Tag:Collective Bargaining Agreement
Posted on: June 30, 2011 6:47 pm
Edited on: June 30, 2011 10:20 pm

Union counsel disputes NBA's player salary claim

Posted by Royce Young

The two sides are very far apart.

That's the phrase you've heard already about the labor negotiations, and the phrase you're going to keep hearing until this lockout thing is resolved.

In labor negotiations like this, there's a give and take. One side lays out some numbers and facts, and the other comes back with how those numbers and facts were massaged. Latest example: David Stern and Adam Silver said today in a post-lockout presser that the players submitted a new proposal that actually had the players' average annual salary rising to $7 million per year in six years.

Obviously, Stern and Silver found that ridiculous. Also finding that ridiculous, but in another way, union counsel Jeffrey Kessler. Via SI.com:

Jeffrey Kessler, the union’s lead outside counsel, rejected that $7 million figure and said the union never proposed a specific average salary number. Kessler told SI.com that the union simply tweaked its existing proposal in which the players would be guaranteed some percentage of the league’s total revenue — presumably between 50 percent and the current 57 percent. The league arrived at the $7 million figure by calculating how much players would get if that proposed percentage were applied to a growing revenue pie, Kessler said.

“The NBA is projecting massive revenue growth,” Kessler said. ”If you give the players any percentage of revenue, no matter what it is, if the league’s revenue grows massively, salaries will go up. Their statement about the average salary going up to $7 million must mean they think the NBA is going to be phenomenally successful, which we applaud.”

And that, right there, is exactly why the NBA is locking out the players at midnight. The NBA is foreseeing crazy huge money over the next 10 years and naturally, the main, highest paid employees of the league want a piece of that. The players are willing to concede some of it -- reports have the Basketball Related Income down from 57 percent to the players to 54 -- but aren't willing to watch owners skate away with big profits and miss out on a piece of the pie.

Look at it this way: For every dollar the league makes, the players currently get 57 cents of it. And even if they're willing to take that down to 54 percent, but not down into the 40-cent range which is what the owners are looking for. That's a pretty huge divide. Stern, Silver and the owners see it as a reasonable price to pay to get the league on a path towards profitability. The players see it as far too large of a concession.

As Kessler says, the way the two sides are viewing this BRI is almost entirely opposite. So when people say there's a "gap," a "gulf" or "miles" separating the sides, you can kind of see why.

Posted on: June 22, 2011 5:27 pm
Edited on: June 22, 2011 5:29 pm

Doesn't sound like Fisher is all that optimistic

Posted by Royce Young

I'll admit, I got a little excited with yesterday's news out of the big blow-out meetings in New York. By all appearances, progress was being made with a new Collective Bargaining Agreement and it just looked like finally, the league might be on a path to getting this thing settled before June 30.

And then Derek Fisher came along and stomped on all that happiness. Via Sports Radio Interviews:
“Well, we’re hearing there’s some reports out there that there’s been significant progress made on things that the NBA and our owners are proposing to us, but in reality, there hasn’t been much substantial movement at all on a lot of key areas. So we’re still focused on getting a deal done, we’re going to continue to negotiate, and we’re going to meet again on Friday. But even with some of the things that are being released about what has been dropped out in proposals, there isn’t any agreement on anything at this point. We’re still working hard on that right now.

“Well the best way to explain it would be that where we were a couple of months ago as far as the proposal that we were given by the NBA, which was essentially the same proposal that we received some two years ago, that hasn’t changed very much. So what has happened is the NBA has really tried to put us in a position where we’re negotiating from what we consider to be an outrageous proposal to begin with."
Yikes. The way Fisher explains it, things sound a bit more dire. And with the way Fisher explains it, you almost start to say, "Yeah, those darn owners!" Fisher is good like that.

Then he dropped a money quote, basically putting everything on the owners.
“A lockout is an owner-imposed lockout. That’s a decision that only they can make. For now, as President of the Players Association, my focus is on negotiating on the deal. That’s the part that I control over is myself, Billy [Hunter], our Executive Committee, and our player reps are focusing on negotiating the actual deal. If the owners decide they want to lock us out because we don’t agree to the most dramatic rollback in professional sports history, then that’s the choice that they have.”
Good line, Fish. If the owners decide they want to lock us out because we don’t agree to the most dramatic rollback in professional sports history, then that’s the choice that they have. That's pretty strong.

