Category Archives: NBA

NBA Lockout is Over, What Comes Next?

Picture complements of Ben Golliver (@blazersedge)

At approximately 3 a.m. early Saturday morning, Ken Berger of CBSSports.com sent out the tweet for which we have all been waiting. Berger was first to report the story after the announcement was made of a joint press conference.

NBA Commissioner David Stern said at the press conference that the plan was to play the first games of a shortened 66-game season on December 25th. The originally scheduled triple header of Mavericks-Heat, Lakers-Bulls and Knicks-Celtics will likely remain the Christmas Day lineup.

It is being reported by Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports that some veteran players may vote against the proposed agreement, but it will pass regardless. Judging by the reaction of the players on twitter, including this gem by Kevin Durant, I’d say Mr. Wojnarowski is correct.

The deal must still be officially approved by the owners and players, but assuming the vote goes smoothly, the NBA timeline will look something like this:

Saturday, Nov. 26th – Friday, Dec. 9th: The players’ union no longer exists, so the players must reform their union before the vote can take place. Reforming the union should not take long at all because the union disclaimed its interest rather than the alternative (decertification). The players must withdraw their antitrust lawsuits, show proof that a majority of the players support reforming the union, file some paperwork, and BOOM the union is back.

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My Plan to Solve the NBA Lockout — Cap System Edition

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[UPDATE] As of late last night (Oct. 10th), the NBA has cancelled the first two weeks of the season, which total 100 games throughout the league. According to David Stern, it was not economic issues that caused the talks to break. Rather, the two sides could not agree on some of the system issues, such as contract lengths, annual raises, soft cap exceptions. The following post is my attempt to bring sanity to the whole situation. These are creative compromises that, in my opinion, would be beneficial to both the owners and the players.

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Previously I wrote about the most important CBA issue, the Basketball Related Income division. However, maybe I was mistaken in the belief that the BRI was the most important issue for it was the the system issues that caused a break in talks. I will attempt to address these system issues. In my CBA primer earlier in the summer, I wrote extensively about the current cap system and the one being proposed by the owners. I recommend reading those posts first (Part I & Part II).

In short, the owners are pushing for a “hard cap,” while the players are adamant about keeping the “soft cap” system used in the previous collective bargaining agreements. In part one of my plan, the players would be making large concession with the split of the BRI. I believe that is necessary to hold the most ground on the “blood issue” that is a hard cap.

As in my last post, many of my ideas have been influenced by amazing lockout articles that have been written by authors such as Ken Berger and Tim Donahue. My cap system proposal contains three main issues. I will explain each issue individually and give my proposal. Continue reading


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.


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.”
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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