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Hicks
07-01-2011, 12:13 PM
I want to say this first: I'm not saying it ISN'T his fault.

But I'm trying to understand the key and specific reasons why people are saying this is Stern's fault.

Is it just because he's the single most powerful piece on the board, or are there more detailed reasons?

Because when I think about the lockout, the main cogs in this machine seem to be the NBAPA and the owners of the 30 teams.

How exactly does David Stern force either party to do what David Stern wants them to do?

Again, what exactly makes this his fault, or maybe that's the wrong question:

How is this MORE his fault as opposed to the fault of other parties?

I'm trying to get the main pieces here, and hopefully they fit together so I can get a better sense of the entire picture here.

Right now I'm just left with this murky sense that it's like any leader: "Happened on his watch, so it's his fault"

Infinite MAN_force
07-01-2011, 12:17 PM
As far as I'm concerned, this whole thing is the players association's fault, but people will always love to hate David Stern.

wintermute
07-01-2011, 12:27 PM
Stern is the chief negotiator of the owners, just as Hunter is the chief negotiator of the players. The job of negotiators is to achieve consensus. This is best done by both parties mutually achieving gains, a "win-win" if you will, and not by one party crushing the other, which appears to be the owners' stance.

I tend to agree with Wojo's article (which I posted in the other thread), that the CBA changes are being driven by a core of hardline owners that Stern has not been able to control. So I would say Stern's failure is 2 parts: first, that he has not been able to moderate the demands of his own side, to make them more acceptable to the players. And second, that he has not been able to convince the players that the proposed changes will make them better in the long run.

But sure, there's plenty of blame to go around. Owners, players, Billy Hunter. It does seem though, that the dictatorial Stern who used to pretty much control the league, isn't really in control any more.

Speed
07-01-2011, 12:30 PM
I don't see it as anyones fault. I think its two sides of a coin.

I can't blame the owners for wanting a favorable deal. Particularly, in light of how this impacts small market teams in which I have a vested interest.

I can't blame the players for not wanting to take much less than they currently get.

Its just a difference of perspective, more than anyones fault, imo.

If I had to place blame, I'd blame hardliners on both sides. New owners who paid a ton for their teams and thought they'd make a ton of money. Players who don't see that the league has enough revenue for everyone to do well, even if that means they have to adjust their expectations on earnings.

Bottom line: no one wins if either extreme wins, because both extremes see a long lockout as the answer. A long lockout damages the product for everyone.

I seriously believe they agree and have a full season shortly after labor day, the extremers aren't the majority on either side and the product is at a high point.

Speed
07-01-2011, 12:40 PM
One other semi hidden dynamic in this is the agents and power brokers. Agents will have more and more pull as this things gets going. Individual owners don't want to alienate them, since this could mean they would direct players away from their teams moving forward. Players listen to their agents a ton, I think. Agents will have an impact as we get close to losing games.

RLeWorm
07-01-2011, 12:42 PM
its not his fault. He is trying to put a system so that all 30 teams can compete.

redfoster
07-01-2011, 12:48 PM
I don't see it as anyones fault. I think its two sides of a coin.

I can't blame the owners for wanting a favorable deal. Particularly, in light of how this impacts small market teams in which I have a vested interest.

I can't blame the players for not wanting to take much less than they currently get.

Its just a difference of perspective, more than anyones fault, imo.

If I had to place blame, I'd blame hardliners on both sides. New owners who paid a ton for their teams and thought they'd make a ton of money. Players who don't see that the league has enough revenue for everyone to do well, even if that means they have to adjust their expectations on earnings.

Bottom line: no one wins if either extreme wins, because both extremes see a long lockout as the answer. A long lockout damages the product for everyone.

I seriously believe they agree and have a full season shortly after labor day, the extremers aren't the majority on either side and the product is at a high point.

I agree completely. This isn't like the NFL where they are squabbling over how to split $9 billion dollars in profits. A lot of NBA teams lose money and part of the reason (a very large part) is because they pay the players too much. The players, of course, like the amount of money they make and believe it would be unfair to take a pay cut because the owners couldn't manage their business properly.

Both sides have a point, which is why this thing is going to take so long to solve.

The egos will have to leave the room before they get anywhere and that won't happen until both sides go through some suffering, be it a lack of a paycheck (players) or backlash from the fans who pay for tickets, merchandise, and TV packages (owners).

Larry Staverman
07-01-2011, 01:05 PM
When I look at the situation through the eyes of and from the prospective of Herb Simon and the money that he has lost and destruction of his franchise that he has endured by the actions of several players whose guaranteed contracts held him hostage I can't help but lean towards the owners side.

While his team was brought to it's knees the players in question were all paid in full other than suspensions.

Unclebuck
07-01-2011, 01:07 PM
I agree with Speed

However I suppose you can always blame the person at the top whether it is the CEO of a company, a coach of a team or a techer of a classroom, I suppose in some ways the buck stops with Stern.

But no I don't blame Stern per se

Shade
07-01-2011, 01:13 PM
Stern is at fault because he was too short-sighted to see this coming, despite the fact that contracts have been spiraling out of control for most of his tenure as commissioner. You could also argue that it's his fault because of how he chose to market the league (superstars over teams), leading to the origin of insane player contracts.

Since86
07-01-2011, 01:17 PM
Stern is at fault because he was too short-sighted to see this coming, despite the fact that contracts have been spiraling out of control for most of his tenure as commissioner. You could also argue that it's his fault because of how he chose to market the league (superstars over teams), leading to the origin of insane player contracts.

Yeah. It was under his watch when **** hit the fan, and he's the one that agree'd to the old CBA which allowed it all to happen.

You can't drive the bus off the side of the road, and then blame your driving failures on the passengers.

Roaming Gnome
07-01-2011, 01:26 PM
If anything... I blame the process.

I know using my trade union as an example probably isn't relative to the situation, but in our CBA we work under a "no strike/no lockout" clause with 3rd party arbitration if our union and contractors can't hammer out a new CBA.

Maybe sports leagues should look into 3rd party arbitration if they're ever serious about getting deals done versus one side using an extreme form of leverage to cut paychecks to the other.

Sparhawk
07-01-2011, 01:37 PM
I put this on Cornrows.

I blame agents and players. The amount of money being thrown around has gotten so far out of hand. The owners have some blame to for agreeing with the money being paid out, but what are they supposed to do, let every player walk? Hard to stay competitive that way.

Mostly, I blame the players.

Who cares if the owners lose money or they don’t. What if even small market teams make $7M in actual revenue. The owner is in it to make some money, not spend all of it on personell and players. It’s not like some owners are just sitting on $100’s of millions of dollars.

Trophy
07-01-2011, 01:39 PM
I think you can argue either side.

I just think David Stern let too much happen. The Summer of 2010 really turned the league upside down.

I don't like Stern very much, but I also think the players are at fault here. Yeah I know they don't want to see their salaries decrease, but let's be reasonable and get to reality. You're still going to make all the money in the world.

They need to stop being selfish and be aware there are 30 other teams out there.

All in all, I feel like the league can use a new commissioner just for the sake of change.

Shade
07-01-2011, 01:41 PM
I put this on Cornrows.

I blame agents and players. The amount of money being thrown around has gotten so far out of hand. The owners have some blame to for agreeing with the money being paid out, but what are they supposed to do, let every player walk? Hard to stay competitive that way.

Mostly, I blame the players.

Who cares if the owners lose money or they don’t. What if even small market teams make $7M in actual revenue. The owner is in it to make some money, not spend all of it on personell and players. It’s not like some owners are just sitting on $100’s of millions of dollars.

It's not really the players' fault. They've had the money dumped at their feet for so long that they've grown a sense of entitlement to it. Everyone reacts negatively when they're given something and then it's taken away. And the longer the person has to become attached to that item, the harder it is to give it up.

With that said, they need to step back and take a look of things from an objective viewpoint. The current system is unsustainable. They had it good, VERY good, for a long time. And they'll still have it very good after things are scaled back. It's time to stop being so greedy.

ChristianDudley
07-01-2011, 01:42 PM
Why's this Stern's fault? BECAUSE HE'S A CROOK!!!!!!

Shade
07-01-2011, 01:46 PM
Why's this Stern's fault? BECAUSE HE'S A CROOK!!!!!!

http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/oliphant/vc007260.jpg

Tom White
07-01-2011, 01:55 PM
Stern is at fault because he was too short-sighted to see this coming, despite the fact that contracts have been spiraling out of control for most of his tenure as commissioner. You could also argue that it's his fault because of how he chose to market the league (superstars over teams), leading to the origin of insane player contracts.

I agree totally with the marketing aspect. Teams should be marketed not players. Also, I really don't remember how long Stern has been at the helm, but high player contracts have been around for a while now. The previous CAB actually did cut the max length of a contract by a year or two, and widened the salary matching clause for trades (gave more leeway to the teams).


Yeah. It was under his watch when **** hit the fan, and he's the one that agree'd to the old CBA which allowed it all to happen.

You can't drive the bus off the side of the road, and then blame your driving failures on the passengers.

Actually, if I understand it correctly, "he" can't agree to any negotiated end. It is the owners and players who have to vote to accept the agreement, not Stern and Hunter. Yes, they can advise those they represent, but not by themselves approve it.

indygeezer
07-01-2011, 02:00 PM
I mentioned this elsewhere....make all professional CBA's end during the middle of the season not during the offseason. Perhaps then they'd feel some urgency to get 'r done.


And it's Stern's fault because he exists. He fowls the air we breathe. He causes global warming with that insidious smile. He is at fault because he is.

wintermute
07-01-2011, 02:13 PM
Also, I really don't remember how long Stern has been at the helm,

Stern's been commissioner since 1984.



