the season, I don't think the NHL did either. It ended up happening," said Holt, chairman of the owners' labor relations committee. "There are certain things that we feel we must have."

              And that makes a lost NBA season a possibility.

              That comes as no surprise to players' association executive director Billy Hunter. He started to believe two or three years ago that owners intended to lock out the players so they could force through the changes they wanted. Now he doesn't see enough owners who can stop it from happening.

              He identified big-market owners Jerry Buss of the Lakers, the Knicks' Jim Dolan, Miami's Micky Arison and Dallas' Mark Cuban as owners he believed were open to anything that could lead to games, but there were many more from the small markets "that were dug in, and I think they're carrying the day."

              "And unfortunately I think what we have to do is we have to miss more games for it to really set in," Hunter said. "And that's what I kept trying to tell them is that this thing is on a slippery slope and we're already losing games, the first two weeks, and if we continue to go in that decline, it may become intractable to get people to move from their respective positions."

              The first two weeks of the season -- 100 games in all -- already have been canceled. And it won't be long before more games are scrapped.

              That's in stark contrast to the NFL lockout, in which only the preseason Hall of Fame game was canceled. The NFL always insisted that it would play, a rallying cry that is absent from the NBA negotiations. Of course, the NFL players and owners were fighting over how to split billions of dollars of revenue whereas the NBA says it lost $300 million last season and that only eight of its 30 clubs made money.

              "Different dynamic, I mean no doubt about it," said Holt, who added his small-market Spurs lost money the last two years, which hadn't happened before.

              So the best run and one of the most competitive franchises of the last 15 years is unable to turn a profit in the last 2 years.


              • The money and the system - and nothing less

                If the players were willing to agree to a much harder system, I would hope they would compromise on the BRI but it doesn't appear to be that way.

                Sometimes things have to get worse before they get better - the lockout might be a good example of this with regards to the system in the league.

                Adam Silver tried. Give him that much.

                When the NBA lockout was reaching its ugliest point on Thursday night in New York, the deputy commissioner took a moment to discuss the incredible damage being done to the game.

                "We understand the ramifications of where we are, we're saddened on behalf of the game," Silver said as he addressed the media while sitting next to Spurs owner Peter Holt. "We recognize that we're disappointing millions of fans, not just in the United State but around the world. We're having a huge impact on thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of jobs in this country related to NBA basketball, so we just want to assure everyone that we don't take anything we do lightly at all."

                Then came the only truth that mattered here, the proof that commissioner David Stern and the owners are as tone deaf to this time as so many had feared.

                "But we have certain core beliefs ... which we think are absolutely necessary to achieve before we continue to play NBA basketball," Silver continued.

                Silver said that last part while making a firm, hand-chopping gesture toward the table in front of him. He might as well have split it in two and walked out to spare us the spin that came thereafter.

                Never before had the league been so transparent, with Silver making it clear that the NBA was pushing forward with its have-its-cake-and-eat-it-too strategy. It wants to win on both basketball-related income (BRI) and the structure of the deal, and anything less will result in the sort of mass owners' exodus from meetings that led to Thursday's impasse. The league is clearly impervious to accusations of greed, and the championing of parity as a major motivating factor will continue no matter how many folks disagree.

                "What we told the players again today was that we could not trade one off for the other," Silver said of BRI and system issues. "As much as we would like to find a way for a so-called win-win for both parties, or we win one and you win one, in terms of the future of this league, we don't think it makes sense."

                Read more:

                That said, fans would be wise to remember the lessons learned from recent months. Just because no talks are planned doesn't mean the two sides might not resume discussions soon. What's more, it's worth peeking at a possible premise on the players' side in an attempt to explain their seemingly suicidal position.

                While two weeks of the regular season have already been canceled and at least two more are expected to go soon, two sources close to the negotiations said the union believes that Stern assured his ESPN and TNT television partners that, by back-ending the missed games, he can still deliver an 82-game season even if starts in December. Accurate or not, the players' perception of when their early paychecks will truly be gone for good will determine when they reach for the panic button. Conversely, it seems clear the owners want to push this timeline to the brink to get their dream deal, knowing full well what might happen when players miss the first round of paychecks in mid-November and a second round two weeks later.

                Except for one thing: The damage is worsening by the day. The sooner Stern and the owners realize that, the better off they'll be.

                Read more:
                Last edited by mcHAPPY; Sat Oct 22, 2011, 09:33 AM.


