HoopsHype CBA rumors


June 6, 2013 Updates
March 8, 2013 Updates

First, let's examine why this is happening now. The answer is because the lack of an HGH test has finally become embarrassing to the league and union. HGH is a substance with undeniable potential to help NBA players. It's widely discussed and available from any number of doctors and clinics. And Olympians have been tested for it since 2004. And yet the powers that be in the major North American leagues clung to the theory that the test was not reliable. That argument was always weak. The chief science officer at the United States Anti-Doping Agency, Larry Bowers, testified before Congress recently that HGH tests are so good that “the chances of an athlete who has not used synthetic growth hormone testing positive are comparable to the chance of that same athlete being struck by lightning during his or her lifetime.” He added that those questioning the tests were “lawyers, not scientists.” ESPN.com

During collective bargaining, the topic of biological passports was never broached, according to a person familiar with the negotiations. So it came as news to the union that the HGH blood test was viewed by the commissioner as a "precursor" to biological passports, since that aspect of drug policy was never negotiated. So it isn't necessarily that the players object to biological passports, which are baseline measurements from which departures can indicate the use of performance-enhancing drugs. The subject was never negotiated, and in order for it to happen, the players would have to agree to it. CBSSports.com


The NBA and National Basketball Players Association are close to an agreement to test players' blood for human growth hormone (HGH), according to sources with direct knowledge of the talks. Testing could begin as soon as the 2013-14 season. The NBA has long had HGH on its list of banned substances, but has never tested for it, because doing so means collecting players' blood, which the union has never allowed, and because there was little agreement about the test's reliability. ESPN.com


Terms of the 2011 NBA collective bargaining agreement created a committee to hash out the particulars of HGH testing. Progress had been slow, until recently. There has also been pressure from the World Anti-Doping Agency, which chided the NBA for "gaps" in their testing program last fall, as well as the U.S. Congress. In late 2012, Rep. Elijah Cummings called delaying HGH testing over concerns about the test "incredibly ridiculous." ESPN.com

March 4, 2013 Updates

"It's my business," Iguodala said. "That was part of the whole reason why so much of what happened, happened. Where we come from, guys aren't used to having what we have, and having access to it. So something like the union, it may not be as important to guys as it should be. But it's kind of like, we have to wake the guys up. They've got to have awareness. "I think guys have concerns and questions, but as long as those checks are coming in, they can get full. They can get satisfied. There's something that's bigger than just us. We've got to move forward for the guys coming in, and the next collective bargaining, and the one after that, and the one after that. "You have to set an environment of, this is how we handle business. We're going to get, the stereotypes are going to be, a bunch of African- American men, as long as they're getting paid, they're going to be fine with that. But we want to make it known where it's common that we care about our business, and we're involved. I think I can help in that area." NBA.com

There are a number of issues yet to be resolved from the lockout, including the "B List" non-economic issues. The league is hoping to get an agreement with the union on a new drug test for Human Growth Hormone. Commissioner David Stern said last month that he believes a deal will be worked out with the union on a blood test for HGH by next season. The NBPA has balked at making an agreement on HGH, but with the National Football Players Association and the Major League Baseball Players Association well down the road toward agreements for new HGH tests, the handwriting seems on the wall for the basketball union. NBA.com

March 3, 2013 Updates

But the dramatic drop from 11 first-round picks traded two years ago to just one this year illustrates the impact of the escalating luxury taxes that will take effect next year. Players making less are suddenly worth more. Much more. “Teams right now are scared of money,” one league executive said recently. Akron Beacon Journal

February 22, 2013 Updates

What Stern, Hunter, Adam Silver and the rest accomplished two summers ago became as clear as daylight Thursday. They turned the NBA into the NFL -- the No Fun League -- when it comes to the trades and in-season player movement. No more stars forcing trades to the markets of their choosing with the reward of max dollars forming the cherry on top. "This is a pure CBA deadline," one general manager said Thursday after the dust settled. "If you can't get a first for J.J. Redick, this is a different world. That guy is a surefire lock to garner a first round pick in the past." CBSSports.com

February 21, 2013 Updates
February 7, 2013 Updates

The tax, which kicks in when a team surpasses the salary cap (approximately $58 million this season) and goes above the threshold ($70.3 million this season), is at the root of the change. The dollar-for-dollar format that was in place in the old CBA has been replaced by a structure in which a team like the Lakers is on pace to pay at a rate as high as $4.25 for every extra dollar. But the "repeater tax" is a major factor as well, as – starting in the 2014-15 campaign – teams that are in the tax in four of any five seasons will be paying yet another dollar for every dollar above the threshold as well as facing serious restrictions when it comes to the mechanisms put in place to build their teams. "If you can find a reasonable facsimile (of a player) for a reduced (financial) number, you're going to do it," one Western Conference general manager told USA TODAY Sports. He spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the CBA. "The punitive nature of where we're going with the repeater tax and the escalating tax number puts you in a position where it's just not viable to have a third or fourth guy on your roster paid like a first or second guy." USA Today Sports

January 4, 2013 Updates

Players briefed on the exhaustive, eight-month review of the National Basketball Players Association's finances and business practices have been told it uncovered no illegalities, but the final report is expected to include painstaking detail and numerous recommendations for changes to union policies and governance, CBSSports.com has learned. The review by law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison is all but over and the report -- believed to be more than 100 pages long -- is being finalized, multiple people briefed on the matter said. Investigators combed through more than a decade's worth of union business transactions, conducted dozens of interviews and reviewed approximately 100,000 documents and emails, the people said. CBSSports.com

Union officials have met with 15 of the 30 teams during the past several weeks and informed players that the law firm uncovered no illegal activity or violations of the NBPA's constitution, sources said. But the final report is expected to contain numerous recommendations for NBPA governance, including changes to the union's constitution and bylaws, two of the people briefed on the matter said. CBSSports.com

The law firm also will make recommendations for addressing what it found to be a lack of player involvement in union practices and business. Among the procedural changes to be recommended will be that each team must have at least one player representative and an alternate, and that no player without a current NBA contract will be permitted to serve on the executive committee, CBSSports.com has learned. Of the nine current members of the executive committee, only four -- Chris Paul, James Jones, Matt Bonner and Roger Mason -- are in the NBA. "That could be one of the positives that comes out of this," one of the people briefed on the outcome said. "The players will be more involved." CBSSports.com

September 21, 2012 Updates

While the future of NBPA executive director Billy Hunter, president Derek Fisher and several members of the executive committee whose seats will be up for election is unresolved, the conference calls Thursday were mostly devoted to standard union business. NBPA officials briefed players on the new annuity program adopted for retired players in the new colletive bargaining agreement, the distribution of licensing money and discussions held last week by the newly revamped competition committee on several issues, including flopping. The competition committee continued to discuss flopping and what to do about it, but formulated no recommendations to be brought to the Board of Governors for approval, sources said. CBSSports.com

September 20, 2012 Updates

According to a memo obtained by SI.com, the "Summer Meeting" was initially scheduled as an in-person affair at a hotel at Chicago's O'Hare airport. A follow-up memo was sent indicating that a conference call was preferable to most players and it detailed a fairly innocuous to-do list for the session. "We will provide an update of current union business and cover matters including the distribution of 2011-12 group license funds, implementation of the new annuity program, and proposed rules changes from the competition committee," the memo read. SI.com


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