Berger on the CBA Talks (The Big Lockout Thread) (Farewell to the Lockout and the Thread, p. 259)
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golakersgo121
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2011 7:20 pm    Post subject:

Aeneas Hunter wrote:
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Of all the concessions, I really, really, really wished the owners stuck to their guns on that one. Or, at least some modified version of a guaranteed contract (say, 70% guaranteed)


Sure, but that's a small potato issue in the context of what the league is trying to accomplish. It has no effect on the finances of the league as a whole.


Absolutely correct - small potato for these negotiations. However - as a fan I understand the complaint...
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2011 8:20 pm    Post subject:

I am 100% on the players' side in this entire affair.

As far as I am concerned, I hope they decimate the league in these negotiations. But I know that is incredibly unlikely. So.... stay strong.
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2011 5:37 am    Post subject:

Here is Berger's update on the negotiations. It sounds pretty bleak to me, but who knows?

Quote:
Stern said the owners’ decision to back off their insistence on eliminating fully guaranteed contracts as part of the 10-year deal they’ve proposed was in response to a presentation from the players and their attorney, Jeffrey Kessler, about their insistence on protecting such guarantees.

“Of all the issues, the guarantee is one that is very, very important to individual players,” Stern said, describing what was conveyed to the owners and their lead negotiators during the presentation.

This must have been music to the owners’ ears, because their priority from the beginning has been to reduce player salaries by at least one-third. The method of delivery – via a hard cap with shorter and less guaranteed contracts – would seem to be a secondary issue to the overall dollars. Based on the players’ current 57 percent share of revenues, they would go from $2.1 billion to $1.35 billion under the owners’ original proposal – the basic structure of which remains in place, according to multiple sources familiar with the negotiations. That’s a reduction of about $750 million annually, regardless of whether the money is guaranteed or not.

“It’s not as big a move as it would have been if the hard cap was not linked to it,” Kessler said of the owners’ revised stance on guarantees. “That really undermines, from the players’ standpoint, what it means. … They didn’t move on hard cap, that’s for sure.”

Said Evans: "We’re far apart. They’re still negotiating from their proposal from two years ago, and we’re negotiating from the current system we have."


http://ken-berger.blogs.cbssports.com/mcc/blogs/entry/11838893/30105302?source=rss_blogs_NBA
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2011 6:17 am    Post subject:

Is anyone familiar with the specific processes used by the player association during these negotiations, such as who makes up the representation at PA/Owner meetings (player reps, attorneys, negotiators, accounting review), frequency and means for passing feedback to the voting members, etc. ?
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2011 6:41 am    Post subject:

^^^

I am not sure in these particular negotiations - but typically union assigns so-called "negotiating committee" that usually hires a lawyer (if they don't have one on their staff). All "strategic" questions are still voted on and agreement as a whole has to be ratified by the voting union members. Committee itself might include not only players but also their agents, reps, etc.

Strategy typically is determined prior to negotiation sessions. However - after every significant session - when you have to move from plan "A" to plan "B" - there is an update.
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2011 7:09 am    Post subject:

It's almost certain at this point that there'll be a lock-out.
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2011 7:36 am    Post subject:

70sdude wrote:
Is anyone familiar with the specific processes used by the player association during these negotiations, such as who makes up the representation at PA/Owner meetings (player reps, attorneys, negotiators, accounting review), frequency and means for passing feedback to the voting members, etc. ?


Derek Fisher is the president. Keyon Dooling the 1st VP, Anthony Mason, Mo Evans, Matt Bonner, CP3, Theo Ratliff & Etan Thomas are VPs. They represent the players. Billy Hunter is the exec director and chief negotiator. Their chief in-house attorney was Gary Hall, but he died recently. Others in-house attorneys are Ron Klempner, Sean Brandveen, Yared Alula and Angela Smedley. They have Jeffrey Kessler as an outside counsel.

