Adam Silver Rumors
Michele Roberts: Bear in mind, the average stay in the NBA for our players is just about four years. For those four years, a lot of things have to go right in order for it to be, at the end of the day, at the end of that player’s life, a meaningful experience. I’m not negotiating for guys that are going to be able to play for 20 or 30 years and continue to enjoy an income. That may not be the case for owners who can own their teams and enjoy that forever and then pass it on to their children.
JW: Someone once told me you don’t want to win a labor negotiation in a rout. Both sides have to go back to their constituents, hold up their hands, say, ‘Look what we got!’ Do you believe that? Roberts: I wouldn’t mind routing the league, I’m not going to lie to you. [Laughs] Having said that, every negotiation—most negotiations I should say—end up with each side saying, ‘I wanted more or I gave away more than what I wanted to give away.’ That’s what the nature of negotiation is. A rout creates motives to be vengeful. Winning today may simply be winning today. One of the things that we are not doing is looking back. We’re looking forward. What’s helpful is realizing that what’s done is done. We need to worry about tomorrow. I wouldn’t sit here and lie to you and tell you I would not like to get 80% of BRI. That’s a rout. But I’ll settle for a fair deal.
JW: What sticks out to you in the CBA as unfair or problematic that people might not know about? Roberts: Well, everyone knows about the salary cap. I don’t know that people are aware, or as aware, of how restrictive player movement is. I mean, most of us view a job as obviously something that’s necessary in order to pay the bills, but we also don’t view the job as a place of servitude. I probably don’t want to use that word and shouldn’t. But we all appreciate and enjoy the right to say, ‘This doesn’t work for me.’ Or, ‘This is fine, but this is a better opportunity.’ I don’t think most of us think that we are somehow required to stay at a job, especially when we think that there’s a better opportunity for us elsewhere.
Roberts: The really bad taste in the players’ mouths was certainly reflected in the division of income that changed. I mean they went from having 57% of the income to a presumed 51%. So that obviously was not well received. But the really bad taste was being locked out. I mean, these guys want to play ball. Just as the fans were agonizing about not being able to watch basketball being played, these men were agonizing about not being able to play.
The seven-year deal could potentially deliver the NBA labor peace through the 2023-24 season, unless the opt-outs are exercised in 2022, league sources told The Vertical. The new CBA will begin with the 2017-18 season.
Saying that “there may be no organization in our society better positioned than the NBA” to have an impact on today’s social climate in the United States, commissioner Adam Silver said he wants to see NBA players continue to stand during the national anthem when the regular season opens next week. “I don’t know if the players are organizing anything,” Silver said at the NBA’s board of governors meeting in Manhattan. “All I can say is what we have seen in multiple preseason games so far is our players standing for the national anthem. It would be my hope that they continue to stand for the national anthem. I think that is the appropriate thing to do.”