View Full Version : David Aldridge solution to avert a lockout

06-20-2011, 03:31 PM
This seems reasonable to me.

I only cut and paste the first half of the article. Just too long, so click on the link for the 2nd half of it. He suggests the pacers make $700,000 per home game, while teams like Lakers Knicks....make $2M


David Aldridge

One man's way to avert NBA's looming lockout scenario

Posted Jun 20 2011 12:03PM

We're at the 58th minute of the 11th hour.

This is the beginning of the last week that can truly avert an lockout by NBA team owners. They will meet with the players' union Tuesday in New York, a meeting that David Stern indicated last Friday would be make or break (http://www.nba.com/2011/news/06/17/da-labor-talks/index.html#?ls=iref:nbahpt2). The sides have met three times in full session in the last two weeks, along with a couple of smaller sessions between the lawyers, and Stern and Billy Hunter speak on the phone all the time. Yet here we are, 11 days from a lockout that everyone says will be disastrous for the sport, while everyone seems powerless to stop it from happening.

It doesn't have to be this way.

There's a middle ground.

It will require sacrifice from both sides. It will require trust from both sides. It will require acknowledging that the other side's position has some merit and is worth considering. But it is there.

It will be difficult. Rich men are capable of doing just about anything to remain rich. This new generation of NBA owners, many of whom are leveraged up to their ears and who have tens of millions of annual debt service to pay before they pay a single coach or player their gargantuan salaries, has among its ranks those who are fully ready to sacrifice all of next season if it means a sea change in the league's financial system. The new generation didn't pay $1 million for his franchise (like the late Abe Pollin, who bought the Baltimore Bullets in 1964), or $6 million (the late Bill Davidson, who bought the Pistons in 1974). Having been in the game for decades, the old guard was more likely to be willing to cut a deal.

Today's NBA is filled with owners who paid through the nose for their teams, and have years of red ink in front of them before they ever see a return on their investment.

The list includes Joe Lacob and Peter Guber (Golden State, purchased in 2010 for $450 million), Robert Sarver (Phoenix, 2005, $400 million), Dan Gilbert (Cleveland, 2005, $375 million), Wyc Grousbeck and Steve Pagluica (Boston, 2002, $360 million), Ted Leonsis (Washington, 2010, $300 million -- an estimated price that does not include another $250 million in debt on Verizon Center and the Wizards that Leonsis also has to assume) and Mikhail Prokhorov (New Jersey, 2009, $200 million for 80 percent of the team and 45 percent of the new Barclays Center in Brooklyn in which the Nets will play beginning in 2013).

Add to that NBA owners who also own NHL teams -- a group including Leonsis (Capitals), Stan Kroenke (Nuggets, Colorado Avalanche) and Philip Anschutz (part-owner of the Lakers and owner of the NHL's Kings) and who survived the cancellation of the 2004-05 season in that sport after a lockout lasting nearly a year -- and you have a strong cross-section of owners who are emboldened to do whatever it takes to create a system that ensures profitability. That's something you have heard from Stern and deputy commissioner Adam Silver over and over again during the past 18 months.

"The old guys, they'd made a lot of money already," said a longtime and former senior executive of an NBA team who's been involved in previous collective bargaining sessions with the players. (Like just about everyone quoted in this piece, he obviously cannot be named.).

"Now you have guys saying 'I'm losing money, and I have to find a way to make this team that I bought for $350 million worth $500 million.' "

Players, of course, don't want their paychecks to finance profit certainty when no other business has that kind of arrangement with its workers.
"We've continued to try our best to be respectful and reasonable with, not only our ability to listen to what the NBA owners are asking or demanding from us, but we've also tried to express the fact that we're more than willing to negotiate," National Basketball Players Association president Derek Fisher said during The Finals. "And that we've expressed and actually committed to being willing to make some adjustments, and tweak some things, make some quote-unquote compromises in order to try and get this deal done without the event of a lockout. At the same time, we have a responsibility as a Players Association to prepare our guys for that possibility."

Until Friday, when owners made what they deemed a "signficant" concession and agreed to table a proposal that would have changed the existing NBA structure that allows teams to guarantee part or all of a player's contract -- the union argued that it's hardly a concession to agree to something that's already in the CBA -- there had been almost no major movement between the sides. The issues that have been impeding progress for 18 months continue to be daunting.

