NBA Labor Talks End With No Progress

Talks have broken down again between the NBA and it’s union. This time, the players decided full disclosure was in order for their press conference. Union President, Derek Fisher to the press, “You’ve been lied to.”

The same two issues seem to be at the heart of the problem between the two sides, division of revenues (BRI) and the structure of the salary cap system.

Adam Silver (Stern was at home with the flu) said the league formally proposed a 50-50 revenue split Wednesday, and the union moved from 53 percent to 52.5 percent Thursday.

Spurs owner Peter Holt said he didn’t believe the players dropping from 53% to 50% was that big of a jump- conveniently forgetting the players started out at 57% of the BRI, those same 3 points in reverse doesn’t seem that far for the owners to accept either. He reportedly told the players in negotiations: “You haven’t felt enough pain yet.”

The owners are really interested in the NHL system or the NFL system. But their are important differences, neither of those leagues are star driven AND the NFL has revenue sharing.

Silver and Holt kept expressing having competitive balance in the league. Yet again illustrating how this is really an owner issue that they want the players to take the hit for.

Billy Hunter said the league’s owners delivered the players an ultimatum that they must agree to a 50-50 split of the basketball-related income. Hunter said the players had proposed a band that would see them receive a minimum of 50 percent and a maximum of 53 percent each year, depending on how the league did financially.

When the owners didn’t budge off their 50-50 demand, Hunter said he and Fisher suggested the two sides table the revenue split and resume negotiations on other system issues.

Billy Hunter said the big market teams -he named names… Lakers’ Jerry Buss, the New York Knicks’ Jim Dolan, the Miami Heat’s Micky Arison and Dallas Mavericks’ Mark Cuban – as owners who want to get a deal done but don’t have enough votes. The smaller market/new owners like Cavs owner Dan Gilbert, Suns owner Robert Sarver and even Basketball uber God Michael Jordan, are on the other side of the issue.

Thursday’s session followed the owners meeting for their board of governors. There was discussion of a new revenue-sharing plan designed to alleviate the  financial disparity between large- and small-market owners. It seems as if what happened in that meeting caused a change in the owners willingness to negotiate.

This is ugly. Monday, October 24th is the expected date that the Stern will cancel more games.