The NFL lockout has ended, and everyone (including me) is happy. NFL free agency and the MLB trade deadline has fueled my dormant sports fire, however in all of the hoopla amidst the return of football, I am left asking on question: Why haven’t we heard anything about the progress in NBA lockout talks?
The problem is, there hasn’t been progress. NBA owners and the players union are set to meet for the first time since the lockout began on July 1st, and they have a lot of issues to resolve. Here is a frightening overview from Rachel Roberts of Masslive.com on the plans of the NBA owners, and the fightback from the NBA Players Union:
When the players and owners failed to agree on terms for a new contract, they disagreed on a few major issues, including the owner’s desire for a hard salary cap, the amount of guaranteed salary in player contracts, the revenues included in the basketball-related income and the costs that come out of the basketball-related income, or BRI.
The old agreement guaranteed players 57 percent of the BRI pie, which owners’ argued was too high, causing 22 of the league’s 30 teams to lose money for the second consecutive year — a figure the union disputes. Owners are looking for a 10-year agreement with a hard salary cap, which players argue would cut their BRI from 57 percent to 40 percent.
The owners and players are far off on many aspects. One factor that is going to prolong this lockout, compared to the NFL, is that the NBA players union has an alternative for players to create income. European basketball leagues such as Lega Serie A (Italy), Turkish Basketball League, Heba A1 (Greece), and Israeli Basketball Super League as well as the ABL (Asian basketball league)are eager to pay NBA superstars to play in their leagues. The NFL, unlike NBA, does not have an alternative league. NFL players needed to play this season, with several rumored to have taken out high interest loans to maintain their lifestyles during the lockout which only cancelled 1 preseason game. The NBA players union has more leverage, and the NBA owners and players are even further off than the NFL and it’s players union were. This lockout is going to take awhile, and it’s a damn shame.
Please come back soon, NBA. I miss you.