SBD/April 27, 2011/Leagues and Governing Bodies

NBA Owners Plan To Submit Revised CBA Proposal To Players By Friday

NBA owners "intend to submit a revised collective bargaining proposal to the players by Friday and are hopeful the document will 'get the conversation going' in the wake of NFL players' significant anti-trust victory in federal court," according to a source cited by Ken Berger of CBSSPORTS.com. The source "declined to divulge details of the new proposal." There is "no dispute among basketball officials" that the NFL ruling "puts the onus on the NBA and its union to negotiate a new deal rather than have the process hijacked by the uncertainty of the courts." A source said, "We're both going to give it our best shot and try to avoid the courts." Berger noted the NFL "faces the difficult burden of imposing work rules under which business can be done in the meantime." But legal sources said that "if the NBA, facing a similar legal outcome, attempted to impose rules that were more restrictive than those in the expiring CBA, it would open itself up to further legal action." The risk to NBA players' future salaries is "greater than for their NFL counterparts because NBA contracts currently on the books contain more guaranteed money." If the NBA "decided that going to court would provide a better outcome than negotiating, its trump card would be the belief that no federal judge or appeals court panel would force a sports league to operate at a loss." But "if it goes that far, some outcomes are more appealing to both sides than others" (CBSSPORTS.com, 4/26).

OMINOUS SIGNS? In L.A., Mike Bresnahan reports the Lakers "will not offer new contracts to about 20 key employees on their player-personnel side, planning to go into the looming NBA lockout with skeleton crews in several branches of the franchise." On Monday, "both members of their video department were told they would not receive contracts after this season." Last weekend, four of five members on the training staff "were told the same thing." Most, "if not all, of the Lakers' scouting staff (about six employees) will not be retained after their contracts expire" (L.A. TIMES, 4/27). USA TODAY's Jeff Zillgitt writes the "impact of a labor stoppage is mounting" in the NBA. Some NBA head coaches and assistants, "especially those hired in the past year or two, have lockout language in their contracts that potentially could prevent them from getting paid." In addition, the league "did not schedule 2011-12 preseason games in Europe or Asia." Many of the NBA's "big-name international players" are scheduled to play in Olympic-qualifying tournaments this summer, though that "could be in jeopardy if national teams don't have access to the NBA's insurance broker during a lockout" (USA TODAY, 4/27).
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