Tag:lockout
Posted on: July 7, 2011 10:31 am
Edited on: July 7, 2011 2:45 pm
 

Reports: Deron Williams headed to Turkey

Posted by Matt Moore and Ben Golliver. deron-williams

Update (2:43 p.m.): Ken Berger throws some water on the fun, citing an agent with connections in Turkey who says "I'll believe it when I see it."

Update (11:00 a.m.)
:
 ESPN.com reported Thursday that "sources with knowledge of Deron Williams' plans confirm his intent to play for Besiktas in Turkey if lockout continues."

Original Post:
A Turkish television station is reporting Thursday that Besiktas, a Turkish professional basketball team, has an agreement in principle with Deron Williams to play for them during the lockout.  

Yowza.

Williams, who is under contract for 2011-2012 with the New Jersey Nets, would have to obtain FIBA clearance before heading to Istanbul. A source informed Ken Berger of CBSSports.com Thursday morning that the Nets had not been made aware of any such offer. That does not preclude such an offer from having been made, just that the Nets aren't aware of such an offer, though you would think they'd have some idea of the legitimacy if things were this far along. 

Williams heading overseas would be the kind of substantial move from an All-Star that could actually put the fear of God into ownership. If a wide enough swath of players are able to make decent money overseas during the lockout, that kind of takes the bite out of the lockout, the entire point of this ridiculous power play. Essentially, the owners' ability to starve the union out would be mitigated, even with lesser players unlikely to be offered similar contracts. If enough players can find ways to create income and keep the union's position strong, the owners lose their biggest power position.

The flip side is that Deron Williams is playing in Turkey, though I'm sure Istanbul is very nice. With a wife and new daughter, that can be draining in terms of travel, though probably not moreso than the normal amount of travel he does during the course of the NBA season. Additionally, television reports of this nature are often sketchy and it wouldn't be the first time an international team has leaked information about a possible signing of a major American player before the chickens were hatched. We'd advise a healthy dose of skepticism here. 

Williams would join Allen Iverson among point guards labeled (under false pretenses or not) coach killers who have played in Turkey for Besiktas. FIBA has not released an official statement regarding their plans for clearance during the lockout.  

(HT: IamaGM.com)
Posted on: July 6, 2011 7:23 pm
Edited on: July 6, 2011 7:35 pm
 

TV networks to lose $1 B if NBA season lost?

Television networks are estimated to lose $1 billion in ad sales if the entire NBA season is lost. Posted by Ben Golliver. lockout

Everybody loses if there is an NBA work stoppage. The players don't get to follow their dreams, the fans don't get to enjoy the diversion and the owners don't get to experience the thrill of chasing a championship.

But the television networks, apparently, really lose.

AdWeek.com reports that the NBA's television partners stand to lose more than $1 billion in advertising revenue should the 2011-2012 NBA season be cancelled. 
ESPN/ABC Sports and TNT stand to lose as much as $1.25 billion in ad sales revenue if the labor dispute negates the entire 2011-12 NBA campaign. Indeed, the NBA audience has become so valuable that the postseason inventory alone accounts for nearly a fifth of the full-season take.

According to Kantar Media, ESPN/ABC and TNT took in $417.7 million in total ad sales revenue over the course of the 2010 NBA playoffs and finals. The going rate for a 30-second spot in the Celtics-Lakers series: $402,000 a pop.
For comparison's sake, numbers released by Forbes.com on Wednesday indicated that the NBA has lost nearly $2 billion over the last six seasons combined. Clearly, the stakes on all sides are very high.

One takeaway from this report: The conflict of interest for the NBA's television partner networks reporting on the progress of the league's labor negotiations is massive and probably hasn't gotten enough play. If you're wondering why there is so much doomsday talk concerning the stalled labor negotiations, realize that the voices predicting doom and gloom may very well be speaking of -- or at least influenced by -- their own financial stake in the matter.