Actually, if I understand it correctly, "he" can't agree to any negotiated end. It is the owners and players who have to vote to accept the agreement, not Stern and Hunter. Yes, they can advise those they represent, but not by themselves approve it.

IMO, negotiators do more than just relay the demands of their sides. They can really shape negotiations.



And it's Stern's fault because he exists. He fowls the air we breathe. He causes global warming with that insidious smile. He is at fault because he is.

:laugh:

Trader Joe
07-01-2011, 02:37 PM
You want someone to blame...how about this guy?

http://blogs.thescore.com.s3.amazonaws.com/tbj/files/2010/10/billy-hunter-cmon-son12.jpg

Pingu
07-01-2011, 02:57 PM
How about Stern leads by example and saves the owners some money by taking a 50% pay cut? I'm sure he'd still be able to live comfortably, even in NYC, earning half of what he earns right now.

ksuttonjr76
07-01-2011, 03:02 PM
I blame the players...if the owners don't make money, then NO ONE makes money.

Since86
07-01-2011, 03:18 PM
How about Stern leads by example and saves the owners some money by taking a 50% pay cut? I'm sure he'd still be able to live comfortably, even in NYC, earning half of what he earns right now.

Just out of curosity, did you see what Billy Hunter's reaction was when Shane Battier asked him if Hunter would work for no pay, like the players union for the NFL?

RLeWorm
07-01-2011, 03:23 PM
Just out of curosity, did you see what Billy Hunter's reaction was when Shane Battier asked him if Hunter would work for no pay, like the players union for the NFL?

haha yea, he tried to dodge it

Roaming Gnome
07-01-2011, 03:25 PM
In all leagues, why can't they just split the revenue 50/50 and be done with that aspect of how much do the players deserve. The owners have to take the risk with the $$$, but without the players... The NBA is about as relevant as the Fort Wayne Mad Ants. I know some of you say that you'd watch anyone in a Pacers Uni, but believe me....YOU"RE IN THE MINORITY. A lot of locals feel our current NBA players are not worth watching.

As for the owners.... I'm starting to believe that a hard cap is probably necessary, but the amount of the hard cap has to be something that is tied to the BRI to even bring the players to the table. I honestly do believe the last deal on the table with the owners will probably be where we will finally end up when the dust settles on the lockout. Some kind of "flex cap" that will be around the luxury tax number. BTW... "flex cap" is a joke, just call it what it is... A hard cap and forget the "flexing".

Hell, in the NFL labor situation they almost had a deal with the players taking only 48% of the revenue until the owners went back on Commish Goodell's proposal and STILL wanted 500M to 800M off the top of the 48%.

Pingu
07-01-2011, 03:39 PM
Just out of curosity, did you see what Billy Hunter's reaction was when Shane Battier asked him if Hunter would work for no pay, like the players union for the NFL?

I did not see this. Nobody wants to take a pay cut.

I'm all in favor of a hard cap, and I find it ridiculous that the Mavs' payroll is twice as large as the Kings', for instance.

But the owners can't ask the players to take a 35% (or so, don't remember what the exact number is) pay cut. It's not like the NBA is on the brink of bankruptcy.

Since86
07-01-2011, 03:54 PM
I did not see this. Nobody wants to take a pay cut.

http://aol.sportingnews.com/nba/feed/2010-10/nba-labor/story/report-billy-hunter-scoffs-at-notion-of-taking-1-salary-during-lockout

IMHO, the NBPA isn't going to make it a full season locked out. You can already see BIG cracks, if this is the way he's going to respond to questions.

Hicks
07-01-2011, 03:56 PM
I tend to agree with Wojo's article (which I posted in the other thread), that the CBA changes are being driven by a core of hardline owners that Stern has not been able to control. So I would say Stern's failure is 2 parts: first, that he has not been able to moderate the demands of his own side, to make them more acceptable to the players. And second, that he has not been able to convince the players that the proposed changes will make them better in the long run.

But why would we expect that he can do those things? What about him or his role makes anyone think he (or whomever else could be in his shoes right now) is capable of making either of those two groups see it his way?


It does seem though, that the dictatorial Stern who used to pretty much control the league, isn't really in control any more.

Well, to me, it's two different domains.

With a CBA in place, Stern is king, and Stern can basically do what he wants. However, without the CBA in place, he's just a figurehead; a dog with no teeth. He's only powerful when the CBA is in place.

Lurkster
07-01-2011, 04:06 PM
If anything... I blame the process.

I know using my trade union as an example probably isn't relative to the situation, but in our CBA we work under a "no strike/no lockout" clause with 3rd party arbitration if our union and contractors can't hammer out a new CBA.

Maybe sports leagues should look into 3rd party arbitration if they're ever serious about getting deals done versus one side using an extreme form of leverage to cut paychecks to the other.

Won't happen.

Neither party wants to put this in the hands of an 3rd unrelated party, because arbitration is binding just like a court decision..the arbitrated decision would be subject to appeal through more arbitration or in court

The parties would never be able to agree on an arbitrator (or even an arbitration panel) because of this. Arbitrators are former lawyers and judges, and if they're qualified to sit on a major sports labor dispute this complex, it will not be difficult for player/owner reps to ascertain whether they will come down pro-league or pro-players. If the NBAPA and the owners could find a truly neutral arbitrator (or panel) it would likely be someone outside of the major sports league business/legal arena...is that the kind of person YOU would want determining the future of the NBA?

There isn't an arbitrator out there who is qualified to make the myriad of complicated decisions that are inherent in the expiration of the CBA who both parties would trust to be fair, and whose decision they would easily accept. It becomes even harder to imagine who could accomplish this while ALSO alleviating some of the labor problems that should be addressed

An arbitrator could tell everyone to just "go back to work" under a very similar or identical CBA, or extend the terms of the last agreement, but there won't be progress on the issues. If either party was dissatisfied, they would take the arbitrators decision to court (or an arb appeals board)...then you have another person in the same precarious position the initial arbitrator was in. Just like with the NFL situation, a Judge could make a decision that "the lock out is over"...but then everyone is still stuck wondering what exactly happens next. It's often difficult for judges to get single persons to follow their court-mandated orders...even more difficult when you're talking about 30 billionaires or ownership groups, as well as a union of millionaires.

While he certainly has some blame for not solving problems sooner..Stern is, unfortunately, the man most qualified to make such unilateral decisions for the benefit for the league as a whole. I actually wish he had much MORE power throughout this process. Of course he doesn't have the power to make unilateral labor decisions, and it would be a huge conflict of interest, but I would be ok with Stern having more power. We can question many of his decisions, but the bottom line is when the choices are in his hands they get made and we don't miss games/seasons. The owners will always have more power than the players, and Stern probably has a pretty good idea what the labor deal will look like when this all shakes out...but because of the system in place everyone is caught in a waiting game. I would love it if Stern was paid 1/2 by the owners and 1/2 by the NBAPA, then only focused on Global Brand marketing and breaking deadlocks between the sides...but that's not the system we have.

We can paint Stern as Anti-Pacer or Anti-small market, but he has done a lot for the NBA on his watch...and without the success of the league as a whole who knows what the Pacers would look like, or where they might be. Even taking into consideration these recent down years, we've had a pretty successful and exciting franchise during much of the Stern-era. (especially compared to other franchises of our size)

Stern would keep intact a system where the Indiana Pacers franchise could never really measure up to the Lakers or Celtics franchise, on an "all-time" basis, (his job dictates that he look out for the nationwide "moneymakers")...but Stern also wants an environment where any particular year a handful of the small marketeers are on equal footing with the giant franchises. That's good enough for me, given that I think the deck will always be stacked against the Pacers, if for only geographic/historical reasons. No matter what the labor situation looks like in the future, the Indiana Pacers will have to be exceptionally exceptional to bring home the O'Brien trophy. (Whereas the Lakers can win a title with merely an above average roster, talent-wise, by "Laker" standards.)

Maybe an arbitration panel of FORMER sports league commissioners and players union representatives would be a faster and more efficient/effective solution. Too bad there isn't one out there...as far as I know

Hicks
07-01-2011, 04:16 PM
I mentioned this elsewhere....make all professional CBA's end during the middle of the season not during the offseason. Perhaps then they'd feel some urgency to get 'r done.


And it's Stern's fault because he exists. He fowls the air we breathe. He causes global warming with that insidious smile. He is at fault because he is.

I would suggest at the dawn of a new season.

Having it start July 1st just creates this two month dead zone where neither side really tries to fix the situation.

I wish the CBA lasted until at least September 1st, if not October 1st.

naptownmenace
07-01-2011, 04:42 PM
As far as I'm concerned, this whole thing is the players association's fault, but people will always love to hate David Stern.

I really hate it when I read that people actually believe this is the Union's fault.

It's not the Union's fault that this current CBA, the same CBA that the Owners proposed in January of 1999, didn't work out the way the Owners had intended.

IMO, the Owners are the ones to blame for driving up the price on players like Austin Croshere, Jalen Rose, Troy Murphy, and Rashard Lewis. Is it the player's fault that the Pacers brass decided to waste a load of money on Jonathan Bender and Jamaal Tinsley?

The players gave up a lot at the last bargaining in 1998-99. They agreed to a Rookie scale which limited the amount rookies could sign for and eliminated the big signing bonuses that rookies would routinely receive under the old agreement. It eliminated the ability of Rookies to hold out of training camp for more money. That was a big win for the owners.

The Luxury Tax was another measure that didn't work out the way that the League thought it would. It was supposed to scare teams away from spending because of the threat of a dollar for dollar tax. However, every year there were teams willingly paying the tax. That tax money was supposed to create revenue sharing for the teams that stayed under the tax threshold. Did that not work out the way they expected either?