Three issues are at the heart of the impasse:

• The owners continue to seek a hard salary cap along the lines of those in football and hockey, eliminating most of the exceptions that currently exist.

A hard cap would cut hundreds of millions of dollars in player contracts, including those of star players. The league's most recent proposal to the players, a 10-year contract, would phase in a hard cap after three seasons and lock it in for the remaining seven years.

• Owners also want to reduce the players' take of Basketball Related Income (BRI) from its current 57-43 split in favor of the players to a split that favors them.

BRI, again, is most revenue that comes into an NBA team's coffers: money from ticket sales of all games, including exhibition and playoff games; national television rights fees from ABC/ESPN and TNT; sales from concessions -- including "pouring rights" deals with individual beverage sponsors -- and parking; temporary arena signage and club fees. Half of revenues from arena naming rights deals and 40 percent of revenues from "fixed" signage inside and outside arenas and from luxury suite sales. Money raised internationally by an NBA team is currently not included in BRI.

The initial proposal the NBA made during All-Star Weekend in 2010 would have reduced player contracts in length and eliminated guarantees, to the point where owners would recoup $700 million off the top of revenues before the rest was split with the players, creating a system that would have essentially given owners 61 percent of revenues, with players getting the remaining 39 percent. Stern said on Friday that both sides have come off of those initial positions, but the owners still want a major BRI shift in their favor and are holding firm.

• Owners also want to eliminate exceptions to the cap that allow teams to exceed the cap to re-sign their own players (this is the so-called "Larry Bird" exception), or to add players via the mid-level exception or veteran player's exception.

The mid-level is tied to the average salary in the NBA (this past year, the exception began at $5.765 million) and can increase up to 8 percent per year up to five years. Eliminating most, if not all, of these exceptions would take hundreds of millions more from players.

The players want to preserve much of the current system, while acknowledging that there have to be tweaks to the system -- "adjustments," as the union likes to say -- that don't fundamentally change the system. They want to keep the Bird and Early Bird exceptions and the minimum and veteran player exceptions, for example, and while they are willing to talk about the numbers of the BRI split, they have been at 57 percent since the end of the 1999 lockout and aren't crazy about going backwards.

It all sounds impossible. But it isn't. Call me crazy (you're crazy) and a cockeyed optimist (you're a cockeyed optimist), but there is room for a deal that addresses the owners' financial losses and the players' concerns.
For there to be compromise -- and, ultimately, a deal -- though, each side has to recognize some essential truths about the other.

Owners have to understand how serious the union is about preserving what its predecesors have earned over the past three decades. The composition of the union's executive committee is worker bee: the Knicks' Roger Mason, Jr., the Wizards' Mo Evans, the Spurs' Matt Bonner, the Lakers' Theo Ratliff, the Bucks' Keyon Dooling, the Heat's James Jones and the Hawks' Etan Thomas. Chris Paul is the only superstar on the committee. This group represents the will of the rank and file, and the rank and file is never going to get max contracts. They get paid through exceptions like the mid-level and veteran's minimum, and they are determined to protect them.

Owners must also respect the role that players play in not only raising franchise valuations, but their financial portfolio as a whole.

An example: Last week, Ohio Gov. John Kasich said he would approve the use of racetrack slot machines at casinos in the state (http://www.businessweek.com/ap/financialnews/D9NT0M400.htm) that are being developed by Gilbert, along with approving tax breaks for Gilbert and his partners. Voters approved the construction of four casinos in 2009 by referendum in a 53-47 vote, a decision that will lead to a financial windfall for Gilbert over the next few years. In 2009, LeBron James was in Cleveland, the Cavs were one of the NBA's best and most visible teams and Gilbert was never more popular, having bought the team four years earlier. To say James' presence in town at the time wasn't a factor in the vote is folly (even Gilbert acknowledged (http://www.clevescene.com/cleveland/enhanced-interrogation-dan-gilbert/Content?oid=1678536), at least tangentially, that having the casinos would be good for the Cavs).

The union, on the other hand, has to acknowledge that there are several teams that are deep in the red that need some reform to the current system. (Is the number of teams that lost money in 2009 really 22, as the league asserts? Probably not. That number "sounds a little high," according to the longtime former team exec. Another source that deals directly with owners on a regular basis believes the actual number of teams losing significant amounts of money is more like eight or nine, and likely includes teams like the Pacers, Nets, Wolves and Kings. Another 10 to 12 teams, the source believes, could be losing as much as $5 million a year, but could also break even or make a little money depending on their team's fortunes. Add three to seven home playoff games, and those teams are probably OK. And then there are the six or seven teams that are really making money -- the Knicks, Lakers, Celtics, Bulls, Rockets and Heat. Maybe the Spurs.)