With a billion dollars on the line, any amount of progress would feel insufficient until a deal is finalized, wouldn't it?
Posted on: July 6, 2011 6:05 pm
Edited on: July 6, 2011 6:41 pm
 

Report: NBA lost $1.8 billion over last 6 years

The NBA reportedly lost nearly $2 billion over the last six years. Posted by Ben Golliver. lockout

On Tuesday, we noted a back-and-forth between the New York Times and the National Basketball Association involving a dispute over how profitable the league has been in recent years. The Times used financial estimates provided by Forbes to conclude that the NBA could potentially be misrepresenting its financial losses; the NBA fired back by disputing the report in a statement, saying that the league had failed to turn a profit in each season of the recently expired collective bargaining agreement, concluding that its losses were "substantial and indisputable."

On Wednesday, Forbes.com reported that it has obtained new, audited financial information concerning the NBA's economic health. The new report references "net income," which it defines as income "after the deduction of all costs" that gives "a more definitive picture."
Sources close to the NBA labor negotiations have provided net income numbers for the league each year over the last five years, plus projected losses for the 2010-11 season. Given that the NBA is saying that they are running at a net loss, as opposed to the NFL, which is saying they are seeing profits declining, the NBA is compelled to open their books as part of labor law, and have done so. The following numbers are audited figures. If the projected figures are correct, the NBA will have lost $1.845 billion over the last six years...

The following shows the losses, as well as the number of teams that reportedly have run at a loss the last five years, plus projected losses for the 2010-11 season:

  • 05-06: 19 clubs ran at a loss, total losses of $220 million
  • 06-07: 21 clubs ran at a loss, total losses of $285 million
  • 07-08: 23 clubs ran at a loss, total losses of $330 million
  • 08-09: 24 clubs ran at a loss, total losses of $370 million
  • 09-10: 23 clubs ran at a loss, total losses of $340 million
  • * 10-11 23 clubs ran at a loss, total loss of $300 million
The release of these figures marks another step in the right direction for the league, as transparency with regards to their losses has become a hot button topic, especially this week. With that said, the top-level numbers don't do much to further the NBA's case in the public eye, other than to show that their claims of a "broken system" aren't entirely without merit.

The perception of the league's financial success (TV ratings, website traffic, increased ticket sales) may in fact badly outweigh the league's actual financial success. While it might not be fair, the burden of proof falls on the NBA to fully document and explain its position of hardship. Otherwise, the assumption from a public who can't relate to the sums of money being discussed is that the league is guilty of exaggerating their losses. Skepticism will continue until a full analysis of the league's books are allowed by an independent source. 

Posted on: July 6, 2011 12:19 am
Edited on: July 6, 2011 12:45 am
 

Light at the end of the tunnel: Next season

Posted by Matt Moore

There's that old joke about a guy falling into a hole, and how the other friend jumps down with him because he knows the way out. I'm going to jump down that hole with you.

We're in an NBA lockout. It's a dark, scary place. We don't know when, or if, the season will start. We're mired in this quagmire with billionaires saying they're bleeding money because of millionaires and their 57 percent share of the game they solely play. In short, we're spelunking in a sewer right now.

But at the end of all this nonsense, there's hope. Somewhere beyond the BRI split, beyond revenue sharing, hard caps, soft caps, flex caps, ice caps, and everything else, there's basketball. At some point, in the future, there will be professional basketball, and we'll have some interesting stuff to get back into.

For starters, the Heat!

Just kidding.

Let's start with the Thunder. Durant will have had the entire lockout to stew over that playoff loss, to struggle with the first real failure of his professional career. He and Russell Westbrook will either align agendas and form some sort of altered version of Jordan-Pippen or they'll explode in some sort of Marbury-KG inferno. Harden is the third piece, ready to take over the third wheel function and complete the Big 3 for OKC. They're still young, Perkins will be healthier, and they'll still be young.

Or how about the rookies? Even for those of us who weren't enamored with Kemba and Jimmer, the excitement is still very real, and the debate will rage for their opener and beyond about their careers. Biyombo's uber-athleticism will make the Bobcats intriguing, Kanter's potential could make the Jazz a different animal. Irving and Thompson could start a new era in Cleveland to wipe away the memories of you-know-who. Kawhi Leonard could be a difference maker immediately for a championship contender. The list goes on. Without a game having been played, we can forget how "meh" this draft class was.

