Blog Entry

NBA says it could void all existing contracts

Posted on: November 13, 2011 10:57 pm
By Matt Moore 

There's been a quiet response to all the decertification talk this weekend, and in a fairly embarrassing Twitterview, the NBA presented it front and center Sunday night. The league has given the players a choice between a proposal they obviously find unacceptable, and even worse deal which will be the owners' new starting point for negotiations should the players reject the current offer. In response, the players have pushed even closer to decertification or potentially a disclaim of interest to dissolve the union and pursue antitrust lawsuits against the league.  The league has answered every move the players have tried to make. So their response to the threat of decertification?

They will pursue voiding all existing contracts.

It's not as simple as just saying "your contracts are void," there's a legal process. It involves the suit currently filed by the league against the players which they filed months ago, and even if that didn't go through, they'd file again post-decertification in pursuit of the same goal. It's a complex, and messy situation that could take years to resolve if it came to that. But much like decertification, it works better as a threat than as a legitimate weapon. 

If you're a max player, say, Carlos Boozer, and you just landed that last big contract to set you up guaranteed for the next four seasons, and the league says it can nullify that contract and set you back, how do you consider the proposal tomorrow as player reps meet in New York? If you're Joe Johnson, and you know there's no freaking way you get the deal you got in 2010 in a wide-open free agency, how do you respond? Every player earning more than he probably would in an open market would pause. Yes, you have your Derrick Rose's, your Blake Griffins, but there are far more players playing on longer-term contracts with considerable value than there are young players bucking for an open market.

And the threat works both ways for the owners. If you're Donald Sterling, how do you feel about the idea that Blake Griffin could be a free agent? Or Clay Bennett with Kevin Durant? How about Ted Leonsis and John Wall? But still, much like the CBA debate itself, it's not about the stars, it's about the rank and file guys, and those guys would be devasteated financially to lose their current contracts, especially if they also lose the ability to negotiate a guaranteed contract in the next agreement. 

It's a hefty threat, the kind of nuclear weapon for the owners that decertification is for the players. Both sides continue to get closer to the button and there appears to be no cooler head to walk things back.  

Since: Nov 7, 2008
Posted on: November 14, 2011 3:45 pm

NBA says it could void all existing contracts

Go nuclear.  It would be great.  And teams could reset.  The T-Wolves could actually get decent players and the word beating Heat would be broken up. 

It would be complete and absolute anarchy, almost like a fantasy basketball draft, but with real money.  I hope it happens, but there is no way it would.  The teams have spent too much in marketing their disgruntled million dollar players to ever let the league reset itself and start over.  As the article said, teams who have younger players and have managed their cap well would be hurt and other teams who have chucked millions at sub par free agents (Joe and Amir Johnson) would be given a free pass on their stupidity...until the go off and do it again.

It's hilarious that all of this was caused by the greed of the players and stupidity of the owners.  If the owners would have just stopped signing mid level players to max deals, stopped throwing money around like it does actually grow on trees, then they would not be in these financial straits.  And once the players tasted the good life of these max deals, the owners are nuts to believe they will give up some salary just for league wide harmony.

But it would be cool if if could happen. 

Since: Nov 14, 2011
Posted on: November 14, 2011 2:50 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Jul 30, 2011
Posted on: November 14, 2011 2:08 pm

NBA says it could void all existing contracts

Unfortunately, none of this type of "reporting" belongs in the sports section. This reporting should be carried under some other heading because I don't see any scores or updates on players or anything to do with a game. This has no place here. Perhaps the business section of a newspaper? Why subject those of us who turn to the sports for an escape from the real world to this nonsense? This is depressing and shameful behavior but this has nothing to do with sports. This does not enhance my enjoyment of a game that is about to be played either. It's like seeing that the kitchen of a nice restaurant is absolutely filthy but they will continue to charge higher prices because we think we need to be served this type of food. There are better restaurants with cleaner kitchens...but the best part is, at thos other restaurants you aren't continually shown the kitchen and back rooms...because you don't care about that part. So, are the some scores that CBS canreport to us? Then quit wasting our time.

Since: Sep 4, 2006
Posted on: November 14, 2011 2:06 pm

NBA says it could void all existing contracts

Eh, the players should take the agreement. They know who the hardlined owners are. They should agree to the deal and then when their contracts are up, leave the hardlined owners with trash heap teams with no one but marginal players who can't get on anywhere else. No one in Charlotte or Phoenix will pay to see a team of trash players and those owners will be destroyed. Everything they fought for in their hardlined ways will put them under and either force them to sell or end up bankrupt.