Also, if the NBA is losing so much money how can the Golden State Warriors sell for a record $450,000,000 just 1 year ago? Chris Cohan bought the team for $195 million in 1995 and then sold it for $450 million 15 years later. I'm no accountant but that doesn't look like the sign of a failing business.

The players have offered a proposal to give back a total of $500 million over 6 years. Under the player's proposal they will still have modest increases in revenue but the owners will get a bigger piece of the pie than what they are currently receiving.

The owners want them to give up a guaranteed $900 million with guaranteed pay cuts for up to 8-10 years.

Put yourself in the players' position for just a moment. As a player, I wouldn't agree to what the owners are offering. Especially when it seems that the owners want a deal in place just to protect themselves from their tendency of reckless spending.

ksuttonjr76
07-01-2011, 04:58 PM
I really hate it when I read that people actually believe this is the Union's fault.

It's not the Union's fault that this current CBA, the same CBA that the Owners proposed in January of 1999, didn't work out the way the Owners had intended.

IMO, the Owners are the ones to blame for driving up the price on players like Austin Croshere, Jalen Rose, Troy Murphy, and Rashard Lewis. Is it the player's fault that the Pacers brass decided to waste a load of money on Jonathan Bender and Jamaal Tinsley?

The players gave up a lot at the last bargaining in 1998-99. They agreed to a Rookie scale which limited the amount rookies could sign for and eliminated the big signing bonuses that rookies would routinely receive under the old agreement. It eliminated the ability of Rookies to hold out of training camp for more money. That was a big win for the owners.

The Luxury Tax was another measure that didn't work out the way that the League thought it would. It was supposed to scare teams away from spending because of the threat of a dollar for dollar tax. However, every year there were teams willingly paying the tax. That tax money was supposed to create revenue sharing for the teams that stayed under the tax threshold. Did that not work out the way they expected either?

Also, if the NBA is losing so much money how can the Golden State Warriors sell for a record $450,000,000 just 1 year ago? Chris Cohan bought the team for $195 million in 1995 and then sold it for $450 million 15 years later. I'm no accountant but that doesn't look like the sign of a failing business.

The players have offered a proposal to give back a total of $500 million over 6 years. Under the player's proposal they will still have modest increases in revenue but the owners will get a bigger piece of the pie than what they are currently receiving.

The owners want them to give up a guaranteed $900 million with guaranteed pay cuts for up to 8-10 years.

Put yourself in the players' position for just a moment. As a player, I wouldn't agree to what the owners are offering. Especially when it seems that the owners want a deal in place just to protect themselves from their tendency of reckless spending.

Isn't the basketball-related revenue on top of player salaries? I don't care what anyone says, I think it's ridiculus when employees (let's keep it real...NBA players are employees) represent more than 50% of your operating costs.

Personally, I just don't see how the players are losing salary wise, since the owners are not proposing to cap the amount of money that's being paid to the individual player. I think they should do a hard cap, and then let the teams do a free-for-all in trying to get underneath the cap. They can keep their salaries, but they run the risk of being traded to another team. Sounds like a win-win for everyone.

Sollozzo
07-01-2011, 05:02 PM
If you're the head of a league where 22 of 30 teams (allegedly) are losing money, then yeah, you deserve a good chunk of blame. If you're the head of the league that is likely going to have its second *major* lockout in 13 years, then yeah, you deserve a good chunk of the blame.

If almost 75% of Wal-Mart stores lost money, their CEO would be fired immediately.

An excellent leader should have been able to predict this would happen. Right now we are paying for the bad deals that happened on his watch. A great commissioner should have been able to forsee that this would happen and would have never allowed things to get so out of hand in the first place.

It's not all his fault. But it's never 100% the fault of the CEO when the company is performing poorly, yet the CEO is still held responsible and usually pays the price with the loss of his job. Two lockouts in 13 years, 22/30 teams losing money (again, allegedly)....how can anyone really say that this man is a "great" commissioner?

One of Stern's biggest failures is the over-expansion of the league that led to an excess of bottom feeding teams. The 16 team playoff format has been in use since 1984, but in 1984 their were just 23 teams as opposed to 30 now. The seven teams we have added since then just ensures that there will be seven more teams in the lottery every season, IE seven more teams that likely aren't very popular either. We have grown the league by almost 25% since 1984, but all of that growth is at the bottom since the number of playoff teams stay the same. Even if the expansion team succeeds, it's at someone else's expense.

Look, I'm not saying that ALL expansion is bad. Putting two teams in Florida, the country's fourth popular state, was a good idea. But the Canadian teams were completely unnecessary and by any objective measure were a complete failure. The Grizzlies had to leave Vancouver after just 6 years and the Raptors have certainly never been a benchmark of success. And why did we have to give Charlotte another team just TWO years after the previous team left town? Was that really necessary? Was the league dying before we put the TWOLVES in Minnesota?

Not all growth is good....just ask Starbucks. Over-expansion dilutes the league and leads to a slew of bottom feeding, money losing teams. It was an unneeded failure.

Expansion also means more players in the NBA, IE more bad players considering the top 75% would still be there if you cut the 25% that are there as a result of the expansion.

Roaming Gnome
07-01-2011, 05:18 PM
Isn't the basketball-related revenue on top of player salaries? I don't care what anyone says, I think it's ridiculus when employees (let's keep it real...NBA players are employees) represent more than 50% of your operating costs.



Nope, the total of the players salaries cannot exceed the 57% of BRI designated for them. A percentage of a players salary is held in escrow to insure that their take as a whole doesn't exceed the BRI. Honestly, I thought the players getting 57% was a huge gift back in '98. If the players were wanting to reduce their BRI share by 3 to 5% to keep the status quo.... That is a giveback that would usually seem to fly in these negotiations. This morning I heard one of the NBA legal analyst covering the lockout claim that some owners driving the hard line want the BRI split 60/40 in favor of the owners. In my mind, that seems crazy.. Or just a new start to the "lockout" portion of the negotiations.

I think if the owners can get the players to swallow any kind of hard cap... The rest of the negotiations are going to happen quickly. The hard cap is the elephant in the room!

Roaming Gnome
07-01-2011, 05:26 PM
One of Stern's biggest failures is the over-expansion of the league that led to an excess of bottom feeding teams. The 16 team playoff format has been in use since 1984, but in 1984 their were just 23 teams as opposed to 30 now. The seven teams we have added since then just ensures that there will be seven more teams in the lottery every season, IE seven more teams that likely aren't very popular either. We have grown the league by almost 25% since 1984, but all of that growth is at the bottom since the number of playoff teams stay the same. Even if the expansion team succeeds, it's at someone else's expense.

Look, I'm not saying that ALL expansion is bad. Putting two teams in Florida, the country's fourth popular state, was a good idea. But the Canadian teams were completely unnecessary and by any objective measure were a complete failure. The Grizzlies had to leave Vancouver after just 6 years and the Raptors have certainly never been a benchmark of success. And why did we have to give Charlotte another team just TWO years after the previous team left town? Was that really necessary? Was the league dying before we put the TWOLVES in Minnesota?

Not all growth is good....just ask Starbucks. Over-expansion dilutes the league and leads to a slew of bottom feeding, money losing teams. It was an unneeded failure.



But why does the NFL succeed with more teams(32) and fewer play-off spots(12)? Granted, I do follow what you are saying because the NBA just isn't the NFL, but I just don't believe that over expansion is the root to the problem even though I do believe all major sports leagues have made some mistakes in certain markets grabbing for the cash!

As for the Canadian expansion... I tend to lob more fault at Micheal Heisley doing the city of Vancouver a disservice as an owner in how he operated the team on many different levels. When I lived in Seattle, I often heard the rumblings of the Grizz being set to fail in that region. Hell, until this year Heisley was still on pace to run the Grizzlies into the ground in Memphis with a new arena where they are the only pro tenant.
Toronto still does very well attendance wise and seems to have embraced a fan base that makes them money. Granted, their success on court has been lacking, but they are far from the bottom of the heap in regards to attendance.

ksuttonjr76
07-01-2011, 05:29 PM
Nope, the total of the players salaries cannot exceed the 57% of BRI designated for them. A percentage of a players salary is held in escrow to insure that their take as a whole doesn't exceed the BRI. Honestly, I thought the players getting 57% was a huge gift back in '98. If the players were wanting to reduce their BRI share by 3 to 5% to keep the status quo.... That is a giveback that would usually seem to fly in these negotiations. This morning I heard one of the NBA legal analyst covering the lockout claim that some owners driving the hard line want the BRI split 60/40 in favor of the owners. In my mind, that seems crazy.. Or just a new start to the "lockout" portion of the negotiations.

I think if the owners can get the players to swallow any kind of hard cap... The rest of the negotiations are going to happen quickly. The hard cap is the elephant in the room!

Dumb question...so ARE the players using the full 57%? Case in point...if the players are only using 48%, then going 50/50 is shouldn't be that big of a deal. At this point, the players are putting themselves in a situation where their pockets are getting fatter as revenue grows, but owners are remaining stagnant.

Hicks
07-01-2011, 05:33 PM
If you're the head of a league where 22 of 30 teams (allegedly) are losing money, then yeah, you deserve a good chunk of blame. If you're the head of the league that is likely going to have its second *major* lockout in 13 years, then yeah, you deserve a good chunk of the blame.

If almost 75% of Wal-Mart stores lost money, their CEO would be fired immediately.

