Union bracing for lockout

Players Association executive director Billy Hunter said the union is bracing for a lockout after the season in the following statement regarding collective bargaining:

The position expressed by the NBA [Thursday] is regretful, since in February 2010, the players unequivocally rejected the owners’ proposal which called for a hard cap, a 40 percent rollback in player salaries, unlimited expense deductions and the elimination of guaranteed contracts. The players and the union would prefer to work towards attaining a fair deal that addresses concerns raised by both sides and improves the game. But, if the owners maintain their position it will inevitably result in a lockout and the cancellation of part or all of the 2011-2012 season. The players and union will prepare accordingly.

NBA commissioner David Stern dismissed the union statement on a conference call Friday to discuss the start of the season, calling it part of “classic negotiating rhetoric” from both sides.

“I don’t believe Billy wrote that because he wouldn’t threaten me with a lockout,” Stern said. “And all I can say about that is it’s part of negotiations.”

Stern said the league needs a rollback in salaries of $750-800 million in the new agreement. Stern and deputy commissioner Adam Silver held a press conference Thursday following the Board of Governors meetings. Click here for recap.

50 Comments

  1. Peter M. Arel says:

    THERE SHOULD BE NOBODY-NOT EVEN A UNION OFFICIAL-HOLDING OWNERS’ FEET TO THE FIRE ON BEHALF OF THE PLAYERS WHO SHOULD ALL BE MADE TO WORK FOR PEANUTS AND TOLD TO “TAKE IT OR LEAVE IT” BY
    THE OWNERS IF THE PLAYERS WANT MORE!A BOYCOTT BY THE FANS IS NEEDED TO TELL BOTH SIDES THAT THEY ARE GREEDY AND SHORTSIGHTED. I WOULDN’T PAY THOSE PLAYERS AND THEIR UNION ONE MORE CENT!

  2. Enrique Zavala says:

    Why do lock outs occur in major sports?

  3. Edgar says:

    It will happen. I could care less for the NBA and its spoiled players. Arent some of you tired of the Lakers Vs Celtics every year? If every team had to pay the same salary, competition would increase between the teams. If ppl can live with a minimum wage, then these guys can live with a few millions and if they cant save their money, too damn bad.

    The owners are losing money and with this recession, more. People just dont have money to buy tickets and if the players get their way, the owners will have no choice but to raise prices. The players dont give a crap about their fans and its showing. Its time for the National Hockey League to surpass the NBA as the 3rd sport. 2011 will be our year. NHL salary cap is the best in sports and the NBA owners want that in the NBA. After the NHL lockout, there hasnt been no repeat champs, the fans are happy, 7th and 8th seeds fighting in the Eastern Conference finals. Bye bye spoiled bastards, the fans comes first. Take the pay cut and be happy with it.

  4. rui says:

    as a fan i understand that the players deserve respect and compensation for their hard work and ability. but they do need to realize why many owners do become owners its for the money . we as fans do not see what it is like to be an owner . their hard work and ability is to make money and have many people work for them and the product they put out, they do not have a posy, or get as praised as the players do really. look at Jordan ask him why he really became an owner . he actually has it better than the other owners . he makes money and gets praised , look up the meaning of owners , the players,are and have been getting, too,too, greedy and have been spoiled by the fans owners media. you are like a Frankenstein out of control wanting every thing and created by all of us. you say it is a business but you are confused about the meaning of the term of it and ownership term ask Michael he understands both terms now. you are a worker like all of us you went and asked for a job and got accepted and do not tell us about feeding our family. we the fans would love to have just one one years pay of yours. like hockey we can not afford to go and see a game we the fans love because of your greed and spoiled attitude.

  5. curtis says:

    first of all . the nba is not going to contract teams without bring them back! you citys with brand new arenas like ,pittsburgh,kansas city ,and las veags, and if the get there act together seattle.and the players have to understand this is a bad econmey .and the have mads good money since the last deal was done. and it dont justfiy this lock out.

