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Old 06-23-2011, 08:28 PM
JL
 
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Article from today:
Union says it won't accept bad deal


By Chris Sheridan
ESPN.com
Archive
NEW YORK -- In some of the strongest public comments he has ever made, National Basketball Players Association executive director Billy Hunter said Thursday the league's owners are trying to "break" the players' union.
"Their intention is to lock us out and break the union to achieve what they want to achieve," Hunter said following a meeting of player representatives from the 30 teams.
Collective bargaining talks will resume Friday after each side made new economic proposals Tuesday -- the players offering to reduce their share of revenues by $500 million over the next five years, and the owners proposing a 10-year system that would guarantee the players a minimum of $2 billion in salaries each season.
Hunter initially said he saw a "ray of light" after the owners made their proposal during Tuesday's bargaining session, but in the 48 hours since he has retreated substantially from any cautious optimism while saying the owners are overreaching by proposing draconian changes that would significantly shift the share of revenues in the owners' favor.
We'd love to avoid a lockout, but we're unified in the sense of not being afraid if that's what we're faced with.
” -- NBPA president Derek Fisher
Union president Derek Fisher said Thursday that players won't accept a bad deal to avert a work stoppage.
"We'd love to avoid a lockout, but we're unified in the sense of not being afraid if that's what we're faced with," the Lakers guard said.
Flanked by 60 players -- including Kevin Garnett, whose $126 million contract extension in 1997 was a catalyst for the changes owners sought that led to the 1998 lockout, the only extended work stoppage in league history -- Hunter said he made his "ray of light" statement before thoroughly reviewing the owners' proposal.
"I think their real intentions are still what they were before, and I think that is to lock us out in an effort to break the union and to achieve what they want to achieve," Hunter said.
Asked to elaborate, Hunter responded: "The reason why I guess I make the statement, let me refer to the comment make by Ted Leonsis, the owner of the Wizards, and at one time his comment was that (commissioner) David Stern had promised NBA owners and those individuals who might be interested in purchasing a franchise the kind of deal that was foisted on NHL players. And we all know what happened in that situation: The union was broken after a year-long lockout, and the owners as a result have been able to impose upon those players the worst deal in all of professional sports.
"Now, [NBA owners] haven't been able to impose that deal on us yet, but what they are proposing even makes the NHL deal look good. So in order to get that, it is my belief that they have to do the same kind of damage, have to break the spirit and will and resolve of NBA players, in order to achieve what they want," Hunter said.
The verbal volley was the second in as many days from the union in the aftermath of Tuesday's negotiating session.
Said NBA spokesman Mike Bass: "A lockout is something that we are trying to avoid by making multiple offers that treat our players fairly. We are dismayed by the union's unfortunate rhetoric."
Players were particularly peeved that Stern termed their $500 million giveback "modest," and said the first time Stern ever mentioned a targeted median team salary of $62 million under a proposed "flex-cap" system was when the commissioner told that number to reporters in a news conference following Tuesday's bargaining session.
On Wednesday, Hunter and Fisher revealed that the owners also were asking for $160 million in funds that were withheld from players' paychecks last season as part of the "escrow tax" system -- a mechanism to ensure that players receive no more than 57 percent of basketball-related income. That money is due to be disbursed to players in August.
The union also claimed the 10-year deal being proposed by the owners would result in a net loss of $7 billion to $8 billion in salaries over the next decade, with the $2.17 million in salaries and benefits that were paid out in the 2010-11 season not being eclipsed until the 10th year of the proposed deal.
I think [NBA owners'] real intentions are still what they were before, and I think that is to lock us out in an effort to break the union and to achieve what they want to achieve.
” -- Union chief Billy Hunter
The current labor agreement expires June 30 after a season in which the league's attendance, ratings, merchandise sales and overall popularity were all on the rise.
The owners have argued that they want a new system that guarantees every team a chance to compete for a championship and a chance to be profitable, while the players have countered that the owners' concerns can be addressed by tweaking the current system and increasing the sharing of local television revenues to give the owners a larger slice of the financial pie.
In their latest proposal for a five-year agreement, the players proposed receiving 54.6 percent of basketball-related income over the first several seasons, and 55 percent in the final season.
If there is an impasse and a lockout is imposed, the players would not begin to feel the financial pain until Nov. 15 -- the date the first paychecks of the 2011-12 season are due.
"Let's keep in mind that the owners are wealthy, they're wealthy, and they could possibly survive something. Our players are rich. At one time, everybody espoused to be rich. But in the last 10-20 years the paradigm has shifted. And now we talk in terms of wealth," Hunter said. "Our players live handsomely as long as they're playing basketball, and after their careers are over -- many of which are short -- they're no longer rich, and they don't get to become wealthy. If, in fact, we agree to what is being proposed by the NBA, then many of the owners will become even wealthier than they are now."
Garnett and Paul Pierce from the Celtics, the Clippers' Blake Griffin, the Hornets' Chris Paul and Jason Terry of the NBA champion Dallas Mavericks were among the 60 players who joined Fisher at the front of the news conference. Garnett, who plans to attend Friday's bargaining session, said the owners' latest proposal reflects an evolving trend of the owners and the league office trying to seize "control" of all aspects of the basketball business.
"I just think it's domination of the game. Like how they went from a certain number in fines and then went to another number without even consulting with any of our officials, or Derek or Billy. [Another example is] the ball. A couple years ago they just up and changed the ball. I can only anticipate NBA Entertainment getting a lot more aggressive in their exposure to the locker room. Look at the whole dynamics of it, and it's just control. That's my opinion," Garnett said.
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Old 06-23-2011, 09:56 PM
 
