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Michael Jordan leads NBA owners: 50/50 too much

Posted on: November 4, 2011 2:23 pm
Edited on: November 4, 2011 2:44 pm
Posted by Ben Golliver


Just when you thought that the possible decertificiation of the National Basketball Players Association was the biggest threat to the 2011-2012 NBA season, the Greatest Basketball Player Of All Time is reportedly stepping into the forefront, reminding everyone that the world of hoops still revolves around him.

NBA legend Michael Jordan, the majority owner of the Charlotte Bobcats, is reportedly leading a band of owners who believe that a 50/50 split of Basketball-Related Income is too much for the owners to give up.

The New York Times has the details.
The owners’ faction includes between 10 and 14 owners and is being led by Charlotte’s Michael Jordan, according to a person who has spoken with the owners. That group wanted the players’ share set no higher than 47 percent, and it was upset when league negotiators proposed a 50-50 split last month.

According to the person who spoke with the owners, Jordan’s faction intends to vote against the 50-50 deal, if negotiations get that far. Saturday’s owners meeting was arranged in part to address that concern.

A majority of the 29 owners are believed to support a 50-50 deal, but they are reluctant to move further. “There’s no one who’s interested in going above 50 percent,” said the person who has spoken with the owners.

Assuming the report's accurary, it's a fairly stunning about-face for Jordan. In 1998, just 13 years ago, Jordan famously told Abe Pollin, then owner of the Washington Wizards, that he should sell his team if he can't make a profit, rather than take a "hard stand" against the players. Fourteen years later, with the situation reversed, Jordan now so embodies hard-line ownership that he has become the group's public face. 

Removing Jordan from this equation, you don't have to read too far between the lines to see what's happening.

This is the ownership's response to the idea that the threat of decertification might serve as leverage to improve the owners' offer to players during Saturday's negotiating session. It produces a clear choice for the players: Take a 50/50 split, which you say that you don't want, because it will be the best offer made, period. And, please, consider the fact that there is a large, vocal minority pushing the offer back the other direction if you decide not to accept it. In other words, this information attempts to incentivize the players to cave now rather than to cave later. It appeals to any insecurity they might have about the direction of the negotiations, presents 50/50 as a reasonable alternative to the season-spiking chaos that goes along with decertification, and attempts to extinguish any hope that 52.5 percent, or even 51 percent, is a future possibility.

That Jordan has become the front man for all of this could very well end up taking some of the luster off his pristine reputation as the years pass. Or, it could get swept under the rug like many of his other transgressions. His motiviations are clear enough. the Bobcats struggle to win games, struggle to sell tickets and struggle to generate revenue. They can make a better case than most teams that the NBA's current model is broken. 

But the Bobcats' struggles will be lost in the shadow that Jordan's legend inevitably casts over everything in his vicinity. Each individual NBA player -- whether he's attended regional meetings, negotiating sessions, or not -- must now process the fact that the man many of them hold up as an idol on the court now clearly sits on the other side of the room in the current labor battle.

It's one thing to negotiate against NBA commissioner David Stern. It's quite another to know that Stern is the good guy trying to hold the greatest to ever lace them up in check. You couldn't blame NBA players if they felt deflated after reading this. Negotiating against lawyers is bad enough. Negotiating against your hero is damn near impossible. 

Hat tip: Kelly Dwyer, Ball Don't Lie

Since: Apr 4, 2008
Posted on: November 4, 2011 8:29 pm

Michael Jordan leads NBA owners: 50/50 too much

"it could get swept under the rug like many of his other transgressions"

So you are saying that his position that 50% is too much to give to the players is somehow a transgression? Does that mean he is not entitled to a position of an issue that affects him? I am sorry but that is just total nonsense.

