Revenue split the big hurdle in NBA labor talks

Posted: October 31, 2011

The split of basketball revenue is the final hurdle to the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association agreeing on a collective bargaining agreement and ending what is now a 121-day lockout.

Talks between the sides dissolved late Friday afternoon after more than 30 hours of bargaining spanning three days. Immediately after Friday's meltdown, NBA commissioner David Stern announced the cancellation of games through Nov. 30 and stated clearly that a full 82-game schedule was impossible.

So what happened on Friday?

The sides remained divided on how to split the league's nearly $4 billion in revenue. The players are holding out for 52 percent. The owners are unwilling to offer more than a 50-50 split.

Although the sides came together and blew apart twice in a week, it's almost certain they will return to the bargaining table sometime this week.

And when they do, the final, massive hurdle will be the split of the revenue.

As the New York Times reported on Sunday, nearly 95 percent of the league's next collective bargaining agreement has been agreed to. The owners and the union have ironed out the bulk of the systems issues, things such as the luxury tax, length of contracts, amount of the mid-level exception, annual raises and the existence of an amnesty clause for each team.

The NBA owners entered these negotiations desiring a hard salary cap, an issue the union labeled a "blood issue," because the players were dead set against it. The luxury tax system the New York Times said the sides have agreed to have teams paying $1.50 for every $1 above the threshold, with increasing rates for teams spending exorbitantly above.

Still, even with such details seemingly ironed out, the split of revenue remains a contentious issue. Players union chief Billy Hunter has remained steadfast. The union is unwilling to go below 52 percent.

While Stern has similarly dug in his heels, explaining that offering a 50-50 split - in the eyes of his owners - is more than fair.


Contact staff writer Kate Fagan at kfagan@phillynews.com or @deepsixer3 on Twitter. Read her blog, "Deep Sixer," at www.philly.com/deepsixer

comments powered by Disqus
|
|
|
|
|