Location: Houston, TX
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Pretty obvious from the draft of guys who are at least 2 years away that they expect a lockout for a year.
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Old 06-26-2011, 06:54 PM
 
Location: Texas
1,632 posts, read 405,187 times
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I sure hope there isn't an NBA lockout. I really don't care if the NFL misses games, because the UFL will be there, and I'm starting to like that league more. But right now, there aren't any other legitimate basketball leagues in America to follow.
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Old 06-26-2011, 07:41 PM
 
Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado
478 posts, read 598,097 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 719inhere View Post
Agreed I don't expect the NBA(or NFL) to lose any regular season games.
Im actually gonna have to change my opinion on this now, I could see the NBA possibly losing games if not the whole regular season. Just seems like there is alot of tension and no progress being made in these NBA labor talks from what Im hearing.
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Old 06-26-2011, 08:48 PM
 
52,281 posts, read 42,065,345 times
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Quote:
"Let's keep in mind that the owners are wealthy, they're wealthy, and they could possibly survive something. Our players are rich. At one time, everybody espoused to be rich. But in the last 10-20 years the paradigm has shifted. And now we talk in terms of wealth," Hunter said. "Our players live handsomely as long as they're playing basketball, and after their careers are over -- many of which are short -- they're no longer rich, and they don't get to become wealthy
Billy Hunter is a moron.

Yeah, the guys BUYING the franchises have to pay money to get them.....duuuuuuuuuh!
The players get tons of money for.....paying in nothing and playing basketball.

Seriously, this is what the players union gets for basically hiring a basketball player....most of which are barely smart enough to change the oil at Jiffy-lube.

There won't be a strike, this is retarded posturing. Oh brother.....get a friggin education.
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Old 06-27-2011, 06:00 AM
 
Location: spring tx
7,912 posts, read 8,232,845 times
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you realize teh union turned down an owner guaranteed 2 billion to the players for the next 2 years. thats about 4.5 mil average salary, 2010 nba season the average salary was 4.79 mil. so an over all average of 290k less to have a job playing a sport? selfish freaking unions!
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Old 06-27-2011, 10:50 AM
 
Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado
478 posts, read 598,097 times
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The Players Union/Players don't have any leverage here. I've read that 22 of the 30 teams are losing money. And the owners seem to be offering the players a pretty good deal if you ask me. Without the owners these guys don't even play or at least make the kind of money their making. I watch to see the players yes, but we don't watch these teams without the owners paying a couple Hundred million to buy the teams and than pay the players on top of it. What rigas said, the players union is being selfish.
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Old 06-27-2011, 11:55 AM
 
