Blog Entry

Stern appeals to players to take deal in memo

Posted on: November 14, 2011 10:30 am
Edited on: November 14, 2011 12:09 pm
By Matt Moore 

David Stern is not being subtle. After the Twitterview Sunday night, followed by their YouTube explanation of the proposal, the NBA posted a memo from David Stern to the players, with an attached copy of the proposal itself. Any player that got it had time to review the deal without it being couched in terms by the executive committee or their player rep. It's an interesting tactic of educating the players on what the actual terms of the deal are. Now, how those elements are interpreted, especially in the body of Stern's email, obviously is subject to the lens the league wants the deal to be viewed through. But it's direct and it puts the deal before the players plainly. Might want have wanted to do that on Friday versus hours before the meeting, but whatever. The complete text of Stern's memo:

After further collective bargaining negotiations last week, the NBA on Friday presented a revised proposal to the Players Association that contained several improvements for the players over the NBA’s previous proposal. We informed Billy, Derek, and the other Players Association negotiators that this is the best proposal the NBA is able to make, and they informed us that it would be considered for a vote by the NBPA Executive Committee and Player Representatives early this week.

Since then, there has been a great deal of inaccurate information published about the NBA’s proposal in the press and over social media. While we recognize the right of any player to disagree with the proposal, there should be no confusion over its actual terms -- so we have attached it here for your review.

Under the NBA’s proposal, the players would be guaranteed to receive 50% of Basketball Related Income each year, and average player compensation is projected to grow to close to $8 million. In addition, the proposal is structured so as to create an active market for free agents, while enhancing the opportunities for all teams and players to compete for a championship.

Contrary to media reports over the weekend, the NBA’s proposal would:
  • Increase, not reduce, the market for mid-level players. Under the NBA’s proposal, there are now three Mid-Level Exceptions, one more
  • than under the prior CBA: $5 million for Non-Taxpayers, $3 million for Taxpayers, and $2.5 million for Room teams. While the proposal would not permit Taxpayers to use the $5 million Mid-Level, that is not much of a change – since Taxpayers used the Mid-Level to sign only 9 players for $5 million or more during the prior CBA.
  • Permit unlimited use of the Bird Exception. The proposal allows all teams to re-sign their players through full use of the existing Bird exception.
  • Allow sign-and-trades by Non-Taxpayers. Under the proposal, NonTaxpayers can still acquire other teams’ free agents using the sign-and-trade. While Taxpayers cannot use sign-and-trade beginning in Year 3, this is not much of a change, since Taxpayers used the sign-and-trade to acquire only 4 players during the prior CBA.
  • Allow an active free agent market and greater player movement.
  • Under the proposal, contracts will be shorter and remaining payments under waived contracts signed under the new CBA will be “stretched” –both of which will give teams more money each year to sign free agents.
  • The proposal also requires teams to make higher Qualifying Offers and provides a shorter period to match Offer Sheets – thereby improving Restricted Free Agency for players. And the proposal contains a larger Trade Exception, which will foster more player movement.
I encourage you also to focus on the numerous compromises that were made to the NBA’s initial bargaining positions in these negotiations, including our move away from a “hard” salary cap, the withdrawal of our proposal to “roll back” salaries in existing player contracts, our agreement to continue to allow players to negotiate fully guaranteed contracts, and our agreement to a 50/50 split of BRI. While we understand fully that our proposal does not contain everything that the Players Association wanted in this negotiation, the same is true for the NBA.

It is now time to conclude our bargaining and make an agreement that can stop the ongoing damage to both sides and the countless others that rely on our game for their livelihoods and enjoyment. We urge you to study our proposal carefully, and to accept it as a fair compromise of the issues between us.

Thank you for taking the time to consider this memorandum.
The league has done nothing but apply pressure and make threats all week, and now on Sunday night they're trying to simultaneously put some sugar on the deal to make it go down. One thing is clear: the league wants the players to accept this deal. This is more of an effort to get them to sign off than we've seen. It may be their last, as well. 
Since: Nov 15, 2011
Posted on: November 15, 2011 12:08 pm
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Since: Dec 5, 2006
Posted on: November 14, 2011 5:55 pm

Stern appeals to players to take deal in memo

Unselfish - I believe the funds that come off the top are the revenues that relate to non-NBA events in the arenas. Those revenues less their expenses are deducted before the BRI since the players do nothing to earn them.

This is a good example of the whine that comes from the players and is dishonest. They do know what these are and they are fine with it in negotiations but then try to confuse the public by referring to them. The average of $8M per player in the end of this contract is far more than any of us think they should average (these are mostly role players or bench sitters.)

Since: Dec 5, 2006
Posted on: November 14, 2011 5:51 pm

Stern appeals to players to take deal in memo

Spurs45 - Yes, the average overhead for the teams is calculated like this: $3.8 billion BRI multiplied by 43% (owners' share in last CBA) = $1.634 billion plus the losses of $300 million = $1.934 billion divided by 30 teams = $64.5 million per team. Yes, that includes salaries for coaches, trainers, scouts, ushers, security, servers and front office people along with transportation, hotels, meals, arena maintenance and rent, utilities and taxes.

The league has done nothing but apply pressure and make threats all week, and now on Sunday night they're trying to simultaneously put some sugar on the deal to make it go down. One thing is clear: the league wants the players to accept this deal. This is more of an effort to get them to sign off than we've seen. It may be their last, as well.
It would be fatal to underestimate the league on this vote. The players are not going to get more concessions from the league. From here forward they are determined to make the players pay for the lost games. It is no longer about fairness. Not when the average salary goes to $8M per years.