An excellent leader should have been able to predict this would happen. Right now we are paying for the bad deals that happened on his watch. A great commissioner should have been able to forsee that this would happen and would have never allowed things to get so out of hand in the first place.

It's not all his fault. But it's never 100% the fault of the CEO when the company is performing poorly, yet the CEO is still held responsible and usually pays the price with the loss of his job. Two lockouts in 13 years, 22/30 teams losing money (again, allegedly)....how can anyone really say that this man is a "great" commissioner?

I'm seeing a lot of general statements and rhetoric here, but where's the beef? What specifically should he have done? Why, specifically, does he get the blame for individual teams losing money? Why, specifically, is it on him that there have been two lockouts? How do you know an excellent leader should have been able to predict this would happen, and for that matter why would you think Stern didn't know this was coming? And even for that matter, what specifically tells you Stern could have specifically done something to avoid this? What is it?

Sollozzo
07-01-2011, 05:33 PM
But why does the NFL succeed with more teams(32) and fewer play-off spots(12)? Granted, I do follow what you are saying because the NBA just isn't the NFL, but I just don't believe that over expansion is the root to the problem even though I do believe all major sports leagues have made this same mistake grabbing for the cash!

The NFL is just an insanely popular sport. People just crave NFL, even if their team stinks. Plus, there is more turnover from year to year as far as who the good teams are as opposed to the NBA.

Sollozzo
07-01-2011, 05:45 PM
I'm seeing a lot of general statements and rhetoric here, but where's the beef? What specifically should he have done? Why, specifically, does he get the blame for individual teams losing money? Why, specifically, is it on him that there have been two lockouts? How do you know an excellent leader should have been able to predict this would happen, and for that matter why would you think Stern didn't know this was coming? And even for that matter, what specifically tells you Stern could have specifically done something to avoid this? What is it?


I gave you a specific example: The over-expansion. Looking at it in 2011, I think it's safe to say that the expansion to 30 teams was not needed. I'm not saying it's responsible for where we are now, but it's not helpful to add to the list of bottom feeding teams.

I'm not qualified to be commissioner of the NBA so I probably cannot give you what you're looking for. But I'm not qualified to be the CEO of a company either, yet if I read poor financial statements from a company I think I can safely say (in most instances) that the CEO of that company deserves the blame. I might not know what that CEO should have done differently, but I and everyone else for that matter can still make the safe bet that he deserves some of the blame.

The same logic applies here. Two lockouts in 13 years, 22 out of 30 teams (allegedly) losing money. I don't know much about running the NBA, so I can't give you the specifics you're hoping for, but clearly SOMETHING isn't working. Clearly there has been a failure SOMEWHERE along the line. Thus, the guy at the top should take a substantial amount of the blame, just like a CEO of a poorly performing company should......even if it's not 100% their fault.

Shouldn't any great business leader be aware of the slippery slope? Is it not reasonable to expect that a great NBA commissioner should have been able to predict that the salaries were getting a level so out of control that we would inevitably get to the place we are today? Wouldn't we expect a CEO of a business whose salaries were getting out of control to have the foresight that it would lead to a point where it was unsustainable and explode?

wintermute
07-01-2011, 05:47 PM
But why would we expect that he can do those things? What about him or his role makes anyone think he (or whomever else could be in his shoes right now) is capable of making either of those two groups see it his way?


He's done so in the past. Well the 1999 lockout is a blight on his record, but other CBAs have come and gone without a hitch. The 2005 CBA for example, gave owners quite a few concessions (less years on contracts, permanent luxury tax, increase in age limit) but Stern managed to pull that one off without a lockout (IMO because they gave back some concessions).



With a CBA in place, Stern is king, and Stern can basically do what he wants. However, without the CBA in place, he's just a figurehead; a dog with no teeth. He's only powerful when the CBA is in place.

The CBA doesn't make Stern a king. He's a league employee, the owners can replace him at any time. His power comes from his ability to convince the owners that they're better off leaving him in charge. That's true also when it comes to CBA negotiations.

Ransom
07-02-2011, 01:23 AM
Stern is seen as dictator of the league, so he gets blamed.

Fundamentally, it's the owners fault because they're the ones who can't stop overpaying players. If you're bankrupt, don't buy a new house. But they can't help themselves so they need to need to start talking about harder salary caps.

Lurkster
07-02-2011, 04:37 PM
Stern is seen as dictator of the league, so he gets blamed.

Fundamentally, it's the owners fault because they're the ones who can't stop overpaying players. If you're bankrupt, don't buy a new house. But they can't help themselves so they need to need to start talking about harder salary caps.

You don't think the owners are "Damned if they do, and damned if they don't" as far as spending on players? In a competitive environment bidding for players it's pretty easy to see how overspending happens...

Sandman21
07-02-2011, 06:50 PM
http://aol.sportingnews.com/nba/feed/2010-10/nba-labor/story/report-billy-hunter-scoffs-at-notion-of-taking-1-salary-during-lockout

IMHO, the NBPA isn't going to make it a full season locked out. You can already see BIG cracks, if this is the way he's going to respond to questions.

Get the lawyers out! Although, is Stern going to follow the example set by Goodell (who also cut his salary to $1)?

Bball
07-03-2011, 02:41 AM
But why does the NFL succeed with more teams(32) and fewer play-off spots(12)?

Because NFL games are more important. Every game in the NFL is an event. The outcome of most games almost always means something with ripples that affect other teams too. And even a down team can play the role of spoiler.

And if your team is having a bad season you don't have to suffer thru 82 games of it.

I don't know that having fewer teams making the playoffs is even a bad thing either... It just helps to increase the importance of the regular season games.

But the main thing is the NBA season is too long (too many games) which just makes for meaningless games that have no other fans caring about them at all. If the Colts lose to the Titans in the 3rd game of the season that means something to not only the Colts fans and fans of the Titans but several other teams' fans too. If the Pacers lose to the TWolves in the 3rd game of the season it won't mean squat to anybody but Pacers and TWolves fans and by the next game it'll hardly matter to them either....


IMHO....

indygeezer
07-03-2011, 10:25 AM
In order to effect true equality between the teams, glamour markets and markets in states with no income tax should not have the same cap as those in the smaller or less desirable free agent markets.

Let's tier the Cap and level the playing field.




(capologists ought to love that suggestion)

able
07-03-2011, 11:57 AM
If anything the league has grown despite Stern.

The this year organized 2 games in London (regular season games) comes years after the NFL started it with great success (and boosted viewers/fan numbers in the UK multifold, including merchandising and allowing them to run a UK office

NBA thought they could still fill (and somehow did) a 20k seater with summer games (at ticket prices = to Olympic basketball tickets (FINALS!)
Then they forgot to properly "sell" the games between nets and raptors, and still ended up with nearly sold out games.

This lockout is proof of his limited vision (and the owners that want this); new owners that "need" the lockout to "make a profit" i have a simple question for; when you bought the team did the term due diligence mean anything to you ? did you check the books before you forked over 100's of milions to purchase the team?

The ones that owned a team before '99 WANTED this current system, the ones that bought teams after that date, KNEW what they were buying, it did not all of a sudden become more expensive, nor did revenue drop (in fact revenue is almost 2 x what it was in 99)
Nobody held a gun against their head when they were competing for the services of the players they are paying (to much in their own view) and the solution to a "FORCE" cap under the current system is so easy without to much hard work and also instituting more of a revenue share at the same time; just make the fine for crossing lux tax 4 -1 in stead of 1 -1 which it is now and we'll see how long teams cross this line.

If all those team that went 20 mio over had to fork over another 80 million to the rest of the league the loss (so-called) of (according to the owners) 300 million would dissapear.


And if someone like Cuban decides it is worth spending that kind of dosh to be champs, then all the more good to him! at least he makes the Pacers profitable that way.

spazzxb
07-03-2011, 01:00 PM
Is it the player's fault that the Pacers brass decided to waste a load of money on Jonathan Bender and Jamaal Tinsley?


Why didn't you mention Jermaine Oneal? Tinsley is a player and it was his fault that he didn't live up to his contract. There should have been a way for the Pacers to get rid of him once he wasn't doing his job.

Hicks
07-03-2011, 02:40 PM
the solution to a "FORCE" cap under the current system is so easy without to much hard work and also instituting more of a revenue share at the same time; just make the fine for crossing lux tax 4 -1 in stead of 1 -1 which it is now and we'll see how long teams cross this line.

If all those team that went 20 mio over had to fork over another 80 million to the rest of the league the loss (so-called) of (according to the owners) 300 million would dissapear.


And if someone like Cuban decides it is worth spending that kind of dosh to be champs, then all the more good to him! at least he makes the Pacers profitable that way.

I truly believe this is the best solution to all of this. I hope that's what happens.

Brad8888
07-03-2011, 02:46 PM
Actually, it is Worldwide Wes's fault. He keeps making the players he deals with believe they deserve more and better than they have been getting, ignoring the economic reality.

Bball
07-03-2011, 04:34 PM
The players are right that without them there is no NBA.... But what they have to remember is without the owners there's no NBA either. They can't take and take and take, with guaranteed contracts no less, while the owners are forced to deal with economic realities and no guarantees.

The taxpayers are pretty much tapped out on corporate welfare to billionaire team owners so the business model can't continue with that as a crutch. Nor should it.

It's not healthy for the long term success of the league to continually sell teams and move as new owners think they can do it better, or assume a more profitable CBA will ultimately be on the horizon if they can wait out the lean years.

And Stern should've been more in the forefront anticipating some of this.

As for comparing the last CBA to this CBA with the argument that the owners wanted it then.... The two sides were negotiating in different times. In a different economy. And neither side elected to install any type of real safety valve into the CBA to allow for a downturn.

