Revenue Sharing! Seriously?
During his annual All-Star Game press conference, David Stern stressed the excellent health of the NBA in terms of its popularity around the globe.
But Stern also continued to stress the dire circumstances the NBA finds itself in financially. The NBA is seeking a reduction of player salaries, while also initiating a more expansive revenue sharing agreement amongst the 30 current franchises.
Stern was asked by Larry Coon of ESPN about the difference in interpretation of the NBA's financials between the owners and players.
"I think that there's no disagreement about the numbers," replied Stern. "There's a little intramural disagreement about certain items. But we have agreed to sit down and talk about what the deal point is, which will subsume those numbers.
"We sort of both agreed that the numbers are what they are and it doesn't pay to argue them anymore. They are real."
In spite of a large disparity between the NBA's wealthiest franchises and its middle and lower class, revenue sharing is a critical issue to Stern. The intent is to create better competitive balance.
"A robust revenue sharing plan (will) occur at the same time as we make a new Collective Bargaining Agreement," said Stern.
The revenue sharing discussions are an issue amongst owners and will be a separate issue from CBA talks with players. ★ Potentially more hold up.
Even though it was in Stern's comments that the gap between the owners and players is vast, he did sound hopeful that a productive dialogue will continue.
"I would say what gives me hope is the fact that a lockout would have huge negative consequences for everybody. And that's what gives me the hope and the belief that we are going to knock ourselves out to get it done."
One frequent refrain from Stern was the need for core changes to the NBA's financial structure.
"We need a different kind of model; if we thought we didn't, we would have extended the Collective Bargaining Agreement by a year, which was all right. So at this point, the owners know what their numbers are and what they need to do, and I think the players are beginning to understand it."
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I'd love to hear Dolan's thoughts on that!