And what about free agency? David West may be recovering from injury, but eventually, he's going to be on the market, an All-Star for hire. DeAndre Jordan will get offers the Clippers may or may not match. Marc Gasol's rights are owned by Memphis, so anything goes. If Nene winds up leaving Denver, he could be the difference between a championship and a first-round exit for a contender. Tyson Chandler is now a championship center on the market.

The Celtics will still have enough for one more run. The Lakers will have had time to stew over their failures and reocmmit to righting the wrong of how they went out in a sad, pathetic mess. The Bulls will have another year of watching Derrick Rose improve after an MVP season, while hoping Carlos Boozer magically turns into a real power forward for a championship team and the rest of the team gets healthy. The Grizzlies could build off their success... or they could burst into flame.

How about some comedy? We'll have the Heat facing 600 questions daily about their failure this season (in winning the Eastern Conference and coming in two games shy of a title, no less). DeMarcus Cousins will have lockout weight! The Knicks have 3/8 of a roster and will try to field a team for the whole season, when a single injury puts them at the bottom of the ocean. Mark Jackson is a head coach. The Suns drafted another brother!

Blake Griffin.

Seriously, Blake Griffin.

We're in the weeds now. But eventually we're going to find our way back to the fairway. Can't rain all the time, and the lockout can't last forever. This league may be dramatically different after the new CBA, which will bring with it its own slew of questions as the league's teams try and adapt to a new financial reality. But it'll still be the NBA we know and love. We'll have Championship Dirk, another season from Steve Nash, Amar'e dunking, Dwight Howard's free agency campaign, Deron Williams possibly yes-ing New Jersey into a bottomless pit of despair (which may sound redundant to some). We'll have Chris Paul in a hybrid of the two. Tyreke Evans getting healthy, along with one of the best offensive cores in basketball. The Nuggets are just a whole bunch of crazy in theory, execution, and personality.

Ron Artest.

So while it may be dark now, there's light at the end of the tunnel. Keep your eye on what's good about the league and let the greed and immature posturing wash over you until the NBA kicks back up again. Store away the highlights to get you through. Hunker down. We'll get through this together, one day at a time.
Category: NBA
Tags: lockout
 
Posted on: July 5, 2011 11:19 pm
Edited on: July 5, 2011 11:24 pm
 

NBA: We lost money in every year of last CBA

The National Basketball Association has released new specifics about its financial struggles. Posted by Ben Golliver. lockout

On Tuesday, we noted a New York Times analysis of the National Basketball Association's finances which concluded that data collected by Forbes makes it seem that perhaps the league isn't in as dire a shape as it claims to be.

Later Tuesday, the Times printed a statement from the NBA which said the figures used "do not reflect reality" and shed new light on the league's financial struggles.

The statement, attributed to spokesman Tim Frank, said the NBA has incurred "substantial and indisputable losses" and reiterated that the league's books have been shared with the National Basketball Players Association. 

Here are a few choice cuts.
The N.B.A. and its teams shared their complete league and team audited financials as well as our state and Federal tax returns with the Players Union. Those financials demonstrate the substantial and indisputable losses the league has incurred over the past several years. 

The league lost money every year of the just expiring CBA. During these years, the league has never had positive Net Income, EBITDA or Operating Income.

Ticket revenues have increased 12% over the 10 year period, not the 22% reported.

In 2009-10, 23 teams had net income losses. The losses were in no way "small" as 11 teams lost more than $20M each on a net income basis ... Our net loss for that year, including the gains from the seven profitable teams, was -$340 million. 
As of yet, the NBA has not made its books available to independent media analysis. Its claims are therefore unverifiable. There will be skeptics until (if?) that last step is ever completed. 

Just because they are unverifiable, however, doesn't necessarily mean they are totally unreliable. What the NBA is admitting too here is pretty striking. Year after year of losses. A plurality of teams losing money. A third of the league's teams losing lots of money. All this despite rising ticket revenues and a solid television deal.

Given all of this new math, solely blaming the players, whose salaries are tied to Basketball-Related Income, simply doesn't add up. Increasing transparency as the league has seems only to only increase the questions the owners should be asking of each other.

