Berger on the CBA Talks (The Big Lockout Thread) (Farewell to the Lockout and the Thread, p. 259)
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Lowest Merion
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2011 8:37 am    Post subject:

Howard Beck:
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All indications are that NBA players union will have the 260 signatures it needs to re-form by end of business today. Keeps CBA on track.
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2011 8:38 am    Post subject:

Mannix:

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On Thursday, three players told SI.com they had serious doubts about whether Hunter should lead the union going forward and have voiced that opinion to other players.

"He's trying to tell us this is a good deal," one player said. "It's not a good deal. It will get approved, but don't try to tell us it's a good deal."

Chief among player complaints has been how Hunter handled the dissolution of the union. Many players believed that the union should have dissolved (or decertified) back in July, when it was clear the owners were taking a hard-line stance in the negotiations.


http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2011/writers/chris_mannix/12/01/billy.hunter/index.html?sct=hp_t2_a3&eref=sihp
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2011 8:39 am    Post subject:

Anything about an all-star game this year? I know that is a big money maker for the league. If they can get in an all-star game, and the league doesn't have to pay money back on the TV deals, the players might make some of that 20% back.
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2011 8:45 am    Post subject:

The all-star game is in Orlando and is not canceled. It will have zero effect on the 20%.
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2011 9:15 am    Post subject:

Aeneas Hunter wrote:
The all-star game is in Orlando and is not canceled. It will have zero effect on the 20%.

Makes sense, they will only lose more money if it was canceled. How about the TV revenue?
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2011 9:56 am    Post subject:

The TV revenue is part of the national TV contracts. It's not something separate, at least as far as I know.
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2011 10:02 am    Post subject:

Funny how this all got done just in time for when the marquee match ups (Christmas game, All-Star game) all would draw in the TV revenue amongst other things the ASG brings for the NBA.

Owners were always going to wait until this moment to really get serious and Hunter just conceding BRI points way to early in the process.

Regardless I am happy because we get a NBA season with most of the important dates. Had Hunter been as strong a negotiator as some want, the season probably is cancelled soon.
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2011 10:19 am    Post subject:

Zach Lowe:
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Amid reports that teams have made final decisions on things such as the amnesty clause, it’s important to note very few elements of the new CBA, including the particulars of the amnesty clause itself, have been finalized.

Take this question several readers asked after reports that the Nets had prepared an offer for Dwight Howard that would involve taking on Hedo Turkoglu’s contract: Could the Nets use the amnesty clause in that scenario on Turkoglu instead of Travis Outlaw, since Turkoglu makes about $4 million more per season and would thus provide more immediate cap relief via amnesty?

I asked the league, and their answer was swift: No. Here’s the key prong of the amnesty rule in the summary of the CBA reporters have seen (bold is mine):

"Each team permitted to waive 1 player prior to any season of the CBA (only for contracts in place at the inception of the CBA) and have 100% of the player’s salary removed from team salary for Cap and Tax purposes."

The key phrase there is “in place.” The NBA told me “in place” meant on a team’s roster right now, so that teams could not use amnesty on a player they acquire via a trade made after the league resumes player movement business on Dec. 9. But union sources insist the two sides have not discussed this scenario in detail, meaning it must be hashed out, along with hundreds of other details, as the two sides scramble to complete the CBA by the end of business on Dec. 8. Perhaps “in place” in regards to amnesty-eligible contracts could simply mean “in existence now,” regardless of which team holds the contract.


http://nba-point-forward.si.com/2011/12/01/even-the-league-is-unsure-of-amnesty/
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2011 10:25 am    Post subject:

...

Last edited by composite on Thu Dec 01, 2011 10:36 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2011 10:36 am    Post subject:

Aeneas Hunter wrote:
Oh, you're probably right, but I can imagine circumstances arising that would cause the NBPA to opt out. That's different from going on strike. I don't dispute that it's highly unlikely to happen. I expect the owners to opt out, and I expect the players to go straight to decertification next time. We'll talk about it in 2017.


At some point, I think a major sports league's players will simply disband its union. They're more counterproductive than anything for the players, b/c it gives the owners an exception from anti-trust rules.

Everything that Curt Flood, Spencer Haywood and Freeman McNeil fought for is being eroded slowly thru collective bargaining.
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2011 10:56 am    Post subject:

composite wrote:
Aeneas Hunter wrote:
Oh, you're probably right, but I can imagine circumstances arising that would cause the NBPA to opt out. That's different from going on strike. I don't dispute that it's highly unlikely to happen. I expect the owners to opt out, and I expect the players to go straight to decertification next time. We'll talk about it in 2017.