Fisher said the players have made pretty serious concessions, but still sees what David Stern called a "flex cap" system as a hard salary cap. He basically said it's not the players' fault that owners keep dishing out silly long-term contracts.

And he's right. It's not. The owners control their own checkbooks and can sign and not sign who they want. But as owners know, in order to stay competitive and actually sign players, if the current system allows five or six-year deals, someone is going to offer that. Fisher can make that point -- which is valid -- but it's not entirely realistic. Bigger market, bigger money teams are going to be more able to absorb a bad five-year contract than a smaller market team that has to put its eggs all in that basket.

Things are still very much up and down, back and forth. It's touch and go and while yesterday seemed like progress, it might not have been near as much as we thought.
Posted on: June 21, 2011 4:47 pm
Edited on: June 21, 2011 5:29 pm

Video: Stern and Silver address reporters

Posted by Royce Young

The owners and players association had a pretty substantial meeting in New York earlier today in which the owners submitted a new proposal that will be reviewed by the players with word on that coming Friday.

The tone out of the meetings is encouraging, with Ken Berger reporting that there has been movement from the league from a de facto $45 million hard cap to a "flex cap," as David Stern called it, of around $62 million.

Stern and deputy commissioner Adam Silver addressed reporters after the meeting to answer questions and talk about the newest negotiations and any progress made.

I'm sure there's still a lot of ground to be covered before June 30 and a lot will hinge on how the players respond to this proposal, but considering the mood and tone from last week, it feels like there's been movement. Both sides seem to be edging toward the middle a bit.

But there will need to be a few big steps before a deal is actually done. I'm sure the path to an agreement is still bumpy and long. However, I think there's a little cause for optimism.

Via Salt Lake Tribune

Posted on: June 21, 2011 12:12 pm
Edited on: June 21, 2011 12:17 pm

Owners want a guarantee to profitability?

Posted by Royce Young

If you listen to, well, everyone, today is a massive day for NBA labor negotiations. Ken Berger of CBSSports.com reports the players will submit a new formal proposal, and the owners are expecting it to represent enough of a shift in their position to warrant further negotiation.

Good news. I think.

David Stern called Tuesday a "very important day for these negotiations."

Some of that is certainly posturing. But it's mostly real. The clock is ticking toward midnight and when it strikes on June 30, the league could be headed for its first summer work stoppage since 1998. That's a bad mark to put on a league that's built an incredible amount of momentum in the past season. To slap fans in the face with a lockout and conjure up conversations that go, "It's billionaires arguing with millionaires over money," isn't good for anyone. Owners, players, the league -- not anyone.

Will they advance along? It's probably unlikely. Giving in now doesn't put any stress on either side. Don't forget, both sides want something. And that something is money meaning this won't come easy. This isn't trading baseball cards with your friends. This is a labor negotiations and those can get ugly.

Whatever happens today, both sides will likely say, "Nope, not good enough" even if it's close. With a week to go until the CBA expires, there's still time to try and wring out a little more from the other side. The owners backed off guaranteed contracts and players have moved away a bit from taking in 57 percent of the league's basketball revenue. So there is some movement. There's progress, even if as Berger noted, the sides are "hundreds of millions" apart.

ESPN.com reported that the owners are making pretty hardline demands, putting the players in a tough position to negotiate.
"The owners are asking for a give that puts them in a place where they've never been, which is guaranteed profitability," said a source familiar with the dynamics of this particular negotiation and past labor talks. "The biggest problem is that it is unreasonable for owners to even ask for $400 million when they say they are losing $300 million, and thus far they are nowhere near lowering their demands down to the $400 million range. So it's a question of when will they get to a number that is reasonable?"
The owners want to guarantee profitability. Of course they do. Makes sense to me. Who wants to lose money? Owning an NBA franchise used to be more of a hobby thing, but it's a business now. Owners want to make money. It's not about having a real life fantasy team anymore.