Here's three questions for starters. To what degree do they need to protect themselves from themselves when it comes to spending on player salaries? How much does revenue sharing need to increase? How serious are they, really, about a hard cap system?  Those are big, hard questions that will eventually require sacrifices and compromises from someone.
Posted on: July 5, 2011 2:07 pm
Edited on: July 5, 2011 10:14 pm
 

Is the NBA trying to pull a financial fast one?

Posted by EOB Staff.



Update (9:46 p.m.): The NBA has released a statement in which it disputes the figures linked to below, claiming that it is "indisputably" losing money. The league also disputes conclusions drawn from those figures, originally published by Forbes, but has not yet released more accurate figures.

Original Post: The NBA is losing money. Lots and lots of it. Some $370 million. 

Or at least that's what the league says. We've all kind of been forced to accept this fact to some degree, even though facts like "22 of the 30 teams lost money last year" is a bit of a controversial "fact" that's lobbed around at every opportunity by Adam Silver and David Stern. 

The system has issues, otherwise there wouldn't be a lockout. I think that's obvious. But could there be a little financial trickery going on? Nate Silver of the New York Times did some sleuthing using public financial data and came up with this: The league may not actually be losing any money at all.
Instead, independent estimates of the NBA financial condition reflect a league that has grown at a somewhat tepid rate compared to other sports, and which has an uneven distribution of revenues between teams — but which is fundamentally a healthy and profitable business. In addition, it is not clear that growth in player salaries, which has been modest compared to other sports and which is strictly pegged to league revenue, is responsible for the league’s difficulties.

[...]

First, many of the purported losses — perhaps about $250 million — result from an unusual accounting treatment related to depreciation and amortization when a team is sold. While the accounting treatment is legal, these paper losses would have no impact on a team’s cash flow. Another potential (and usually within-the-law) trick: moving income from the basketball team’s balance sheet to that of a related business like a cable network, or losses in the opposite direction.
Silver lists three more good reasons why we should be skeptical: 

1) The Warriors sold for $450 million (some $90 million more than Forbes' estimated worth), the Pistons sold for $420 million (about $60 million more than the estimated worth) and the Wizards sold for $551 million last year which was about $230 million more than Forbes' valued the franchise. 

2) Silver says, "The NBA’s data has not been made public, although it has been shared with the players’ union. If the league expects their figures to be viewed credibly, they should open up their books to journalists, economists and fans." Point, Silver (Nate). 

3) His last reason is the one I like most. The league signed a new deal in 1999 -- one that owners wanted so badly that the league sacrificed 30 games for -- and renewed that same CBA with just a few tweaks in 2005. For the most part, that deal was considered very favorable to the owners, at least initially. Yes, costs have risen and the league had to endure a recession, so revenues decreased. But Silver says, "But to hear the NBA owners complain about the current deal now, when none of the fundamentals have changed, reminds one of the old Woody Allen joke about two women kvetching at a restaurant: 'Boy, the food at this place is really terrible,' one says. 'I know. And such small portions,' the other replies."

So digest all of that. Think about it. Should we all really sit here and not raise an eyebrow? Hard not to wonder what's really going on here. Hard not to listen to Billy Hunter and Derek Fisher and say, "Yeah, I guess I can see why you guys are a bit skeptical of this all."

But as Silver notes, that isn't to say the league's CBA doesn't need a restructuring. The system does have issues. Costs have undeniably risen and gate revenue hasn't contributed as much as the league needs it to. Some markets and franchises struggle to keep their head above water both financially and competitively. That's not right.

At the same time, if the league truly is fudging the numbers and massaging facts a bit just to try and make sure its owners score big, and games are lost at a time where the league's popularity is nearly at an all-time high, should we all be downright ticked?

Because think about it: The owners got the agreement they wanted in 1999 and stuck with it in 2005. Now the league is producing all-time revenues highs and projects to be incredibly successful over the next 10 years. And so they want a new deal that cuts into player salaries and "guarantees profitability." I don't know about you, but that smells funny to me. At least enough to make me say, "Hmm..."

