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NBA Labor Talks Break Off; League Says Union Backtracked

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NBA Labor Talks Break Off; League Says Union Backtracked

Old 05-19-05, 10:51 AM
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NBA Labor Talks Break Off; League Says Union Backtracked

Chris Sheridan
Associated Press via MyWay.com
May 18, 2005

Read the full article here

NEW YORK (AP) - Labor talks between the NBA and the players' union broke off Wednesday, increasing the chance of a lockout starting in the offseason.

In a statement, the NBA accused the union of backtracking on several items that the sides had agreed upon. The collective bargaining agreement expires June 30.

"Since we are at a loss as to how we can possibly reach a new deal that is in any way consistent with the principal terms that we have been discussing for many months, there are no further meetings scheduled at this time," deputy commissioner Russ Granik said.

If no new agreement is reached, a lockout could begin as early as July 1 - three days after the draft.
Oh, not again!

From what I've read from ESPN.com, it appears that NBA players' union head Billy Hunter made (in my humble opinion!) an insane decision poll the sports agents that represent the NBA players and decided to renege a number of agreement points already made with the NBA early this year in regards to a new labor agreement. This is the type of thing that could result in a season-long lockout like what happened to the NHL this season.
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Old 05-19-05, 11:07 AM
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*crickets*
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Old 05-19-05, 11:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Demontooth
*crickets*


Tough to hear. I couldn't care less about the NHL dying, but losing the NBA would suck for me
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Old 05-19-05, 11:13 AM
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I haven't followed the NBA in years.
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Old 05-19-05, 12:00 PM
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I could care less about the NBA, Now the NHL needs to get their asses in gear and get a CBA done.
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Old 05-19-05, 12:04 PM
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The Union needs to be tough. David Stern has too much goddamn power.
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Old 05-19-05, 12:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Demontooth
*crickets*



Seriously, how great would it be if the NBA emulated the NHL.
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Old 05-19-05, 12:35 PM
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This is a little different from the NHL, where teams could barely stay afloat, and paying their players more money didn't seem to make sense, what with the TV deals drying up and the popularity of their sport waning, at least in the states.

That being said, why in the world would the union go to the freaking agents? Aren't they there to represent the players, and as such shouldn't they go to them? Not to mention, regardless of how many millions the owners make, nobody is going to have sympathy for these guys with guaranteed contracts making millions and millions of dollars... didn't Ewing and those guys find this out a few years ago, when they held out and then ending up caving in anyway?

Anyone know what the big holdup is? I know there was controversy over the age limit and the length of contracts. Common sense would dictate that the majority of players would welcome an age limit (or a minor league system), at least privately, because it leaves more room for existing players to make the roster. The length of contracts I could see being a sticky point... but what else is there?

I do hope that whatever happens, the league penalizes these players who blackmail their current teams into trading them...
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Old 05-19-05, 01:24 PM
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Originally Posted by fujishig
Anyone know what the big holdup is? I know there was controversy over the age limit and the length of contracts. Common sense would dictate that the majority of players would welcome an age limit (or a minor league system), at least privately, because it leaves more room for existing players to make the roster. The length of contracts I could see being a sticky point... but what else is there?
There are three major issues:

First, the league wants a shorter maximum length for contracts. The current system is six years when signing with a new club, or seven with the old club. The NBA wants that shortened to 3-4, and is willing to take 5.

Second, the age limit -- league wants 20, will settle for 19.

Third, the league wants a much stiffer luxury tax set in place to penalize the higher spending owners, and to ensure that salaries stay down.

From the union's standpoint, these are three *big* concessions... and the owners are offering next to nothing in return. A slight bump in the salary cap, and that's about it. That's not negotiation -- that's essentially trying to take advantage of a soft union, and it's not at all legitimate.

I have to agree with the union here. It's not like the NBA is in financial trouble, like the NHL. They're financially solvent, they have a good young core of stars, and they have stable leadership. At worst, they should be content with simply renewing the current CBA. These kind of harsh changes just don't make much sense.
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Old 05-19-05, 01:36 PM
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Hmmm.. on those points above:

1) Makes sense. This is to stop big debacles like Chris Webber or other "players" from being good for the year before a contract and that get injured or play like shite for half the contract

2) 19 is not a bad idea, nor is 20.

3) This (not the luxury tax) but the actual only slight bump in salary cap is probably what is pissing off the players/agents.

From a fans standpoint, yes owners are viewed as rich and senile and nobody likes them. But when players strike because "they cant feed their family off $17mil a year", that just pisses me off. If you want to compare owners vs. player rights, check out the NFL. Contracts aren't guaranteed over there like they are in the NBA.

I ditched baseball after their stike(s) in the 90s, and now that I've been following the NBA the past couple years, if they stike again like the NHL is, consider me OUT. Until then, I'll happily watch the playoffs.
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Old 05-19-05, 01:38 PM
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It's hilarious that this is the way things happen. Right now is the apex of the NBA product, the only time in the year where the majority of viewers give a shit, and the lead story is problems with labor talks. These people really don't think ahead.