  6. adam says:

    all i gotta say is that this lockout is all Kevin Garnets fault!.. bacause of him they had the lockout about ten years ago when he got that huge six year deal worth about 120 million!… dude really… our president doesnt even make anywhere near that!… this lockout will happen unfortunetly… but lets look at the real issue… how can players who never even won a title get the max deal for a player who has played seven years or more.. I.E. Lebron.. Bosh.. Joe Johnson.. Bosh n Lebron get paid close to the max… we’re talking 127,000,000 and you havent even won… Seven years for Bosh and he only went to the playoffs twice… Lebron went to the finals once just to get swept.. Joe Johnson shouldnt even be getting the kind of check…

    on a personal note… LEBRON JAMES WILL NEVER WIN A TITLE!!!!… not till 2015 at least.. cause when Kobe is gone.. guess what self acclaimed king… YOU GOT DURANT and the thunder to deal with.. miami won’t even get past boston if they stay healthy… lebron was smart for leaving cleveland but its about two to three years too early for it to matter

  7. failure says:

    Lockout the WNBA? LMAO. The WNBA is probably profiting.

    Their highest player salary is 33,000$, less than what my mom makes. NBA’s highest right now is I believe Kobe’s 24 million$ or around that. Locking out the WNBA would do absolutely nothing, and it would be kind of wrong to do, because they have done nothing. Locking out the D-LEAUGE would make no sense, because they don’t really get paid all that much and it is helpful for players like Hasheem Thabeet, who may need to, well, develop.

    How about decreasing everyone’s salary by a 0 except for the folks at like 400k, maybe cut them in half to 200k (because they probably spent a bunch of s*** and they may need to pay their big credit card bills).

    So rather Kobe making 24 million, he’ll make a “livable” 2.4 million.

    That would be most desirable, but stern at least cut them in half and look at all the cash youre saving.

    Stern, if you dont even talk about pay cuts, you will be the most terrible Commissioner of any sport of all time.

    • tata says:

      I heard PIZZA HUT is losing money. So YOU”RE SALARY will be cut from $6.50/hr to 65 cents!!! FAILURE!!

  8. Relevancy says:

    Greedy idiot players.

  9. panos says:

    why the hell would the NBA players whine about their salaries??!!! some of them get payed, per year, more than 99% of the planet’s population will ever make in their lifetime!

    • MiamiHATE says:

      Panos, the reason is that there would obly be 250 players instead of 450 players. Those 200 players dropped from the league would certinly whine.

  10. MiamiHATE says:

    There definitely will be changes. It is necessary for the improvement of the league and for it to survive.

    This garbage by James, Wade, and Bosh showed that the players were working in collusion and were in charge of the situation. Let’s face it, the three Miaimi jerks took paycuts but with the expectation of improving revenue from outside sources such as advertising other products. However, what it also did was signal an end to a small market team ever being able to climb up the ladder if any players they draft will eventually jump ship.

    So, for the league to survive, from an owner’s perspective, it will need major contraction of all or at least half of small market teams, but the players union would hate that since they would drop 25% to 50% of their players. In lieu of that being rejected, the NBA would have no choice but to outlaw collusion and allow teams to designate two or three franchise players who could not jump to another team as long as their salaries are matched.

    So, from the players union point of view, is the players union going to protect all of its’ players, or only the top handful? If it protects only the superstars, there will be contraction perhaps as high as 50% and/or at least major devaluation of the worth of small market teams, and in turn a major loss in player members and their revenue If it does protect the mass of players, then team designated players and better revenue sharing are an absolute necessity for the league to survive with the existing number of teams.

  11. Noizy says:

    Just one thought: 10 players, max contract, 6 years, 1.300.000.000 $. I guess, 5.000.000 is enough for one year. People get their jobs transferred to Mexico, China or anywhere else, because the boss gets a small amount more profit and some fatass sharholders get even richer. It is obscene to pay 20.000.000 or even more for playing basketball.