At some point, I think a major sports league's players will simply disband its union. They're more counterproductive than anything for the players, b/c it gives the owners an exception from anti-trust rules.

Everything that Curt Flood, Spencer Haywood and Freeman McNeil fought for is being eroded slowly thru collective bargaining.


The world of sports is different than the labor, whereas labor likes the union more than the owners vs., in sports, it's the owners who strongly demand a union is in place to to protect themselves when dealing with the enormous contracts they give out.
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2011 11:46 am    Post subject:

Rick12322 wrote:
composite wrote:
Aeneas Hunter wrote:
Oh, you're probably right, but I can imagine circumstances arising that would cause the NBPA to opt out. That's different from going on strike. I don't dispute that it's highly unlikely to happen. I expect the owners to opt out, and I expect the players to go straight to decertification next time. We'll talk about it in 2017.


At some point, I think a major sports league's players will simply disband its union. They're more counterproductive than anything for the players, b/c it gives the owners an exception from anti-trust rules.

Everything that Curt Flood, Spencer Haywood and Freeman McNeil fought for is being eroded slowly thru collective bargaining.


The world of sports is different than the labor, whereas labor likes the union more than the owners vs., in sports, it's the owners who strongly demand a union is in place to to protect themselves when dealing with the enormous contracts they give out.


In most industries, labor unions negotiate wages on behalf of its members. The collective power of the union gives workers a bargaining power than they lack individually. Any single worker is probably dispensible to Ford, United Airlines, etc. But collectively, the workers are indispensible.

But in sports, the bargaining power for the worker comes from his unique talents and owners competitively bidding for such player's services. There's no benefit through collective bargaining. If anything, collective bargaining negates the individual bargaining power.

That being said, I wonder why other industries haven't taken advantage of this. For instance, why don't film studios impose a salary cap through the Screen Actors Guild, with max contracts per movie?
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2011 12:29 pm    Post subject:

composite wrote:


That being said, I wonder why other industries haven't taken advantage of this. For instance, why don't film studios impose a salary cap through the Screen Actors Guild, with max contracts per movie?


Historically there's never been a shortage of money for films, but as the economy continues to decline that may eventually become a reality.
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2011 1:23 pm    Post subject:

Howard Beck:

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NBPA just made it official: Majority of players have voted to re-form union.

NBPA release says more than 300 players submitted signature cards to American Arbitration Assoc, which oversaw the process.

NBPA statement says ratification will be done with "in-person vote" by end of next week. Sounds like players will have to travel.

Clarification from NBPA. Vote tally a little under 300, but more than enough to re-form union. Also, vote on CBA may or may not be inperson
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2011 2:16 pm    Post subject:

Lowest Merion wrote:
Howard Beck:

Quote:
NBPA just made it official: Majority of players have voted to re-form union.

NBPA release says more than 300 players submitted signature cards to American Arbitration Assoc, which oversaw the process.

NBPA statement says ratification will be done with "in-person vote" by end of next week. Sounds like players will have to travel.

Clarification from NBPA. Vote tally a little under 300, but more than enough to re-form union. Also, vote on CBA may or may not be inperson


This begs the question: how many players voting "yes" comprise a pay scale of ≤$5m?
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2011 3:54 pm    Post subject:

composite wrote:
That being said, I wonder why other industries haven't taken advantage of this. For instance, why don't film studios impose a salary cap through the Screen Actors Guild, with max contracts per movie?



Because the major stars -- the Will Smiths, Tom Cruises, Tom Hanks, etc. --would never go for it. (As an FYI, the Screen Actors Guild charges dues based on a percentage of income, but caps it at a fairly low amount because it knows the major stars would leave the guild otherwise.)

For NBA players, the NBA is the only league in town. Film stars can go anywhere in the world to make films, and could easily make major films outside the guild system.
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2011 5:01 pm    Post subject:

Rick12322 wrote:
composite wrote:


That being said, I wonder why other industries haven't taken advantage of this. For instance, why don't film studios impose a salary cap through the Screen Actors Guild, with max contracts per movie?


Historically there's never been a shortage of money for films, but as the economy continues to decline that may eventually become a reality.


The reason it doesn't exist goes beyond the pool of available money. Another huge factor in addition to what AV stated is that the movie studios don't work as a a collective to push out a product the way a sports league does. They're completely independent. Universal would just as soon see 20th Century fall off a cliff.
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2011 7:05 pm    Post subject:

activeverb wrote:


Because the major stars -- the Will Smiths, Tom Cruises, Tom Hanks, etc. --would never go for it. (As an FYI, the Screen Actors Guild charges dues based on a percentage of income, but caps it at a fairly low amount because it knows the major stars would leave the guild otherwise.)