They said all the player exec committee member were there but one, but I don't know which one.

There are player reps for each team, who are the go-betweens for the exec committee & the players. They have in-house accountants, and also bring in outside people as necessary -- for instance, they used a buddy of mine (an economist) in the 2005 negotiations.
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2011 7:59 am    Post subject:

So players stop being paid July 1st, right? So no payments monthly or every 2 weeks come July 1st.

The players probably want this done sooner, the owners have no financial loss (considerable) until training camp when they sell tickets. That's all the real money (TV etc) gets made anyway. The owners can easily wait this out until September.

The players lose payment for July, August, Sept. right? Or am I wrong on that?
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2011 10:20 am    Post subject:

Thanks Larry.
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2011 10:54 am    Post subject:

LarryCoon wrote:
70sdude wrote:
Is anyone familiar with the specific processes used by the player association during these negotiations, such as who makes up the representation at PA/Owner meetings (player reps, attorneys, negotiators, accounting review), frequency and means for passing feedback to the voting members, etc. ?


Derek Fisher is the president. Keyon Dooling the 1st VP, Anthony Mason, Mo Evans, Matt Bonner, CP3, Theo Ratliff & Etan Thomas are VPs. They represent the players. Billy Hunter is the exec director and chief negotiator. Their chief in-house attorney was Gary Hall, but he died recently. Others in-house attorneys are Ron Klempner, Sean Brandveen, Yared Alula and Angela Smedley. They have Jeffrey Kessler as an outside counsel.

They said all the player exec committee member were there but one, but I don't know which one.

There are player reps for each team, who are the go-betweens for the exec committee & the players. They have in-house accountants, and also bring in outside people as necessary -- for instance, they used a buddy of mine (an economist) in the 2005 negotiations.



What's he doing on the committee? Thought he was out of the league ages ago?
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2011 12:20 pm    Post subject:

you see stern saying they gave the players thier guarented contract request.reality is they gave nothing players already have this right.
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2011 12:21 pm    Post subject:

you see stern saying they gave the players thier guarented contract request.reality is they gave nothing players already have this right.
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2011 1:04 pm    Post subject:

jonnybravo wrote:
What's he doing on the committee? Thought he was out of the league ages ago?


Roger Mason, not Anthony Mason.
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2011 1:21 pm    Post subject:

Aeneas Hunter wrote:
composite wrote:
Of all the concessions, I really, really, really wished the owners stuck to their guns on that one. Or, at least some modified version of a guaranteed contract (say, 70% guaranteed)


Sure, but that's a small potato issue in the context of what the league is trying to accomplish. It has no effect on the finances of the league as a whole.


Perhaps. But it would improve the overall quality of the NBA immensely.
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2011 2:21 pm    Post subject:

golakersgo121 wrote:
24 wrote:
Brandon98 wrote:
(bleep). Forget the hard cap, I wish the owners would pushed hard for the non-guaranteed contracts. Make some of these hacks earn their cash all the way through.


Do you also support non-guaranteed TV contracts, so the owners have to "earn" their television revenue?


Horrible comparison, my friend.

"Performance based" contract is more than common fact of the real life. You wouldn't disagree that guaranteed long term deals disincentiveise way too many players in the NBA, would you? Whikle the owners have a continuous incentive for a league (as a whole) to put the best product possible as they will own the franchise long after TV deal is up.

Similarly thinking, I'd assign the Clippers' share of the TV deal to that franchise on the "non-guaranteed", performance based basis


I don't think it's a bad analogy at all. If we're going to tie revenue to performance, are teams going to refund ticket prices if the product doesn't measure up? Of course not.
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2011 2:34 pm    Post subject:

1since71 wrote:
you see stern saying they gave the players thier guaranteed contract request.reality is they gave nothing players already have this right.


Well, players think they do - but they don't.