    A worker in Detroit works as hard as a NBA player does. For alot less money. If the worker ( Ford, GM, Chrysler) delivers poor work, someone dies (car crash…). Who has more responsibility? A basketball player or someone who can kill someone else with wrong/bad/lazy work?

    Same for any other sport (golf, tennis, racing, soccer…). 20.000.000 would be enough for almost everyone’s lifetime. If you do not throw the cash away (jewelery, expensive houses, fat cars, private jet/heli/ship…).

    BTW, Magic Johnson agreed to a top contract in the mid-80s. 1.000.000$/year, 20 years long (made about 10 years…). Now, LeBron gets as much in ONE year. I do not think, that a nurse gets 20 times more money now than back in the 80s.

    P.S.: Nobody in Europe will pay more than 2 or maybe 3 million a year for a basketball player. As far as I know, 1 million is considered as wacky. So, nobody would have to fear european money and an exodus of talent. We are more into soccer, but even there, more than 10.000.000/year is rare. Just two guys, at the moment.

    And no, we are not poor. We are just not mad enough to pay siily amounts of money.

  12. [...] Hang Time Blog: Players Association executive director Billy Hunter said the union is bracing for a lockout after [...]

  13. Sy Schnur says:

    It seems like management does not consider the value of labor. Management wants to get the lowest cost and the highest quality. That fine, but when the talent moves overseas, and their income is spent overseas, eventually their will be a increase in jobs overseas and a reduction is jobs locally, After a point in time, there will be less buyers to buy the domestic products.

    This is the way the world wants to move, because the world powers want it that way. We have to wait until the rich have no products and no buyers for this to reverse. Countries only react when the disaster hits. That’s how the upper level executives think.

    The fact that a sports player has a limited earnings period and with an injury, he could lose his future with a sharp movement, is not what people look at. We pay for a drug like Lipitor which costs $ 2.00 to make and sells for $ 180, is not equated as the same thing. If you advertise it enough, people with think a stick of gum, can make you live forever.

    A player should be paid what he is worth, including the attendance and TV rights he brings in, the value to the entire team, what he brings to the league, etc.

    • MiamiHATE says:

      Your “income spent overseas” makes no sense … the money is already overseas with the Euro club.

  14. mo albashz says:

    WHAT THE HELL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! PEOPLE ARE SO SELFISH IF THEY LOCKOUT THE SEASON THIS IS THE GAYEST LEAUGE EVER!!!!!JUST LOCKOUT THE WNBA BECAUSE NOBODY WATCHES IT!!!!

  15. sanman says:

    who gives a damn? the NBA is looking more and more like the WWE anyways these days, just entertainment and overpayed drama queens. the real basketball being played is college basketball anyways. bring on march madness

  16. feddd says:

    we should have a lockout,

  17. Jason says:

    The NBA needs to remember that the PLAYERS COME FIRST. For example, we all know Michael Jordan, but most of us don’t know who was the GM at the time of his 2 3-peats. A lock-out will potentially hurt the NBA. So basically David, just do whatever it takes to get outta the lockout situation.

    • mark says:

      Speaking of Michael Jordan, he is one of the owners who wants this cut in players salaries. The top players make more money than what their salaries are (like shoe endorsement deals and tv ads). A lot of what is coming from both sides is rhetoric. If the owners as a group are really losing money (there are hundreds of other employees that the club employees and other associated costs that they have to pay out of their 43% take of the revenue) and they say they have shown the Union their income tax records associated with the teams, then a lockout will not hurt the owners at all. With salaries, insurance and other related costs, the 450 NBA players 57% take amounts to $2.2 Billion dollars. That is alot of money, so to make it a 50/50 split would reduce their money by about $250 million (they’ll still be at $1.95 Billion). The players should get rid of their sports agents and have the union earn their money by negotiating individual contracts for them.