For NBA players, the NBA is the only league in town. Film stars can go anywhere in the world to make films, and could easily make major films outside the guild system.


The thing is, film stars are kind of a creation of luck and the film industry. Every A-list star in the world could disappear tomorrow and the studios could replace everyone of them overnight. Very few of your A-list actors are really amongst the best at their craft in the world. And while your Will Smith's or Tom Cruise's are certainly good looking guys, I'm also not sure they're both the most talented AND best looking actors the world has to offer. They got to be a superstars through a combination of their own effort, their agents, and the studios. The competitive filter through which Hollywood actors rise is a sort of weird and completely different beast than the NBA selection process. And so cull the top 30 NBA players and that talent is gone from the Earth for a generation--those are the very 30 best guys at basketball on Earth. It is exceedingly unlikely there is another Kobe Bryant or Lebron James alive today who is not playing basketball already. There's probably a few dozen slave laborers on a Scientology boat somewhere as good looking and with as much acting ability as Tom Cruise.
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2011 7:58 pm    Post subject:

Aeneas Hunter wrote:
Berger:

Quote:
An important sidebar to the reauthorization of the union as the players' bargaining representative is a push from about a dozen agents to have executive director Billy Hunter re-installed only on an interim basis. The agents, essentially the group that was behind the push for decertification during the bargaining talks, are dissatisfied with Hunter's leadership and want the players to have a say in who will lead the union going forward rather than have Hunter return to power with a new contract. "Players aren't saying it, but they're [angry]," one of the agents said Wednesday "And on top of that, they lost 20 percent of their money for a deal that could've been done two months ago."


http://www.cbssports.com/nba/story/16299009/postups-free-agency-signing-days-away-but-frenzy-exists

I consider this to be good news. I was worried that the agents might be quietly organizing a movement to reject the deal. None of them have made any public comments about the deal, after all. Instead, it appears that they're focused on getting rid of Billy Hunter. The last passage from the excerpt quoted above is the painful truth for the players.


The sad thing is that the very people who are mad at him both hamstrung him in many ways, and enabled him in others. Had the agents done a better job of preparing, educating, and organizing their clients, in coordination with each other, they could have done exactly what the hawk coalition did to Stern. They could have said, "we have x number of players on board, and here is our bottom line. These are your marching orders."
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2011 8:01 pm    Post subject:

Aeneas Hunter wrote:
Mannix:

Quote:
On Thursday, three players told SI.com they had serious doubts about whether Hunter should lead the union going forward and have voiced that opinion to other players.

"He's trying to tell us this is a good deal," one player said. "It's not a good deal. It will get approved, but don't try to tell us it's a good deal."

Chief among player complaints has been how Hunter handled the dissolution of the union. Many players believed that the union should have dissolved (or decertified) back in July, when it was clear the owners were taking a hard-line stance in the negotiations.


http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2011/writers/chris_mannix/12/01/billy.hunter/index.html?sct=hp_t2_a3&eref=sihp


IMO, that would have played into the owners hands. Instead, they should have set their bottom line, organized enough votes, and told Hunter what deal to negotiate. If he couldn't get it by a date certain (somewhere between October and November), then they would deceertify and get it done themselves. Stern and the owners would have had to take an entirely different line with Hunter if they knew categorically what his point of "no" was, and that he was powerless to move beyond it.
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2011 8:04 pm    Post subject:

Just Ming wrote:
composite wrote:
...

Exactly

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2011 11:54 pm    Post subject:

Aeneas Hunter wrote:

Quote:
An important sidebar to the reauthorization of the union as the players' bargaining representative is a push from about a dozen agents to have executive director Billy Hunter re-installed only on an interim basis. The agents, essentially the group that was behind the push for decertification during the bargaining talks, are dissatisfied with Hunter's leadership and want the players to have a say in who will lead the union going forward rather than have Hunter return to power with a new contract. "Players aren't saying it, but they're [angry]," one of the agents said Wednesday "And on top of that, they lost 20 percent of their money for a deal that could've been done two months ago."

Link.

I consider this to be good news. I was worried that the agents might be quietly organizing a movement to reject the deal. None of them have made any public comments about the deal after all. Instead, it appears they're focused on getting rid of Billy Hunter. (The last passage from the excerpt quoted above is a painful truth for the players.)

