HoopsHype NBPA rumors

November 15, 2014 Updates

PT: Does it strike you as strange that the suggestion that the players might request over 50 percent of basketball-related income, maybe materially more than 50 percent, sounds radical in this landscape? MR: Let's put it this way: I have never heard anyone complain about the amount of money George Clooney makes. No one says a peep about the fact that this guy makes probably more than the highest-paid player in the NBA. It's mind-boggling to me that people think that the players make too much given that this is a multi-billion-dollar industry, and they do not enjoy most of the money that's being made. It is insane to suggest that these men make more money than they deserve. It is insane. ESPN.com

PT: Do you see a day when there's an NBA team in Europe? Have you had conversations where players seem in favor of that? MR: Yes and yes. I think the league has an interest in seeing the game grow, and I think the players do. Our players routinely, if things aren't going well, or for whatever reason, end up playing in Europe and then come back here. Our women -- it's remarkable, they spend more time playing overseas than they spend playing at home. And sadly, some of the 18-year-olds who aren't able to make money here are playing overseas. There's more work, more opportunities to play basketball. ESPN.com

November 14, 2014 Updates
November 13, 2014 Updates

NBA commissioner Adam Silver released a statement on Tuesday in response to NBPA executive director Michele Roberts' statements about the salary cap. From the press release: Adam Silver: “We couldn't disagree more with these statements. The NBA's success is based on the collective efforts and investments of all of the team owners, the thousands of employees at our teams and arenas, and our extraordinarily talented players. No single group could accomplish this on its own. Nor is there anything unusual or “un-American” in a unionized industry to have a collective system for paying employees -- in fact, that's the norm. CBSSports.com

Adam Silver: “The Salary Cap system, which splits revenues between team owners and players and has been agreed upon by the NBA and the Players Association since 1982, has served as a foundation for the growth of the league and has enabled NBA players to become the highest paid professional athletes in the world. We will address all of these topics and others with the Players Association at the appropriate time.” CBSSports.com

Roberts also would like to keep investigating the prospect of shortening the 82-game season, a desire already expressed by superstars such as LeBron James and Dirk Nowitzki. "Every time a player gets hurt, I think, my God, they really are pushing their bodies," she said. "And back-to-backs, those are the ones I really find disturbing. ... So the answer, of course, is that everybody wants a shorter season. The tension is, Will that mean less money? And that's something we need to talk about and think about. ... I don't think it would hurt the game to shorten the season." NBA.com

In fact, Roberts doesn't think that teams are hurting for money, period -- even if she did recently hear Silver report that roughly one-third of NBA franchises are still unprofitable. "I initially just started laughing, to be honest with you," she said of her reaction to that statistic. "I know that as a result of the last CBA, at least 1.3 billion dollars in revenue that would have otherwise been on the players' side is now on the owners' side. I see the valuations of these teams going though the roof. ... How much more do you need to make money?" ESPN.com

So how has the NBA managed to successfully institute legislation that, in Roberts' view, is both opposed to this country's capitalistic principles and her players' best interests? "No one wants to say it out loud, but it's a monopoly," she said. "And were there alternatives, they wouldn't get away with it." "I'll give the league credit," she added. "They have done a great job controlling the narrative." ESPN.com

NBA union executive director Michele Roberts believes the NBA owners are expendable, that players deserve more than a 50-50 split in basketball-related income and that the salary cap needs to be abolished. "Why don't we have the owners play half the games?" Roberts said in an interview with ESPN The Magazine. "There would be no money if not for the players. "Let's call it what it is. There. Would. Be. No. Money," Roberts said, adding emphasis after each word. "Thirty more owners can come in, and nothing will change. These guys go? The game will change. So let's stop pretending." FoxSports.com

"I don't know of any space other than the world of sports where there's this notion that we will artificially deflate what someone's able to make, just because," she said, talking about the league's salary cap, which limits a team's ability to spend on players. "It's incredibly un-American. My DNA is offended by it. "I can't understand why the [players' association] would be interested in suppressing salaries at the top if we know that as salaries at the top have grown, so have salaries at the bottom," she said. "If that's the case, I contend that there is no reason in the world why the union should embrace salary caps or any effort to place a barrier on the amount of money that marquee players can make." FoxSports.com

November 5, 2014 Updates
October 31, 2014 Updates

"I can say that I was more than surprised," Roberts told Yahoo Sports in an interview. "I am not suggesting that Adam is telling a lie. I am sure that the owners told him that. But it's difficult for me to believe that, especially after looking at the 2011 CBA negotiations and seeing all the money the players don't have now. There's $1.1 billion that the players would've been otherwise entitled. "I find it very difficult to appreciate how any owners could suggest they're still losing money. It defies common sense. We know what the franchise values are. I don't have to say '$2 billion' again and again, do I? "The gate receipts, the media deals. What else do you need to make money? We are not going to reengage in a process where this happens again. The NBA's cries of poverty will not fly this time." Yahoo! Sports

October 29, 2014 Updates

Despite ominous statements from prominent players like LeBron James and Kobe Bryant about how the NBA's new TV deal will affect collective bargaining, former commissioner David Stern said Wednesday night he believes the league will avoid a work stoppage in 2017. "I think that our players are very smart and successful and they have hired what seems to be a smart and successful litigator," Stern told CBSSports.com. "Our owners are smart and successful and have got Adam Silver, an accomplished litigator, too. And I have no doubt that they're going to work it out." CBSSports.com

Howard Beck: NBPA news: Roger Mason hired as director of player relations, per sources. Mason among several new hires by exec director Michele Roberts. Twitter @HowardBeck

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