By Stephfon Guidry
Courts grow cobwebs as the basketball players of the NBA battle it out in the courtroom rather than on the court. Three parties, the Players, the owners, and stand to lose or gain from this tumultuous turn of events in having the NBA 2011-2012 season. Everyone is passing the buck, players say “Don’t Blame Us” owners chant “Give us time to think” and fans chant “What is going to happen to our season?” The bottom line of the issue leads down to two major debates the salary-cap structure and the split of basketball related income. In the wake of the 2010-2011 season the NBA league lost a total of $300 million, motivation enough for all parties involved for change.
Seconds on the clock, time is a factor as negotiations grow tedious and taxing for the owners and players; the NBA Commissioner stated on October 4, 2011 that the preseason games are currently cancelled. David Stern ironic & iconic name NBA Commissioner formally stated to the press at the NBA labor negotiations press conference, “By Monday, we will have no choice but to cancel the first two weeks of the season”. (CNN.com) $200 million is the revenue loss that would be taken by first two weeks—a total of 114 games—of the regular season possible cancellation. Stern also stated, “We know our backs are against the wall in terms of regular season games and what those consequences will be.”
Follow the Money and answers follow! The players union is currently lobbying for an increase in the average player salary from its current average of $5 million per player to $7 million per player. Owners also want to increase their shares in the revenue while there is discussion on strengthening the salary cap. Negotiations have caused mixed reactions from players.
After three months of legal negotiations the question arises; what do the players think? NBA Players proactively decide to go abroad or not. Kenyon Martin (Denver Nuggets), Tony Parker (San Antonio Spurs), Deron Williams (New Jersey Nets) and many more already secured deals with countries like Spain, France, and Chain. Others opposed the thought of going overseas for instance Matt Barnes (L.A. Lakers), Chris Bosch (Miami Heat) and LeBron King James (Miami Heat) all state they are not pursuing international deal (ESPN.com). David Stern recently interviewed with CNN to talk about the progress in the NBA labor negotiations, “We need to reset our business model which not only gives our teams an opportunity to be profitable…because as the union has made, I think, clear and I agree with them, we need a more robust revenue sharing plan.” Clearly there is much to be done in the courtroom and hopefully soon back on the court as NBA fans patiently await the key to unlock this lockout!