New CBA means there is nothing at this time. No rules. Everything is in play. You're referring to negotiating from the base of the last CBA. It is useful for comparison purposes, without a doubt. But the players do NOT have guaranteed contract at this time. Well - to be accurate - will not have guaranteed contracts come July 1st. They will - only if both sides agree to it.
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2011 2:43 pm    Post subject:

24 wrote:
golakersgo121 wrote:
24 wrote:
Brandon98 wrote:
(bleep). Forget the hard cap, I wish the owners would pushed hard for the non-guaranteed contracts. Make some of these hacks earn their cash all the way through.


Do you also support non-guaranteed TV contracts, so the owners have to "earn" their television revenue?


Horrible comparison, my friend.

"Performance based" contract is more than common fact of the real life. You wouldn't disagree that guaranteed long term deals disincentivise way too many players in the NBA, would you? While the owners have a continuous incentive for a league (as a whole) to put the best product possible as they will own the franchise long after TV deal is up.

Similarly thinking, I'd assign the Clippers' share of the TV deal to that franchise on the "non-guaranteed", performance based basis


I don't think it's a bad analogy at all. If we're going to tie revenue to performance, are teams going to refund ticket prices if the product doesn't measure up? Of course not.


In some simplistic way of thinking - no, they don't do refunds for tickets and they don't refund money to the networks if the product "doesn't perform". But, based on the history, they do "perform" on the long run. While we do have a long list of players that don't.

Seriously - I am talking as a fan now. I'd personally prefer for players to get, lets' say, every season one year guaranteed deal (or signing them long term but the club has an option every season). With players getting significant insurance in case of long term injury, etc.
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2011 2:52 pm    Post subject:

24 wrote:
golakersgo121 wrote:
24 wrote:
Brandon98 wrote:
(bleep). Forget the hard cap, I wish the owners would pushed hard for the non-guaranteed contracts. Make some of these hacks earn their cash all the way through.


Do you also support non-guaranteed TV contracts, so the owners have to "earn" their television revenue?


Horrible comparison, my friend.

"Performance based" contract is more than common fact of the real life. You wouldn't disagree that guaranteed long term deals disincentiveise way too many players in the NBA, would you? Whikle the owners have a continuous incentive for a league (as a whole) to put the best product possible as they will own the franchise long after TV deal is up.

Similarly thinking, I'd assign the Clippers' share of the TV deal to that franchise on the "non-guaranteed", performance based basis


I don't think it's a bad analogy at all. If we're going to tie revenue to performance, are teams going to refund ticket prices if the product doesn't measure up? Of course not.


Maybe. But overall NBA quality would increase if there were no Luke Walton-esque or Gilbert Arena-like contracts out there.
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2011 3:17 pm    Post subject:

golakersgo121 wrote:
24 wrote:
golakersgo121 wrote:
24 wrote:
Brandon98 wrote:
(bleep). Forget the hard cap, I wish the owners would pushed hard for the non-guaranteed contracts. Make some of these hacks earn their cash all the way through.


Do you also support non-guaranteed TV contracts, so the owners have to "earn" their television revenue?


Horrible comparison, my friend.

"Performance based" contract is more than common fact of the real life. You wouldn't disagree that guaranteed long term deals disincentivise way too many players in the NBA, would you? While the owners have a continuous incentive for a league (as a whole) to put the best product possible as they will own the franchise long after TV deal is up.

Similarly thinking, I'd assign the Clippers' share of the TV deal to that franchise on the "non-guaranteed", performance based basis


I don't think it's a bad analogy at all. If we're going to tie revenue to performance, are teams going to refund ticket prices if the product doesn't measure up? Of course not.


In some simplistic way of thinking - no, they don't do refunds for tickets and they don't refund money to the networks if the product "doesn't perform". But, based on the history, they do "perform" on the long run. While we do have a long list of players that don't.

Seriously - I am talking as a fan now. I'd personally prefer for players to get, lets' say, every season one year guaranteed deal (or signing them long term but the club has an option every season). With players getting significant insurance in case of long term injury, etc.