But if you're negotiating to make absolutely certain you make money? That's where things get hung up. There's a fine line between guaranteeing profitabilty and guaranteeing profit. All they deserve is a system that presents a solid opportunity to make money, not one that makes it a rite of passage. You still have to be a good businessman. You still have to spend wisely. Just giving owners an erasable blank canvas that they can scribble all over and start anew when a bad $6 million contract goes awry (hello, Travis Outlaw) is just ridiculous.

Capitalism provides opportunity, not guarantees. If the latter is the mindset the owners have going into Tuesday's supposed D-Day talks, I don't see anyone getting anywhere. The system needs some fixing. Even the players understand that. They've made concessions already and will have to make some more eventually. The owners though like their money and think the players get way too much of it. That's probably true, but that's life as the check-signer.

The players get to make their money because they are the employees. At any company -- Microsoft, Wal-Mart, the small-time appliance store around the corner -- owners have to manage a payroll, expenses and everything else correctly and if they do, they'll make the biggest profit of all. Owners are in a system where they can't do that now. So that has to be fixed. But the only guarantee they need is the opportunity to do so.
Posted on: May 12, 2011 2:44 am

Report: Hard cap proposal delayed in new offer

Posted by Royce Young

In the latest collective bargaining agreement proposal that was rejected last week by the NBA Players Association, included the implemenation of a hard salary cap lower than the current figure, but not to take place until the 2013-14 season according to ESPN.com.

The new proposal, which the Players Association was reportedly very unhappy with, didn't have near the changes as expected. Instead, according to the report, were just that major changes to the CBA would now be eased in rather than implemented immediately.
The league, sources said, regards this as a major concession, since the next two seasons would employ a salary-cap system with luxury-tax penalties not unlike the system currently in place. Teams currently operate with a salary cap of $58 million per franchise, with a dollar-for-dollar luxury tax imposed for every dollar teams spend over the tax threshold of $70.3 million.

Sources said the owners' latest proposal, however, does still call for immediate rollbacks of 15 percent, 20 percent or 25 percent to current contracts depending on salary levels, as part of the league's oft-stated desire to reduce payroll by roughly $800 million leaguewide on an annual basis.

The NBA's ongoing push for such sharp salary reductions, sources said, is what caused the quick rejection from the players' side, with the union also still determined to oppose a hard cap.

The league also reportedly wants to install even lower salaries for rookies as well as making it "hugely advantageous" to remain with the teams that drafted them.

The new offer would allow teams to offer longer and more valuable contracts to players that remain with their teams instead of taking their talents somewhere else. Obviously this is a response to the Chris Bosh, LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Deron Williams and Dwight Howard situations. A reasonable idea, considering the mess fans and players have had to endure once their contract's expiration date even appears on the horizon.

There has been some solid progress on the non-lockout front lately, with a report from ESPN.com saying that union executive director Billy Hunter and David Stern were meeting face-to-face on a regular basis recently. That, combined with the ruling in the NFL lockout as well as the positive momentum in the game suggests that a deal is becoming more and more likely. The latest offer was rejected, but still optimism is increasing that a new deal will be signed by both signed before the June 30 deadline.

Posted on: May 4, 2011 11:53 am
Edited on: May 4, 2011 12:08 pm

Players unhappy with owners' proposal

Posted by Royce Young

The owners submitted a new proposal recently to the NBA players union and the players are reportedly unhappy with it, according to ESPN.com. The new proposal is a 10-year year deal that evidently isn't much different than the original one made a more than a year ago.

"Unfortunately, the proposal is very similar to the proposal the league submitted over a year ago," union president Derek Fisher told ESPN.com. "This last proposal doesn't look close to what we were expecting."

A lot of hope had been building as of late with the NFL's lockout being overruled by a judge and because of the incredible push the NBA has made over the season that a lockout would be avoided. And while it still very well can be, evidently the players are looking for something better than what they got.

The owners are opting out of the existing collective bargaining agreement as they're looking for major rollbacks in current contracts, cutting guaranteed contracts, a hard salary cap and a larger chunk of revenue. Under the current CBA, players receive 57 percent of the league's revenue.

David Stern said last month that the league is projecting a $300 million loss for the current season. The union disputes that number.