Henry Abbott asks a very worthy question at TrueHoop today about this whole thing: If any other normally profitable business soured and started experiencing big losses, who would we blame? Upper management, right? Some blame deserves to go on the league office, but Abbott isn't willing to pin it all on The David's head.
Stern, et al, get off the hook, by and large, because their story is that 22 of 30 teams are losing money (more recently the league has said they have lost $300 million in 2010-2011). Stern works for those 30 owners. If 22 of them want to lavish more on their teams than they should have, he has little power to stop them. So, it's a story of bad management, perhaps. But it's not necessarily a story of Stern's bad management, to the extent the story is Mark Cuban deciding to spend deep into the red time and again to try to win a title.
Abbott's entirely right: You can't blame Stern. Owners run their teams, not the NBA -- well, except for the Hornets I guess (I always forget Stern's an owner). But for as great a commissioner David Stern has been -- and he has truly been an outstanding leader for the league -- this is the fourth lockout that's happened under his watch. One short one in 1994, another quickie in 1995, the big 1998 one and now the 2011 stalemate. For as much grief as Bud Selig gets, his league has been humming along for 17 years now without a work stoppage. Think about that one.

Whatever the case, the league and players are extremely far apart and when they get back to the bargaining table in a couple weeks, I'm sure Billy Hunter and Derek Fisher will mention a lot of the exact things Silver pointed out. In fact, I'm sure they've been saying them for two years now.  Both sides have a case, but always keep in mind: Both sides want what's best for them. Players don't care about owners' bank accounts and vice versa. But in the end, the people that feel it the most are the fans and extraneous team employees. So get this thing sorted out, will ya?
Posted on: July 5, 2011 2:07 pm
Edited on: July 5, 2011 10:14 pm
 

Is the NBA trying to pull a financial fast one?

Posted by EOB Staff.



Update (9:46 p.m.): The NBA has released a statement in which it disputes the figures linked to below, claiming that it is "indisputably" losing money. The league also disputes conclusions drawn from those figures, originally published by Forbes, but has not yet released more accurate figures.

Original Post: The NBA is losing money. Lots and lots of it. Some $370 million. 

Or at least that's what the league says. We've all kind of been forced to accept this fact to some degree, even though facts like "22 of the 30 teams lost money last year" is a bit of a controversial "fact" that's lobbed around at every opportunity by Adam Silver and David Stern. 

The system has issues, otherwise there wouldn't be a lockout. I think that's obvious. But could there be a little financial trickery going on? Nate Silver of the New York Times did some sleuthing using public financial data and came up with this: The league may not actually be losing any money at all.
Instead, independent estimates of the NBA financial condition reflect a league that has grown at a somewhat tepid rate compared to other sports, and which has an uneven distribution of revenues between teams — but which is fundamentally a healthy and profitable business. In addition, it is not clear that growth in player salaries, which has been modest compared to other sports and which is strictly pegged to league revenue, is responsible for the league’s difficulties.

[...]

First, many of the purported losses — perhaps about $250 million — result from an unusual accounting treatment related to depreciation and amortization when a team is sold. While the accounting treatment is legal, these paper losses would have no impact on a team’s cash flow. Another potential (and usually within-the-law) trick: moving income from the basketball team’s balance sheet to that of a related business like a cable network, or losses in the opposite direction.
Silver lists three more good reasons why we should be skeptical: 

1) The Warriors sold for $450 million (some $90 million more than Forbes' estimated worth), the Pistons sold for $420 million (about $60 million more than the estimated worth) and the Wizards sold for $551 million last year which was about $230 million more than Forbes' valued the franchise. 

2) Silver says, "The NBA’s data has not been made public, although it has been shared with the players’ union. If the league expects their figures to be viewed credibly, they should open up their books to journalists, economists and fans." Point, Silver (Nate). 

3) His last reason is the one I like most. The league signed a new deal in 1999 -- one that owners wanted so badly that the league sacrificed 30 games for -- and renewed that same CBA with just a few tweaks in 2005. For the most part, that deal was considered very favorable to the owners, at least initially. Yes, costs have risen and the league had to endure a recession, so revenues decreased. But Silver says, "But to hear the NBA owners complain about the current deal now, when none of the fundamentals have changed, reminds one of the old Woody Allen joke about two women kvetching at a restaurant: 'Boy, the food at this place is really terrible,' one says. 'I know. And such small portions,' the other replies."

