Officially Locked Out

Thats’ right ladies and gents, the NBA is officially going into lockout mode. Very similar to what we’ve seen with the NFL but it comes with major differences. There is more than 2 sides to take in this lockout situation and the players are basically stuck in the middle as I said in my previous post about the lockout. I feel that this lockout is totally uncalled for by all sides in this argument so I’m not really taking a side. I understand that you all need to make your money but you make more than I ever have seen in my life.

Now, let me start off from the basics. The thing about this lockout is that the owners and players have to find a way to split all basketball related income, or BRI, between each other. That’s the main thing about this lockout, not the hard cap or soft cap system that they’ll have, not the shortening of the player contracts or the 15 to 25% rollback on player salaries, and certainly not the cancellation of guarenteed money on contracts. That all plays a part but at the end of the day the BRI is the main subject.

Right now the split is at 57/43 in the players favor. The players get 57% of all basketball related income and the owners are stuck witht that 43 percent. Its not the players greed that has gotten them to this somewhat lopsided split in income but rather the bidding war on players. The owners chose to overpay certain players to get them on their roster. The small market owners are complaining because they aren’t able to overbid for some of the players like the large market teams can do. This was agreed upon in the previous CBA. They allowed for all of the clauses and guarentees to be in these contracts without thinking about the consequences. Now those same owners are asking the players for that same money back when they gave it to them freely in the first place.

As of now the players are locked out of the NBA. They aren’t allowed to train in team facilities, they have no health insurance, any injuries will not be taken care of by the teams, and certain players who get paid on November 15th are not getting their money as of now. The players somewhat softened their stance on spreading the income, they threw out a deal that would take their percentage down 54.3 percent and shave 500 million from their salaries over the next 6 years( per ESPN.com). The owners wanted a 10 year deal and for more of their salary to be cut down. They want most of the money that they gave the players to come back into their pockets, thats what you do when you collectivley bargain right? So, bear with me, the players offered that 6 year deal and the owners didn’t want that so they are now locked out.

The players are at fault in this also however, because at the end of the day their offer was too ridiculous to ever really consider for the owners. Their offer would bump their salaries up to about 7 million dollars per year, per ESPN.com. According to the owners, they were on pace to lose 300 million dollars in revenue already. 22 out of the 30 teams would be losing their income. You know, the small market teams that aren’t really competitive in the free agent market.

The thing that I don’t understand is, why don’t the large market teams share some of their revenue with the smaller market teams? I think that it should be mandated that certain teams, when making surplus amounts of money, split the revenue with the small market teams. If they did that then it would certainly be a more competitive market for free agency. This is the owners vs owners perspective of the lockout. They say that you can’t make a profit through revenue sharing but it certainly could be a start. It would definitley even out some of the losses that the teams below the surplus need. The system may not be perfect but it isn’t all that bad either. Not to mention that there have benn 7, to my count, teams sold under the current CBA. There isn’t much profit to be made when teams are being sold left and right.

Instead, they are trying to cut the players income that they willingly gave up before, roll back their salaries 15 to 25% depending on how much they make, and take away contract guarentees. They also want to cap their salaries at the hieght that they are now, which means they wouldn’t increase. So therefore, over the next 10 years or 5 years, however long the CBA will be, the players revenue will decrease over time as the BRI amount increases.

Overall, I think that this lockout is pretty crazy. There are 3 sides to this story, owners of small market teams needing more income, owners of large market teams not willing to give up any money, and the players who have what they want but aren’t willing to budge on it at all. This is crazy, I wish it would all end. Basketball had a chance to become the most popular sport in the nation, now it loses that opportunity with this.

No, I don’t think this will be like the 98-99 lockout where we lost games. I’m too positive to believe all of that. I think that both sides will come to an agreement before it comes down to that, but I just wish that eveyone couldn’t be so greedy. When it comes down to the business side of things, it gets pretty bleak. I know something will happen though, it has to. No one wants to lose money and everyone wants to see basketball.

NBA and NBPA, PLEASE GET SOMETHING DONE!!!!

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