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NBA Lockout - Lies Owners Tell

Jovan Buha |
November 15, 2011 | 11:53 p.m. PST

Staff Writer


As the mouthpiece of the owners, Stern shares some blame. (Erica Richardson via Creative Commons)
As the mouthpiece of the owners, Stern shares some blame. (Erica Richardson via Creative Commons)
As each day passes, and time slowly erodes, the chance of an NBA season slowly dwindles away … and that was before the National Basketball Player’s Association decided to dissolve the union.  

What’s next, you ask? 

How about court proceedings, countless PR battles (another Twitter Q & A?), and a 30 to 45 day waiting period before things are truly figured out (unless cooler heads prevail and the sides come to some sort of agreement, which is unlikely). 

And over what? The BRI split? System issues? Restrictive player movement? 

Honestly, who knows. Different reports and different sources say different things. 

We don’t know if the players ever truly considered going to a 50/50 split. We don’t know how bad the owner’s offer really was. We don’t know if the union (composed of 30 player representatives – one from each team) actually proposed the current deal to the players, or if they decided to usurp their power and veto the deal. 

But want to know what I do know? What’s been eating me alive this entire lockout?

That the owners claim they’re negotiating in good faith. 

That the owners, and commissioner David Stern in particular (since he serves as their voice), have the guts to publicly call out and blame the players. 

Seriously? You expect us to believe this malarkey? 

The players have no leverage. Absolutely none. Going into this CBA negotiation, everyone knew this. It’s not a surprise. The owners were going to come away with the better end of the deal – it was just a matter of damage control for the players. 

However, the owners – while strangling the players in choke hold – still have the guts to say it’s a fair deal. 

No, it’s not. It’s not fair at all. 

You guys are not only gaining seven percent BRI (Basketball Related Income), but you’re gaining system issues in your favor (shorter deals, some form of revenue sharing, decreased player movement, no sign-and-trades, higher age limit, etc.). 

You haven’t made any concessions. None. Your form of concessions is not enforcing something that already wasn’t in place before (ex: hard salary cap).  

Answer this, Stern & Co.: What have the players gained in these negotiations? 



The only potential thing the NBA can cite is the average player salaries (around $5 million) moving up to somewhere between $7-$8 million, but that’s a reflection of the NBA’s potential revenue growth in the future. 

If the players kept their current 57 percent BRI, that number would be around $10 million or so (or more). So actually, you’re taking money away from the players. 

Don’t lie to us. We understand you’re greedy. We understand you’re smart businessmen. That’s how you are where you are. You didn’t just end up as the owner of an NBA team – you worked your butt off to get there. 

So it’s disrespectful, and quite appalling, when you try and act like you’re bargaining in good faith with the player. You’re not. You’re taking as much as you can get. You want to completely control these negotiations and help out the majority of the teams in the NBA that are struggling. You want parity. You don’t want back-to-back championships or dynasties. 

And, as has been made apparent in the recent month or so, if you don’t get what you want you’re willing to sit out an entire season.  

Sometime in the future, there will be an NBA. 

Will it be this season? Most likely not. Next season? Likely, but who knows how long this court process will take (and if decertification will occur). 

Whenever there is a season, though, please owners … stop lying. 

After all you’ve put NBA fans through this offseason, the least you could do is tell us the truth.

We deserve better. 

Reach Jovan by email, or follow him on Twitter.

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