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Thread: NBA aims to crush union in labor battle

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    Default NBA aims to crush union in labor battle

    http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/news;_yl...yhoo&type=lgns
    NBA aims to crush union in labor battle

    Here’s how an NBA front-office executive described the document the commissioner’s office delivered to the union to start labor negotiations: “It’s just a photocopy of Stern’s middle finger.”

    He was kind of kidding.

    The owners delivered an opening proposal to the Players Association this week, CBSSports.com first reported, and months of private assurances turned out to be true: The owners want to fundamentally change the salary structure of the NBA. They don’t want to negotiate a fresh collective bargaining agreement, as much as they want to crush the union once and for all.

    Related CoverageSlam-dunk apps for iPhone More From Adrian WojnarowskiNets' immaturity wore on Harris Feb 4, 2010 Age, injuries muting K.G.'s fury Feb 1, 2010 The owners want to take a far greater percentage of the basketball-related income. They want to pay millions less for maximum deals and shorten contracts. Most of all, they want a hard salary cap and assurances that protect themselves against a diminished economy and, well, themselves. Everything is hurtling toward a 2011 lockout, a negotiation that’ll likely feel far more like a standoff.

    Owners have delivered commissioner David Stern an unmistakable mandate: Get our money back and get us profitable. The tone is downright nasty on the owners’ side. There exists an undercurrent of desperation within much of ownership, a sense they’re hell-bent on bringing the players to their knees.

    Players Association executive director Billy Hunter is preparing for the fight of his life, with the agents armed to advance to Defcon 1 with him.

    “I have so much respect for David Stern, and I know he wants to create the most competitive environment possible for the fans, but the current system is broken,” agent Mark Bartelstein said. “The luxury-tax concept is anti-competitive. We’ve created a system where in the midst of trying to sell tickets in the summer, we have teams admitting to their fans, ‘We’re not trying to win this year. …We’re waiting for 2010 or some year beyond.’

    “We need to start from scratch and develop a system in which everything is designed about creating the most competitive environment possible so that we drive revenue.”

    It is improbable the owners will go that way, but Hunter has a restless membership desperate to make a stand with Stern going for the jugular. “It isn’t just a matter of the union losing,” one Eastern Conference GM said. “It’s a matter of how badly they lose.”

    Who stands to lose the most? That’s the compelling subplot. Where do the players give and where do they stand ground? The players most responsible for selling tickets, television ratings and merchandise – the Kobe Bryants, LeBron Jameses and Dwyane Wades – could be the ones taking the biggest hit. The nine-man executive committee of players has just one star: Chris Paul(notes). The days of the insufferable David Falk trying to control the union are long gone, his bellows of “Michael Jordan is the league,” a distant echo in union meetings.

    The idea of raising superstar salaries and paying the middle- and lower-class players less won’t wash in a one-man, one-vote union. “If they cut the highest 25 or 30 salaries by, say, 35 percent, you’re not going to have to change that much more for [the owners] to get what they want financially,” another player agent said. “LeBron can scream and shout all he wants, but this is a one-man, one-vote union. Once guys figure out that 400 or so players will benefit by the top few taking a major cut, what do you think they’re going to do?”

    Here’s an issue some believe the union could make a bargaining chip: contraction. Hunter has never been open to losing jobs with the elimination of the most financially strapped teams, but some believe he might be more accepting of the idea with the massive losses some owners insist they’re incurring in fledgling markets. Let the rest of the owners buy out, say, two teams, and then share the larger piece of TV and merchandising money.

    Of course, that talk will go nowhere with Stern, whom one owner insisted would “never let [contraction] happen on his watch.” As another GM said, “Stern won’t let the WNBA go under, even though most of his owners are tired of taking losses on it. You think he’s going to let that happen with his NBA teams?”

    This is a desperate time in the NBA, and there will be desperation in these talks. They’ll go into these negotiations with 30 teams and they’ll come out with 30, but the landscape of the NBA could be dramatically different. The way trades are done and free agents are signed and teams are likely be transformed, and it could take a long lockout – maybe much, if not all, of the 2011-12 season – to get there.

