Word is the NBA is planning to announce on Tuesday the cancellation of two more weeks of the season and David Sterns’ threat of no basketball come Christmas day are becoming more of a reality. Since they’re meetings last week the owners have drawn their line, telling the players that unless they agree to a 50/50 split of Basketball Related Income (BRI), that they will not talk about the system of free agency, length of contracts, rookie contracts and the discussion of a hard salary cap. While the players have repeatedly said that while they aren’t opposed to agreeing to a 50/50 split, they have said they can’t take that offer without knowing how the details of the system. The players in the last agreement were receiving 57% of BRI and have offered to give back 4% offering a sliding scale of 51% – 53% which would escalate within that range with the rise of NBA revenue. This was in response to the NBAs’ claim to have taken a $300 million loss of revenue last season. The owners claim that there needs to be a complete overhaul on how business is done, but for all its claims sponsorships increased by 7% according to sportsbusinessdaily.com. Though to the average American this may sound like billionaires versus millionaires, it’s more a fight of management versus labor. Let’s not be blinded by the fact that players are more visible so we see their wealth more, but they couldn’t have such money if it weren’t for the owners and executives that decided to pay them. With for all the grief players get, owners seem to skate under the radar as they lock players out of publicly funded facilities and routinely ask tax payers to pay for stadiums. Although the players look focused to this point to hold their ground, it’ll be interesting to see what happens when players start missing pay days how their unity will hold up.
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