The league needs to be viable for current owners... and it needs to do it without an over-reliance on corporate welfare, inflated ticket prices that make going to the games cost-prohibitive for some of the best fans, and an assumption that TV contracts are a bottomless pit of money to be grabbed.

I'm not sure how long TV can expect sponsor dollars to keep pace or the NBA can expect national broadcasters to bid with the idea that having the NBA as part of their TV package increases value for the network even if it doesn't pay for itself.

Eventually, things need to generate a profit all around. It can't just be the players who are guaranteed money.

Personally, if I was an owner I wouldn't even be talking until the players agree to changing the structure of guaranteed contracts to something much more limited. Teams need to be able to rid themselves of underperforming players and bad contracts.

Sparhawk
07-03-2011, 04:50 PM
The players are right that without them there is no NBA.... But what they have to remember is without the owners there's no NBA either. They can't take and take and take, with guaranteed contracts no less, while the owners are forced to deal with economic realities and no guarantees.

The taxpayers are pretty much tapped out on corporate welfare to billionaire team owners so the business model can't continue with that as a crutch. Nor should it.

It's not healthy for the long term success of the league to continually sell teams and move as new owners think they can do it better, or assume a more profitable CBA will ultimately be on the horizon if they can wait out the lean years.

And Stern should've been more in the forefront anticipating some of this.

As for comparing the last CBA to this CBA with the argument that the owners wanted it then.... The two sides were negotiating in different times. In a different economy. And neither side elected to install any type of real safety valve into the CBA to allow for a downturn.

The league needs to be viable for current owners... and it needs to do it without an over-reliance on corporate welfare, inflated ticket prices that make going to the games cost-prohibitive for some of the best fans, and an assumption that TV contracts are a bottomless pit of money to be grabbed.

I'm not sure how long TV can expect sponsor dollars to keep pace or the NBA can expect national broadcasters to bid with the idea that having the NBA as part of their TV package increases value for the network even if it doesn't pay for itself.

Eventually, things need to generate a profit all around. It can't just be the players who are guaranteed money.

Personally, if I was an owner I wouldn't even be talking until the players agree to changing the structure of guaranteed contracts to something much more limited. Teams need to be able to rid themselves of underperforming players and bad contracts.

No kidding. Plus that would help alleviate players only playing hard in a contract year if you know you could be cut. Or players having a fantastic post-season and getting paid off of that and never really doing anything after that...which should be called the Croshere rule.

speakout4
07-03-2011, 04:56 PM
If Stern is at fault because of prior CBAs he is trying to correct it. No one has the perfect crystal ball and for his length of tenure mistakes would be unavoidable.

able
07-03-2011, 05:17 PM
Bball i fail to see how you can preach gloom and poverty for the owners and talk about a downturn when ALL articles and info states the league and has been for many years on the up.

this extract from an article posted by Wintermute explains ho poorly the tv does (/green)

http://www.adweek.com/news/televisio...illions-133145

NBA Lockout Will Cost Networks Billions
Pro hoops debacle could be a disaster for ESPN, TNT
By Anthony Crupi

ESPN/ABC Sports and TNT stand to lose as much as $1.25 billion in ad sales revenue if the labor dispute negates the entire 2011-12 NBA campaign. Indeed, the NBA audience has become so valuable that the postseason inventory alone accounts for nearly a fifth of the full-season take.

According to Kantar Media, ESPN/ABC and TNT took in $417.7 million in total ad sales revenue over the course of the 2010 NBA playoffs and finals. The going rate for a 30-second spot in the Celtics-Lakers series: $402,000 a pop.

If the networks stand to lose a fortune in ad dollars, the league itself risks billions in media rights, ticket sales, and merchandising. ESPN/ABC pays $485 million per year for the rights to air NBA games while TNT forks over $445 million.

Adding up to a cool $930 million per season, both TV contracts expire in 2016.

With ad sales brokered by Turner Sports, the league-owned NBA TV platform takes in approximately $50 million in sponsor dollars. Also at risk are the regional sports networks that carry NBA action, including the Fox Sports Nets and New York powerhouses YES Network (home to the New Jersey Nets) and MSG (Knicks).

League sponsors will need to scramble to make up for the diminished brand exposure. Last year, the Spanish financial giant BBVA Group signed a four-year, $100 million deal with the league, making it the official bank of the NBA. Bacardi, State Farm, and American Express are also marquee NBA sponsors.

As is the case with the NFL, the pro hoops dustup is largely about money. In April, NBA commissioner David Stern claims the league was on track to lose $300 million this season; as such, the owners want to reapportion the split of revenue between the franchises and players.

“The expiring collective bargaining agreement created a broken system that produced huge financial losses for our teams,” said NBA deputy commissioner Adam Silver. “We need a sustainable business model that allows all 30 teams to be able to compete for a championship, fairly compensates our players, and provides teams, if well-managed, with an opportunity to be profitable.”

The NBA has locked out players before, most recently during the 1998-99 season. That dispute cleaved the schedule to 50 games and soured millions of fans. It took three years before TV ratings returned to prelockout levels.

speakout4
07-03-2011, 07:47 PM
If the owners let the lockout result in losing the entire season with all revenues in 2011-2012 lost then you can believe that business as usual was not worth it to them..
We will see which side is most desperate to have a season. If 22 owners are really losing money then they will not be too eager to settle for a new CBA guaranteeing further red ink.
Time will tell which side is most truthful.

Sollozzo
07-03-2011, 07:58 PM
Bball i fail to see how you can preach gloom and poverty for the owners and talk about a downturn when ALL articles and info states the league and has been for many years on the up.

this extract from an article posted by Wintermute explains ho poorly the tv does (/green)

http://www.adweek.com/news/televisio...illions-133145

NBA Lockout Will Cost Networks Billions
Pro hoops debacle could be a disaster for ESPN, TNT
By Anthony Crupi

ESPN/ABC Sports and TNT stand to lose as much as $1.25 billion in ad sales revenue if the labor dispute negates the entire 2011-12 NBA campaign. Indeed, the NBA audience has become so valuable that the postseason inventory alone accounts for nearly a fifth of the full-season take.

According to Kantar Media, ESPN/ABC and TNT took in $417.7 million in total ad sales revenue over the course of the 2010 NBA playoffs and finals. The going rate for a 30-second spot in the Celtics-Lakers series: $402,000 a pop.

If the networks stand to lose a fortune in ad dollars, the league itself risks billions in media rights, ticket sales, and merchandising. ESPN/ABC pays $485 million per year for the rights to air NBA games while TNT forks over $445 million.

Adding up to a cool $930 million per season, both TV contracts expire in 2016.

With ad sales brokered by Turner Sports, the league-owned NBA TV platform takes in approximately $50 million in sponsor dollars. Also at risk are the regional sports networks that carry NBA action, including the Fox Sports Nets and New York powerhouses YES Network (home to the New Jersey Nets) and MSG (Knicks).

League sponsors will need to scramble to make up for the diminished brand exposure. Last year, the Spanish financial giant BBVA Group signed a four-year, $100 million deal with the league, making it the official bank of the NBA. Bacardi, State Farm, and American Express are also marquee NBA sponsors.

As is the case with the NFL, the pro hoops dustup is largely about money. In April, NBA commissioner David Stern claims the league was on track to lose $300 million this season; as such, the owners want to reapportion the split of revenue between the franchises and players.

“The expiring collective bargaining agreement created a broken system that produced huge financial losses for our teams,” said NBA deputy commissioner Adam Silver. “We need a sustainable business model that allows all 30 teams to be able to compete for a championship, fairly compensates our players, and provides teams, if well-managed, with an opportunity to be profitable.”

The NBA has locked out players before, most recently during the 1998-99 season. That dispute cleaved the schedule to 50 games and soured millions of fans. It took three years before TV ratings returned to prelockout levels.


No one is questioning that the TV ratings generate a lot of money or that the NBA makes a helluva lot of money in a lot of places. But what you have to consider is that teams like the Lakers, Knicks (they have always made a lot of money), Bulls, Heat, Mavs, Celtics, and maybe a couple of others. Those teams do so well and are the ones who generate all of the national interest. But when you just look at that narrow angle of it you neglect the other 18 or 20 teams who aren't doing so well.

There are two different things to look at here: The league as a whole, which looks alright because all of the big fish in the NBA carry the weight for everyone. But the second thing you have to look at is each individual owner's situation, which isn't so pretty when you take into account all of the crappy bottom feeding teams in the league.

When you're looking at articles like the one you posted, which talk about advertising ratings and such, it's because of the top-heavy teams. The stuff those articles talk about has nothing to do with all of the bottom feeding teams who are doing poorly, the teams who aren't bringing in the ad revenue for TNT and ABC.

pacer4ever
07-03-2011, 07:58 PM
http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa213/ladmo09/NBA%20referee%20Donaghy%20David%20Stern/aaa.gif

wintermute
07-04-2011, 09:34 AM
Some clarification on the Adweek article. It's talking about ad revenue that ESPN and TNT might be forgoing, not TV revenue of the NBA itself. As the article points out, the NBA gets a flat $930m a year from those 2 networks. This national TV money btw is evenly split among all teams.

That article doesn't include the local TV revenue of individual teams. The local TV money is unshared and shows great disparity between big markets and small markets.


If the owners let the lockout result in losing the entire season with all revenues in 2011-2012 lost then you can believe that business as usual was not worth it to them..
We will see which side is most desperate to have a season. If 22 owners are really losing money then they will not be too eager to settle for a new CBA guaranteeing further red ink.
Time will tell which side is most truthful.

This is true to an extent. But it's a bit more complicated than that.

