SBD/Issue 121/Leagues & Governing Bodies

Stern Unhappy With Way NBA Teams, Players Misuse Buyout

Stern Not Happy With
Misuse Of Buyout In NBA
NBA Commissioner David Stern said that he is "not thrilled with how teams and players are using the buyout," according to Geoffrey Arnold of the Portland OREGONIAN. An increasing number of NBA players are using it to "force their way off lottery-bound teams and onto a championship contender." Stern: "I'm concerned about it. We don't like it, because the fans say, 'This guy is making seven million dollars. What's he complaining about?'" Stern acknowledged that buyouts "offer teams a way out of 'bad contracts,'" but he said that players and teams are "taking advantage, leaving fans disillusioned." Stern: "You make a contract, you're happy to get it. So live up to it. Right now, our [CBA] doesn't really have the teeth that would deal with it effectively." NBPA Dir of Communications Dan Wasserman: "Any proposed changes to the rules on buyouts that would limit player movement more than it already is, I'm sure we would [oppose] that" (Portland OREGONIAN, 3/13).

TANKING SEASON: SI.com's Steve Aschburner wrote by the final five or six weeks of the NBA season, there are "as many teams with good reasons to lose as there are teams with good reasons to win." Aschburner cited a potential solution, recommended by a group including Boston educator Peter Harris. The system "measures a team's performance from the time it is eliminated from a potential postseason berth until the end of the season; teams that win more, late in the schedule with few tangible rewards otherwise, benefit by moving up in draft order. Those who lose, particularly at a sorrier rate late in the year than they did early, get penalized" (SI.com, 3/11).

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