      A deal will eventually be done, but we may lose a season or two. In my eyes, a good compromise would be a 50/50 split of revenues, a max of 4 years on player contracts, leaving the cap exceptions alone (no hard cap), changing both the minimum and maximum amout of players a team can have by 1 player (gives teams more flexibility by giving them the ability to develop cheap upside talent or to invest in fewer but more talented players ) and to have the all-star game in 100,000 seat arenas every year (like last year, but to do it, it would most likely require the all-star game to alternate between an american city and a foreign city from year to year to both sell that many seats and to expand the nba market and revenues).

      • Jac says:

        Mark that sounded more realistic then the 40% pay cut the owners want the players to take. Plus the owners make way more than the players. Maybe you should be the next NBA commissioner lol

  18. robert J says:

    this is ridiculous really I can’t belive these owners would be so selfish to ask for 800 mil paycut I mean I know the recession is the recession but pay cuts have to go both ways and 40 percent is way to much I can’t belive they would have the nerve to ask such for such a selfish request ;and then they wanna take away guaranted contracts there going way to far. for all you all who are talking about you would play for free and the players are greedy. you people got to realize players got about 10 years to make there money for life. they don’t get to have 30 – 40 year careers. they have to make there money while there bodys can take it. owners can be in the business for life . david stern is an over controling greedy tyrant. him and all his fines need to go

    • pmichael says:

      The average person, in this little place called earth, makes 3.2 million dollars in a lifetime. If you honestly think it’s cool for some players to be finishing off their career with 200 million, and that by lowering it is going to leave them high and dry, you’re an idiot. And if a player can’t leave the League with 200 million, heck even 20 million, and have nothing left over, they’re an idiot. I think we can all agree that the NBA is extremely lucrative, and that players will still be paid well, so just make the cuts, and give us this oh so highly anticipated season. For the fans.

  19. PHIL says:

    DAVID STERN NEEDS TO LEAVE HE IS RUINING THE NBA. DAMN!! FOR THE GUY WHO SAYS NBA PLAYERS SHOULD ONLY MAKE $200,000, U HAVE TO PUT INTO CONSIDERATION THERE FAMILY AND THERE ON THE ROAD ABOUT 6 MONTHS OF THE SEASON & I BET U DIDN’T KNO DAVID STERN MAKES 10 MIL A YEAR.

  20. JROGER says:

    LARGE PLAYER SALARIES STARTED OUT AS SHARING OF THE WEALTH THE OWNERS WERE GETTING FROM THE COMMERCIALIZATION OF PLAYER SKILLS BUT THE RECESSION HAS CUT INTO THEIR PROFITS AND IN SOME CASES EXCEEDED THEIR INCOME. MAYBE THE OWNERS SHOULD ASK FOR BAILOUT MONEY LIKE ALL OF THE OTHER MISMANAGERS RECEIVED. YOU CAN NOT ASK THE PLAYERS TO GIVE BACK THE MONEY LEGALLY CONTRACTED BUT MAYBE YOU CAN OFFER SHARES OF OWNERSHIP IN LEAU OF MONEY AND DON’T WRITE CONTRACTS THAT YOU YOU CAN NOT PAY IN THE FUTURE.

  21. JROGER says:

    LARGE PLAYER SALARIES STARTED OUT AS SHARING OF THE WEALTH THE OWNERS WERE GETTING FROM THE COMMERCIALIZATION OF PLAYER SKILLS BUT THE RECESSION HAS CUT INTO THEIR PROFITS AND IN SOME CASES EXCEEDED THEIR INCOME. MAYBE THE OWNERS SHOULD ASK FOR BAILOUT MONEY LIKE ALL OF THE OTHER MISMANAGERS RECEIVED. YOU CAN NOT ASK THE PLAYERS TO GIVE BACK THE MONEY LEGALLY CONTRACTED BUT MAYBE YOU CAN OFFER SHARES OF OWNERSHIP IN LEAU

  22. o-dawg says:

    Dude….if they really wanna save money just get rid of the WNBA…I mean no hate to all the female ballers, but I’m sure most of the losses in revenue are because of the WNBA not the NBA…just my thoughts

    • QuestionMark says:

      I suggest getting rid of the D-League, Players that dont get drafted or dont make a team get sent there? either they make the team, or play in college for a few more years until they are ready to play in the NBA, I doubt half the people that watch NBA, watch te D-League… I certainly dont.

