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November 13, 2014 Updates

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

October 23, 2014 Updates

Players' union executive director Michele Roberts told the AP that she has had substantive dialogue with the league about addressing domestic violence and educating players and their families about it. But as a former public defender, she is also an advocate for due process. "I don't, quite frankly, know what the rush is," Roberts said. "Many of the teams are saying, until this is resolved I'd like at least for you to not play. I'm not fond of that." Boston Herald

October 20, 2014 Updates

But she also was brought in to try and clean up the mess and dysfunction left behind in the wake of the players forcing Billy Hunter out in 2013 “I do agree that, on one level, I was hired to be a fighter,” Roberts told The Post in a lengthy and candid interview inside the union’s Harlem headquarters last week. “Any executive director needs to understand that’s a part of what he or she is going to be expected to do. “But I think what is equally important, for me, is to repair what has been a foundation that has been subjected to some injury by, unfortunately, my predecessor. What we don’t have, and what we will have, is a management structure that is both able to interact with our counterparties with the league and elsewhere, but a structure that allows the players to do unequivocally what they want to do, and that’s run their own union…. They didn’t hire me, and they were not interested in hiring, someone to run things for them, to simply let them know what’s going on.” New York Post

The N.B.A. players union has hired Gary Kohlman as its new general counsel, according to a person who was briefed on the negotiations but was not authorized to speak publicly. The union’s executive committee approved the nomination, and a formal announcement was expected as early as Monday. Kohlman, 68, was the lead trial lawyer at the Washington firm Bredhoff & Kaiser, where he represented a number of unions, including the Service Employees International Union and the United Steelworkers. New York Times

October 19, 2014 Updates

“Things change so rapidly in business that you can’t predict two years from now,” Cuban said. “I think I read it [the salary cap] could go to $91 [million], but I haven’t done the math.” Asked what he thinks about the players wanting to do away with maximum contracts, opening the door for monster deals for monster players, Cuban said: “If you give up guarantees, it’s a trade-off. It was discussed during the lockout [in 2011] among owners but never got anywhere. So it was just one of those trial balloons. I’m not suggesting it. All I’m saying is that was something we discussed before, and max contracts are always a big question, guarantees are always a big question. But we have two years before that’s even an issue.” Dallas Morning News

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