NBA lockout: Five things to note on agreement
1. The owners overwhelmingly won. The NBA players essentially took a 12% pay cut by dropping down to their 57% share of basketball-related income to a near 50-50 split. The breakdown will involve a sliding scale in which players would annually receive 49% to 51% of revenue based on how well each season fared. That will involve a nearly $3-billion giveback to the owners should the deal last its full 10 years.
2. The players won a few small victories. The players made the right strategy in making sure the owners made concessions on various system issues. That included ensuring guaranteed contracts and avoiding a hard cap. The players will also receive raises when the league experiences revenue growth.
3. Owners have no reason to complain about losses. For those teams lamenting competitive imbalance, the new deal will inflict harsher luxury tax penalties for teams, such as the Lakers, that boast a high payroll. For those lamenting the supposed $300-million losses 22 of the 30 NBA teams experienced last season, there will be a more robust revenue sharing system to help such organizations. From here on out, any purported financial losses will directly reflect poor management decisions. Of course, that truth stood before, but there's less wiggle room for teams to make excuses.
4. Both sides still have to agree on peripheral issues. A majority of the NBA's 450 players will have to agree on the new collective-bargaining agreement in a vote. The majority of the 29 teams will have to as well, with the NBA-owned New Orleans Hornets surely to vote in favor of the deal. Although both sides agree on the overall framework, there are a few items still to discuss. That includes draft eligibility age, disciplinary items that include drug testing and how to assign players to the D-League.
5. The season will start Dec. 25 and operate on a 66-game schedule. The Lakers will start the 2011-12 campaign with a Christmas Day matchup with the Chicago Bulls. The remaining 65 games will become more compacted and end toward the end of April. Teams would be allowed to play each opponent twice and have eight games left over. But it remains unclear how the schedule will exactly be structured.
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Photo: Derek Fisher of the NBA players' union. The NBA tentatively ended its 149-day lockout and is to start a 66-schedule on Christmas Day. Credit: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times / November 23, 2010