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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: Oct 4, 2011
Posted on: November 4, 2011 5:18 pm

Michael Jordan leads NBA owners: 50/50 too much

$20 million a year*

Since: Mar 30, 2010
Posted on: November 4, 2011 5:18 pm

Still a Jordan fan, sorta

As a King's fan who has completely divorced himself from the NBA, partially because of the "Jordan Rules" and how favoritism was granted during NBA games, I have to say I support the assertion of no more than 50% to the players. Jordan didn't get rich from the Bulls, he became wealthy because of endorsements that were the result of being a TEAM PLAYER with his teammates. He seldom (if ever) made headlines for law breaking activities and I don't recall him spitting, jumping into, or throwing crap at the fans of games. He got rich because he played it all smart and made the best use of what was available to him. Today's mouthpieces are so focused on getting Jordanesque dollars they have lost site of providing the league with actual ambassadors of the game. Me, I said MEN, not punks, we can look at and respect for effort, honest competition, and returned respect to me as a paying fan... of which I will never be again. Their only hope is to start over from scratch and start a new league, with fair officiating, and respect first for the cities in which they play and the fans that pay their friggin' light bills.

Since: Oct 4, 2011
Posted on: November 4, 2011 5:17 pm

Michael Jordan leads NBA owners: 50/50 too much

Why do players have to be so greedy. They arent the bosses, the owners are. No way in Hell should the players make 50%. I cantthink of any job where the palyers get half the revenue. Unless the players want to pay the concession workers, office workers and travel expenses go F%ck yourselves. These players should make a maximum of 3 million a year and drop ticket prices, concession prices etc, so that the average Joe can go to a game. Who deserves to make $20 a year playing a sport. I would take $100,000 a year to be a pro in any sport. get over yourselves.

Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: November 4, 2011 5:17 pm

Michael Jordan leads NBA owners: 50/50 too much

At this rate the NBA will be gone in 2 years.  This won't be settled anytime soon

Since: Jun 22, 2009
Posted on: November 4, 2011 5:02 pm

Michael Jordan leads NBA owners: 50/50 too much

ilovemykids, I couldn't disagree more.  My recollection of Jordan as a player was anything but a whore.  I always looked up to Jordan as a guy who was WILLING TO TAKE LESS IN ORDER FOR THE TEAM TO ATTRACT BETTER TALENT.  By that, I mean that I recall a year at the top of Jordan's career where I think he was making a little over $3 million on his contract, and about 10X that in endorsement deals.  While the money factor since that time has made it difficult to comprehend what $3 million meant back then, I know that it meant other players could and were making more.  That should NEVER have been the case.  I see a very similar situation with Albert Pujols.  The guy has rarely been amongst the top 20 players in the game during his career, not to mention the top 5 or 10.  He's never pissed and moaned about renegotiating.  Then, when it is time for the team to renegotiate (as his contract was about to run out), the Cardinals offer him something far less than a handful of players had already received.  It might be prudent, or it might be cheap and unthankful.  Jordan was like Pujols.  Not at all like a whore.

Since: May 18, 2011
Posted on: November 4, 2011 4:46 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Dec 23, 2007
Posted on: November 4, 2011 4:44 pm

Michael Jordan leads NBA owners: 50/50 too much

sign the deal or go bag groceries.. no education no job... the nba will start over without these players...

Since: Nov 4, 2011
Posted on: November 4, 2011 4:37 pm

Let them all quit!!

Here is a scenario that I would love to see played out:

All the owners have succeeded in other things besides basketball. They will be fine finacially with or without it. The players on the other hand will not. I say the hell with them. Have the owners tell all players that you play the game for $2 million a year period! Give bonuses for such things as all-star games, playoffs, scoring titles, etc... But don't let these bonuses exceed a certain amount, maybe $5 million. And that's it!

Worst case scenario, the main players do not play at all and the level of competition goes down. But that's temporary. Now you have kids in college coming out year after year taking that $2 million because they have no other options (and overseas is not an option, have you heard the stories from players that have gone over there? It's horrible conditions). Give it 3-4 years and now you have a working business model again where the owners make money, the players make money, fans can go to the games again for under $100, and there is a lot of talent to watch.

You can't tell me that earning $38,000 minimum per week for these players is unfair! Not to mention their endorsement deals. If they want to earn what the owners earn, then do what every owner did; Make some money doing business ventures, investing, or other potentially successful things and save up to buy a team.

Since: Oct 8, 2007
Posted on: November 4, 2011 4:34 pm

Michael Jordan leads NBA owners: 50/50 too much

In any business scenario, ownership has to have 51% or more to be the majority stake holder..........otherwise the players own and run the team.  I say let the players attempt to own and run the organizations they play will be a huge failure.
WTF are you talking about?  It is not 51% of ownership stake, the percentage refers to revenue distribution.  The players have no control of the team regardless of how much of the revenue they receive.

Since: Jun 5, 2011
Posted on: November 4, 2011 4:34 pm

Michael Jordan proves me right

Whenever an ex-player becomes an owner, he realizes how grossly overpaid the players are.  If MJ was still playing, he would be one of the players clamoring for more money.  Now that he is an owner, he is one of the owners clamoring for more money for his side.  
Deep down, the players know they don't deserve even half of the money becuase it is the owners who are spending everything to even give them a place to play.  As long as the players continue to be sock puppets on the hands of greedy agents, they will continue to tell everyone who wants to listen how much more money they "deserve."
I say [bleep] the players.  Let them go out into the real world and see what one or two years of college gets you in today's job market.  

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