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PFT: NBA’s best urged to take less “if they want to win.” Agents, unions unhappy with trend.

Discussion in 'NBA Dish' started by JeffB, Jul 6, 2014.

  1. JeffB

    JeffB Contributing Member
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    I have found it interesting hearing fans and media go on and on about how player X should take less money to play with Team A is the player really cares about winning, or else they are really just about the money.

    The last couple of years, it appears the conversation has swung from "owner X should pay the luxury tax if they want to win" to "players need to take a discount". I find it ridiculous that fans/owners/execs/media are trying to shame players into taking discounts. Away, PFT wrote about this:

    NBA’s best urged to take less “if they want to win.” Agents, unions unhappy with trend.

    Just how badly did the owners smack down the players in the latest Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA)? Take these now regular comments as examples:

    “If Carmelo Anthony really cares about winning he will take less money.”

    “LeBron James demanding the max shows he only cares about himself, not the Heat.”

    “Dirk Nowitzki showed he cares more about winning by taking that Tim Duncan-sized contract.”

    In the last CBA negotiations the players went from receiving 57 percent of the league’s income down to 50 percent — that’s an estimated $350 million a year going from the players straight to the owners’ pockets. At the same time NBA owners are seeing the value of their franchises skyrocket ($2 billion for the Clippers from Steve Ballmer) and there is a new television deal coming in two years that is going to flood the owners with more cash.

    Yet it is the players that are asked to sacrifice “if they care about winning.”

    It was a complete and total rout by the owners two years ago at the negotiating table. The Christians had more success against the lions in the Colosseum.

    As you can imagine, agents and representatives of the players’ union do not like this “take less” trend. A couple spoke to Sean Deveney of the Sporting News about it.

    “Why is it that our best players should be getting less than they’re worth?” one union official told Sporting News. “We have a collective-bargaining agreement that already limits what star players can make, and limits the total amount teams can pay. We have a very tough luxury tax. And now you have teams publicly shaming their best players into a bigger cut?”

    “It’s just ridiculous,” one agent told SN. “There is this whole brainwashing thing going on and teams are selling it to their fans that this player or that player should take less, that they would not take their money if they truly cared about winning. That’s BS. If you want to win, you’re the owner, go over the tax line.

    “This is the CBA you wanted, this is what the owners wanted. Why does the money come out of the players’ pockets? The players just gave back a huge amount in the CBA. But, no, that’s the brainwashing — that the players are the bad guys if they try to get what the CBA says they should get.”​

    LeBron is getting criticism for exactly that stance — the Heat amnestied Mike Miller simply to save money last season (don’t let Pat Riley spin it another way, they could have done it this summer) and LeBron wants Micky Arison to spend. Part of what LeBron is doing now is making his point to Heat management. He wants to win and as his new contract, even at the max, is half (at most) of what he’d make on a true open market so he wants the owner to show he is committed to spending to win too. (And you think LeBron is going to get Robert Sarver to do that in Phoenix?)

    The problem comes back to just how much the owners dominated the last CBA. As Mark Cuban has ranted more than once, being into the tax is more than just a money issue, the new CBA limits teams flexibility to make moves once their salary is up in the tax range — smaller mid-level exception, no sign-and-trades, and more. You can’t build a team the same way and GMs want that flexibility.

    It’s not fair to the top players, but you had to know that many fans would side with management, because they pretty much always do. We don’t relate to what even an average NBA player makes, but we know we want our team to win. So the star player gets the pressure and too often to make that happen while the owner gets to skate.

    Agents and union members may not like it, they can fight to change it, but it’s not going to change. They can tune it out as LeBron is doing, but the calls for players to take the hit aren’t going away.
     
  2. Rocket River

    Rocket River Member

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    Well . . .. When the 'big three' took less to win
    They kind of set the trend in motion . . . .
    Though LeBron was critisized for it . . . because people felt he was building the superfriends for some easy championships
    he cannot run from the criticism in the other direction
    [he not going to win]
    the issue is .. . it is being extrapolated to other players

    Rocket River
     
  3. TheRealist137

    TheRealist137 Member

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    I don't think the article understands that players need to take less because of the salary cap and not the luxury tax line.

    Idiotic
     
  4. Rip Van Rocket

    Rip Van Rocket Contributing Member

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    There is no need for the top players to take less. All they have to do is go to a team without other top players.
     