      • pmichael says:

        Not to mention the kids might even learn something at college, and have fall-back career, good thought dude. Having said that, I think Joe Johnson’s paycheck was obscene. I’m pretty sure that guy could feed the city of Atlanta for the rest of their lives.

      • QuestionMark says:

        Yea I think every player should be paid the same, but get paid more as the get older, instead of having like 5 guys get that get paid like $20 000 000/year and like the rest getting paid 5 000 000 or less. Like I said max salaries should be 5.000.000

    • trinny says:

      THAT IS QUITE A STUPID COMMENT. WNBA HAS BEEN MAKING STRIDES AND HAS BECOME A SPORT PEOPLE BOTH MALE AND FEMALE ENJOY AS MUCH AS THE NBA. TRUTHFULLY TALENT IN THE NBA HAS DWINDLE LOOK AT THESE ROOKIE CLASSES AS OF LATE! THE WNBA HAS GREAT TALENT!

  23. jackohara says:

    f*cking greedy bastards ! both sides !

    Well, but there is a problem with the guaranteed contracts, I mean … Eddy Curry should be serving tables or washing cars, anything … but he’s still drinking on the nba salary, and he doesn’t add a single dollar to the league renevue. Who pays to see him or buy his jersey ?

    Maybe the NBA should have a salary rule for useless players … If the guy has a huge contract but is not playing at the same level anymore, the team should apply for that kind of salary … like a unemployed security or something alike, that will lessen the burden of having such player, but would also not leave the player without receiving anything .

  24. andy calingin says:

    not much of a players call. bottomline, it’s business. just have to work it out into a win-win situation, if not players will be unemployed and teams and nba businerss will be down but can start from there.

  25. possum says:

    What kind of hold does the union have over the league? If the owners all decide to hire new players if their union rosters all break contract, could they? And if they can, why even care about a lockout? There are plenty of good players out there that people would pay (less) to watch who would be psyched at a shot at an NBA team. And if they’re signing no-name guys for (essentially) nothing then just think how low ticket prices could be.

    A few years of that and the new teams would become the face of the NBA and if the old union players wanted to get in on NBA ball they could just quit the union and have their agents negotiate contracts between them and their employer like all the new guys. Or else they could go play in europe I guess. If I were a player I’d say forget the union, I’ve got a multimillion dollar contract and I’m going to honor it, play basketball, have fun, and get rich.

    It would be a few years of less money for everyone (less ticket sales, less TV money, less everything) but in the long run it might be worth it for the owners to suffer through it if they could get rid of the union that way.

    • tata says:

      The union didn’t offer the current players their deals…the owners did. Imagine a 40% wage cut in any other business. And you can bet your life that a 40% decrease in ticket prices is not part of the plan. Billionaire owners didn’t get rich by being bad businessmen. They should know if they can afford the salary they offer or else don’t offer it. Maybe we could switch to a STATE RUN SOCIALIST league where all the players get a million dollars each and the rest of the revenue is given to schools, police and fire departments. It’s a topsy-turvy world where an illiterate thug makes $10million/year while a high school teacher or college professor gets $50k. Or an NBA rookie minimum contract is worth more than the salary of the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.

  26. imhotep says:

    KICK STERN’S SORRY @$$ OUT OF THE LEAGUE!!

