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SBD/Issue 150/Leagues & Governing Bodies
NBPA Willing To Meet Over CBA, But Not Convinced Of Necessity
Published April 23, 2009
|Hunter (r) Says Players, He Will Collectively
Decide If Things As Dire As Stern (l) Indicates
STATING HIS CASE: Hunter said, "If there's justifications for some of the exchanges that they're referring to, then we'll have to consider them. But what I'm saying to you is, it's not going to be any one-sided negotiations, where it's about all these givebacks by the players. We're going into a negotiation. It's not a surrender." In N.Y., Howard Beck reports Hunter contends the NBA's model is "generally healthy and suggested that the union would agree to extend the current deal with only minor 'tweaks.'" But while Hunter and Stern "have tried to present a united front," the divisions are "quickly becoming evident." Stern last week "identified the revenue split between players and owners as 'the biggest issue' facing the league -- an indication that he will push to reduce the players' 57[%] share." The NBPA will "clearly resist that effort, and has its own ideas for altering the business model." Hunter indicated that he "would lobby for broad revenue sharing between teams as part of the new labor deal." Beck notes NBA teams "share revenue from sponsorships, merchandising and national television rights, but they do not split local TV revenue or gate receipts." It is "not clear whether the league would consider a broader, NFL-style program." Meanwhile, despite the economic downturn, Hunter said that he is "not convinced that the labor deal needed major changes because it was already built to react to the market" (N.Y. TIMES, 4/23). Hunter added that he wants all NBA owners to "disclose team financial records in advance" of CBA negotiations, noting that under rules, the NBPA "can conduct limited audits of five teams a year." Hunter: "We would like as much information as we can get." NBA VP/Basketball Communications Tim Frank said in an e-mail, "We will open the books of all teams as part of collective bargaining, just as we have done in our prior negotiations" (BLOOMBERG NEWS, 4/23).
Stern Says People Have To Make
Adjustments In All Businesses