Tag:owners
Posted on: December 13, 2010 4:21 pm
Edited on: December 13, 2010 5:06 pm
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Union organizes by moving to dissolve itself

Posted by Matt Moore

It sounds worse than it is, really. In reality, the players' decision to decertify the union is nothing more than a move to put the guns in a row for the upcoming battle: Lockout 2011, coming this summer to a vacant theater near you. But it's noteworthy that the union very much knows what it's doing and is following protocol. From the Dallas Business Journal :
NBA players have begun the process of authorizing the decertification of the National Basketball Players Association, a move meant as a countermeasure if the league locks out players when the collective-bargaining agreement expires in June, sources said.

Players for at least two NBA clubs have voted unanimously to authorize decertification after meeting with NBPA Executive Director Billy Hunter, sources said. Hunter is asking players at each club to vote to allow the union to disband, or decertify, as he makes his annual fall tour of locker rooms.
via NBA clubs vote on decertification | Dallas Business Journal .

So why is the union dissolving itself in the middle of the biggest fight as a union in ten years? Simple: lawsuits. By decertifying the union, the group becomes a trade organization. Which means that should the owners lock them out, they can then sue with a claim that the owners are conducting a group boycott, which is illegal under antitrust laws.

Which would inevitably lead to the league arguing that the decertification is a sham (it is), and that the players don't really want to decertify themselves as a union (they don't). But the union, now a trade organziation, would make every effort to convince them otherwise and leave that avenue open to pursuit.

At some point down this road basketball will be played again. But in the meantime, I'd ejoy the next seven months if I were you. It's all we're going to have for a while.
Posted on: December 10, 2010 11:24 am
Edited on: December 10, 2010 3:18 pm
 

Mark Cuban sticks Prokhorov with public prod

Mavericks owner tweaks/jabs/haymakers Prokhorov to press before Mavs trounce Nets.
Posted by Matt Moore


It's hard to tell whether Mark Cuban wakes up and just decides to do these things or if they just strike him at the moment. It's definitely within Cuban's makeup to plot out bombastic statements while sipping his freshly harvested Columbian coffee out of diamond-encased mugs, but it also wouldn't shock anyone to learn that he just kind of spits this stuff out like Bobcat Goldthwaite on a bender.

Regardles of the premeditated or spontaneous nature of his particular comments, Cuban has done it again, lobbing up something for the press to slam all over themselves. This time it was in pregame comments regarding Mikhail Prokhorov to media before the Mavericks whipped the billionaire's Nets 102-89 . And the language, was, ahem ... not exactly PG.

From the New York Daily News :
And he started with a haymaker. "He's a p---y," Cuban quipped Thursday when asked about Prokhorov.
via Mark Cuban needles Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov before Mavericks pound Nets in Dallas, 102-89 .

So that's fun. But wait, he wasn't through!
"(Prokhorov) doesn't come to games," Cuban said. "Who the hell knows?"
Ah, Mark. Where would be without your boundless wisdom? In all seriousness, Cuban was joking from all accounts. He tends to toss haymakers about coaches, the league, and players, but very rarely about other owners. It's a brotherhood. Or something. But there could be some hint of jealousy in the unprovoked jabs, since Prokhorov is the new hot playboy on the owners block.

Just have to say, though, tweaking the guy who may or may not have Russian mafia ties is not exactly something I'd recommend as a policy initiative. Then again, i can't afford Cuban's security detail.


Posted on: November 26, 2010 2:21 pm
 

Hunter's statements ring in Freshmen ears

NBA labor dispute could have impacts not only on NBA players but freshmen headed for one-and-done status.
Posted by Matt Moore

Kyrie Irving was busy tearing up teams on Duke's way to dominating the CBE Classic in Kansas City. Terrence Jones was making a name for himself in Maui. Josh Selby was continuing his ineligibility thanks to Team Melo. Harrison Barnes was struggling to find himself, and Enes Kanter, well, he wasn't doing anything much at all.

The country's best freshmen draft prospects were a little distracted last week when NBA Union head Billy Hunter said he was 99% sure there would be a lockout next season . But don't think the comments didn't trickle their way into the youngsters' ears at some point later, along with Ken Berger's report of hope emerging in the talks just as Hunter talks doom and gloom.

You're going to hear a lot from these kids as the year goes on about how they're not paying attention to the CBA talks. You're going to hear about how they are just focused on their team and trying to win now, for their teammates. And everything you hear is ignoring the reality which is that the current tensions between the owners group and the union has to have these standout freshmen concerned.

The freshmen have a bigger decision because "one-and-done" players are usually the most talented and have the best chance of getting drafted as high as possible. There are certainly exceptions (Evan Turner and Blake Griffin are two that spring immediately to mind). But "one-and-done" has come to mean high profile draft pick in recent years and next year's projected draft class is chock full of them. Five of the top six players projected in the 2011 class by Draft Express are freshmen (though it's hard to argue Enes Kanter is a freshman anywhere at this point).

A lockout means leaving college puts them in a precarious position financially should they elect to jump to the draft this summer. Staying in college increases the odds of injury, their stock dropping, or other forces beyond their control impacting the number of millions they're able to collect when they decide to become a professional.

So it's kind of a big decision.

The question is if the concerns surrounding a lockout for the freshmen will be enough to keep them at their schools next year. If they do talk kids off the professional highwire ledge, it could have huge impacts on next year's college basketball season. Gary Parrish of CBSSports.com isn't convinced the lockout concerns will freeze the freshmen, because they'll have other options to make some dough before their contract dough gets sorted out. But if they do, it'll make for a stellar college basketball season in 2011-2012. As Parrish told F&R:

"I'm not certain a lockout would force everybody back to college the way some suspect because the elite guys, at the very least, will still have options. A freshman coming off a great season and deep run in the NCAA tournament -- Jared Sullinger? Kyrie Irving? Terrence Jones? -- might be high-profile enough at that point to secure endorsements that can't be turned away, or maybe a European club offers big money to bring a 'name' over. Beyond that, academics could always force the hand of a few who never intended to be in school more than a year. So we shall see. But if a lockout comes and guys subsequently decide it's to their benefit to just remain in college, wow, we could be in for a great 2011-12 season of college hoops.