    Yes, the NBA delivered its players an initial proposal and it sure did look like a big finger flicked in the union’s face.

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    Default Re: NBA aims to crush union in labor battle

    Well if they can get rid of the guaranteed contracts, or atleast change how bullet proof they are, will go along way to saving this league. How about change the contracts so that players must report and play for teams they are traded to. How many times have stars in this league stopped a trade by threatening not to report. No team is going to take on a big contract if that player isn't going to play and compete for them.

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    Default Re: NBA aims to crush union in labor battle

    I kind of hope for the owners to push the new rules, Im tired of seeing players not caring to play well because they have guarentee contracts.

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    Default Re: NBA aims to crush union in labor battle

    This all goes into play in 2011 right?

    The Pacers have the lower money situation in 2011 right?

    Why God must we be cursed? Did we win to much in the 90's? Did we celebrate to hard when Reggie sunk the three after shoving off Jordan?

    You know how this is going to go. We will get rid of our money players, then the lockout/strike will last an entire season and then we will come back with all teams having a new salary structure and Danny Granger now reaching the beginning of the latter half of his career and we will be years away from being any good.

    Sigh.....


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    Default Re: NBA aims to crush union in labor battle

    in a lockout, do the players lose their salary for that season?

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    This is gonna be fun ....

    Quote Originally Posted by Frostwolf View Post
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    in a lockout, do the players lose their salary for that season?
    Yes. Players are not paid during this time. This is why the owners will get close to what they want. Easily.

    -- Steve --

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    Default Re: NBA aims to crush union in labor battle

    I'm with the NBA on this one. The players make so much now that it's detrimental to the league itself. The inmates are running the asylum.

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    Default Re: NBA aims to crush union in labor battle

    Quote Originally Posted by Peck View Post
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    This all goes into play in 2011 right?

    The Pacers have the lower money situation in 2011 right?

    Why God must we be cursed? Did we win to much in the 90's? Did we celebrate to hard when Reggie sunk the three after shoving off Jordan?

    You know how this is going to go. We will get rid of our money players, then the lockout/strike will last an entire season and then we will come back with all teams having a new salary structure and Danny Granger now reaching the beginning of the latter half of his career and we will be years away from being any good.

    Sigh.....
    er...

    actually it could work out nicely for us. a lower salary structure at a time when we have cap space, that means we could rebuild the team at a more reasonable price while other teams are stuck with their expensive legacy contracts - especially those teams that are bound to overpay this summer.

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    Default Re: NBA aims to crush union in labor battle

    I can hardly believe the reactions here, but that will be my fault entirely.

    Way i read it is that the owners want to get more more more more just like the banks and screw the ppl who make the league (hint the owners are easier replaced)

    Losing money ??

    Tell me what they bought for and what current (estimated) value is.
    Tell me if they still lost money over that period.

    We all that jealous they make so much more then us that we forget how we would feel if our bosses did what is planned here ?

    If you all feel the product is that bad, why watch ?
    IF the result of the NBA is in the red, the players already receive significantly less then their contract let them make max under ideal conditions.
    In fact, bri down = payment down and for the top earners that is millions less, not pennies.

    Losses hurting ? FFS, it's a hobby to most of them, one that makes them look good in the community and is a nice tax write off, I am sure Jay can enlighten you all much better in that part then i can, but a loss aint always a loss.

    And face it, are the people paying to see Kobe, Lebron, KG and perhaps even DG or Roy, or are they paying to see mr. Simon's team play the Comcast team ?

    This aint even about greed, though it comes close, it is all about "POWER"

    This is about being able to "BREAK" an athlete who does not toe the company line.
    This is still the same issues that ran in 94, 99 and so on.
    Owners want to be able to "sit his arse" if need be for 3 yeatrs (we are paying him aren't we?) just to show who is the boss, like LB likes to do in Indiana.

    Or do you really think that if we pay our entire team a couple of million less, people like Murphy are hurt by it ?
    Do you really think that you are going to pay less for tickets ?

    Are you sure that once the team heads to playoffs again regularly, ECF and perhaps beyond, prices for season tickets wont go up ???