What a lockout comes down to, is a test of pain tolerance. It's a game of chicken where the side who breaks off first loses. Let's be honest, neither the owners nor the players wants a lockout to go on forever, so it's really a matter of which side can hold out longer.

So in a way, the economics don't matter so much. Only the capacity to tolerate financial pain matters. The owners are richer, better organized, and have deeper pockets, so they're betting that they'll win this showdown. If the players can hold out, then the pressure as you say will start falling on the owners. Pressure from the likes of ESPN and TNT, who are forgoing substantial ad revenues. Pressure from cities, who are faced with expensive, empty arenas. Pressure from all the various other partners who rely on the NBA for their business.

Most observers don't think it will come to that though. I myself believe that the owners are ready, fiscally and mentally, to forego an entire season of revenues. Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck famously told his fellow owners to think of a lost lockout season as an investment, which they intend to fully recoup. I doubt very much whether the players have that same kind of mentality. I think the players are more prepared now than in '99, but still nowhere close to the owners' level.

Btw, while in my opinion the owners will win, that doesn't mean that I think their actions are right or fair. Frankly, right or fair has very little to do with the situation. The owners have all the leverage, and IMO that's why they'll get to dictate the next CBA.

speakout4
07-04-2011, 11:12 AM
Some clarification on the Adweek article. It's talking about ad revenue that ESPN and TNT might be forgoing, not TV revenue of the NBA itself. As the article points out, the NBA gets a flat $930m a year from those 2 networks. This national TV money btw is evenly split among all teams.

That article doesn't include the local TV revenue of individual teams. The local TV money is unshared and shows great disparity between big markets and small markets.



This is true to an extent. But it's a bit more complicated than that.

What a lockout comes down to, is a test of pain tolerance. It's a game of chicken where the side who breaks off first loses. Let's be honest, neither the owners nor the players wants a lockout to go on forever, so it's really a matter of which side can hold out longer.

So in a way, the economics don't matter so much. Only the capacity to tolerate financial pain matters. The owners are richer, better organized, and have deeper pockets, so they're betting that they'll win this showdown. If the players can hold out, then the pressure as you say will start falling on the owners. Pressure from the likes of ESPN and TNT, who are forgoing substantial ad revenues. Pressure from cities, who are faced with expensive, empty arenas. Pressure from all the various other partners who rely on the NBA for their business.

Most observers don't think it will come to that though. I myself believe that the owners are ready, fiscally and mentally, to forego an entire season of revenues. Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck famously told his fellow owners to think of a lost lockout season as an investment, which they intend to fully recoup. I doubt very much whether the players have that same kind of mentality. I think the players are more prepared now than in '99, but still nowhere close to the owners' level.

Btw, while in my opinion the owners will win, that doesn't mean that I think their actions are right or fair. Frankly, right or fair has very little to do with the situation. The owners have all the leverage, and IMO that's why they'll get to dictate the next CBA.
I don't see where it is more complicated. It is economics pure and simple. If 22 teams are losing money or not making sufficient return on their investment then why continue to do the same thing? Why would the Simons agree to a new CBA that will result in smaller yearly losses which is what they will probably have to accept. The owners should hold out for a fair profit whatever that is. The players certainly have that now with the average player salary nearly ten times what it was in '99. If the owners don't win then the lockout threat will continue with every new CBA negotiation until there is real equity, whatever that may be. The owners must make their stand now and if it means losing the season then so be it.

ksuttonjr76
07-04-2011, 11:56 AM
If anything the league has grown despite Stern.

The this year organized 2 games in London (regular season games) comes years after the NFL started it with great success (and boosted viewers/fan numbers in the UK multifold, including merchandising and allowing them to run a UK office

NBA thought they could still fill (and somehow did) a 20k seater with summer games (at ticket prices = to Olympic basketball tickets (FINALS!)
Then they forgot to properly "sell" the games between nets and raptors, and still ended up with nearly sold out games.

This lockout is proof of his limited vision (and the owners that want this); new owners that "need" the lockout to "make a profit" i have a simple question for; when you bought the team did the term due diligence mean anything to you ? did you check the books before you forked over 100's of milions to purchase the team?

The ones that owned a team before '99 WANTED this current system, the ones that bought teams after that date, KNEW what they were buying, it did not all of a sudden become more expensive, nor did revenue drop (in fact revenue is almost 2 x what it was in 99)
Nobody held a gun against their head when they were competing for the services of the players they are paying (to much in their own view) and the solution to a "FORCE" cap under the current system is so easy without to much hard work and also instituting more of a revenue share at the same time; just make the fine for crossing lux tax 4 -1 in stead of 1 -1 which it is now and we'll see how long teams cross this line.

If all those team that went 20 mio over had to fork over another 80 million to the rest of the league the loss (so-called) of (according to the owners) 300 million would dissapear.


And if someone like Cuban decides it is worth spending that kind of dosh to be champs, then all the more good to him! at least he makes the Pacers profitable that way.

And the new owners might have already been aware of the above info then decided..."We're going to make some changes to the next CBA.".

Were they suppose to wait on the purchase of the team until there was a CBA that would work in their favor? Also, I'm sorry, but I don't believe in that "It's owners' fault for overspending crap". Were owners suppose to "freeze out" players if they went above their "market value"?

NBA Owners: Wow, we really need Dwight Howard. About we offer him, 3 yr/$45MIL?
Howard: Well, I believe that I'm worth 3 yr/$60MIL.
NBA Owners: Really? We don't think so. WE AS OWNERS have decided that's your market value, so you can take it, but based your decision to play on other factors (good school system, low crime, etc).
Howard: Nope, I want what I believe I'm worth.
NBA Owners: Then I guess you're not going to play at all then in NBA. You're not worth $60MIL, for our team to win its first/another championship.

Do you think the above conversation is going happen with the current soft salary cap? At least with a hard cap, owners would be forced to make players on the current roster available to OTHER teams. With the Bird Rights, Miami could resign Wade/Lebron/Bosh forever as long as the owner is willing to spending the money.

Let's be real...Owners want to have CHAMPIONSHIP teams, so some are willing to spend the EXTRA money to have one. ESPECIALLY if they're still able to make a profit on the team.

able
07-04-2011, 12:06 PM
Were they suppose to wait on the purchase of the team until there was a CBA that would work in their favor?

the value of the team would be influenced by it's (in)capacity to make a profit.
If a purchase is dependant on something 30 owners and a player-organization need to work out first than that should be reflected in the value and if the investment was made for other reasons than hobby or entertainment it may have influenced the decision to not buy.



Let's be real...Owners want to have CHAMPIONSHIP teams, so some are willing to spend the EXTRA money to have one. ESPECIALLY if they're still able to make a profit on the team.

So now the players have to pay for the owner's desire to have a championship team.
If they are willing to spend, they why lockout ?
aren't the losing money all of a sudden ? or is overspending the way to make a profit and are all those teams that lose money on paper and according to Stern (when's the last time you believed that man?) just badly ran?

As i said in another post, quadruple the LT fine and your problem is solved in all ways, teams that stay under get "revenue sharing" by the ones that go over, and if you go over and win a title, you can regain a lot of it my local tv sales etc.

Wintermute is right, and i sincerely hope the players can hold out until the preasure on the owners gets to big.

ksuttonjr76
07-04-2011, 12:29 PM
the value of the team would be influenced by it's (in)capacity to make a profit.
If a purchase is dependant on something 30 owners and a player-organization need to work out first than that should be reflected in the value and if the investment was made for other reasons than hobby or entertainment it may have influenced the decision to not buy.

People do make purchases with a plan to increase the purchase's value one way or another.



So now the players have to pay for the owner's desire to have a championship team.
If they are willing to spend, they why lockout ?
aren't the losing money all of a sudden ? or is overspending the way to make a profit and are all those teams that lose money on paper and according to Stern (when's the last time you believed that man?) just badly ran?

As i said in another post, quadruple the LT fine and your problem is solved in all ways, teams that stay under get "revenue sharing" by the ones that go over, and if you go over and win a title, you can regain a lot of it my local tv sales etc.

And this is what I'm trying to get people to see. The players don't have to lose NOTHING. Dwight Howard can still get $20MIL/year, but someone on the current team is going to be released/traded to make room for him. Wouldn't it be nice to have a chance to sign a CP3/Melo/Amare, because NY can't sign all three players at their market value with a hard cap in place? This is why it's been pointed out that the hard cap will help the other teams become more competitive. Let's be real...Indiana DOESN'T have a chance at Howard or CP3 as long the Larry Bird rule is in effect, and the team has an owner who has and is willing to spend the money to get them.

Wasn't the LT suppose to "prevent" overspending in the first place? Why continue to propose something that didn't work the first time.

Also, the point is that not ALL owners are willing or able to overspend for talent. If overspending is the way to win Championships, then the other 22 teams are just wasting their time if the owner can't overspend.

ksuttonjr76
07-04-2011, 12:52 PM
http://hoopshype.com/salaries.htm

For the sake of argument, let's say the hard cap is at $58MIL.

There are 10 teams above it right now, and some of those ten teams don't have a "full" team. Can imagine what type of talent we could acquire if a hard cap was implemented, and teams were forced to move beneath it? Let's not forget the fact that Indiana has some room to play with.

able
07-04-2011, 05:43 PM
with a 58 mio hardcap, Miami would still pay 45-50 mio to the 3 and pay the remainder min salary for the honour to play there

NY could do the same, so can the Lakers, now which superstar became cheap or available ??
right none

hardcap only takes out the middle of the pack salary the 5 mio excemption etc

Hicks
07-04-2011, 07:37 PM
Wasn't the LT suppose to "prevent" overspending in the first place? Why continue to propose something that didn't work the first time.