Wonder whether the agents blacklisted Indiana, Atlanta, Charlotte, Denver, Memphis, Milwaukee, Minnesota, Philadelphia, Portland, Sacramento, Cleveland and Phoenix because of their hardline stance. I know that Wilson Chandler, JR Smith and Kenyon Martin will be in China, rather than in Denver, this season. (Nene may leave via FA.)
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 02, 2011 3:20 am    Post subject:

JUST-MING wrote:
Aeneas Hunter wrote:

Quote:
An important sidebar to the reauthorization of the union as the players' bargaining representative is a push from about a dozen agents to have executive director Billy Hunter re-installed only on an interim basis. The agents, essentially the group that was behind the push for decertification during the bargaining talks, are dissatisfied with Hunter's leadership and want the players to have a say in who will lead the union going forward rather than have Hunter return to power with a new contract. "Players aren't saying it, but they're [angry]," one of the agents said Wednesday "And on top of that, they lost 20 percent of their money for a deal that could've been done two months ago."

Link.

I consider this to be good news. I was worried that the agents might be quietly organizing a movement to reject the deal. None of them have made any public comments about the deal after all. Instead, it appears they're focused on getting rid of Billy Hunter. (The last passage from the excerpt quoted above is a painful truth for the players.)

Wonder whether the agents blacklisted Indiana, Atlanta, Charlotte, Denver, Memphis, Milwaukee, Minnesota, Philadelphia, Portland, Sacramento, Cleveland and Phoenix because of their hardline stance. I know that Wilson Chandler, JR Smith and Kenyon Martin will be in China, rather than in Denver, this season. (Nene may leave via FA.)


Those have never been favorite stops for free agents with options (excluding maybe Pheonix and Philadelphia). But if Milwaukee is offering 5 million and New York 3, I don't think any blacklist would make a difference.
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 02, 2011 4:00 am    Post subject:

KingKobe wrote:
JUST-MING wrote:
Aeneas Hunter wrote:

Quote:
An important sidebar to the reauthorization of the union as the players' bargaining representative is a push from about a dozen agents to have executive director Billy Hunter re-installed only on an interim basis. The agents, essentially the group that was behind the push for decertification during the bargaining talks, are dissatisfied with Hunter's leadership and want the players to have a say in who will lead the union going forward rather than have Hunter return to power with a new contract. "Players aren't saying it, but they're [angry]," one of the agents said Wednesday "And on top of that, they lost 20 percent of their money for a deal that could've been done two months ago."

Link.

I consider this to be good news. I was worried that the agents might be quietly organizing a movement to reject the deal. None of them have made any public comments about the deal after all. Instead, it appears they're focused on getting rid of Billy Hunter. (The last passage from the excerpt quoted above is a painful truth for the players.)

Wonder whether the agents blacklisted Indiana, Atlanta, Charlotte, Denver, Memphis, Milwaukee, Minnesota, Philadelphia, Portland, Sacramento, Cleveland and Phoenix because of their hardline stance. I know that Wilson Chandler, JR Smith and Kenyon Martin will be in China, rather than in Denver, this season. (Nene may leave via FA.)


Those have never been favorite stops for free agents with options (excluding maybe Pheonix and Philadelphia). But if Milwaukee is offering 5 million and New York 3, I don't think any blacklist would make a difference.


True. But if Milwaukee has to overpay to entice a FA, then the blacklist has made a difference.
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 02, 2011 5:16 am    Post subject:

24 wrote:
IMO, that would have played into the owners hands. Instead, they should have set their bottom line, organized enough votes, and told Hunter what deal to negotiate. If he couldn't get it by a date certain (somewhere between October and November), then they would deceertify and get it done themselves. Stern and the owners would have had to take an entirely different line with Hunter if they knew categorically what his point of "no" was, and that he was powerless to move beyond it.


A union of 450 players will operate much differently from a group of 30 owners. Hunter was never going to get such clear instructions. But he knew that and needed to devise a strategy that compensated for it.

At the time, I was okay with Hunter's decision not to decertify because I didn't think that the players were ready to go that route. In hindsight, Hunter should have prepared the players for that option and then executed it. Hunter just needed to show the players what the owners were demanding (which, at the time, was a $45M hard cap) and say, "We can't negotiate with these maniacs." Some of the better informed players were already saying that. If Hunter had done prepared the players for decertification, and then filed the disclaimer on July 1, what would the players have lost compared with what actually happened?

It's not even a question of whether the players would have gotten better terms in the end. The difference is that "the end" would have arrived much sooner. The owners don't want a court to rule on the antitrust issues. Despite some of the disparaging remarks about decertification in the media, the owners know that they are the underdogs in an antitrust suit.

The owners' only leverage is their ability to wait out the players. The players' best counter-strategy is to make it risky to wait them out. But Billy Hunter refused to employ that counter-strategy because he was more obsessed with fighting off the agents than with fighting off Stern. That's how I see it, anyway.
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