Where do u stand on the NBA Lockout issues
Im curious to know where a lot of us Fans (members) of KO stand on this
NBA lockout issue.....your two cents is needed.
- BRI percentages for players & owners
- Hard or soft cap?
Definition of BRI: [Only registered and activated users can see images. Click Here To Register...]
Hard vs Soft Caps: [Only registered and activated users can see images. Click Here To Register...]
The Utah Jazz Raja Bell perspective of the lockout
The Utah Jazz Raja Bell perspective of the lockout
Bell gave a specific example, and it’s the one fans are likely most familiar with. The much-publicized BRI issue has been one of the most-debated issues in the negotiations between players and owners.
“I think initially let’s say we are making 57% of BRI (Basketball Related Income)…let’s say off the top. That is what was under the current or past collective bargaining agreement that just expired. We were willing to come down and we came down incrementally to let’s say 53%. That wasn’t enough and then it became you guys take 49% and the numbers just keep moving and if you are talking about let’s say middle level exception…Right now it is $5.8 [million]. If we come down to let’s say $5 million, now the owners want it to be $3 million. The numbers are so low. It’s like any bargaining. If you shoot so low you know you can’t get the deal done. I feel like that is their target to shoot just below the bar, so it looks they are negotiating and in fact there is not a real attempt to negotiate.”
One issue for the players is that before calculating the BRI for a season the NBA takes their operating costs out of the money pool. Bell said he understands why fans would feel players should just take their 50% and play ball, but also explains why the BRI is the big sticking point.
“No to a certain degree I do understand a fan’s perspective on that, but at the end of the day like – let’s use Shell Oil as a corporation. Shell Oil – whoever runs that company – makes billions and billions of dollars, right? But without the oil they make nothing. The oil is the product they are selling and the owners are selling us as the product and without that product there is nothing. You understand where we are coming from when we say 50-50 (split of revenue) isn’t exactly 50-50, when you take your operating costs off the top?
“50-50 is not an accurate depiction of what it breaks down to be once an owners has recouped all of his operating costs,” Bell continued. “You have to understand these owners are crafty. They are building in operating costs that they are paying to themselves. I mean some of these guys own their own arenas and they are paying rents in essence to themselves as they own other corporations and they are calling it a operating cost? When you are doing that over 82 or 100 games and then you are saying okay now I want to split whatever is left with 50-50… it’s not 50-50.”
Bell also wanted to make it perfectly clear that what’s going on is not the players striking, but rather the NBA preventing the players from playing basketball.
BRI and Operating Expenses
Raja Bell's comments suggested that the BRI number is net of the owners' operating expenses thus implying that this was somehow unfair to the players. It is not that simple.
Under the old CBA, the BRI was an extremely complicated calculation. Too complicated for me, at least, to determine the extent to which it may have favored the owners, but also too complicated -- and important -- not to have been the subject matter of negotiation.
I have not seen evidence that there is great disagreement between the owners and the players as to what constitutes the BRI. The focus appears to be on the percentage split, not what is included in, or excluded from, the BRI.
The BRI does, however, include a lot of stuff that is net of "reasonable expenses." For example, proceeds from beverage sales or other concession items. Certainly the BRI should not include the gross sales, because there is plainly a cost of goods sold. The beer that is sold for $7 or $8, does have a cost. To be sure this is an area of potential abuse or even fraud, but I do not get the impression that the BRI calculation itself, at least at this point, is a contested issue.
What confuses me are the apparent issues beyond the BRI split. Under the old CBA the players got 57% of the BRI and the players were guaranteed that amount as follows --
"In the event that for any Salary Cap Year Total Salaaries and Benefits is less than 57% of BRI, the difference shall be paid by the NBA to the Players Association . . . for distribution to all NBA players who were on an NBA roster during the Season covered by such Salaary Cap Year on such proportional basis as may be reasonably dtermined by the Players Association."
We have all been projecting a BRI of about $4 billion. If the owners impose a hard cap of, for example, $60M a team, an amount greater than any of the previous soft caps, it comes to $1.8 billion for the thirty teams. On a $4 billion split at at least 50% for the players, the NBA would owe $200M to the Players Association to be distributed proportionally. If there were a soft cap, and as a result the total player benefits was more than $1.8 billion, then either there would be less than $200M to distribute or the NBA would keep some of the escrow. No matter what, the players get and only get their share of the BRI. In the end, at least for the players as a whole, what is the difference between a hard cap and a soft cap?
Assuming an agreement on the BRI split, why do the owners care about the amount of a mid-level exception or any other way the players divide their share of the BRI? And why should the players insist on guaranteed contracts? All the money that the Jerome Jameses and the Eddy Currys were paid that was beyond what they contributed was taken out of the contributing players' BRI share. If it did not go to a James or a Curry, it would have been disributed proportionally.
All the issues, other than the BRI split, appear to be aimed at limiting individual players' opportunities because all they do is move the player money among the different players. A low limit on a mid-level exception will mean an underpayment for some players and perhaps more money for the stars. Preusuambly the owners believe that these other issues will assist in making a more competitive league