Since: Sep 5, 2006
Posted on: November 14, 2011 2:55 pm

Stern appeals to players to take deal in memo

Redsfan and  (no I am not stalking you, just apparently reading articles in the same order you are),

I think you are both right (mostly), but I think its a little late for Stern to start trying to relate to the players.  From what I have read, this is a decent deal (at least a lot better than it sounds) and Stern's words (though not quite as eloquent as Redsfans) would have been well recieved - but I think it reads as insincere because of the way Stern has talked for the passed 2 years. 

(stay with me with this metaphor - race is only necessary for the movie, not the NBA thing - please indulge me)

If you have ever seen the movie "A Time To Kill" with Samuel L. Jackson and Matthew McCaunehey (no I am not going to spell check his name).  Jackson is trial for shooting a white guy as who raped Jackson's daughter. The final court scene is Mat-Mc as a white attourney making a passionate plea to the white jury to relate to the (clearly guilty) black defendant by closing their eyes and pretending Jackson's daughter was white.  Heart-wrenching in the movies - and I would imagine in real life, would have drawn a yawn from the defense.  I believe jurors would be insulted by the insinuation that they cannot be impartial if that is suggested by the defense attourney.  IN THE BOOK that the movie was based on, that same speech was given by one of the jurors during deliberations, and reads as a far more compelling argument. 

My point here (yes, there is a point, thanks for hanging in there) is that Stern cannot all-of-a-sudden expect the players to relate to him or take his word for anything.  I think players will read this as Stern trying to play on their emotions and subvert the Union.  Now, had the SAME EXACT email come from ANY of the player reps, I think this works and the players would have ratified the deal.  Instead, it looks like a lawyer trick, and it just isn't going to work. 

We will see how much the owners are really losing money though.  If they were, then they are happy to be shut down. 

Since: Nov 14, 2011
Posted on: November 14, 2011 2:42 pm
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Since: Feb 9, 2011
Posted on: November 14, 2011 2:36 pm

Stern appeals to players to take deal in memo

Actually you are mistaken on the overhead.In the pevious CBA and in this proposed one the owners have significant expense credits that come off the top before the split of revenue. As to a link, I could not find it but please look up Jerry Buss and his comments in the past regarding Kobe Bryant and other analysis by economists. It is simply common sense that if you go to a game or buy a jersey you are doing it because of the players and particularly the star players.This is not manufacturing-the owners get all their value from the star value of their players.In addition, the new deal was actually worse for the average players as minimum salaries were being reduced by over 10% and freee agency was going to be restricted under the new proposal. So this fight is  more about those guys than the stars. They did start negotiating 2 years ago-and the owners started out with horrific offers with changes well beyond what was needed to cover any losses.When the players rejected those offers they were told the owners were going to lock them out. The players then filed an unfair bargaining claim with the NLRB on the matter-a claim which has still not been ruled on. The owners always intended to use the threat of a lockout to get a one sided deal. The players did not strike and in fact are prohibited in the last CBA from striking at the owners request. The owners got too greedy and as a result they pushed these athletes too far. The lockout did not come from the players.

Since: Aug 16, 2006
Posted on: November 14, 2011 1:35 pm

Stern appeals to players to take deal in memo


Awesome post. Not only funny, but very poignant. The truth is that most NBA players WOULD understand all of this better if put in those terms.

I compare the average NBA player right now to the average American voter. The majority of voters don't vote based on what would benefit them. They vote based on the spin coming out of the small % elite that aren't looking out for their best interest is shoving down their throat. They aren't educated enough to really understand the issues and the full extent of the consequences at stake.

There isn't enough time or enough smart NBA players to get a deal done. The season is officially lost. And in my opinion the NBA will never....and I mean NEVER be the same.

Since: Jul 26, 2009
Posted on: November 14, 2011 1:22 pm

Stern appeals to players to take deal in memo

Hopefully the union and the agents haven't polluted the players so badly that this gets done.

Since: Oct 13, 2011
Posted on: November 14, 2011 12:48 pm

Stern appeals to players to take deal in memo

Yes, and the so called mega stars do not have to pay any overhead do they? I where did you get that number of 50 million? Is that a estimated guess or  What do you the ownerssomething substantial that you can prove from a reliable site, link? Can you give a number on what the average overhaed cost per team is based on a average of teams across the board? Look, I think there is blame to go around for both sides. i mean, they should have started this well before the CBA lockout date in anticipation of a long drawn out negotia tion. Like 2 years ago. The bottom line is I think that it's obvious to most people that the previous business model was not only not working but was definately going to cause some cities to lose thier teams, in particular, small market teams. Botton line: the current offer is more that fair and if the players don't sign then I think there are enough harline owners to get the majority vote needed to shut this season down. These *mega stars* can afford to miss paychecks for years, the rest of the players do not have that benefit. You would think they have well planned out portifolios and invested monies. My guess is most of them don't. In the end, it may be these players wives that might be the springborad to getting this thing done. LOL

Since: Dec 18, 2006
Posted on: November 14, 2011 12:37 pm

Stern appeals to players to take deal in memo

Redsfan... that post literally made me laugh. +5 

"mega jack" Haha! 

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