I agree... the problem is that players, unlike owners, have a short life. For these reasons, either non-guaranteed player contracts or shorter player contracts is a good solution, maybe not for the players who want to make as much money as quickly as possible, but for the parties who really matter in all of this - the league and the fan base who, hopefully, will be around long past that player's career or, at least, longer than the prime of that player's career. A 1 year deal to a player (who only plays for 15 years or so) may be the equivalent of a 10 year tv deal for the league which will continue to survive for decades after the player has finished his career. Because the league's life is longer than a players, the league is incentivized to continue to be productive by a 10 year deal likely the same way a player would be incentivized by a 1 year deal.

In any case, not only would non-guaranteed and/or shorter player contracts incentive players to keep improving, more importantly, it would provide individual NBA franchises the same kind of relief amnesty would provide, but on a continual basis. It's something that significantly helps the NFL (in terms of non-guaranteed deals) because, like the NBA, you have very few players on most teams taking up such a large portion of the cap, which very little money remaining to spread among the "rank and file." Without non-guaranteed deals in the NFL, it would harm the game (and thus fan interest) to have franchises hamstrung for years simply because of one or two bad free agent decisions. This is something which has happened chronically in the NBA where NBA teams are stuck with bad contracts (and players who underperform or don't perform at all due to chronic injuries) without the ability to get out of the deals for years and unable to move their franchises forward as a result. Obviously, fans starting losing interest under such circumstances.

Although it may be unfair to players to punish them for a franchise overvaluing them, players shouldn't necessarily be awarded either just because they happened to be able to take advantage of a franchise's stupidity to get that franchise to pay them more than they should have received in the first place. Further, no matter if its unfair to the players or not, that doesn't matter. All that matters is what system is best to create fan interest - long contracts and gauranteed deals is not the best system to accomplish that goal. So to keep fans invested as much as possible, it's still better for the league to give the owners the ability to start over as quickly as possible after realizing they have made a bad decision. It does the league no good to make fans wait three, four, or five years for a contract to expire before a franchise can move forward away from that bad decision (and possibly right into another one). Obviously, that problem is compounded when there are multiple bad decisions which take place around the same time (see the Detroit Pistons, for example).
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2011 3:33 pm    Post subject:

LS, it's important to remember that the NFL system involves additional components that are not present in the NBA. Specifically, there are no big signing bonuses in the NBA, and NBA players cannot renegotiate their contracts. Those are critical components to the NFL system. Even if the contract is not fully guaranteed, an NFL player can negotiate a big signing bonus. If the NFL player blossoms after signing the contract, he can hold out and demand a new contract.

Teams want flexibility and want to limit their risk. Players want security. There is an inevitable tension. The NFL system strikes one balance, while the NBA system strikes another. Personally, I'm not a big fan of the NFL's system.

Of course, the owners would like to have the best of both worlds. They'd like signing bonuses to be limited and players to be prohibited from holding out and demanding new contracts. They'd also like to be able to dump the contracts if they don't work out. That was never going to happen.

However, if the guaranteed contract issue was really important to the owners, they could have gotten some concessions on that issue from the union. The fact that they jettisoned their demand so quickly shows you how the issue rates on their list of priorities.

This dispute is all about how to split the money. All of the other issues -- including hard cap vs. soft cap -- are just side shows this time around.
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2011 4:15 pm    Post subject:

I understand that about the NFL - signing bonuses are their way of finding a middle ground. However, the best solution for any sports league (which may not be fair to players) is still probably long-term non-guaranteed deals. That will never happen though because it is completely one-sided in the owners' favors, but it would still probably be best for the league. In the case of the NBA, looking at the NFL's model, I think shorter contracts, rather than non-guaranteed contracts, is probably the better solution. I would cap it at 3 or 4 year deals (depending on whether its the team's own free agent or not) and make MLE deals no longer than 2 years.

