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EST. 2011

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Celtics Morning Joe: Is it time for Stern to leave the NBA?

Posted by shawn cassidy on October 5, 2011 at 8:00 AM

Has David Stern over stayed his welcome as NBA commissioner? Stern is edging closer to the thirty year total. Is that too long? I believe Stern has over stayed his welcome,and I believe it's too long as commissioner of the NBA.David Stern brought us the salary cap.The salary cap created a revenue-sharing system where owner and player were effectively partners. Both of these agreements solidified Stern's standing inside NBA circles.Stern built the financial. structure of the NBA,and he controls much of it today,or even all of the it. Shouldn't Stern protect both the players,and owners? How come it's all about the owners. The players should be apart of his thinking when setting up a new CBA deal.


What's the exact job description of a commissioner? Shouldn't the bottom line be protecting the game of basketball. I understand it's business,but should we even be at this point? Losing games shouldn't be an option. The owners cry foul,but doesn't look like the players are being screwed by the numbers? The players have excepted the fact that they will take a pay cut.


Commissioner David Stern and deputy commissioner Adam Silver made the announcement after owners and players met for about four hours Tuesday but came no closer to an agreement -- despite a 50-50 split of basketball-related income being discussed as a way to break the stalemate and save the season.

"We were not able to make the progress that we hoped we could make and we were not able to continue the negotiations," Stern said.

No further meetings are scheduled. "Today was not the day to get this done. We were not able to get close enough to close the gap," union president Derek Fisher said Tuesday, speaking ahead of Stern.

The owners and the players, who have been locked out since July 1, had hoped to make significant progress and save the 2011-12 NBA season. But the two sides could not close the gap between their financial positions, and Stern said regular-season games are now at imminent risk of being lost.

"By Monday, we will have no choice but to cancel the first two weeks of the season," he said.

The players, who received 57 percent of basketball-related income in the last year of the expired agreement, said they made a new proposal of 53 percent of BRI on Tuesday -- a concession which they said would have given owners back more than $1 billion over six years.

According to the players, the owners countered with 47 percent, a slight increase from the 46 percent they had previously offered.

When the owners offered 47 percent, "that pretty much ended (the meeting)," executive director Billy Hunter said.

The two sides, in what Stern called a "very very small group," discussed whether a 50-50 split of basketball-related income was possible -- and that if so, both sides would go back to their constituencies with that plan.

"While we were in the process of doing that ... we were advised by the players that that would not be acceptable to them," Stern said Tuesday. "At that point it didn't seem to make a lot of sense to continue."

Would the owners have accepted a 50-50 split? "Adam and I felt comfortable and confident we could report to the players we could move to the next subject," Stern said.

"I was shocked (the players) didn't go for 50-50," a source on the owners' side told ESPN The Magazine's Chris Broussard. "That was a gutsy move on the part of the players."

But sources told Broussard that Stern, Silver and San Antonio Spurs owner Peter Holt, in a small-group meeting with Kobe Bryant, Kevin Garnett, Derek Fisher and union lawyer Jeffrey Kessler -- really offered the players 49 percent of BRI, with the understanding that it would actually become 51 percent based on incentives related to the projected growth of the league.

The players countered by asking for 51 percent, which would increase to 53 percent based on those same incentives. The owners rejected that.

After making concessions on basketball revenue, the players entered the last several negotiating sessions looking for the owners to do the same.

Stern said the owners had removed their demand for a hard salary cap, were no longer insisting on salary rollbacks on current salaries, and would have given players the right to opt out of a 10-year agreement after seven years. But the money split was always going to be the biggest hurdle in these negotiations, with owners insistent on the ability to turn a profit after the league said 22 of its 30 teams lost money last season.

Honestly shouldn't they go for a 50/50 split. I'm talking about the owners. They want the players to take a 10% decrease?That's way too high. If this is the last issue with the two sides. That would be good news.



Now back to Stern. David has had many controversies.During the 1985 NBA Draft Lottery, the NBA used a system where seven envelopes representing the seven teams with the worst records were mixed in a tumbler, and then drawn by Stern one at a time to determine which of these clubs would get the 1st pick onwards up to the 7th pick. When these envelopes were added to the tumbler, two envelopes were put in forcibly, and banged against the edge, while all the rest were set in gently. When drawing the envelope for the 1st pick, Stern went for the one with a bent corner, which upon opening the envelope, it was revealed that the New York Knicks logo was inside. This fueled speculation of a draft fix, with the theory being that the NBA wanted to send the best player in the draft to New York to increase ratings in a large television market. Stern has had many problems come up surrounding TV ratings.

Donaghy claimed that certain refs made calls that influenced the outcome of playoff games in 2002 and 2005. In June, 2008 NBA Commissioner Stern flatly denied Donaghy's allegations and stated that Donaghy was a convicted felon and a "singing, cooperating witness". I had a gut feeling that Stern had a hand in some NBA games,or playoff games. That's a bold statement maybe,but the way Stern acts sometimes. I feel like he treats the game of basketball like a cold business.


Stern during this enire lockout has called foul on the players,but why should he do that? I don't understand him,and I never will. His legacy will depend on the outcome of the lockout. If he costs the NBA a season. Then he might as well retire from the NBA.


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Reply paul
11:10 AM on October 5, 2011 
Well said. Very well said. I actually don't think that the players should accept ANY decrease, but I see that they may have to. In my opinion, the players started out these negotiations in a very naive way. They should have asked for 65%. See, that's how it works. The owners come in with a low offer. The players come in with a high offer. They meet somewhere in the middle. But for this to work properly, the players have to start off with an actual high offer. They made a big mistake when they came in with 57% as their high offer.

This is a problem that workers typically have in negotiations. The ownership comes in with bogus claims of poverty, and demand cuts. The workers demand no cuts. See how that math works out? It means that no matter what, once 'compromise' happens, the workers take cuts. The workers should ALWAYS go into negotiations with a high ball offer. Always. And they should always challenge the owners' numbers, which, in my opinion, are almost invariably bogus. The same principle applies. Ordinary good sense tells you that when the owners run the numbers, they are going to rig those numbers to their advantage. There are a thousand ways to do that. Workers need to come in with their own numbers. The players should have worked up their own numbers for the financial status of the league. Again, the principle is high ball vs low ball and meet in the middle.

So the players got off on the wrong foot in all this. Since then, though, they've done a good job of showing, with the exhibitions, that their hearts are in the right place, and that the owners are the ones putting the season at risk.

IF the players decide to accept a 50/50 split, they ought to insist on a vote for the next commissioner. The logic for that will be made clear for all to see by the 50/50 revenue split. If the players and owners are in essence partners, which they really are, the players should have a voice in who gets to be the next commish.
Reply Tom
5:12 PM on October 5, 2011 
Stern has become a sellout to his players. I don't understand his logic,and his view of the lockout.He says they lose 200 million,but its his fault.
Reply paul
6:50 PM on October 5, 2011 
I hear you Tom. I love the way he acts like he has no idea how this terrible thing (that he is doing) is happening...