                • Now the NHL and NBA situations aren't all that comparable. The NHL was a blue collar sport with a white collar system, as some have described it. It needed to be restructured and really, the league is better for it today.

                  But it's good advice from Guerin to NBA players. It really isn't worth it. Like really, it's not worth it in terms of dollars and cents. Or at least it won't be in a few weeks.

                  Consider this quote from Guerin: "We could have waited two years and they would have waited us out -- I would have given an extra 2 percent back to play that year," Guerin said. "When you are in the Heat of battle, and you are fired up, you don't think what they are doing is right. But it's not about what is right or wrong -- it's their league. It's theirs. I feel, personally, I didn't like guys giving up a year of their career, for what? A few less Bucks? Guys are making more money now than they ever have."

                  That sounds like sense to me. It sounds like it's not just the type of stuff columnists and writers like me are blowing up players' butts with. That's real stuff from a guy that knows. That's something from a player that lived through an ENTIRE lost season. That's something to pay attention to.

                  When Billy Hunter said a hard cap system is a "blood issue" you knew that there was some emotional investment in this for the players. They want their old system back. A new NBA world where owners make lots of money and they make less isn't something they want.

                  But face facts: Whether it's 52.5 percent BRI or 47 percent BRI, NBA players are still going to make a crapton of money playing ball. That's the reality. Like Guerin said, it's hard to fully grasp that when you're in a battle trying to fight over something you're convinced isn't right, but sometimes life's not fair. Sometimes, the guys in charge wearing the suits get to make those decisions that aren't fair. And the employees, for better or worse, just have to live with it.


                  This articulates my thoughts on Bill Guerin's comments quite well.


                  • NLRB Ready To Rule

                    Officials of the National Labor Relations Board, sources say, appear to be ready to act on a players' union claim that NBA owners are guilty of unfair labor practices in their demands for "draconian demands and changes" and the declaration of a lockout when there was "no impasse in bargaining."

                    With board members appointed by President Obama in control, the NLRB has been leaning toward unions in most disputes. If the board agrees with the players that the owners have been guilty of bad faith in their bargaining and their lockout, the board would ask a federal judge for an injunction that would stop the lockout.

                    How important is the NLRB action? In most labor disputes, the management side of the dispute (the owners) does not participate in early NLRB skirmishing. In the NBA players' case, however, the owners have submitted considerable evidence to the NLRB in an effort to postpone an action that could destroy their lockout.
                    After watching this commentary:

                    Maybe the Owners' found out the decision of the NLRB a little early? That's just a shot in the dark but it is very interesting that the Owners have changed their tactics just before the ruling is to be announced.

                    I think if the NLRB rules against the players it might be the last crushing blow needed to fracture their unity.



                    • from RealGM:

                      Paul Allen emerged as a key participant NBA's labor negotiations this week, appearing as a hard-line owner against the players.

                      Throughout his time as the owner of the Blazers, Allen developed a strong reputation as one of the NBA's biggest spenders. The Blazers have consistently been amongst the teams with the highest payrolls and he also invested in purchasing draft picks from other teams at a price of as much as $3 million apiece.

                      In the 10-11 NBA season, the Blazers were one of four teams to be over the luxury tax threshold.

                      Many were surprised to see Allen reverse course on the economics of the NBA, but he made comments in April of this year to the Commonwealth Club of Silicon Valley that foreshadowed his current position.

                      "Sometimes they appreciate in value, but it depends on the market you are operating in," said Allen of professional sports franchises.

                      "Everybody wants to compete, so everybody wants to open your wallet, as an owner, to be competitive because nobody wants to sit there (for) 82 games a year and watch your team have a losing record,"
                      said Allen. "It is just hard to make the numbers add up if you're in a smaller market."

                      The owners have been seeking a more punitive luxury tax in their negotiations with players and that was something Allen went on record of being in support of during this April conversation.

                      "Sometimes if you don't have the right salary cap and things, you can spend so much more than you'll get back in revenue, so you have to have those constraints because every owner wants to compete."

                      Read more:
                      This is a good, honest statement from a hawk owner on why system changes are critical to both revenue and competitive balance. And if you want to call, "liar, liar" just because he's an owner, go ahead, but he said this in April, when there was little reason to be anything but candid.

                      Owners, despite the depth of their pockets, are forced to over-spend in the current system just to stay moderately competitive on the court. That's not a sustainable system.
                      Last edited by jimmie; Sun Oct 23, 2011, 11:26 AM.
                      Definition of Statistics: The science of producing unreliable facts from reliable figures.


