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Let the Bloodbath Commence

The first step to the eventual NBA lockout occurred today when the NBA players' union filed an unfair labor practices complaint with the National Labor Relations Board.  Basically the complain alleges that the owners are attempting to create an unfair work situation for the players with the demands that the owners made for the new collective bargaining agreement.

If you haven't seen what the changes the owners want to see in the CBA, you can take a look at this excellent piece that outlines what the general public knows about the owners' proposal.  The two biggest points of their demands are:

  • a $45 million hard salary cap
  • the elimination of fully guaranteed contracts

Obviously in the first go-around the owners seek to low-ball the players as much as possible so when the two sides meet in the middle, the owners will maximize their gains.  To me though, it seems like the owners may have done more damage to their negotiations than they anticipated.  I suspect that the players would have been significantly more inclined to work out a deal with the owners to avoid a lockout; but with this proposal, the players are insulted by how much the owners expect them to sacrifice.

I don't think that the entire season will be locked out.  Fortunately for the owners, they possess the strongest piece of leverage around: they control the salaries.  The players, especially in today's world, live luxurious lives and spend extravagantly.  They need the money and the season more than the owners do, but not before games are lost in the regular season.  If nothing else, basketball fans, the NBA is still in a better state than the NFL lockout.


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