Any way, here is my solution for the league - which I think would be fair to both players and owners:

-A soft cap and a hard cap. The soft cap would be adjusted on an annual basis dependent on league revenues with a 50/50 net revenue owner/player split in mind. The hard cap would be set at 120% of the soft cap. Right now I would imagine that to be something like $55 million soft cap and $66 million hard cap.

-Luxury tax (dollar for dollar) for all money spent between the soft cap and the hard cap. Luxury tax money to be spread equally among all teams which do not exceed soft cap, but also spend at least 85% of the soft cap ($44 million).

-League Minimum Total Salary - Set at 70% of the soft cap ($36 million).

-Salary Cap exceptions and length of contracts:
a) Rookie deals - 3 years w/ team option for 4th year and restricted free agency following year 4 (only the first two years guaranteed). There would be a set tier structure such as that in place right now, but it would start with the #1 pick making 15% of the soft cap per year on average ($8 million per year) and work down from there.
b) Free Agent contracts - 3 years for players changing teams (for amounts larger than LLE and MLE), 4 years for players being extended by their own teams.
c) Max Contracts - Players with 4 to 8 years experience in the league could be paid a max of 20% of the soft cap ($11 million); Players with 9+ years experience could be paid a max of 25% of the soft cap ($13.75 million). Bird Rights would begin after a player has been with a team for three consecutive years or more.
d) LLE - 5% of the soft cap amount ($2.75 million average per year and only can be used once every two years); MLE - 10% of soft cap amount ($5.5 million average per year and can be used once per year). Both the LLE and MLE would be limited to no longer than 2 year deals.
e) League Minimum - 1% of soft cap ($550,000)
f) Veteran Minimum (9+ years in the league) - 2% of soft cap ($1.1 million)

-Trades - Keep the structure the same.

That's what I think anyway.
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2011 5:40 pm    Post subject:

LakerSanity wrote:
In the case of the NBA, looking at the NFL's model, I think shorter contracts, rather than non-guaranteed contracts, is probably the better solution.


That's certainly more feasible in terms of CBA negotiations.

LakerSanity wrote:
Any way, here is my solution for the league - which I think would be fair to both players and owners:

-A soft cap and a hard cap. The soft cap would be adjusted on an annual basis dependent on league revenues with a 50/50 net revenue owner/player split in mind. The hard cap would be set at 120% of the soft cap. Right now I would imagine that to be something like $55 million soft cap and $66 million hard cap.

-Luxury tax (dollar for dollar) for all money spent between the soft cap and the hard cap. Luxury tax money to be spread equally among all teams which do not exceed soft cap, but also spend more than 90% of the soft cap ($50 million).


It could be structured in many different ways, once the two sides agree on the revenue split. The problem is that they're miles apart on that all-important threshold issue.
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2011 5:55 pm    Post subject:

I just think the idea of a soft cap using the 50/50 split for a soft cap while allowing a hard cap above that amount (which would make the split more like 47/53 if all the owners spent up to the "hard cap" amount), would be a good compromise.
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2011 6:48 am    Post subject:

According to Mitch Lawrence of the New York Post, one of the leading hawks on the owners' side is . . . Michael Jordan:

Quote:
Among owners who can't wait to lock the players out, Charlotte's Michael Jordan might top the list. His rants to his cronies, including Charles Barkley, about all the overpaid players in today's NBA are said to be priceless.


http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/basketball/2011/06/18/2011-06-18_raptors_take_a_pass_on_landing_knicks_mike_dantoni_opt_for_defensiveminded_dwane.html

That provides a lot of fodder for people who want to psychoanalyze MJ.
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2011 10:05 am    Post subject:

jonnybravo wrote:
LarryCoon wrote:
Anthony Mason


What's he doing on the committee? Thought he was out of the league ages ago?


Brainfart, sorry. Roger, of course.
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