ESPN reports: "Owners dismayed by players asking for 51% BRI 2nite." Dismayed? The players have come down 6% from the last agreement which had them at 57% and they've agreed to real concessions on contract structure. What have the owners done? Moved 3% from their initial offer of 47%, proposing harsher conditions all along the line.
It's easy to blame the greedy millionaire players. But this story is more about greedy billionaires. The owners paid a premium to say they own an NBA team. Many bought into basketball high, floating huge loans with hefty payments on interest and principal that take big chunks out of their bottom lines. Then the owners doubled down with more poor business decisions.
Greedy for wins, they overpaid for players. Then they asked for limits on team salaries. To help control billionaires from over-spending, the players agreed to their proposal for a soft cap. Free market economics, right? If you are Lebron James, the market should set your worth. Turns out not. The owners also got an individual limit on player contracts of $17M per season.
But it seems the owners were still greedier for wins than for dollars, or at least that's what having so many teams paying luxury tax tells me. The teams not in luxury tax are lucky if they can remain competitive, and not being competitive in sports comes with steep losses on the other side of the ledger in franchise revenue. Playing the game the way the owners have, they've found a way to make the NBA a lose-lose proposition.
Now these billionaires -- the same men who dug these money pits -- want the players to basically guarantee them profitability! And the funny thing is that the teams ARE still profitable -- if you include the growth in the value of NBA franchises.* Or they were. Now that the owners locked out the players, the worth of an NBA team is plummeting. They have two ways out: squeeze the players into an ugly deal, and soon; or pull on their big boy pants and accept losses brought on by their own poor management decisions.
* [The growth in franchise value is not reflected in calculating BRI. Nor are the many tax advantages including double deduction amoratizing presumed losses in player worth, uncounted revenues for arenas, regional market synergies, etc., etc. No wonder teams refuse to show their full revenue pictures! They just want the players to believe they're losing money. Don't get me started.]
So here's your chance to clock in. Who do you blame?