Location: spring tx
7,912 posts, read 8,232,845 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 719inhere View Post
The Players Union/Players don't have any leverage here. I've read that 22 of the 30 teams are losing money. And the owners seem to be offering the players a pretty good deal if you ask me. Without the owners these guys don't even play or at least make the kind of money their making. I watch to see the players yes, but we don't watch these teams without the owners paying a couple Hundred million to buy the teams and than pay the players on top of it. What rigas said, the players union is being selfish.
this is typical UNION behavior regardless of the union. unions USED to serve a purpose, now they do nothing but try to break the owners back with out the foresight to know that if you break the owners you break yourself. unions are a huge part of why the cost of living is so high, and a huge reason the owners/league are losing money. think about it in a more local/personal level, if the unions didnt push for higher wages mostly under the pretense of "cost of living" then cost of living would not be so high. truckers unions raise prices to deliver food, UAW raises wages on the manufacture of said truck (as well as cars), pipe fitters, cement, masons and so on all raise their wages via unions all for "cost of living" but the owners dont eat it, they turn it over to the customer, and a lot of those customers complain that prices are to high, a lot of those customers being UNION employees, thus the union employees go to the union reps saying "the cost of living is to high i need more money" and the wages get raised starting the cycle over again.

now this is not the full case of the NBAPU exactly, though some players (im looking at you spreewell, pat ewing) will claim they cant afford the cost of living thus needing/justifying higher salaries. those salary increases dont equate to the owner losing money but higher ticket prices. the players (like most employees and especially union members) believe the owners are making a killing. this is not necessarily the case, while few owners make their living solely off the team, a few do. those who do dont make much more then "a living" this is why the owner of the hornets sold out to the league, he had no other income and CP3 needed 20 mil or what ever. now if the owners raised ticket prices every year like most nba salaries or the salary cap then very few of us would be attending games.
its funny, about 3 yrs ago i sold about $14,000,000 in business, now one of my employees saw the number and was like "HOLY CRAP" your making a killing! he didnt understand that his salary, my other employees salaries, office, insurance, phones, trucks, fuel, materials (i own a concrete construction company) and so on and so forth all have to come out of that money. he only knew the 14m was a huge number and his $35,000 salary was not nearly as big. he also didnt realize that after taxes, and over head and such i would be LUCKY to make the national average in my industry of 2-3%. think about it, $200,000 to $300,000 sounds nice, until you realize that it is only a small part of the $14,000,000 you started out with.

see i have zero sympathy for unions who would like to make that 2-3% closer to 1% or less. i have no sympathy for unions what so ever. i do have sympathy for employees, and for those who do what they can to live within their means. nba players do not live within their means more often then not, and they would break the owners if they could. the owners and the fans IMO are one in the same in this dispute.
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Old 06-27-2011, 11:57 AM
 
52,281 posts, read 42,065,345 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 719inhere View Post
The Players Union/Players don't have any leverage here. I've read that 22 of the 30 teams are losing money. And the owners seem to be offering the players a pretty good deal if you ask me. Without the owners these guys don't even play or at least make the kind of money their making. I watch to see the players yes, but we don't watch these teams without the owners paying a couple Hundred million to buy the teams and than pay the players on top of it. What rigas said, the players union is being selfish.
Yeah, if this is true the Owners are not going to support this.

However, if you want to keep your job as union head you have to show some degree of fight and not just trot back with a paycut.

The NBA and players unions have made a lot of good decisions over the years with such things as non-negotiable pay scales for rookie contracts, bolstering the pensions of past players that played in an era of much less $$$ and so on.

I always thought it sad that George Mikan had to squeek by financially basically signing autographs etc. Shaq payed for the mans funeral after hearing the family was in poor shape financially, one of my favorite all-time NBA stories.
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Old 06-27-2011, 12:51 PM
 
Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado
478 posts, read 598,097 times
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Here is a link to the story about the 22 teams losing money.
League says 22 teams to lose money, $300 million total this season | ProBasketballTalk
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