So digest all of that. Think about it. Should we all really sit here and not raise an eyebrow? Hard not to wonder what's really going on here. Hard not to listen to Billy Hunter and Derek Fisher and say, "Yeah, I guess I can see why you guys are a bit skeptical of this all."

But as Silver notes, that isn't to say the league's CBA doesn't need a restructuring. The system does have issues. Costs have undeniably risen and gate revenue hasn't contributed as much as the league needs it to. Some markets and franchises struggle to keep their head above water both financially and competitively. That's not right.

At the same time, if the league truly is fudging the numbers and massaging facts a bit just to try and make sure its owners score big, and games are lost at a time where the league's popularity is nearly at an all-time high, should we all be downright ticked?

Because think about it: The owners got the agreement they wanted in 1999 and stuck with it in 2005. Now the league is producing all-time revenues highs and projects to be incredibly successful over the next 10 years. And so they want a new deal that cuts into player salaries and "guarantees profitability." I don't know about you, but that smells funny to me. At least enough to make me say, "Hmm..."

Henry Abbott asks a very worthy question at TrueHoop today about this whole thing: If any other normally profitable business soured and started experiencing big losses, who would we blame? Upper management, right? Some blame deserves to go on the league office, but Abbott isn't willing to pin it all on The David's head.
Stern, et al, get off the hook, by and large, because their story is that 22 of 30 teams are losing money (more recently the league has said they have lost $300 million in 2010-2011). Stern works for those 30 owners. If 22 of them want to lavish more on their teams than they should have, he has little power to stop them. So, it's a story of bad management, perhaps. But it's not necessarily a story of Stern's bad management, to the extent the story is Mark Cuban deciding to spend deep into the red time and again to try to win a title.
Abbott's entirely right: You can't blame Stern. Owners run their teams, not the NBA -- well, except for the Hornets I guess (I always forget Stern's an owner). But for as great a commissioner David Stern has been -- and he has truly been an outstanding leader for the league -- this is the fourth lockout that's happened under his watch. One short one in 1994, another quickie in 1995, the big 1998 one and now the 2011 stalemate. For as much grief as Bud Selig gets, his league has been humming along for 17 years now without a work stoppage. Think about that one.

Whatever the case, the league and players are extremely far apart and when they get back to the bargaining table in a couple weeks, I'm sure Billy Hunter and Derek Fisher will mention a lot of the exact things Silver pointed out. In fact, I'm sure they've been saying them for two years now.  Both sides have a case, but always keep in mind: Both sides want what's best for them. Players don't care about owners' bank accounts and vice versa. But in the end, the people that feel it the most are the fans and extraneous team employees. So get this thing sorted out, will ya?
Posted on: July 5, 2011 12:35 pm
 

Rudy Fernandez is staying put

Posted by Matt Moore

In a relatively surprising development, Rudy Fernandez will not accept an offer from Real Madrid to join them for the duration of the lockout, return to the Mavericks upon its conclusion, and then resume playing with the Spanish team once his contract expires. 

From Marca:
Just back from Paris, after a conversation with his agent, Rudy Fernandez made the decision. He stays in the NBA. The Spaniard will finish his contract in Dallas and then decide what to do with his career.
via Rudy Fernandez is in the Mavericks - MARCA.com.

Fernandez passing on what we described as his "dream scenario" comes as a bit of a shock and speaks to a level of maturity we weren't sure Fernandez possessed. In essence, he's committing 100 percent to the team that traded for him, after a year filled with noise about his desire to return to Spain. Yes, the Mavericks are the defending NBA champions whenever the league resumes play, but it's still striking that he elected not to play during the lockout and then have his cake and eat it too by playing for Dallas to see how it goes and get paid the remainder of his NBA contract before going home. 

It's an encouraging sign for the Mavericks if reports are true, as it may show a Fernandez prepared to commit to reaching his potential which he never quite did in Portland. 

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