"With the recent news that Round 1 ratings are at an all-time high, the popularity of the game globally has never been higher, we have to work to keep this going in the right direction," Fisher also said. "I will continue to urge our players to be prepared in the event of a lockout, but will remain steadfast in my efforts to drive this process forward."
Posted on: November 16, 2010 12:37 pm

Zach Randolph would like that extension now

Posted by Royce Young

Over the summer, it seemed like the Grizzlies and Zach Randolph were going to play it cool with the extension talk. Randolph said he understood the situation and is just focused on playing. You know, saying the right things.

Well now, he'd very much like his money.

In an interview with FanHouse he talked about an extension and he didn't hold back on his wishes.

“I want to do it now,” he told FanHouse Monday before his Grizzlies lost to the Magic, 89-72, in Orlando. “Sooner the better. If we don’t do it now, there are a lot of other teams out there who like me….”

“I’d like to get it out of the way, but they (his agent and the Grizzlies) aren’t really talking right now, at least not that I know of,” he said. “And that’s disappointing. I like playing for this team. I want to stay with this team. I’m a blue-collar player in a blue-collar town, and it’s a good fit. I’m in my prime, and we all know it’s a business, too.”

Things are complicated right now for Memphis in money terms. The Grizzlies just paid Mike Conley a lot of cash and signed Rudy Gay in the offseason. O.J. Mayo and Marc Gasol are eligible to be extended soon as well and if Randolph gets paid, somebody has to go.

It's not likely that this will be a clean, simple negotiation. Randolph is making over $17 million this season and has put up some of the best numbers of his career last season at 20.8 ppg and 11.7 rpg. He down to 16 ppg and 10.9 rpg this season so far, but it's early and he's playing a little less.

The FanHouse story said the Grizzlies are looking at something like three years and $40 million, but that's still a hefty price tag for a team that has a number of players to pay. At the same time though, a lot of the Grizzlies' current success is directly tied to Z-Bo's contributions. He's playing well on the court, and off it. He's keeping his head togethr and functioning extremely well within the Memphis system.

The CBA has a lot of players asking for extension as there's a lot of uncertainty with what will happen. Randolph is right. Someone will pay him. But I'm not sure it'll be for what he really wants.
Posted on: July 19, 2010 12:54 pm

NBAPA filing collusion charges against league?

Posted by Royce Young

If you didn't think the relationship between the league and its players was already strained, then sit right down and take a sniff at this story today from Sports Business Journal .

Basically, the Players' Association is strongly considered filing charges against the league and the owners. Why? Last summer the NBA was telling teams that basketball revenue was dropping dramatically and that would mean a cut in the salary cap this year. The league projected the cap could drop below $51 million, but more likely settle in the $53 million range, down from the $57.7 million it was this season.

Where did it land? Up at $58.1 million. That means basketball revenue went up last season. That means the players feel like they were duped by the league. Would the league release low cap projection numbers in an effort to pull down the amount teams could spend on salaries? The players are sort of thinking so. Hence the potential charges.

Last week in Vegas, David Stern said the league lost $370 million. Yet, the NBA recorded all-time highs in revenue. Of course the league credits slashes in ticket prices and merchandise costs, plus other clever ideas to push through the recession.

Then there are things like the recent sale of the Warriors, where a team was purchased for more money than in league history. Players like Nick Collison see that as fishy business. He tweeted :
"Warriors sold 4record 450 million after being bought for119. if nba is "broken" why are teams always sold 4profit? ... Also is the appreciation of the franchises when sold (warriors, Suns, sonics etc) factored into the 400 million loss claim??...no ... My point is these very smart businessmen would not continue to invest is a failing system paying record numbers team after team."
A fair point indeed. All signs point point to the league thriving. But what we keep hearing is that money is flying out by the truckload.

Owners want shorter non-guaranteed contracts. Players want longer, guaranteed contracts. The league says it's losing money. The players see how revenue is at an all-time high. We keep hearing the two sides couldn't be farther apart. And at this point, I'd say they're about as far as east is from west. Right now, there's no avoiding a lockout it seems. Unless something dramatically happens, next summer probably won't be as fun as this one.
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com