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

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  • Current offer is on the table until Wednesday

    NEW YORK -- Commissioner David Stern gave NBA players an offer and a deadline: Accept a chance to earn up to 51 percent of basketball-related income by Wednesday or get ready for a deal that's a whole lot worse.
    Kessler said the proposal was really 50.2 percent for the players and called the chance of them ever reaching 51 percent a "fraud" and an "illusion."
    If players don't agree to it by Wednesday, Stern said they would get a deal that would guarantee them just 47 percent of BRI and call for a flex salary cap.
    Players and owners met with federal mediator George Cohen for more than eight hours, and Stern said Cohen offered six "what if?" recommendations relating to the BRI split and the salary cap system.

    Stern said owners accepted the first five and would put them in writing in a formal proposal to the players, hopefully Sunday. But it wasn't acceptable Saturday, with Stern saying Kessler rejected it.

    "I think it's fair to say that speaking on behalf of the union, Mr. Kessler rejected the mediators' recommendations and our proposal," Stern said. "But hope springs eternal, and we would love to see the union accept the proposal that is now on the table."

    David Stern press conference here:

    Derek Fisher press conference here:
    Last edited by mcHAPPY; Sun Nov 6, 2011, 11:35 AM.


    • The owners not negotiating in good faith argument is officially blown up. The players have become unreasonable, in my opinion. Evidence of my opinion:

      Union lawyer Kessler states:

      "They came in here with a prearranged plan to try to strong arm the players," he said. "They knew today they were sticking to 50, essentially 50.2. They were going to make almost no movement on the system, and then they were going to say, 'My way, or the 47 percent highway."
      Yet here are the compromises the league made:

      The two sides could not bridge the gap on key aspects of the luxury tax system, specifically the penalty for teams that stay over the tax for three years out of five. The league reduced its offer from $1.50 additional tax for such teams to $1, while the union is holding firm at 50 cents additional tax on the first $10 million over the tax level and $1 after that. The punitive impact would only be felt by a handful of teams that historically have spent at those levels.

      They also differ over the length and amount of mid-level exceptions that can be used by tax-paying teams. The players want tax-payers to be able to sign players to four-year mid-level deals starting at $5 million every other year. The league proposed two-year mid-level deals starting at $2.5 million every other year.

      Non-tax-paying teams would be able to sign players to mid-level deals starting at $5 million, with the length alternating between four and three years each season under the owners’ proposal. The players want straight four-year mid-level deals for non-tax-payers.

      The luxury-tax “cliff” experienced by tax teams, by which they felt the full brunt of going slightly over the tax level by losing all the tax money they would’ve received had they stayed under, also was addressed in the owners’ proposal. The league offered that such teams would receive half the tax money squandered by going from being a tax receiver to a tax payer.

      The league has not relented on its insistence that tax-paying teams be forbidden to execute sign-and-trade transactions, which the union argues -- when coupled with the other system restrictions -- would dry up the market for free agents in a way that imitates a hard team salary cap.

      The players dug in on one issue and the owners dug in on one issue with neither side compromising.

      Also this statement:

      The union considers the penalties for tax-paying teams too restrictive and and that the current proposal would take some of the league’s biggest-spending teams out of the market.;_yl...r_talks_110511
      The owners new proposal allows the bigger spending markets a 'mini-MLE'. Players would have to make a choice: full money with a smaller market team or less money with Kobe or LeBron/Wade.

      On the financial split, the owners are proposing a band that would give the players between 49 and 51 percent of revenues. The players dropped from asking for 52.5 percent to 51 percent — with 1 percent of that money set aside for increased retirement benefits for both current and former players.

      But the players’ financial proposal was contingent on the owners dropping many of their system change demands, which the owners refused to do.

      “They came in here tonight with a pre-arranged plan to strong-arm the players,” union attorney Jeffrey Kessler said. “They said ‘my way or the 47 percent highway. How do you think the best players in the world feel about threats? That was not an offer that was made in good faith to the fans, or in good faith to the players, and the players will not be intimidated.”
      It is clear the system changes are the biggest obstacles. I'm glad the owners are holding strong on this issue. The players have already been offered 47% with the system issues as they would like or they can get 50.2% with system changes that promote competitive balance. Make a choice Kessler but don't act like you don't have one. The players are giving the owners ultimatums as well - the difference is they have no leverage which is why they are angry.
      Last edited by mcHAPPY; Sun Nov 6, 2011, 10:02 AM.


      • Adrian Wojnarowski:

        As @David Aldridge says, Stern doesn't have ownership support to go beyond 50 percent on revenue split. He barely had it to go to 50.


        • What is fair?


          Ken Berger: Fisher characterizes owners' offer as "ultimatum" with "a system that is not a fair system." Twitter

          Brian T. Smith: #TheNBPA's Fisher says #NBA's 51-49 band is "really 50" and "not a fair system." Twitter

          Since when is life fair?

