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SBD/February 18, 2011/Leagues and Governing Bodies
NBA, NBPA Attempting To Address Labor Issues During Friday Meeting
Published February 18, 2011
OWNERS LOOKING AT THE BOTTOM LINE: CBSSPORTS.com's Ken Berger noted Friday's bargaining session "will mostly be for show," but a "significant number of owners remain focused strictly on the bottom line." There is "unwavering support for commissioner David Stern's stated goal of reducing player salaries by $750 million to $800 million, but reducing costs is far from the only goal." Sources said that the "undercurrent of concern about the players' power and control has never been greater." However, as with any other "attempt to play negotiating hardball, the owners' stance comes with a 'careful what you wish for' disclaimer." More than decade after the '98 lockout, owners "coincidentally have been victimized by their own strategy of limiting the salaries of top players and incentivizing star free agents to stay with their current teams." Concerned by the trend that began with LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh coming together with the Heat, small-market owners "in particular are seeking to further restrict player movement by adopting an NFL-style franchise tag." But some execs "believe a further reduction in max salaries will only achieve the unintended result of more player movement, not less" (CBSSPORTS.com, 2/16).
PAY CUTS ON THE HORIZON? SI.com’s Ian Thomsen noted NBA coaches and execs said that they “believe they'll be threatened with a major cut in salary next season as part of a new cost-savings approach that will affect all areas of NBA business.” Two team execs predict that “each team will be given a standardized budget from which to pay the entire coaching staff, and another budget to cover the salaries of the entire front office.” With no CBA “between owners and coaches or front-office employees, the owners won't be able to cap their salaries.” But the league “could attempt to punish teams that ‘overpay’ coaches by refusing to share certain revenues with them” (SI.com, 2/17).