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Old 05-19-05, 01:41 PM
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Originally Posted by kneijst1
From a fans standpoint, yes owners are viewed as rich and senile and nobody likes them. But when players strike because "they cant feed their family off $17mil a year", that just pisses me off. If you want to compare owners vs. player rights, check out the NFL. Contracts aren't guaranteed over there like they are in the NBA.

Cut the playaz some slack. Some of these guys have like 6 families to feed.
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Old 05-19-05, 01:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Kaffe_02
I could care less about the NBA, Now the NHL needs to get their asses in gear and get a CBA done.
You could?
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Old 05-19-05, 01:58 PM
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If theres a lockout hopefully we'll get more entertaining interviews like we did last time. Like Patrick Ewing and the union setting up that fund for "needy players" and Kenny Anderson outside a hotel waiting for a limo explainig why fans will come back then telling 2 kids asking him for his autograph to get lost

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Old 05-19-05, 02:00 PM
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I remember the last work-stoppage when Ewing and Mutombo were calling a lot of the lesser-paid players ******* because they wanted to get the deal done so they could start playing.
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Old 05-19-05, 03:30 PM
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Why would they care about a stiffer luxury tax? It's already enough of a deterrent for most teams (even the lakers don't want to exceed it), and the ones that are foolish enough to disregard it (Cuban's Mavs, the Trailblazers, and the Knicks) aren't much of a threat to win the title anyway (well, the Mavs are pretty good, but for all the money that is thrown around, still have only an outside shot). If owners are stupid enough to overpay for multiple "superstar" players (getting giddy because when you add up the stats on paper, they should score around 200 points a game), when it's proven that wisely managing the cap and getting the right pieces are the way to go for a championship, let them keep on doing it.

The five year limit on contracts seems reasonable: it'll even help some of the younger players, who after 8 years (including the three rookie contract ones) can negotiate another max deal before they start declining. Seven years has always been way too much, IMHO. And the age limit, though controversial, should help the current players out anyway.

I do hope that they at least have Sprewell make some public comments again. Ha! Some of these guys make so much money, that they're too out of touch with reality... I wonder how many of them will be broke a few years after they retire. While I agree that in a free market they should get whatever they can, they'll never get the average fan to sympathize with them, especially when they're paying 100 bucks a pop for a seat.
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Old 05-19-05, 03:33 PM
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Originally Posted by AndyCapps
The Union needs to be tough. David Stern has too much goddamn power.
Agreed. That punishment on Artest was BS. Even though many people in this thread don't care of the NBA has a lockout, I do. I watch it, I enjoy it and would hate to see it happen.
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Old 05-19-05, 03:39 PM
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I like the idea of a hard salary cap -- especially when it goes hand-in-hand with revenue sharing -- but I don't see why there need to be more regulations to keep owners from spending money on players.

If Mark Cuban or Paul Allen chooses to spend his money on over-the-hill veterans... well, why shouldn't he? The cap maintains competitive balance, so anything else is just labor infringement.
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Old 05-19-05, 03:53 PM
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NBA union chief Billy Hunter questioned the league's tactics, calling the approach "repugnant and offensive."

"This was the same approach used by the league seven years ago," Hunter told ESPN. "At that time, the word was that [agents] David Falk and Arn Tellum and others were actually orchestrating and managing the negotiations. I thought it was repugnant and offensive at that time, and I think it's even more so now the fact the inference is that me, as a black man, cannot operate an institution such as the union without having some white man oversee and legitimate whatever it is I'm supposed to be doing."
I love how race is an issue.
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Old 05-19-05, 09:32 PM
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The weird thing is that basketball actually works well as is (unlike hockey), so you'd think an agreement could be reached without too much acrimony. As for the issues, I'd say a few things...

1) Minimum Age: Do the players even care? If anything, I'd think they'd support it since allowing younger guys in takes jobs away from veterans. Since the teenagers aren't yet members of the union, they have no vote

2) Contract Length: Got to go with the players on this one. If teams are dumb enough to offer long contracts, punish them for it. None one makes teams hand out such deals. Seems like a rule to protect teams from their own stupidity. I'd support current contract lengths

3) Luxury Tax/Salary Cap. Obviously the players want more of the pie, but keeping about current rates should be about fine. Even the luxury tax isn't as bad as its made out to be (if it even triggers). But keeping similar percentages to the current deal should end up working for both sides.
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Old 05-20-05, 12:29 AM
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I can't help but laugh when I hear Billy Hunter. He talks so tough for the cameras, but the reality is that Stern has like a 123-0 record against him. If you look closely, I believe you'll see a "property of D. Stern" tattoo on the back of Hunter's neck.
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