The NBA still says it’s losing money:
League officials are projecting a net loss of $370 million for the just-completed season and are seeking a radical overhaul of the collective bargaining agreement. [Commissioner David] Stern reiterated those points in a news conference … Monday evening.
Billy Hunter, executive director of the Players’ Association, sees it a hair differently:
“The reality is, is that the current scenario in the N.B.A. community is rosy,” Hunter … said by phone. “You can’t deny it. The experience that we’re having is unprecedented.”
According to Hunter, basketball-related income last season was the highest in league history. At the same time, player earnings declined by about 1 percent because so many teams were saving for this summer’s marquee free-agent class, he said.
“Basketball-related income” is a term defined in previous collective bargaining agreements between the NBA and the players: it includes almost everything except fines, the “luxury tax” for exceeding the salary cap more than everyone else exceeds it, and receipts from expansion teams. Said salary cap, incidentally, has been set at 51 percent of BRI for several years now; after dropping slightly in 2009-10, it’s risen a smidgen for 2010-11.
Thunder forward Nick Collison tweeted yesterday:
Warriors sold 4record 450 million after being bought for119.if nba is “broken” why are teams always sold 4profit http://tinyurl.com/2f9pcw3
[Shortened link goes to cnbc.com.]
For that matter, Clay Bennett and friends arguably overpaid for the former Seattle SuperSonics: $350 million, for a franchise that Forbes, which guesstimates such things each year, might have been worth two-thirds that much. But the Sonics lost money the last couple of years; the Thunder are believed to be solidly profitable now. I have to figure that the new owners of the Warriors expect to make some money down the road.
I note that several high-buck free agents are getting bucks not quite so high this season: for example, the big move by Snap and Crackle — Pop was already there — to Miami will cost each of them a couple million a year, partially offset by Florida’s lack of state income tax. On the other hand, a lot of people are getting overpaid.
Will there be a lockout? I doubt it, but the standard rule for union and management is for both to take a hard line long before the contract ends, and that’s what’s happening here.