  27. Mr Real says:

    can you honestly tell me it is fair, to see a sports player make 10 million dollars a year. 10 million dollars? thats crazy, i would play for free. i dont think any sports player should make more then 200,000 a year. bottom line. its bull. while people starve, have no homes, u get paid 10 million dollars to play a game. come on now. lets get real. sports players need to quit whinning, its annoying.

    • robert J says:

      um yea i can especially when most the owners are making 100s of millions a year .yea you make 200k then you get injured is 200 k gunna last you your whole life ? especially when constantly traveling and you have no real job skills? all you see is them shoting a ball and collecting a fat check but theres alot more to it.

    • QuestionMark says:

      I partially agree, I think Players and Coaches should have their salaries reduced, one reason they all love doing their jobs why give them millions of dollars for the thing they love, some players even make more than 10mil a year, Max should be 5mil/year. Players that played 1-4 years in the league make 800k/year, 5- 9 years make 2mil/year, 10-15 make 5mil, as it gets tougher for players to play as they get older so they make more money as they grow older.
      And as for Coaches, while Players are sweating their asses off playing every night, Coaches sit on the bench comfortably watching and yet make more alot of money, I understand their jobs can be complicated but dont see any reason to make that much money.
      For GMs and normally all the office staffs in a franchise, I can understand if they make alot of money since they are the ones thinking of ideas of whats best for the franchise.
      @ Robert J: Since the Franchises make tons of money, I think its better if they pay for the travelling and what not.

  28. Rich says:

    This is going to interfere with the Lakers trying to get to 4 in a Row

  29. Ben says:

    I wonder how much retired executive pensions effect “profitability”. It seems to be the hugest financial burden of the day, whether in the private or public sectors. I’d hate to see increasingly-competitive foreign leagues lure the max-contract players away, leaving the NBA’s “TOP talent” as the players who are willing to accept 40% less as a “max” deal…especially if its because some exec hired in the 80s/90s expects an inflated 2010 pension-rate (seems more than coincidental to me that the whole “Golden Age” Magic/Bird Era execs are just about at that typical 30 year retirement threshold.)

    The prestige of the “NBA” will disintegrate once that exodus reaches a critical mass, and I’m not sure, at this stage in the global game, that it could ever be regained. A young Brandon Jennings or a Josh Childress isn’t anything compared to the damage a Carmelo type would do to the NBA reputation if he cannot get money like his peers got this past summer and decides to pursue it from CSKA, or Macaabi, or Barcelona, etc. Its not like its a result of the high school-to-pro prohibition (Jennings), or the “hyper-D League” opportunities that players like Will Bynum pursue…its not even like an old-dog Marbury/Ivo China/Turkey situation, doing what Beckham/Henry have done in the MLS. ITS ABOUT PAYING TOP TALENT IN THEIR PRIMES! We’ve already limited rookie salaries since the whole Glenn Robinson era, which is reasonable (especially if you look at someone like Matthew Stafford’s rookie salary in the NFL,) but to bring the salaries of these next generation superstars down to an MLE type level, that’d be tragic. How about the owners get a little more creative with revenue streams, beyond naming rights and whatnot, instead of looking at what their revenue streams ARE and siphoning more profit from player salaries? The NBA isn’t the only league out there, but the top athletes in America CANNOT be matched…the owners better realize that.

  30. rob says:

    This lockout just cannot happen. I know its hard for NBA players to afford the insurance on the 12 different cars they have, but the union is being totally unreasonable. Stop being greedy, and keep our next season alive. For the fans?

  31. shahz says:

    i wouldnt be able to live without a whole season, or even just part of a season :(

  32. Andrew says:

    The players should hold out for as long as they can on this one until they come to a 50/50 split. The owners need to be held accountable for how they spend their money and as LeBron, Wade and Bosh have proven, they do have the control in this league. Hard cap or not.

  33. paymon says:

    this just cant happen. they NEED to work something out. too many ballers out there who need basketball.