There are losses. Real ones. We just came out of the worst worldwide economic recession since the Great Depression, and it affected everyone -- including rich guys. The Maloofs lost a lot of money with the Kings, but their losses at their Palms casino in Las Vegas -- which is no longer going to be theirs, by the way (http://www.sacbee.com/2011/06/18/3709756/maloofs-will-own-just-2-of-palms.html#ixzz1PllLtdRO) -- were even greater. And while some franchises sold for a lot, there are teams like the Bobcats, which went for $275 million to Michael Jordan after Robert Johnson had bought them in 2003 for $300 million. The league also had to take the unprecedented step of buying the Hornets last year (http://www.nba.com/2010/news/12/20/hornets-sale.ap/index.html) when majority owner George Shinn couldn't reach a deal with minority owner Gary Chouest.

So while metrics like television ratings, NBA.com visits and ticket sales have gone up, they cannot be used alone to determe the game's financial health. The Pacers, I'm told, are losing $15 million annually. The Nets lost $10 million two years ago. Those are real dollars.

"This year is great, but it doesn't make up for the five (crummy) years we just had," said another longtime team executive who, also, cannot be named.

So, where's the middle ground?

Let's take 'em one at a time.

(Please: I'm not a lawyer and you're not interested in the minutae of a collective bargaining agreement. I'm not writing the whole thing here. Just broad strokes on the big items. I don't address the folly of trading expiring contracts, waiving the players you just traded for, and having them return to their original teams 30 days later, for example. And there's a lot of numbers talk that follows, not basketball talk. I'm sorry. But we can't ignore this any more.)

The BRI Split: Make it 50-50?

It's currently 57-43, players. The league started with a 61-39 proposal for the owners. Neither is tenable. So, once again, I argue for the simplest concept that any kindergardner can understand: 50-50.

The NBA generates around $4.3 billion annually. All of that $4.3 billion isn't included in BRI, so let's say for the sake of argument that the BRI number is $4 billion. Under the current system, the players get 57 percent of that, or $2.28 billion, with the owners getting the other $1.72 billion. Owners are proposing taking an additional $900 million off the top, and then splitting the rest 50-50, arguing that their 43 percent of BRI is reduced by interest payments, depreciation of assets, taxes and amortization (all known by the business acronym IBIDA), and is reduced further when their operating expenses are eaten up by paying their staffs, turning the lights on in their buildings, etc. -- while players' expenses are far less. That $900 million also gibes nicely with the approximately $1.1 billion the league claims it has lost since 2008, a figure strongly disputed by the union.
There's no reason the players should have to take almost a billion out of their pockets to pay for the impact of a global recession.

A 50-50 split of the $4 billion alone would mean $2 billion apiece for the players and owners, a net loss of $280 million in salaries for the players -- and, really, a net gain of $560 million for the owners, since they would pocket the $280 million from the players and, in turn, not have to pay that additional $280 million out. That is not an insignificant financial sacrifice, and it would be a legitimate sign of seriousness on the part of the union to do its part to help struggling franchises. Owners could not make a credible argument that the players haven't made a good-faith effort to pitch in during hard times. It would give them skin in the game.

Fifty-fifty would be a recognition of a true partnership between management and labor. Future revenue splits could be indexed to adjust every three years. If the league continues its surge and revenues rise, the split could adjust slightly toward the players to give them a chance to recoup some of their $280 million "investment" in the league. If revenues fell, the split would go slightly toward the owners, to help soften the blow. If the money stays flat, the split stays the same.

"Capital deserves some kind of return," said the current team executive. "And the owners' position is, for that much money put at risk, I deserve to have some kind of return on that at some point. But the players' position is that talent deserves to be compensated. And they're right. Nobody comes to see Jimmy Buss. Between those two principles, it's a split; how do we split the money, so that both sides can say I have a fair chance to achieve my goal. In between that are the people who make that work for both of them. And we are voiceless and faceless. And we're the ones who get fired."

The Salary Cap: Harder, Not Hard

It should be harder. Not hard. Big difference.