    The less overhead, the less salary, more from the bri, it is to create a point where you can make even more out of your hobby, not to support the players, fans or casual viewers.

    I will admit they make a lot of money, but they have special talents and one wrong landing ends it all.
    and no, they dont all make that much, think of guys like Roy or AJ, if something happens to their health now, (someone lands on their knee, back or something similar) and they are wheelchair bound, tell me if they were really that lucky.

    Or is the owner now sharing his additional income on the team with those that played for him but were less fortunate?
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    Quote Originally Posted by able View Post
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    I can hardly believe the reactions here, but that will be my fault entirely.

    Way i read it is that the owners want to get more more more more just like the banks and screw the ppl who make the league (hint the owners are easier replaced)

    Losing money ??

    Tell me what they bought for and what current (estimated) value is.
    Tell me if they still lost money over that period.

    We all that jealous they make so much more then us that we forget how we would feel if our bosses did what is planned here ?

    If you all feel the product is that bad, why watch ?
    IF the result of the NBA is in the red, the players already receive significantly less then their contract let them make max under ideal conditions.
    In fact, bri down = payment down and for the top earners that is millions less, not pennies.

    Losses hurting ? FFS, it's a hobby to most of them, one that makes them look good in the community and is a nice tax write off, I am sure Jay can enlighten you all much better in that part then i can, but a loss aint always a loss.

    And face it, are the people paying to see Kobe, Lebron, KG and perhaps even DG or Roy, or are they paying to see mr. Simon's team play the Comcast team ?

    This aint even about greed, though it comes close, it is all about "POWER"

    This is about being able to "BREAK" an athlete who does not toe the company line.
    This is still the same issues that ran in 94, 99 and so on.
    Owners want to be able to "sit his arse" if need be for 3 yeatrs (we are paying him aren't we?) just to show who is the boss, like LB likes to do in Indiana.

    Or do you really think that if we pay our entire team a couple of million less, people like Murphy are hurt by it ?
    Do you really think that you are going to pay less for tickets ?

    Are you sure that once the team heads to playoffs again regularly, ECF and perhaps beyond, prices for season tickets wont go up ???

    The less overhead, the less salary, more from the bri, it is to create a point where you can make even more out of your hobby, not to support the players, fans or casual viewers.

    I will admit they make a lot of money, but they have special talents and one wrong landing ends it all.
    and no, they dont all make that much, think of guys like Roy or AJ, if something happens to their health now, (someone lands on their knee, back or something similar) and they are wheelchair bound, tell me if they were really that lucky.

    Or is the owner now sharing his additional income on the team with those that played for him but were less fortunate?
    This is about rich people fighting with rich people. I have a hard time taking either side.
    Jealous of the players? You sound jealous of the owners.
    I am sure something will be worked out and both groups will still be well off.
    Players will still make millions and owners will make millions.
    The fans.......we will still have basketball.
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    Default Re: NBA aims to crush union in labor battle

    There's another way to look at this.

    It is a labor dispute. Labor disputes can be interesting. We have laws in this country (Wagner Act, Taft-Hartley) that set the rules for how one side can try to beat the other. Labor disputes are contests of power, just like a sports game is.

    But these disputes seldom play out as expected. There are plenty of cases when one side or the other was confidence that it had all the advantages, but ended up losing the dispute, or having to compromise.

    We don't know what is going to happen when this collective bargaining agreement expires. Right now all we've got are a bunch of sports writers who've never read the CBA and aren't privy to the new proposals yacking about what it all means. All the talk of what the owners will do and what it will mean is premature.

    Let's wait and see. Sometimes when things get shaken up, they work out for the better.
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    Default Re: NBA aims to crush union in labor battle

    Quote Originally Posted by wintermute View Post
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    er...

    actually it could work out nicely for us. a lower salary structure at a time when we have cap space, that means we could rebuild the team at a more reasonable price while other teams are stuck with their expensive legacy contracts - especially those teams that are bound to overpay this summer.
    I agree, I think it puts the Pacers totally in the drivers seat with their expiring contracts coming at the right time. What ever happens to the cba it will be phased in over a period of years so teams aren't over the hard cap or new salary guidelines as soon as the new contract begins. However teams with too many long term contracts will still have to face dumping some of those contracts at some point. It's possible that the Pacers could find some real fire sales in the summer of 2011.