          How many of the players, or maybe a better question, how often have the players ever been told, "No." or held accountable for their actions? Big time stereotype there but I believe (in other words my opinion) it is more fact than fiction.

          Past CBA's saw the BRI number for players go from 48-52-57. Times change - certainly the economics of it all changes. If they take a 50.2% deal now, who is to say in 6-10 years time if times are better they cannot negotiate a larger percentage? They negotiated larger percentages in the past - so why can't they do it again in the future?

          This isn't about fairness. This is about the players thinking they are entitled to x amount because that is what they think is right - or fair. Bullsh!t.

          Life is not fair. Most of these guys have no sweet clue.

          Is it fair arena workers and parking vendors are suffering for the players call for fairness?

          Is it fair for the child diagnosed with cancer at 3 and will never see 5?

          Is it fair for the single income family to lose the job through a layoff?

          Is it fair 99% of people are experiencing flat or declining incomes while 1% continue to get richer?

          Is it fair for the homeowner to have their land expropriated for the good of a town?

          Is it fair some people in life milk the system for all they can get while others work their asses off to live cheque to cheque?

          Is it fair for a working couple to have to sacrifice half (or more) of an income to have a child yet the town 'ho can spread her legs once a year with a different guy to increase her annual 'salary' for the next 18 years?

          Is it fair some are born in middle class North America or Europe while others are born in 'middle class' Africa?

          For the majority of people, life isn't fair. The majority of NBA players today have not learned that lesson. It took a full year for the majority of NHL players to learn that lesson:

          "When you are are in the heat of the 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 than they ever have." - Bill Guerin
          So is it unfair to be denied an extra $32 million annually (difference of 51% and 50.2% of $4 billion) to be split among 450 players when the players slice is already $2.008 billion?

          Is it unfair to have to choose between $5M a year in Charlotte versus $2.5M a year in Miami?

          Is it truly unfair to have to choose between possibly just 25 or 26 of 30 North American cities to earn millions of dollars per year playing a game you supposedly love instead of 30 of 30?
          Last edited by mcHAPPY; Sun Nov 6, 2011, 09:39 AM.


          • What is next?

            Stern said that the league would spend Sunday writing up two formal proposals, one as outlined above and another based on a less appealing offer that would come if Wednesday's deadline passes without an agreement. That deal, Stern said, would have two ominous parts: a 47-53 split of league revenue in favor of the owners and a "flex" cap system that would replicate the NHL 's hard cap.

            If they don't take the deal, the union is faced with one option: to decertify the union and fight the league in court. That, of course, would take up the kind of time that would essentially kill any chance of having a season.

            The decertification route a) kills the season, b) doesn't guarantee a victory for players, and c) could kill more than one season to resolve in court - let alone any appeal.

            Only my opinion but if the players had a vote on the deal currently being offered by the owners, it would pass.


            • After watching both conferences, this is what I notice:

              Stern offers specifics where they are and what the owners are willing to do.
              Fisher offers vague statements about how much the players have sacrificed but never offering specifics.

              Stern has come to a point that this is as far as we're willing to come and we've taken the mid-point offered by the mediator in the areas of disagreement to resolve this.
              Fisher has said we want to keep negotiating however they are unwilling to move from their stance - negotiations seems to mean we want to keep talking until you accept what we, the players, want.

              Both the owners and the players have offered one another an ultimatum.


              • Nazr Mohammed: A Luxury Tax and teams that pay it can't bid on the services of free agents...Sounds like a hard cap to me. I get it's time 2 punish the teams with money, who prospered under last CBA, or has a following outside of their state. Twitter
                No, Nazr. It is time to give teams who have not prospered a chance to compete.

                Nazr Mohammed: I'm cool with whatever is best for our union but I hope it's understood that we're being offered a deal where the top teams won't be able to bid for ur services when u become a FA. Teams known for spending money hands will be tied and u will be forced to either re-sign w/ ur current team or take a lot less on the open market. But there will be no open market bcuz teams like the Lakers, Miami, NY, Boston, etc couldnt even be part of the FA process Twitter
                You can most certainly sign with a top team. You just can't sign with a top team that is in the luxury tax. You just shot yourself in the foot on the competitive balance argument.
                Re-signing with current team gives more guaranteed years and money from my understanding.
                With a minimum teams must spend, there will be dollars to be had on the open market as teams must pay.

