So first, let's start off with the initial owners proposal:
According to NBA executives familiar with the league’s strategies, once the lockout is in place, the owners will push for a hard salary cap of $45 million, the elimination of guaranteed contracts and ask that the players swallow a 33 percent salary cut.
Yeah, so rollback of 33% of presently guaranteed salaries, roll back of 40% of money in the future, and no more guaranteed deals. That's making things reasonable. The players response?
“They’re asking for a deal that is worse than hockey’s, which is considered to be the worst collective bargaining deal in sports history,” Bonner said. “If that’s their best offer, we don’t have much choice but to fight for something better.”
Can't blame them there, this IS the worst CBA in sports history of the players agreed to it. It's completely ridiculous relative to any precedent. I know many of you will argue that the owners deserve a profit. Who am I to argue against this? However, the losses the owners are experiencing are generally not operating losses, but they are grossly exaggerated by a bunch of accounting tricks.
Besides mixing in player depreciation which is a way to double count salaries on the books, the owners are also throwing in loss on interest on their purchase price of the franchise as well as deducting a percentage of purchase price of the franchise on the books each year..
This you have another massive paper loss which isn't a real loss, combined with a real loss, but one that is derived purely from the owners debt to purchase the franchise and not from the operating income of the franchise itself.
In other words, the owners are completely full of shit in the way they are portraying the financial state of the league.
This would be like if I purchased the Bulls for a billion dollars that I borrowed from a bank and had to make payments of 100 million a year on. Then I charged that 100 million to the Bulls franchise and claimed they were losing 50 million a year even though they were making over 50 million a year in operating profit for the past decade.
That's what the owners are doing, and it's a load of crap.
Forbes has the actual operating profits of the NBA, and the 2009-2010 season had operating profits of an average of 6 million per team, not a 10 million dollar loss per team after the NBA's BS crap they are trying to sell to consumers while crying poor. There are many teams still with operating losses, but they are small in nature and would be resolved largely by revenue sharing with the behemoth teams that are banking massive money.
Essentially, the players stance about what the owners are trying to do is completely right. That doesn't mean they'll win though. In the end, the players lose far more than the owners by holding out. They have a very limited shelf life in terms of career, and if they lose a year of that it will hurt far more than the owners losing a year of business.
The best thing the players could probably do is decertify, sue the owners, and start up their own league that will last as long as the lockout is going on. The decertification may or may not work, same as the law suit. They'll generate a small fraction of the total money the NBA does in their own league, but they can probably generate enough money to keep the players out of the poor house and withstand a more lengthy lockout as well as provide a threat to the NBA if things go particularly well.
There are enough agents involved with the players to set the wheels in motion of a secondary league plan, and if for some reason the owners don't come back down to Earth, the best basketball players in the world playing against each other would still be fun to watch, and the threat of a rival league taking off while the NBA locks out its talent will force the NBA back to the negotiating table.
In the end, I doubt any of us care how much players or owners make. I know I don't. However, this lockout is caused by the owners. They are grossly, grossly exaggerating the negative state of the league in a sympathy play about not making money. They've chosen to take basketball away from us. I will root to get it back by whatever agreement can get done the fastest, but I won't forget which side caused the fight with their lies, negative media campaign, and bs.
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