                      • There is more than BRI being disputed. From

                        By now you should be familiar with what is keeping the sides apart. The owners are offering a 50/50 split of basketball related income; the players are asking for 52.5 percent. Each percentage point equals $40 million. Do the math, and it’s $100 million per year.

                        But there also are differences in what the salary cap system will look like, although many of those differences were narrowed in the 30 1/2 hours of federally mediated talks held last week. Here is where the sides stand on a number of those system issues:

                        _ Mid-level exception: Contrary to reports elsewhere, there is not a complete agreement on this particular piece of the puzzle. Yes, the sides have agreed that the maximum mid-level exception should be $5 million, but the owners want it to max out at $15 million over three years (no annual raises), while the union wants the maximum mid-level to be for four years, with 7 or 8 percent annual raises depending on the length of the contract.

                        _ Restricted free agency: The union went into these talks asking that the waiting time for a team to match an offer to a restricted free agent be reduced from 7 days. The owners have acquiesced, and the window for matching will be reduced to 3 or 4 days. The union also is asking that restricted free agency be removed for players coming off their rookie scale contracts, which would allow first-round picks to become unrestricted after four years instead of five, which is the case for second-round picks.

                        _ Trade rules: Under the old system, the salaries of players being traded had to be within 125 percent of each other (if both trading teams were over the salary cap). This rule will be loosened considerably, although a final formula has not been agreed to. The players want the percentage to rise to 225 percent (whereby, for instance, a player making $1 million could be traded for a player making $2.25 million), while the owners have indicated a willingness to allow the percentage to rise to 140 or 150 percent — although teams paying the luxury tax would have a tighter restraint.

                        _ The “stretch exception”: Under this proposal, a team could waive any player and stretch out the remainder of the money he is owed, reducing the salary cap number for that waived player. For instance, if an underperforming player had three years left on his contract and was waived under the stretch exception, his remaining unpaid salary would be stretched out over a period as long as seven years. (Example: A player owed $21 million for three years who is waived under the stretch exception would still be paid his $21 million, but the cap cost would be spread over seven years, meaning he would count $3 million annually against the cap instead of $7 million.) In theory, this would free up more money to be paid to players who were worthy of the increased salary. (Also, an additional pile of money would be freed up through the amnesty clause, a one-time opportunity when this deal gets done for each team to waive one player without his salary counting against the salary cap or the luxury tax. This clause would be especially helpful to Orlando, which could remove Gilbert Arenas and the $62.4 million he is owed over the next three years, and Portland, which could do the same with Brandon Roy’s $49 million in guaranteed money over the next three seasons.)

                        _ Maximum annual raises: There has been little movement here, with the owners asking that maximum raises be 4 1/2 percent for Bird players and 3 percent for others. The union wants to keep the current system of 10.5 percent raises for Bird players, with the caveat that the maximum raises would drop to 9 percent for a player signing a four- or five-year contract. For non-Bird players the union is asking for maximum raises of 8 percent in two- and three-year contracts, and 7 percent for players receiving four- or five-year deals.

                        _ The escrow tax: Under the old system, 9 percent of every player’s salary was withheld to ensure that players, as a whole, received no more than 57 percent of BRI (More than $160 million in withheld escrow funds from last season were refunded to players in August). The owners want to change things to have an NHL-style system with an unlimited escrow tax withheld, while the union wants to keep something resembling the present system in place.

                        _ Base-year compensation: The is an incredibly complicated rule dealing with the cap number for players who are in the first year of a new contract that pays them considerably more than they earned in their previous deal (i.e. a player coming off a rookie scale contract who signs a max deal). The union wants the rule eliminated, and the owners are open to that idea — except in the case of luxury tax-paying teams, and when the base-year player is involved in a sign-and-trade deal.

                        _ Additional Bird restrictions: The owners have backed off their previous demands that no team could have more than three Bird players on its roster at any time, and that no tax-paying team could use the Bird exception on more than one player per season. The owners are continuing to ask that tax-paying teams be prohibited from using the mid-level exception or the so-called Early Bird exception.

                        _ Maximum salaries: The owners have withdrawn their demands for changes to the maximum salary structure for individual players. The old system will remain, with the hard cap on individual salaries remaining roughly 25 percent of the cap for players with 1-6 years of service, 30 percent for players with 7-9 years, and 35 percent for players with 10 or more years of experience.

                        I'm a little disappointed the maximum salaries appear to be staying the same. Joe Johnson making $30M at 35 years of age is questionable and will be the noose around the franchise's neck.