    For the most part I agree with the owners position. It's sad that they ever agreed to guaranteed unbreakable contracts, and it's sad that the owners have to be protected from themselves in running up the salaries they way they did in the early 90's. The average NBA player makes more in a year then the average person does in a lifetime. I think they can get by on a little less, but I don't care as much about the salaries as I do guaranteed contracts. The attitude and behavior of a select few players and the inability of teams to cut players to serve justice for the fans leaves me with no sympathy for the players in this negotiation.

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    Default Re: NBA aims to crush union in labor battle

    Quote Originally Posted by wintermute View Post
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    er...

    actually it could work out nicely for us. a lower salary structure at a time when we have cap space, that means we could rebuild the team at a more reasonable price while other teams are stuck with their expensive legacy contracts - especially those teams that are bound to overpay this summer.
    I agree it COULD work out nicely for us. However as Peck is thinking, it COULD hurt us too. The owners could level the playing field just when we were going to be one of the teams in a good position, thus wiping out our 3 year rebuilding plan and advantageous financial position.

    EDIT; The more I think about it the more I think Peck is right. Stern will see to it that legacy contracts won't hamstring teams with the Stars. Like the Laker's and Boston's of the NBA world.
    Last edited by Will Galen; 02-07-2010 at 10:45 AM.

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    Default Re: NBA aims to crush union in labor battle

    this is making me think that the pacers won't take in any longer contract or sign anybody until 2011, we are hoping for the pacers to make a trade either this or next year and I think that this is not going to happen, I have a feeling that they are going to wait for 2011 to make any moves and next year would maybe suck as much as this year

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    Default Re: NBA aims to crush union in labor battle

    Okay, well, you know how there was talk of NBA stars going overseas to play? If they get a 30% pay cut forced upon them, guess what I see happening?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shade View Post
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    I'm with the NBA on this one. The players make so much now that it's detrimental to the league itself. The inmates are running the asylum.
    Exactly!!! I wouldn't mind if they have a lock out and corral some of those out of control salaries.
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    Default Re: NBA aims to crush union in labor battle

    This is great. This is really going to improve the product on the floor, which is all i care about. As someone already said, its rich people vs. rich people, why should we have to side with the players? End of the day they will still be millionaires.

    I don't see how ownership can really be painted the bad guy here, with so many teams losing money, something has to be done. This is a far better solution than contraction... It is great news for small market teams (ahem, us) in general, a lot less worries about the team moving because they are losing money. I guess people who don't actually live in Indiana don't care, they will root for the team regardless, but its a really big issue with the locals here.
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    Default Re: NBA aims to crush union in labor battle

    Quote Originally Posted by able View Post
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    I will admit they make a lot of money, but they have special talents and one wrong landing ends it all.
    and no, they dont all make that much, think of guys like Roy or AJ, if something happens to their health now, (someone lands on their knee, back or something similar) and they are wheelchair bound, tell me if they were really that lucky.
    They could hurt themselves skiing, riding a bicycle, rollerskating--you get the picture. Playing a basketball game for $165000 per game hardly makes me want to cry for them. Players who are considered undesireable still get $17M. Guys who are in the league for two years and are 19 years old walk away with a million or two. It's not jealousy that makes some of us unsympathetic-it's the total insanity of the system. Guys retire when they want and still receive their entire contract for a couple of years? The union has invented a system that does not work for anyone other than athletes.

    Let's face it if there were no LeBrons, Wades, or Kobe right now would the nba fold? Absolutely not.
    Last edited by speakout4; 02-07-2010 at 02:36 PM.