The league wants to reduce the gap in salaries between its top-spending and lowest-spending teams. The Lakers' payroll this season, including the $20 million in luxury tax the team paid, was approximately $110.38 million. The Kings paid $44.8 million, well below the salary cap limit of $58.044 million, and had to take the contract of the injured Marquis Daniels to reach the minimum team salary threshold. Within that $65 million gap is the difference between profitability and hemorraging red ink, but it's the team spending more that makes money, while the one that tries to save dollars that winds up losing millions. Thus, there's the desire for a new system in which the Kings have more of a chance to both make money and compete better.

The owners' initial proposal would have created a $45 million hard cap. There's no way that can work, even if it's phased in, as the league proposed in its most recent offer to the players. The question is how big a cap small-market and/or small-revenue teams would be willing to accept if there wasn't as big a gap between teams. Forget the luxury tax threshold, which is $70.3 million this season; a lot of teams become unprofitable once they get near the $58 million cap limit.

"They'll take a hard cap that's pretty high if the players could get off of some of their guarantees," opines the former team exec. "... the (salary) floor doesn't matter. If you're Indiana and the high end is $70 (million) and the floor is $50, your fans will go crazy if you only spend $50 million."

06-20-2011, 03:38 PM
I'm sure that there is a
joke in here somewhere, I'm just too lazy to fine them.

Will Galen
06-20-2011, 03:53 PM
I've always thought that they should open negotiations for public/fans input. Of course the public wouldn't have any say so, but they could come up with ideas the owners and players haven't considered.

Personally I don't feel sorry for owners who buy teams when they really can't afford them and then complain about what it costs. That strikes me as moving next to an airport and then complaining about the noise.

And I'll never feel sorry for players who make at the least hundreds of thousands of dollars (most millions) for playing a sport.

06-20-2011, 03:57 PM
It should be harder.

I'm sure that there is a
joke in here somewhere, I'm just too lazy to fine them..

Didn't have to look far.

06-20-2011, 04:20 PM
Didn't have to look far.

It should be harder. Not hard. Big difference.


Hard, Harder and Big...Boom!

06-20-2011, 04:28 PM
Personally I don't feel sorry for owners who buy teams when they really can't afford them and then complain about what it costs. That strikes me as moving next to an airport and then complaining about the noise.

Do the Simons' fall into this category?

Losing 15mil per year, while a Jamaal Tinsley sits on his *** and collects a check is down right stupid. I understand that there are risks with investments, but there should be ways to get out from under contracts for players who behave the way a player like Tinsley.

This isn't like the NFL, where the owners are unhappy splitting an multi-billion dollar revenue. This is about making sure the league actually stays together.

Something needs to be fixed or there won't be an Indiana Pacers to cheer for.

06-20-2011, 04:41 PM
Something needs to be fixed or there won't be an Indiana Pacers to cheer for.

Or there will be an Indiana Pacers who exist just to serve as someone for the Big Six teams to whomp up on while preparing for the playoffs, while acting as a farm team for players who grow up and go play for the Big Guys.

06-20-2011, 04:46 PM
Aldridge has a lot of good suggestions for achieving a better split of the revenues. For that, I applaud him.

BUT... he has totally ignored the problem with competitive balance.

I think that bi-annual amnesty stinks because it lets the teams with deep pockets off the hook. They simply get rid of their worst contract every two years and eat the cost. Many teams, including most small market teams, cannot afford to eat large contracts every two years. Aldridge seems to think that letting teams off the hook every two years will help achieve competitive balance. It doesn't. All it does is to enable big market teams to dump a high-paid non-performer and go after another player while the small-market teams will be stuck with their high-paid non-performers because they cannot afford to pay them what they are do and be able to also go after another high-paid player to replace them.

Aldridge has conceded the one thing that will help achieve competitive balance. And that is a HARD CAP. Have a hard cap and make it low enough that teams that attempt to stockpile star players will not be able to afford to put decently paid performing players around them. Actually, I am an advocate of allowing teams to pay whatever salary they want for a player, as long as a hard cap is enforced for total team salary.

A new CBA must address more than just financial aspects. It must also address the issue of making the league more competitive from top to bottom.

06-20-2011, 04:56 PM
I think they need to roll back players salaries as well. The example that Lebron would make 25 million with Cavs and only 15 million with Miami sounds great, but what team in their right mind would pay an extra ten million dollars per year! That is crippling.