                        Also the annual raises is incredible during this day and age. The players are asking for annual raises of anywhere from 7-10.5% depending on the contract - wow. There are so many people who would love to just have a job - forget the raise. When I see things like this it really is hard, in my opinion, to be sympathetic to the players cause.


                        • Apollo wrote: View Post
                          After watching this commentary:

                          Maybe the Owners' found out the decision of the NLRB a little early? That's just a shot in the dark but it is very interesting that the Owners have changed their tactics just before the ruling is to be announced.

                          I think if the NLRB rules against the players it might be the last crushing blow needed to fracture their unity.

                          More NLRB opinions.

                          The NBA and NBA Players Association (NBPA) have filed charges against each other with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). Sports labor analysts Gary Roberts and Roger Abrams discuss the NBPA's filing, which could result in the end of the NBA lockout if the NLRB rules in favor of the union and a federal judge issues an injunction to lift the work stoppage.

                          Gary Roberts, dean and professor at the Indiana University Law School-Indianapolis

                          "The [NBPA's] unfair labor practice complaint is extremely weak and lacks legal basis. … Labor law is absolutely 100-percent clear that strikes and lockouts are allowed without [an] impasse being reached. Players could have struck the day the [collective bargaining agreement] expired and the league exercised its right to lock out the players. And the union's argument that the owners somehow failed to bargain in good faith because they made extreme demands also flies in the face of clear labor law. The duty to bargain in good faith does not undermine the right of 'freedom of contract,' a principle that says that either side is entitled to take firm and unbending substantive positions. As long as the owners are willing to keep meeting and talking, they are meeting the duty to bargain in good faith whether or not they make extreme demands and do not budge off of them. So absent some smoking gun in which owners are proven to have been bargaining with no effort to seek an agreement (which I am fairly sure does not exist) the union has little hope of prevailing on this NLRB complaint. … And even if the NLRB made a finding for the union in this matter, I seriously doubt they could get a court to issue a Section 10(j) injunction to end the lockout. I would be positively shocked if it turns out otherwise."

                          Roger Abrams, Richardson professor of law at Northeastern University

                          "The [NBPA] and NBA charges filed with the [NLRB] -- they are not suits or complaints, but are called 'charges' -- will NOT determine the outcome of this labor dispute. … I don't think the board will filed merit in either side's charge. This is tough and hard bargaining, accompanied by an employer lockout. There is no legal requirement that there be an impasse before either striking or locking out the other side. Even if the [NLRB] finds merit with the union's charge, it is most unlikely it will proceed to federal court under Section 10(j). It did so in 1995 against MLB because there were unilateral changes made by management. None are involved here. The National Labor Relations Act makes this a permissive move on the part of the Board and it does so rarely. We are in for the long haul until someone calls 'uncle.' "

                          Obviously these are only opinions but it does not look as if the last ace in the sleeve is going to help the players.


                          • Thanks for the update. Gary Roberts does a good job of clearing the air there.


                            • For all the allegations of the owners not bargaining in 'good faith' one could say the same about the players. There are plenty of these types of comments out there:

                              In negotiations, players have already said they’d come down from their current 57 percent share of the league’s revenues to 53 — or 52.5 percent. But owners are now asking for an even split with the players, and that’s not palatable for players. “It’s just not. We set our number. We’ve already dropped, but we set our number at 53 and that’s what we’re sticking to,” James Harden said
                              Quote via Washington Post via


                              • Stole this from True Hoop:

                                To all NBA players who stand unified against the godless owners, read these words of warning from a former NHL player about the reality of losing an entire season:

                                "It's not worth it. Get a deal done," former Dallas Stars forward Bill Guerin said during a phone call last week.

                                There was not a single NHL player during the Great Lockout of 2004-05 who was a bigger proponent of the union's fight than this man. No one believed in the cause more than Guerin, and to hear him admit this is a bit stunning.

                                "I learned a big lesson: It's not a partnership. It's their league, and you are going to play when they want," he said.

                                Today, Guerin has hindsight and his experience serves as a giant caution to any player who thinks losing a game, much less an entire season, to this lockout is a good idea. His message is simple: Get what you can; start playing; you are not going to win what you think.

                                "It is not worth it to any of them to burn games or to burn an entire year. Burning a year was ridiculous," Guerin said. "It wasn't worth me giving up $9 million a year, or 82 games plus the playoffs, then having a crappy year and being bought out.... Guys in the NBA making $15 million or however much better think long and hard about this."
                                Eh follow my TWITTER!