Since: Sep 15, 2006
Posted on: November 14, 2011 11:39 am

Let them void the contracts Reform the ABA!

That would be the best thing to happen to the players.  They could immediately form their own league and begin planning for the first year of games to be held in 2012.  The arenas will be the first ones on board to support them, as the NBA ditched them when they needed them most.  You can't tell me there aren't 24 rich boys out there that want to own a pro sports franchise.  Hell, Mark Cuban would be the first former owner on board.  Reform the ABA today!

Since: Oct 28, 2011
Posted on: November 14, 2011 11:29 am

NBA says it could void all existing contracts

I am so tired of people saying "lock the season out because the NCAA is so much better because the players are playing for the love of the game not the money".  That is COMPLETE BS.  They are playing to market themselves to the NBA.  While this may be a pipe dream for the majority of them you can't make me believe that the majority are playing for the "love of the game" only.

Since: Mar 3, 2009
Posted on: November 14, 2011 8:31 am

NBA says it could void all existing contracts

To mcohen4:  Well said.

Since: Sep 20, 2006
Posted on: November 14, 2011 8:29 am

NBA says it could void all existing contracts

The NBA needs to take this opportunity to install a business model that insures success. That doesn't mean players will be means they will continue to be millionaires. Bankrupting the NBA would mean an end to that. Sometimes, medicine tastes bad, but it's far better than the disease it cures. Players don't seem to understand that. 

Granted, the owners created this mess by overpaying players, and giving them far too much control over where they play. They've so coddled a pool of employees who's ego and intelligence have easily misled them to believe THEY are the product being sold, not the NBA, and are somehow more valuable than the league that pays them. Sadly, it's a childishly ignorant misunderstanding of the simplest of business economics- players want more than there is to pay them with.  

It's also human nature to believe the life you've always known is normal...and players haven't been told "no" much in their lives, untill now. Reduced contracts, aren't in their vocabulary, and the NBPA has represented the NBA's negotiating stance to players, not as a financial neccessity, but rather an unwillingness to compromise by individual owners and the NBA as a whole....In this regard, the NBPA reps (Billy Hunter and Derek Fisher) have misrepresented both the rank and file players they are supposed to be looking out for, and their employers, the NBA, by trying to spin failed negotiations as an issue of pride and principle, instead of what it really is - one of profit and loss.

Players taking legal action against the NBA will be a waste of considerable cost and time. There is no basis to believe that the NBA asking the highest average salary in pro sports to take what amounts to a 6% reduction, consitutes unfair labor practice. Similarly, there is no basis for an anti-trust suit, because there are no competitors to the NBA that have been harmed. It's a defacto stall tactic that will cost the players far more than the current NBA offer would have, with little chance of ever getting that money back.

Both sides have options, but there is only one inevidible result-players WILL make less money so the NBA CAN turn a profit, or there will be NO NBA. No business can sustain 9 figure losses and survive...and no court can make them.

Since: Mar 3, 2009
Posted on: November 14, 2011 8:22 am

NBA says it could void all existing contracts

Well said.

Since: Sep 4, 2011
Posted on: November 14, 2011 3:51 am

NBA says it could void all existing contracts

It's a hefty threat, the kind of nuclear weapon for the owners that decertification is for the players. Both sides continue to get closer to the button and there appears to be no cooler head to walk things back.
I am so sick of sports writing lately. Nuclear war? This type of characterization, the hyperbole, is offensive. Why?

The true damage of the lockout has been done already. The police officers, concession workers, team staff, ticket takers, interns, stat team, marketing departments, ushers, they've all been told to go home. Their jobs are gone.

Now we have rich ballplayers and owners squabbling over a system, which quite frankly, is unsustainable. The players want more. The money has to come from somewhere. When 23 teams out of 30 are losing money, the system is unsustainable. But I don't want to talk about that. I want to talk about how ridiculous it is for a writer to compare a GAME and a childish, middle school argument between two extremely lucky groups (not that they didn't earn it, they did the work to own businesses and play ball at this level) to nuclear war. At the end of the day, these are grown men playing a child's game. And as Charles Barkley said, the NBPA and NBA aren't solving world problems. They are playing a game.

So the comparisons to nuclear war, and utter devestation, and this over dramatic garabe is getting frustrating. I hope the NBA stays locked out so the players can realize how good they had it. I'll enjoy the better ratings, higher attendence, better sales numbers for college hoops, where most of the players are actually playing because they love the game, not the money.  

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or