Because the dollar for dollar penalty didn't have the necessary bite that the league was hoping it would. Going from dollar for dollar to FOUR dollars for each dollar ought to do the trick.

I don't think it's a silver bullet but it should solve one of the two problems: The owner's collective annual losses OR making things more competitive.

If the owners STILL choose to (over) spend to build a title contender, then the teams losing money will get finances from the tax payers to off set the losses.

But, if the tax succeeds in serving as a pseudo hard cap, then competition among all 30 teams improves, BUT the losses by 22 teams still remains a problem.

I think it's a step in the right direction, but I don't think it can solve both problems at the same time. Either most/all owners will stop over spending, which leaves the problem of teams losing money, or they will will continue to spend, which keeps the competition among all teams imbalanced.

Still, if you had a $4 per $1 luxury tax, AND if you split the BRI 50/50 instead of 57/43, I think that could go a long way to solving these issues.

Hicks
07-04-2011, 07:43 PM
with a 58 mio hardcap, Miami would still pay 45-50 mio to the 3 and pay the remainder min salary for the honour to play there

NY could do the same, so can the Lakers, now which superstar became cheap or available ??
right none

hardcap only takes out the middle of the pack salary the 5 mio excemption etc

But can we just assume that 10+ players will all decide to take massive pay cuts for the honor of playing with a big 3? I can see some guys doing it, but I don't know if I truly believe 10+ players would.

Next season, if we have one and there are no roll backs, here are the salaries of the Miami 3:

James: $16,022,500.
Wade: $16,022,500.
Bosh: $15,691,000.

Sub-total: $47,736,000

The owners want a $45,000,000 hard cap. Obviously there's no chance of that happening, but let's say we got a hard cap of $58,000,000 like you mentioned here.

That leaves $10,264,000 to be used to spend on a minimum of 10 players.

I just don't see 10 guys agreeing to play for a maximum of $1,026,400 a season. Right now even Mike Miller and Udonis Haslem are due $5,400,000 and $3,780,000 respectfully in 2012, and those were (especially Haslem) considered to be bargain contracts just to play with the big 3 this past season.

Now we'd be expecting them to drastically reduce their salaries from that amount, plus expecting 8 more guys to play for the same. I just can't imagine that. Let alone across 2, 3, 4 different super teams.

I won't go so far as to say "Never, ever, in a million years," but I find it to be pretty unlikely, IMO.

Day-V
07-04-2011, 07:45 PM
Whether it's right or wrong, I blame everything on David Stern, and my life is better off for it.

Ozwalt72
07-04-2011, 07:50 PM
It seems to me like it is more the Owners faults than anyone else's. You have 30 owners that all have different capabilities and interests. You think they all want parity? That's not it. Some want to own a team and collect the profit (Sterling) and some want that competitive advantage money buys (Portland maybe). Parity? No, for the most part, each and every owner wants a leg up on the other if they can get it.

Not to mention they have been responsible in large part for the increase of salaries, for massive contracts being thrown out to subpar players.

speakout4
07-04-2011, 09:04 PM
It seems to me like it is more the Owners faults than anyone else's. You have 30 owners that all have different capabilities and interests. You think they all want parity? That's not it. Some want to own a team and collect the profit (Sterling) and some want that competitive advantage money buys (Portland maybe). Parity? No, for the most part, each and every owner wants a leg up on the other if they can get it.

Not to mention they have been responsible in large part for the increase of salaries, for massive contracts being thrown out to subpar players.
They have to compete against each other on the court. That's obvious. They want parity such that they can compete against each other economically.

Pacerized
07-05-2011, 12:36 AM
But can we just assume that 10+ players will all decide to take massive pay cuts for the honor of playing with a big 3? I can see some guys doing it, but I don't know if I truly believe 10+ players would.
Next season, if we have one and there are no roll backs, here are the salaries of the Miami 3:
James: $16,022,500.
Wade: $16,022,500.
Bosh: $15,691,000.
Sub-total: $47,736,000
The owners want a $45,000,000 hard cap. Obviously there's no chance of that happening, but let's say we got a hard cap of $58,000,000 like you mentioned here.
That leaves $10,264,000 to be used to spend on a minimum of 10 players.
I just don't see 10 guys agreeing to play for a maximum of $1,026,400 a season. Right now even Mike Miller and Udonis Haslem are due $5,400,000 and $3,780,000 respectfully in 2012, and those were (especially Haslem) considered to be bargain contracts just to play with the big 3 this past season.Now we'd be expecting them to drastically reduce their salaries from that amount, plus expecting 8 more guys to play for the same. I just can't imagine that. Let alone across 2, 3, 4 different super teams. I won't go so far as to say "Never, ever, in a million years," but I find it to be pretty unlikely, IMO.


I agree with you on this but look at the 13/14 season when the hard cap is proposed to go into full effect.
Miami had 71 mil commited to 6 players with the big 3 making approx. 57 mil. Unless rollbacks happen they can't field a team without letting 1 of the big 3 go if the cap is 58 mil. Teams will not be able to put 3 all star free agents together under a hard cap unless they want to take major paycuts over what their market value is, and that won't happen with an all star in his prime. A hard cap should effectivly keep another Miami situation from happening. I hope the cba puts a stop to sign and trades to keep another Melo situation from happening as well.

pacer4ever
07-05-2011, 12:40 AM
http://hoopshype.com/salaries.htm

For the sake of argument, let's say the hard cap is at $58MIL.

There are 10 teams above it right now, and some of those ten teams don't have a "full" team. Can imagine what type of talent we could acquire if a hard cap was implemented, and teams were forced to move beneath it? Let's not forget the fact that Indiana has some room to play with.

the players might agree to a 70m dollar hard cap (if there is a long lockout)no way i see them willing to agree to 58m

able
07-05-2011, 04:39 AM
the players might agree to a 70m dollar hard cap (if there is a long lockout)no way i see them willing to agree to 58m

The "flex" (hard) cap was already @ 62 mio so 70 is a lot more likely.

I still think increase of LT to quadruple the current is the best solution for the cap and added to that then willing ness of the players to already "give" back close to 200 mio in their last proposal for a 6 year deal, and the likelyhood of some LT funds being spread that means that "REAL" losses wont occur anymore.

In 5 years time the new TV deal needs to be made, if tv develops as it has done the past 5 years than there will be an amazing increase in tv-revenue (another reason for the players not to agree on 10 years @ 2 bio of the total bri, i foresee the tv contract alone being more then that.)

That is ofcourse if they don't kill the league before that time with a year long lockout just to prove they have the power.

Pacerized
07-05-2011, 10:43 AM
I really hope the cap isn't 70 mil. That would do nothing to improve competitive balance. If the cap is that high I hope they do away with max contracts so teams can throw out 30 mil on one player. Anything to keep another Miami situation from being possible. I doubt if the cap goes that high however, I think the 62 mil was close to the final offer and while we didn't have all the details I don't think the flex cap would've been possible to exceed long term.
We won't really know what the NBA is willing to give until the last best final offer is on the table. Once the LBF is there they won't change much financially, only move money around so it looks like they're giving something more. It's very unusual for a lockout to occur with the LBH on the table first. I guess they're so far apart that the NBA doesn't want to present it yet; they want the union to come closer to their current offer first so they might be able to meet them half way.
Once it's there the offer can only go down as the lockout lowers the value of the league. There simply won't be as much to share if we lose a season.
Outside of the huge #'s this isn't that different then what's gone on in other industries in recent history. A combination of bad mgmt. and an entitled attitude by the employees, that ends up killing the goose that lays the golden egg. The biggest difference is they really have no competition to keep their business that they lose during a lockout.

Brad8888
07-05-2011, 12:16 PM
I've got the answer to the original question. How specifically is this David Stern's fault?

KARMA.

wintermute
07-05-2011, 12:50 PM
Saw this on twitter

http://twitter.com/fivethirtyeight/statuses/87595106546364416



If David Stern really thinks the NBA lost $370 million last season, shouldn't he have fired himself?


:laugh:

Rogco
07-05-2011, 12:55 PM
To answer the question:

He has brokered the previous CBAs, he has all the power, is a prosecutor, judge and jury of one, so anything wrong with the current CBA is due to his previous shortcomings.

My personal belief:
Stern is a lot like Ronald Reagan in that he believes in trickle down economics. What I mean by this is during Stern's tenure he has worked hard to promote the star players and the star teams, but has done very little to help the small market franchises. This has created a situation where the star teams have a lot of cash they can spend on the star players, who only want to play on the star teams because 1.) that's where the cash is and 2.) that's where Stern has shined the entire NBA spotlight.

I think this was a purposeful strategy, and in some ways it has worked. It has increased the popularity of the league and total league revenues. However; there are numerous downsides. Outside of the top 10 big market teams, you are basically screwed unless you get lucky in the draft. Another downside is you end up with a system of haves and have nots among the teams, and 60% of the owners are sick of being crapped upon by a system in which they view themselves as a co-owner, not just there to make up the numbers. Also, it has given a lot of power to the big name players in the league, leading to such things as "The Decision." Once again, it created massive interest from fans, created revenue for the league, and showcased the seperation between the haves and have nots.

So how is this Stern's fault? It's because he doesn't care about the small market teams. He doesn't want equality throughout the league because that would lead to smaller viewing figures, especially in the playoffs. He wants big market teams having epic confrontations with all the star players. People will watch, the rich will get richer, and the NBA will deteriorate.