                Nazr Mohammed: Everyone knows that ur value is set by the available teams wanting to bid for ur services. If there aren't any teams who can spend then u don't have any negotiating power. So players will have to decide between the mid-level, bi-annual exception, their veterans minimum or take whatever ur current team offers. If ur cool w/ that then this is the deal for u. ***. Twitter
                There will be teams who can spend - just not all 30. 25 out of 30 ain't bad.
                Players deciding between exemptions is what players must currently do to join a tax payer.
                Not all teams will be over the salary cap which will still be at $58M therefore players might be able to get more money without an exemption - it just won't be where they want, boo hoo.

                Nazr Mohammed: By the sign and trades for tax paying teams too. Free agency will never be the same. I really can't believe that all the owners are on board with this. This deal ties the hands of teams in large markets that paid luxury tax. A team that's paying the luxury tax cant go out & compete in free agency. They wont b able 2 keep a championship team 2gether n Dallas' case. Twitter
                Imagine no sign and trade for taxpayers.
                So players will have to make a choice.
                Fewer franchises held ransom.
                Sounds horrible.


                • I am getting pessimistic that the owners are moving towards softening on the system issues.

                  Thanks for all the updates.


                  • Bendit wrote: View Post
                    I am getting pessimistic that the owners are moving towards softening on the system issues.

                    Thanks for all the updates.

                    Honestly I'm not pessimistic on the softening of system issues. I think the owners have conceded as much as they are going to concede - and I'm a little surprised they did as much as they did with regards to tax payers. In a few months, the players will probably be wishing for this offer when the owners are offering a flex cap.


                    • Should the Union accept the deal by Wednesday?

                      *This will be merged with the lockout thread after Wednesday*

                      Listen to Stern:

                      Listen to Fisher:

                      Should the players accept the latest proposal from owners?


                      • For my sake, I hope so
                        The Baltic Beast is unstoppable!


                        • Any fan is going to say Yes ... the reality is they won't accept it. I can't believe Stern is now threatening the players with "accept this or we'll make the next offer even worse". Does he really expect the players to just give in now?

                          This whole season is going to be canceled. I'm just worried that the 2012 draft is going to be canceled as well. The Raptors will lose out on a high draft pick on top of losing a season.


                          The NBA: Where Greed Happens


                          • EasyE wrote: View Post
                            Any fan is going to say Yes ... the reality is they won't accept it. I can't believe Stern is now threatening the players with "accept this or we'll make the next offer even worse". Does he really expect the players to just give in now?

                            This whole season is going to be canceled. I'm just worried that the 2012 draft is going to be canceled as well. The Raptors will lose out on a high draft pick on top of losing a season.


                            The NBA: Where Greed Happens
                            Welcome EasyE.

                            Any fan would say yes but it could be for a variety of reasons such as it is the best deal they will get, they are hurting themselves more holding out for what they want versus what they have, etc.

                            If I were the players, I would give in as you put it. They have managed to make things much better than the NBA was originally pushing for. Changes were coming and they have limited the changes so that the skeleton of the old system at least remains. If they don't take this deal, welcome to NHL 2.0, in my opinion.


                            • Holy contradictions, Batman!

                              Adrian Wojnarowski: Front office officials of two teams say owners returned from Saturday meeting telling staff to prepare for strong possibility of no season. Twitter
                              There will be no season.....

                              Adrian Wojnarowski: As I hear from players, I will be surprised if there isn't some kind of membership push to take NBA's offer. How big of one? Still unknown. Twitter
                              Players are pushing union to accept.....

                              Alan Hahn: A lot of frustration w/in union membership as decertification movement grows. "We should have decertified in July," one player said. #NBA Twitter
                              No deal and we are decertifying.......

                              Marc J. Spears: 2 prominent agents say they wouldn't advise clients to take NBA's latest offer, but could push them for decertification with no deal by Wed Twitter
                              Agents against deal and looking at decertification.....

                              Steve Kyler: Spoke with a handful of agents today... none believe Decertification now does anything but kill the season. All said its time to make a deal Twitter
                              No wait.... agents for deal......

                              Steve Kyler: Most agents agreed that percentage of BRI wasn't a huge concern as long as NBA sticks to its plan not to reduce salary cap in year 1 Twitter
                              Agents still for deal with a condition, of course.....

                              The NBA and the players should probably look at this forum. It is one of the most active of all the TrueHoop network and in the last few days it has gone dead. It seems most everyone is getting by and moving on without the Raptors and the NBA. Unfortunately I'm having a hard time letting go but even I'm just waiting until tomorrow night when NCAA starts and the real tip off Friday with 127 NCAA games on tap.

                              Oh yeah, and December 3rd, noon EDT, CBS, Kentucky vs. UNC!


                              • Derek Fisher talked 2:14 without discussing the specifics of the package the players union proposed to the owners. Kind of a bizarre PR move in my opinion because there is nothing
                                to substantiate his claims that the players were working towards a resolution of the conflict this weekend.

                                I hope the players refuse the offer and that the lockout last long enough for some of them to learn the effect of unemployment.