Since: Oct 24, 2008
Posted on: November 4, 2011 7:53 pm

Michael Jordan leads NBA owners: 50/50 too much

The NBA and the NHL could go away today and the vast majority of sports fans in this country would not care.The NHL players struck and they got killed in the final negotiations.Why?No public support.The same will happen to the NBA players unless they take the 50/50 split(which btw is a fair offer)Fire Billy Hunter and make Derek Fisher president of the NBA players association.Hunter and his cronies have been feeding off these players for to long.

Since: Sep 16, 2007
Posted on: November 4, 2011 7:43 pm

Michael Jordan leads NBA owners: 50/50 too much

It's amazing that these athletes have no idea how close they were to being at the bottom of the 99%, some god given talent and good luck, that's it.

Since: Nov 2, 2008
Posted on: November 4, 2011 7:35 pm

Michael Jordan leads NBA owners: 50/50 too much

Why not pay each teams players on a profit share for what the team makes, no guarenteed contract. The better players can be given a higher % of the profits allocated to the players. That, along with whatever deals the player has with shoe deals or apparel, will let them live a fat, happy life and the "team" wont go broke in the process.

Since: Aug 1, 2008
Posted on: November 4, 2011 7:30 pm

Michael Jordan leads NBA owners: 50/50 too much

These thugs should take whatever they can, otherwise they should jet jobs at Oakley's car wash, because they have no education and no other qualifications.  

Since: Jan 21, 2007
Posted on: November 4, 2011 7:27 pm

Michael Jordan leads NBA owners: 50/50 too much

I said the same thing. I should have read all the comments first. I am so sorry that Chauncy Billups will miss his $14 million payday and probably end his career because of NBA greed. Do multi millionaires really need a union?

Since: Sep 16, 2007
Posted on: November 4, 2011 7:24 pm

Michael Jordan leads NBA owners: 50/50 too much

Hypocrisy is beautiful, just ask the occupy clowns who are washing up in the mall across the street.

AES - I do believe the raptors are one of the more profitable organizations in the NBA, an at par dollar, a shiity team and the fans keep coming out year after year.

Since: Jan 21, 2007
Posted on: November 4, 2011 7:24 pm

Michael Jordan leads NBA owners: 50/50 too much

Maybe the 99% should move their protest to NBA negotiations. All the NBA players are in the 1% and don't want to give back anything. I think the NHL is just fine after a reality check. If it takes a year lockout, I amm all for it.

Since: Feb 20, 2010
Posted on: November 4, 2011 7:23 pm

Michael Jordan leads NBA owners: 50/50 too much

When I tune in to an NBA game, I'm not watching the players, I'm watching the team. But even if I was watching the players, the owners provide them with what's necessary for them to play the game they love as a job. The owners should be getting the money because it's because of them there are teams. They are the ones ponying up their money and putting it at risk. Hate to tell you this, but owning an NBA team is not a hobby. It's an investment. Even if it wasn't, you have to eventually break even or you can't continue with the team. The owners deserve the money because they have more at risk financially than the players do. The players have none of their own money at risk.

It's really this simple: Do you want an 8 team NBA, where only major markets have teams, or do you want the players to earn a little less than they do now. The viability of the NBA is in question if they continue with the system they have now, and the players are failing to recognize this. Show me another sport where the players have as much earning power as they do in the NBA. Equal revenue sharing, reduction of BRI, and a hard cap is what the NBA needs.

Since: Feb 15, 2008
Posted on: November 4, 2011 7:23 pm

Michael Jordan leads NBA owners: 50/50 too much

I think one should remember that for the players, playing basket ball is their job.  That's how they make their money.  For the owners, owning a team is their hobby. Not one of the present owners  made their money owning a team. The owners have a team for the same reason that the average Joe has a fantasy team, because its fun. Nobody expects to make money with their hobby. If an owner desn't want to lose money playing bigshot basketball team owner, then don't buy a team. Get a different hobby, collect stamps, it's cheaper.
That's actually a good point. I remember a few years back, Micky Arison pretty much said exactly that. He said that owning his basketball team was a hobby, and that if an owner is looking to make $$$ then he's in the wrong line of business and should go elsewhere.

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