Unfortunately as a Pacers fan I find myself feeling we are really up against it to create a competitive team. We don't have the same chance with free agents, we're still (and always will be) paying ABA debts, we don't get profit sharing from all the lucrative tv deals from LA, NY and CHI, and we can't afford to match the payroll of these big market teams. And if we do get lucky and draft a superstar, more than likely they'll bolt at the first opportunity.

Stern's philosophy on success isn't successful for nealy 2/3 of the league, and that's why it's his fault.

Mr.ThunderMakeR
07-05-2011, 03:02 PM
The players, of course, like the amount of money they make and believe it would be unfair to take a pay cut because the owners couldn't manage their business properlyIf this is really how the players feel then they are more out of touch with reality then I thought. Lots of normal people out there have taken paycuts because poor management forced companies to cut costs. Complaints of unfairness don't really help much in that situation for normal people. Its either take the cut and keep your job, or hit the street. How the players expect their employers to keep paying them the same money while their companies (teams) aren't turning a profit is beyond me.

speakout4
07-05-2011, 06:18 PM
The nba sold too many franchises and put them in the wrong locations. Location, location, location. The owners got greedy and thought a bigger nba would be worth more dollars but the new locations were not going to generate more dollars and because running franchises is expensive they lost money. The players union was also too happy to add more players who they insisted were going to have to be paid at the same rate as players in the more lucrative franchises. To even think that there is not plenty of blame to go around is just absurd or to even think that GMs mismanaged their franchises is also absurd. Dolan who is a class A imbecile is still making a boatload of money.

pacergod2
07-05-2011, 06:18 PM
A couple of points:

1. There should be a revenue sharing of local TV monies as well. It may keep owners like Donald Sterling from being competitive on the floor, but at least the Clippers are going to contribute to having more season games instead of contracting the league. If they did a 25% revenue sharing, the NY market wouldn't get 100 times more money in local revenues than other markets do. They do revenue sharing for away teams from ticket sales, but that is a drop in the bucket of the revenue stream differential. It is the local TV money that really drives the wedge. Each team splits the $930M in national money to $31M per team.

2. Players want their cut out of the revenue. They should then also have to pay for the costs to operate facilities if they are going to benefit from revenue sharing. It should be a profit sharing business with the standards for normal costs being set by the league (i.e. Rent, Marketing, Other Overhead). If teams want to spend $10M per year on a coach the player doesn't even like, that would be a problem, so it would have to be direct operating costs that are inclusive of the BRI calculation.

3. Players have all the power in negotiating new contracts in free agency. The CBA is a way for the owners to work within a competitive landscape for signing players. Will-power never works, because people are greedy. Typically having a franchise level player makes teams more marketable and brings in more money than they are paid. It is the James Posey's of the world who end up making $8M per year that screws the league. This is why the mid-level exception has got to die. If teams are going to pony up to pay a player starting at $5M per year and making $9M in the final year of his deal, those last few years of high dollar salary are what really kills teams.

4. Control the **** out of the yearly salary raises. Do away with 10.5% raises and 8% raises. They should be set at 3% and 5%. My cost of living adjustment is NEVER 8%.

5. The idea of a 4:1 LT ratio is a bit high for me, even though I am a huge proponent of it. I think it should be 3:1 only because I don't want to hurt the teams that end up paying the LT threshold in only one season because of structure and they end up losing out on not only the shared piece, but they take a $10M hit on top of it for signing the guys they drafted. Watch what happens in OKC when their young guys get re-signed under the new CBA. They are arguably one of the better run teams right now, but for them to sign the players they have now, they will be looking in the face of the LT. They don't really want to lose these guys so I am sure they will be looking at trades down the line, but I can guarantee they will be a LT at least one or two years for doing things the right way in a small market. Four to one would be nice because it really puts the onus on the teams in big markets, but their free will spending gives them more decision making over the league than what they probably should have. That is why I would pair a 3:1 LT with local TV revenue sharing.

ksuttonjr76
07-06-2011, 10:30 AM
the players might agree to a 70m dollar hard cap (if there is a long lockout)no way i see them willing to agree to 58m

I agree. I just threw out the $58MIlL, because that is where where the current cap is at. Personally, I want it high enough where teams can afford 1-2 Superstars, and descent role players; however, not enough where teams can keep creating Superteams like Miami and Boston (unless players willingly take low salaries).

Like someone else stated before, the proposed flex cap is at $62MIL. Personally, an hard cap between $58MIL and $70MIL should suffice while still allowing players to make their "big money" contracts. What people fail to realize is that owners can still make mistakes under a hard cap. IMHO, the purpose of the hard cap who to prevent owners who have big money from spending it, because they can afford too.

Plus, a hard cap would GREATLY benefit Indiana when comes to acquiring free agents this summer.

MTM
07-06-2011, 11:21 AM
For me, it's his fault because of Patrick Ewing / Waymon Tisdale.

BillS
07-06-2011, 11:27 AM
For me, it's his fault because of Patrick Ewing / Waymon Tisdale.

Ewing never could get his groove on with the bass. I blame Stern.

Lurkster
07-06-2011, 02:02 PM
Some people need to remember that Stern, although a lawyer, runs a business..not a court of law

complete fairness/parity is not his goal. profit is.

that being said, i feel like he's done a good job at his actual job..not the job us pacers fans want him to do

the advantages of NY, LA, MIA are mostly inherent. Geography, weather, related businesses and endorsements. we'll never be on equal footing with those clubs, and there is nothing stern or anyone else can do about that.

so for those criticizing stern because of the impact on the pacers/small markets, I have some questions

1) What specifically should he have done that would benefit the pacers or smaller markets?

2) Would the desired impact have actually materialized? or do the big markets always have the resources to gobble up more championships than complete "parity" would dictate? (consider not just player $ and CBA, but coach $, ownership, management, franchise history, geography/business, stadium/arena, fan base and local TV)

3) Is there a snowball's chance in hell that Stern, or ANY commissioner, could take those steps in good faith considering that, once again, he is running a business with a league-wide profit motive..rather than a basketball science "experiment" with a goal of ultimate parity

i don't love everything Stern does, but he has done his job well.

I don't understand why he is the commissioner most often described as a league "puppetmaster" when the NFL changes substantive rules of gameplay, every year, and they directly impact the success/failure of certain teams on the field

BillS
07-06-2011, 02:11 PM
Some people need to remember that Stern, although a lawyer, runs a business..not a court of law

complete fairness/parity is not his goal. profit is.

Why do people assume that the only way to make a profit (or the absolute best way to make a profit) is with a few highly profitable teams while the other teams constantly lose money and move around the country as they are sold or folded?

Why do people assume that parity is less profitable than a few well-known super teams simply because the so-called "best years" had that few-team model?

Why do people assume there is no way to promote both star players nationally and local teams locally, thus keeping revenues (and profits) acceptable for teams not blessed with a star player?

There seems to be a huge "because that's the way we did it 30 years ago and it seemed to work" attitude when looking at the NBA, and I think Stern is just as guilty of it.

Remember, the NBA is not some monolithic operation with centrally-controlled "branches" in multiple cities. It is a system of franchises, unique when compared to standard franchising but still needing to find economic viability that benefits the individual teams AS WELL AS the corporate whole.

Since86
07-06-2011, 02:16 PM
Some people need to remember that Stern, although a lawyer, runs a business..not a court of law

complete fairness/parity is not his goal. profit is.

that being said, i feel like he's done a good job at his actual job..not the job us pacers fans want him to do



And yet the NBA lost $300M last year.

So if you're basing his job performance on profit, how in the world can you say he's doing a "good job?"

22 of the 30 teams are losing money.

Lurkster
07-06-2011, 02:42 PM
Personally, I don't believe the league is losing money...or anywhere near 22 of 30 are. I've taken enough accounting to understand what is going on there. Leverage.

As far as the "who says we need a couple powerhouse teams to maximize profits" argument...I have two responses

The first is that I don't think the league should be run that way..it's not what I personally want to see, because I'm a pacers fan. BUT i can be objective enough to see how it COULD be helpful to the league/profits, and to see that a profitable and popular league probably has a commish who knows what he is doing. I hate MLB, but they're popular and profitable, been around forever and they're dominated by just one team

As a fan of the pacers, I'd love parity. But you didn't address a couple things, first being, all the inherent advantages that the powerhouses have that we never will. (i listed them in my earlier post)

Second, I don't think you're looking at profitability the right way. the league makes it's money off of TV. The league/Stern isn't so worried about how each individual franchise fares on ticket sales, local tv, etc...so long as the LEAGUE is profitable, and that money comes from national TV deals...thats where the big revenue is at that floats or sinks the NBA boat. Even merchandise sales are higher when the whole country wants MJ jerseys, not when 30 markets want 30 star players jerseys. The die hards are always spending money on NBA product...it's the casual fans that the league/commish in ANY sport is trying to reel in..just like it's the undecided voters in an election. Pretty much everyone on this board is a die hard Pacers fan or other NBAer, when you combine that with being a small market fan, I think it's naive to get upset when the league does something we don't like...they're not looking to please us..if they're pleasing us they aren't doing their job well

(at least until there is a drastic change in the economics of american sports consumption)

When we have parity and the spurs or pistons win the finals, the ratings are always decade lows. Historical matchups like lakers/celtics always rate fantastically. Big markets usually rate fantastically. NOBODY wanted to watch spurs/pistons..and you could make the argument that it was some of the best fundamental team basketball in recent finals history. Bad ratings=less favorable future tv deals. TV deals are the driving force behind all the major sports leagues...not a good thing but also not changing anytime soon.

So i'm happy when we're presented with a league environment where we can still compete, and where we can still win a title, given the odds against us. It will always feel better for us than it will for Celtics fans. As an NBA fan I'm just happy we don't have the MLB system.