Imagine Kentucky adding Mike Gilchrist, Anthony Jones and Marquise Teague to Terrence Jones, Brandon Knight and Doron Lamb. Or Duke operating with Kyrie Irving, Quinn Cook and Austin Rivers. Or Baylor putting Quincy Miller beside Perry Jones. Or Texas with Tristan Thompson, Cory Joseph and Myck Kabongo? Or Memphis returning every relevant player from a team currently ranked 14th, and then tossing Adonis Thomas into the mix.

Again, I'm not sure a lockout will create all or even any of this because returning to school wouldn't be the lone option for the current crop of freshmen, especially the ones who spend March turning into household names. But are the possibilities fun to consider? Yes, absolutely."

The union naturally isn't concerned with players who aren't in the league, beyond some preliminary talks about eliminating the age restriction. They've got bigger concerns for established veterans and trying to fend off the losses in revenue share being discussed. (Read more about how the union is softening on that stance in Ken Berger's column here.) But this situation goes to show how massive this lockout situation is. It will hold an impact on the NBA which is enjoyed success it hasn't seen since Jordan retired (the second time), players, owners, agents, and even those youngsters making a name for themselves in front of the student bodies.

It's just another example of a world that could be dramatically altered not by play on the hardwood, but by talks held in boardrooms over the next ten months.
Posted on: September 29, 2010 7:22 pm
 

The owners are not kidding about a hard cap

Washington owner reveals onwership desire for a hard cap in labor negotiations, no one is pleased.
Posted by Matt Moore


The NBA labor talks had been pretty cordial so far . Both sides had made some noise in the other's direction, but things looked like they might be headed towards progress. That's great news for those of us wanting to avoid a lockout and get back to the business of watching basketball. And then, Ted Leonsis decided to get all loose-lipped.

Leonsis spoke to a group of Washington businessmen Tuesday and accidentally, or perhaps "accidentally" let slip a significant aspect of the NBA owners' approach to the labor talks. In short, they really do want a hard cap, and they intend to get it. Buckle up.

"In a salary cap era -- and soon a hard salary cap in the NBA like it's in the NHL -- if everyone can pay the same amount to the same amount of players, its the small nuanced differences that matter," he said.
Whoops. NBA commissioner David Stern was quick to bring the hammer down to try and contain the damage today in a statement to reporters.

"We're negotiating and that was one of our negotiating points," Stern told the Associated Press, "but collective bargaining is a negotiating process, and that was not something that Ted was authorized to say and he will be dealt with for that lapse in judgment."

Geez. Hope Ted doesn't own any horse stables. The NBAPA obviously did take notice of the little slip of the tongue, and commented the following on Twitter.

Wiz owner Leonsis likes NHL-style hard salary cap. Must like lockouts, too. http://tiny.cc/jikrx @dwadeofficial @kingjames @carmeloanthony
Yikes. Message received, loud and clear, NBAPA.

This is a pretty big tip of the hand by the owners, and an attempt to gain public favor for a hard cap represents a pretty big violation of unspoken rules for the negotiations. This is all beside the fact that a hard cap? It's going to be total war for the owners to get. There's no middle ground here. The NBA currently has that middle ground, with a salary cap exceedable by various exceptions. A hard cap is an all-or-nothing element of the negotiations, and it represents a total victory for the owners. It's also the last line in the sand for the players, who in no way will want to play under something which restricts their salaries to that degree.

Leonsis either intended to reveal the ownership's desire for a hard cap, in a calculated effort to get the issue into public discussion, or really did slip, in which case he's not nearly the braniac we thought he was. This complicates the negotiations in general and enflames both sides.

Like I said, buckle up, kiddos. This is going to be a a long, hard lockout.


Posted on: July 12, 2010 3:11 pm
 

Pacers will not be Thunder'd, staying in Indy

It was coming down to the wire, but it looks like the city of Indianapolis has locked in the Pacers to keep the franchise in its native city, which it has been in since 1967.

Think about that for a tick. When the Pacers started playing basketball in Indy, the Beatles had three more years left in them (kind of). They pre-date the musical Hair . The Super Bowl is a hair older than them. But times are tough, and the Pacers' basketball decisions tougher, and there's been talk of the team relocating if a new arena deal couldn't be hammered out, with team ownership looking for the city to absorb operating costs at Conseco Fieldhouse.

But the Indianapolis Star reports today that ownership and the city have come to an agreement , where the city is not fronting a majority of costs for the arena, but is taking on over $33 million over the next three years. To coincide with that payment, strict penalities of up to $15+ million have been put into place if the team were to attempt to leave early. That's in addition to an early termination penalty of $20 million, essentially locking in the Pacers until 2019 and keeping the franchise home.

It's a good agreement, with solid compromise on both sides, that is being met with fierce opposition, as pretty much anything that involves tax dollars is these days. Billionaire owners wanting a hand with cleaning the floors does not go over well, in this, or any economy. Seattle decided as a city to stick to their guns and not buckle to ownership demands about the arena, and paid the price when it gave Clay Bennett the opportunity to relocate, which he was looking to do anyway. This is an issue that will continue to be fiercely debated until a standard is set in the courts or elsewhere.

But for right now, Pacers fans can breathe easy knowing their team will be playing in Indy for the forseeable future.

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