Monthly Archives: June 2011

Possible Work for NBA Players in Event of Lockout

Now that the NBA Draft is over and the lockout appears to be an almost certainty, the NBA will be fading off into no-mans land. There will be no free agency signings, no trades, and no schedule release because a Collective Bargaining Agreement is needed to facilitate those events.

As with the NFL lockout, any news being reported relevant to the sport of basketball will be in the form of legal maneuvering and tactics. I think I speak for all the fans when I say that the players and owners need to get a deal done. The fans are the ones who will truly suffer the most from a work stoppage.

However, if there is a lockout, maybe we will get to see another commercial like this:

Via Gabe Feldman’s twitter account, the Director of Tulane Sports Law Program who is an excellent person to follow.

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Mark Cuban Uses Victory Celebration Photo in Summary Judgment Brief

(An actual page from the motion for summary judgment)

Mark Cuban is very proud of the fact that the Dallas Mavericks are World Champions.  He has run up a bar tab of several hundred thousand dollars. He picked up the bill for the victory parade. Now, he is even using it as a legal defense in court.

Courtesy of DallasObserver.com, Ross Perot Jr., the son of the former presidential candidate and a five percent owner of the Mavericks, is suing Mark Cuban. Perot’s partnership (Hillwood Center Partnership) used to own the majority of the Mavericks but sold to Cuban 11 years ago. Perot claims that Cuban has made a “litany of questionable, business, financial, and personal decisions.” Further, he claims that Cuban’s “careless and reckless” decision-making has caused the Mavericks to become “insolvent and/or in imminent danger of becoming insolvent.” Perot essentially wants the court to kick Cuban out of control of the franchise.

In response to these allegations, Tom Melsheimer, Cuban’s attorney, submitted into evidence the document you see above as proof that Cuban is anything but a bad owner.

My favorite part in the entire brief is on the final page (shown below) where Cuban’s attorney is asking the court for a ruling in their favor. They additionally ask for further relief to which they are entitled; however, it contains the following parenthetical: Continue reading


Why do NBA Teams Draft-and-Stash International Players?

Ricky Rubio, who was drafted 5th overall by Minnesota in 2009, just recently signed a contract to play for the Timberwolves.

With the prospect of many international players being drafted in the 2011 NBA draft, I thought it would be useful to understand why some teams draft international players but do not sign them to contracts immediately. International players almost always play for another professional team whenever they are drafted by NBA teams. This fact sometimes causes snags in the process of bringing the international player to North America to play in the National Basketball Association. When these issues arise, a number of teams employ what is sometimes referred to as the “draft-and-stash” approach.

There are three main reasons for this strategy: 1) contractual issues; 2) developmental reasons; and 3) roster space. It is common for all three reasons to play into a team’s decision to “draft-and-stash.”

Contractual Issues

Because nearly all international players play for other professional teams when they are drafted, some contractual issues arise. Many player contracts, whether in the NBA or other professional leagues, are signed for multiple years. Just like teams are not allowed to skip out on paying a player’s salary, a player cannot leave the team and go play for another team (that would be a breach of contract). Therefore, international players commonly have a contractual obligation to their current professional teams. In order to get out of the contract, the player has to pay a “buyout.”
Continue reading


Happy Father’s Day to My Dad

I am very lucky to have a great father. I would not be where I am today without the lessons he has taught me throughout my life.  He is the one from whom I earned my PhD. However, in Marlow, Oklahoma PhD stands for “Post Hole Digging.” This is an art in which my dad ensured I was fully skilled.  To honor my father on this day, I will share with you the most memorable piece of advice my dad ever gave me:

“Son, before you choose a girl to marry, see what her mom looks like. That’s what she will look like in 30 years.”

Thanks for all you have done and continue to do, William Hines.

— Your son


NBA Collective Bargaining Update

Reports are coming out today that there was at least measurable progress made during negotiations between the league owners and players union. The players were less enthusiastic of the progress than the owners, but that is to be expected. Any concession made by either side will be played up by those who conceded and downplayed by the other side – that’s how labor negotiations work.

The owners reportedly backed off their original demands for non-guaranteed player contracts. In my extensive breakdown of the CBA negotiations a few days ago, I predicted this to be the area the owners are most likely to concede.

The owners are still adamantly demanding a hard salary cap and huge rollbacks of player salaries. Specifically, the owners have not backed off their demand of a 50-50 split of the basketball-related income (BRI).

The owners’ concession of non-guaranteed salaries is important for two reasons: 1) it shows progress in the right direction and 2) it will allow the owners to more easily prove they are negotiating in good faith – a possible legal issue if the players union decertifies. Continue reading


NBA Collective Bargaining Agreement – Part Two

Introduction

If you have not read NBA Collective Bargaining Agreement – Part One, I suggest you read it first. Much of the discussion in Part Two will build off the information from Part One.

Now that we understand from where the current Collective Bargaining Agreement came, we can begin to discuss the motives of both the owners and players.

A lockout is a tool used by owners in collective bargaining. By locking the players out of the facilities, the owners gain leverage in negotiations. If players are not allowed into team facilities and subsequently games are canceled, the players do not receive pay checks. This tactic theoretically will induce the players to meet the owners’ demands. However, the owners are not the only ones with leverage. By canceling games, the owners are not getting ticket revenue, which is detrimental to their bottom line. The truth is that owners are much more prepared financially to sustain an extended work stoppage than the players. This assertion can be supported simply by seeing to what extravagant lengths Dallas Maverick’s owner, Mark Cuban, is going when celebrating his recent NBA title. Owners are wealthier than players. Owners have other investments which will allow them to “scrape by” in case of a lockout. The players, however, do not have as diverse portfolios as owners. Although several NBA players have lucrative endorsement deals, many players rely simply on their NBA salaries, which in comparison to the owners’ bank accounts are minuscule. Continue reading


NBA Collective Bargaining Agreement – Part One

Billy Hunter, executive director of the National Basketball Players Association, and David Stern, NBA Commissioner, answer questions about the pending labor negotiations during the NBA Finals.

Introduction

“I heard the NBA is going to have a lockout, but I am not sure what that means or why it’s happening.”

A similar thought has probably crossed your mind throughout this season. However, if you are like me, you have tried to block out any thoughts of a lockout because of the Thunder’s amazing postseason run and overall awesomeness of the 2010-2011 NBA season. Now that the season has concluded, this will be the prevailing topic on which the media focuses this summer (certainly so after the NBA draft). The Thunder likely will not make any big splashes on draft night (although you never know with Mr. Presti running the show), so the big question hanging over the heads of Thunder fans is “will there even be a 2011-2012 season?!”

I wish I knew the answer to this question. My gut feeling is that there will be a lockout and it will last into training camp and pre-season, but a deal will get done before any regular season games are missed. However, your guess is as good as mine at this point. The purpose of this article is to give Thunder fans some context to collective bargaining negotiations, so that you can better understand the ever-evolving and complex situation. First, you must understand how we got to this point. Continue reading