What's Going On With the NBA?!
After a whole summer and now into the fall, the NBA is still in lockout status. Both sides have met somewhat regularly during the past few months, and progress has been made toward getting teams back on the court. The main issue at this time is the distribution of Basketball Related Income (BRI)
BRI has been a major point of contention during labor negotiations, and seems to be the biggest piece hanging in the balance. As it stands, the players want 52.5% of the split if the restrictions on the luxury tax remain strict. With relaxed luxury tax restrictions, the players are comfortable with 47%. Luxury tax is the charge placed on the total payroll of a team to the degree it exceeds a predetermined threshold. The owners, on the other hand, want a 50-50 split. It is this big piece keeping the agreement at bay and negotiations currently at a halt. On the upside, progress has been made on determining the actual luxury tax level.
As of today, there has been no communication on an upcoming meeting. The last meeting didn't end so well after the league refused to move from their 50-50 stance. Billy Hunter, Executive Director of the NBA Player's Association, was reported to have quickly left the room, ending negotiations instantly.
Despite the sides seeming so far apart, yet so close, possible scheduling ideas have been floating around, giving fans--and players hope for at least an abbreviated season. Some of the ideas include:
- Taking the regular season later into May
- Expediting the first round of the playoffs, playing more games in fewer days, like the later rounds
- Having somewhere between 70-75 games....this, of course, is if something can be settled very soon
- Owners have asked arenas to keep dates in April open...a glimmer of hope
Players and owners are hoping for a resolution better than what they experienced in the 1998-99 season when only 50 games were played, players shot poorly, and the season was packed into just 89 days. At least this time around, players are keeping busy overseas, in "lockout leagues", and mini tournaments.
Here's hoping something comes of all these talks very soon!