06-20-2011, 05:07 PM
Good reporting on the issues, but I think a lot of Aldridge's suggestions are untenable. 50-50 BRI split? Sounds fair on the surface but it is more complicated than that. Owners will argue for a BRI split that ensures the weakest teams can still make a profit. Players will instead ask for a BRI split that ensures the league as a whole is profitable, and ask the owners to share revenue to prop up the weaker teams. Plus there's the whole what should go in the BRI calculation question. Owners want to take expenses off the top before calculating the split, players obviously oppose.

The biannual amnesty clause is just stupid. Better to have less guarantees on contracts, that way you could buy out non-performing players at a cheaper rate.

BUT... he has totally ignored the problem with competitive balance.

I think that's what the whole revenue sharing section is addressing.

Aldridge has conceded the one thing that will help achieve competitive balance. And that is a HARD CAP. Have a hard cap and make it low enough that teams that attempt to stockpile star players will not be able to afford to put decently paid performing players around them. Actually, I am an advocate of allowing teams to pay whatever salary they want for a player, as long as a hard cap is enforced for total team salary.

That's not what Aldridge is suggesting in his article though. He's suggesting a "harder" cap with a $20m total exception. Assuming the cap is at $45m, that still means that richer teams can spend almost 50% more than others. In fact, it's practical effect is to set the actual hard cap at $65m, which probably isn't what the small market teams are looking for.

06-20-2011, 05:14 PM
By the way, this is the section on revenue sharing (from the link UB posted)

Revenue Sharing: Time For A Re-Do

Once upon a time, the Cleveland Browns had their own TV network.

The Browns' games were televised from 1955 to 1961 by Sports Network Incorporated, a regional, fledgling fourth network that was trying to compete with CBS, NBC and ABC. (SNI ultimately was bought by billionaire Howard Hughes, who also failed to turn the affiliation of stations into a real network.) But by 1962, the NFL's young commissioner, Pete Rozelle, had managed to secure a national television contract for all of his teams -- except Cleveland. The Browns could have held out and kept the revenue from SNI. But their owner, Art Modell, saw the survival of all of the league's teams could be assured if they shared national TV revenue instead of going it alone. The first deal with CBS was for $4.6 million.

The NFL's most recent TV deals -- with CBS, NBC, Fox, ESPN and DirecTV -- were for nearly $24 billion. That means each NFL team receives almost three quarters of a billion dollars in TV money over the life of the contracts, before they sell a single ticket, or beer, or parking space. That ensures every NFL team's survival. It's why Modell once told me about his fellow owners, "we're 30 fat-cat Republicans who vote socialist."

Revenue sharing makes the NFL work.

NFL teams split the gate at each game 60-40, with the home team getting 60 percent and most of the remaining 40 percent going into a pool that is split evenly among the league's other 31 teams. (That does not include revenue from suite sales.) They evenly split money generated by NFL Properties, which markets shirts, helmets and the like and also facilitates revenue generated by the league's NFL Network.

The league also has a supplemental revenue sharing program negotiated into the last CBA it struck with its players in 2006, which pooled $220 million in 2010 that aided eight to 12 of the league's lower revenue teams. Over the six-year life of the NFL's last CBA, approxmiately $895 million went into the SRS, which was funded in part by direct payments from the league's higher-revenue generating teams. The bottom line: revenue sharing allows franchises like Green Bay, Cincinnati and Buffalo to survive -- and often beat -- the league's highest-revenue producers in Dallas, Washington and New England.

The NBA also shares some of its revenue among its teams. But the pool is much, much smaller. NBA teams split the $7.4 billion the league receives in its national TV deals with ABC/ESPN, TNT and DirecTV, as well as revenue from its licensing, digital media and merchandising. And after a handful of smaller-revenue teams took the unusual step of publicly complaining to Stern about the lack of revenue sharing in an open letter in 2008, the league instituted an additional revenue sharing plan, including contributions from the bigger revenue teams that more than half of the teams used, with a few taking the maximum $6 million payout in 2009.

There's also two de facto revenue sharing programs: the luxury tax coming from teams that exceed the tax threshold and the escrow accounts funded by a percentage of player salaries. The luxury tax threshold is set this year at just more than $70 million. Seven teams -- Atlanta, Boston, Houston, the Lakers, Orlando, Portland and Utah -- look to be tax payers this year, according to league salary figures obtained by NBA.com, with the Lakers set to pay the biggest amount, more than $20 million.