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    Default Re: NBA aims to crush union in labor battle

    Quote Originally Posted by speakout4 View Post
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    Let's face it if there were no LeBrons, Wades, or Kobe right now would the nba fold? Absolutely not.
    without other superstars to take their place ? yes, tv contracts would crumble and attention would drop even further then it is already doing

    but hey, what do i worry, i'm with oz, heck cut pay by 50-%

    that way i can see them in europe whenever i want, at times that suit me better and less cost

    Don't forget they play the same game, pay lotsa money and less games, and tax free money as well (not to mention that the euro is a lot more stable then the dollar)

    GO OWNERS!
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    2011 is going to be a long year

    Foyle says owner proposal goes too far

    BOSTON -- In the strongest comments yet by a players' union official since NBA owners made a new collective bargaining proposal, first vice president Adonal Foyle of the Orlando Magic said the offer put forth last week by commissioner David Stern's office was "ludicrous."

    That was the first word out of Foyle's mouth when he was asked Sunday to characterize the owners' new labor proposal, which was given to the union late last week as the sides took one of the first major steps toward replacing the collective bargaining agreement that expires at the end of the 2010-11 season

    "I think it's a proposal that's far-reaching," said Foyle, the union's second-in-command behind president Derek Fisher. "This [new proposal] has gone too far. It wants a hard cap, it basically will create no middle class, and which, in effect, means none of the Bird rules would apply," Foyle said, referencing the so-called Larry Bird exception that allows teams to exceed the salary cap to retain their own free agents.

    Foyle, who was a member of the union's negotiating committee during 2005 collective bargaining talks and was a player rep for the Golden State Warriors during the 1998-99 lockout, went on to call the owners' proposal "rash" and "unfair."

    In addition to a hard salary cap to replace the current system of a "soft" cap, with its accompanying luxury tax penalties for teams that exceed a certain payroll threshold ($69.9 million this season), owners have asked that contracts be shortened to a maximum of four years, Foyle said.

    "I think when you look at the current CBA as it stands, it benefits both the players and owners. This is an agreement where we can quabble with different things within it, but it's an agreement that gives some things to both parties involved," Foyle told ESPN.com.

    "A system like that would be too restrictive, and it doesn't jibe with what we think the league is. We have been willing to negotiate a guarantee that we don't get over a certain threshold, and no other businesses do that. We hold back 9 percent of our income so that the owners can make sure they are covered on the back end. We have given up a lot of stuff, and they have given up a lot of stuff, so I think to start off a negotiation in this rash a term, I think it's unfair," Foyle said.

    Foyle said the union was particularly taken aback by the gravity of the owners' demands after the sides had held several cordial meetings in advance of the league submitting the initial proposal.

    "That's what I think was what most surprising to all of us. The meetings, in our estimation, had been quite constructive. We were seeming to get a sense of where everybody was, and we went through why we think [the current agreement] should be extended," Foyle said. "But I think a proposal like this is the first time they're saying: 'This is the way we want to go with the league.' "

    The union's executive board will meet with team player representatives at All-Star Weekend to discuss the owners' proposal.

    The union's executive director, Billy Hunter, has declined to publicly comment on the owners' proposal since it arrived on his desk last week. Fisher, too, has declined substantive comment.

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    Default Re: NBA aims to crush union in labor battle

    Quote Originally Posted by able View Post
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    without other superstars to take their place ? yes, tv contracts would crumble and attention would drop even further then it is already doing

    but hey, what do i worry, i'm with oz, heck cut pay by 50-%

    that way i can see them in europe whenever i want, at times that suit me better and less cost

    Don't forget they play the same game, pay lotsa money and less games, and tax free money as well (not to mention that the euro is a lot more stable then the dollar)

    GO OWNERS!
    No Kobe or LeBron in Europe. I'm surprised anyone over there even goes to a game. People are fans of a team with or without superstars and as long as there are fans there will be tv contracts, etc.

    GO 19 Year old millionaires!
    Last edited by speakout4; 02-07-2010 at 05:15 PM.

  28. #22
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    Default Re: NBA aims to crush union in labor battle

    The owners are the ones with the financial risk here. I realize these sweetheart deals with local government is skewing that these days but ultimately, if a team loses money the players still get paid.

    What risk do the players really have?

    Nobody is asking the players to play for free.

    Nobody is forcing them to sign contracts.

    I will assume players have insurance against career ending injuries mitigating their risk even more.

    The problem I see isn't even so much what a player gets paid for one year, it's that player underperforming for YEARS and getting paid what he's paid. Usually with an escalating salary per year. And besides performance issues there are attitude issues, off court problems leading to PR problems for teams... both things that ultimately likely lead to on court problems (and/or affect the bottom line).

    Teams need a way to mitigate mistakes for the strength of the game and the league.

    I seriously doubt any NEGOTIATED deal is going ultimately to screw either side too awfully much. IMHO the player side got a little too much in recent previous deal(s) and it's going to swing back the other way now. I think the Jordan era NBA was a stronger product overall and that helped the players. The market has now changed. The owners needs some of that back.
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    Default Re: NBA aims to crush union in labor battle

    There are a couple of things I would like to see come out of these negotiations.

    1. The hard cap. This would even the playing field, protecting the smaller markets (and smaller ownership bank accounts) from those owners who could care less about paying the luxury tax. I guess you could say it is an odd necessity, but true non the less, that it protects the owners from themselves (or each other).

    2. I would like to see the agreement and player contracts written in such a way that a team has a better chance to terminate, without repercussion, the contracts of players whose conduct is at minimum detrimental and at maximum illegal.

    3. To coincide with number two, I would like for the league to be able to strip an owner of his franchise if he is found guilty of any felony. The league could run the team until a suitable new owner is determined. The same would hold true for any GM, other front office person or coach. They would lose their job if found guilty of a felony.

    4. Along with the hard cap would be a reduction in the number of regular season games, and a reduction of first and second round playoff series to a best of five format.

    5. The WNBA, as it is now, would be abolished. It has been nothing but a drain since day one. If several people decided they wanted to form a women's league not associated with the NBA, fine. Let them have at it.

    6. Finally, and most important. Free pizza and beer for all Pacers fans!

    By the way, I think maybe some people are getting way too upset, way to soon by the first news coming out of all this. I am quite sure the owners and the players are both putting out opening stances much more rigid than what they will settle for. Much the same as we have been discussing demands by GM's in the trade threads
    Last edited by Tom White; 02-07-2010 at 06:04 PM.

  31. #24
    Artificial Intelligence wintermute's Avatar
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    Default Re: NBA aims to crush union in labor battle

    Quote Originally Posted by Will Galen View Post
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    EDIT; The more I think about it the more I think Peck is right. Stern will see to it that legacy contracts won't hamstring teams with the Stars. Like the Laker's and Boston's of the NBA world.
    you know what, i started out thinking this was going to be impossible. a contract is a contract right? but it seems the owners want the new rules to apply to pre-existing contracts retroactively. holy smokes.

    http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/s...e=NBAHeadlines

    The proposal, a source familiar with talks said, includes rollbacks that could reduce maximum guaranteed salaries, both for veterans such as Kobe Bryant and LeBron James, as well as up-and-comers like Kevin Durant and Derrick Rose, to almost a third of what they would have been eligible for under the current agreement.

    Perhaps the biggest shocker: The owners' proposal includes a provision that would require any pre-existing deals to be revised to conform to the new deal's limits.
    i'd like to see how the owners think they can go around revising already signed contracts.
    Last edited by wintermute; 02-08-2010 at 04:35 AM.

  32. #25
    Jimmy did what Jimmy did Bball's Avatar
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    Default Re: NBA aims to crush union in labor battle

    Quote Originally Posted by wintermute View Post
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    you know what, i started out thinking this was going to be impossible. a contract is a contract right? but it seems the owners want the new rules to apply to pre-existing contracts retroactively. holy smokes.

    http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/s...e=NBAHeadlines



    i'd like to see how the owners think they can go around revising already signed contracts.
    Is that something the players union could even agree to? Wouldn't that have to be a decision made by each individual contract holder?

    I could see the players' union agreeing to stand aside and allow owners and players to restructure pre-existing contract and accept whatever was agreed to without complaining (like they would complain if a player accepted a buyout for some crazy cheap number). And when I say "I could see" I only mean I can understand how that situation would be an option. Not, that I could see them actually making that concession easily.

    ..And how many players would agree to accept a new deal with lesser terms than their existing deal?
    Nuntius was right. I was wrong. Frank Vogel has retained his job.

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