Players are putting eight percent of their salaries this season into the escrow fund. If player salaries in a given year exceed an agreed-upon percentage, the escrow money is given to the owners. From 2006 through 2010, the union estimates players gave back $1.1 billion in salary to their teams.

But the union thinks the league's teams can share a lot more among themselves, which would help alleviate some of the difference between the haves and have-nots. The union has urged the league to incorporate a new revenue sharing plan along with the new CBA.

"The issue is owner versus owner," the former player involved in labor talks said. "Jerry Buss doesn't want to pay Milwaukee."

The league says that it is committed to a new, greater revenue sharing plan. But it insists the new plan has to come after the new CBA, because any new revenue plan won't work, the league says, if the system still produces losing teams.

The NBA should change that thinking. If the players, under my proposed plan, can give up $280 million, the owners have to put a new revenue sharing plan on the table, and use the NFL's model in a couple of key areas:

• First, share a percentage of ticket sales. There currently is no model in the NBA like the NFL's 60-40 split; the league takes 6 percent of ticket revenue off the top, but that's it. The Lakers and Knicks each make almost $2 million per home game; the Pacers, according to a source, make $700,000. The league as a whole generated more than $1 billion in revenue in the 2009-10 season from ticket sales, according to the Sports Business Journal, and that amount is likely to rise for this season when all the money is counted up, with interest in the Heat driving the road attendance for that team along with increased revenues for Heat owner Micky Arison at American Airlines Arena. Before the season began, the league said it had more than $100 million in new full-season ticket revenue, an all-time record.

Even a conservative sharing of those revenues -- say, 20 percent of that $1 billion -- would put $200 million in a pool that could be split annually among the league's weaker economic sisters. After all, the Lakers don't play alone; this isn't golf. They play against someone in those 41 home games, and often times, fans come out to see the likes of Dwight Howard and Chris Paul and other stars from lower revenue-generating teams.

• Second, split local TV money. The NBA is the opposite of the NFL; in football, the national TV dollars drive the bus. In the NBA, local, unshared money often can make the difference between profitability and red ink. The Kings, according to SI.com's Sam Amick, make $11 million a year in their local TV deal in Sacramento with Comcast. The Lakers just signed a 20-year deal with Time Warner (the parent company of Turner Sports, which also manages NBA.com) to air games on two channels starting in 2012 that is worth between $3-$5 billion, depending on whose accounts of the deal you believe. You don't have to have an MBA to see how that gives the Lakers a leg up. Again, we're not talking about taking that and splitting it 30 ways. Let's say it's $3 billion over 20 years. That's $150 million per year. Even 10 percent of that -- $15 million -- would be a nice chunk of change, and the Bulls, Knicks and Celtics should be able to contribute an additional few million among themselves.

It's easy for me to tell the Buss family it should carve up hard-won money and give a portion of it to Indiana, Milwaukee or Sacramento. There is also this argument, which carries some weight: By subsidizing lower-revenue teams, the higher-revenue teams are giving those teams the very money that could make them strong enough financially to compete with the big boys for free agents. As Kings blogger Tom Ziller opines, not sharing revenues depresses player salaries.

But the Lakers' advantages when it comes to revenue generation are prohibitive across the board. They already print money from their suite sales -- only 40 percent of which is included in BRI -- at Staples Center. They get more money for local sponsorships, advertising, everything. And they keep all of that money, just as Jerry Jones found new local revenue streams after he bought the Cowboys. He ultimately had to go to court to win a settlement against the league, which sued him after he signed sponorship deals with Pepsi and Nike. But he settled. And kept the money. So asking the Lakers to chip in so that the league in which they play can stay healthy does not seem to be an unreasonable request.

Scot Pollard
06-20-2011, 05:20 PM
The NBA is actually coming to some resolutions unlike the NFL.

The NFL may very well miss games. Really nothing is progressing.

The players and owners in the NBA are somewhat on the same page here.

06-20-2011, 06:19 PM
I think they need to roll back players salaries as well. The example that Lebron would make 25 million with Cavs and only 15 million with Miami sounds great, but what team in their right mind would pay an extra ten million dollars per year! That is crippling.

Not what I thought was meant exactly. The idea as I understood it was that Miami and the Cavs can pay the same amount but the Cavs can guarantee it for more years, thus TOTALING $25M instead of $15M. If this guy is the superstar face of your franchise, you do it in a heartbeat.