  5. JeffB

    JeffB Contributing Member
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    This is what I think about the matter. The CBA was clearly trying to thin out/spread out the talent with the hope top players would either re-sign with their teams or go to where there is available cap. And the CBA was trying to prevent owners like Cuban or Dolan from begin able to buy a championship by going deep into tax territory.

    As RR points out: when you have players like Duncan, James, Bosh, and Wade subverting the intent of the cap structure by taking discounts then folks tend to use those examples to push free agents into certain decisions.

    What we have seen is that teams/media/fans have caught on to this argument that if a player cares about winning then they will go to a team with other top players for less money. The opinion piece argues not that players need to take less, but that teams/media/fans are trying to shame players into taking less. If C. Anthony dismisses the Rockets to play for LA or NY, that doesn't mean he doesn't care about winning. It at least means he understands basic math and the business of sports.

    Really, C. Anthony should only consider the teams that can pay him the top dollar, same for L. James. And part of taking that top dollar is, of course, choosing from amongst those teams that can offer both the money and a talented roster.
     
    #5 JeffB, Jul 6, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2014
  6. justtxyank

    justtxyank Contributing Member

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    The article mentions the salary cap. It's sort of the point.

    Owner sets up salary cap. Sets max deal. Asks players to take less.
     
  7. conquistador#11

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    no honor amongst thieves. Both, organizations and players get over on each other but we're the ones that always get the shaft.
     
  8. ceonwuka

    ceonwuka Member

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    They are related.

    Being over the tax line limits your ability to use certain exceptions like the MLE or bi-annual exception. It also limits how much salary you can take back in a trade.

    Going over the tax line had financial implications to owners in the previous CBA but certain wealthier franchises like the Mavs, Lakers, Knicks didn't care.

    The current version of the CBA makes the financial penalties tougher while adding restrictions to a teams ability to make roster changes. That's why the Nets have had to trade for everyone on their team since they are so far over the tax they don't have an MLE to spend.

    The article spells it out pretty explicitly:

    The problem comes back to just how much the owners dominated the last CBA. As Mark Cuban has ranted more than once, being into the tax is more than just a money issue, the new CBA limits teams flexibility to make moves once their salary is up in the tax range — smaller mid-level exception, no sign-and-trades, and more. You can’t build a team the same way and GMs want that flexibility.

    Either you didn't read the article at all or you just didn't understand it. Hope this helps.
     
  9. sirbaihu

    sirbaihu Member

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    I think there is some logic that you have to keep expenses down for the sake of small-market teams. But I don't doubt that the owners want to make as much as possible too. The valuation of the Clippers surprised everyone, so that part of the article is a bit off.
     
  10. BasketballMind

    BasketballMind Contributing Member

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    great post, I mentioned something of this sort a few days ago here:

    http://bbs.clutchfans.net/showthread.php?t=255817

    "These superstars have a responsibility beyond their level of play. If they only take $10 million then that wouldn't be fair to the likes of Parsons etc."



    *
     
  11. TheRealAllpro

    TheRealAllpro Morey only fan

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    This only true because everyone is in love with their super friends.
     
  12. Carl Herrera

    Carl Herrera Contributing Member

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    Wait, who is criticizing Lebron for not taking a discount? I haven't heard those? Most of what I've heard is people saying that Lebron deserves every cent he gets and probably twice as much as his "max."
     
  13. UtilityPlayer

    UtilityPlayer Member

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    I completely understand the Union , agents , player reps , who make money off these NBA players getting mad at players everywhere taking considerably less money. It might be good for few teams to have super teams. But overall it is bad for players contracts and their respective "people".
     
  14. supdudes

    supdudes Member

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    If they want to make more money, then they should raise the salary cap for teams.

    That way, big market teams can spend as much as they want. Thing about teams like the Lakers and Yankees, even though location plays a role, they know that in the end one has to spend money to make money. Winning makes money. Therefore if players want to make more, it is only logical that the owners should be allowed to spend more.
     
  15. TheresTheDagger

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    I don't understand anyone having sympathy for the players or the owners. Rich guys fighting Super rich guys while in the meantime, ticket/concession prices continue one direction. UP.
     
  16. Carl Herrera

    Carl Herrera Contributing Member

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    What's wrong with ticket/concession prices going up? There is a market for them. What are the teams gonna do? Sell the tickets for less so scalpers can make the money instead of the people who contributed money and effort to put the product together?
     
  17. TheresTheDagger

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    Interesting. Exactly how high will prices have to go for you to be upset?

    Most casual fans can't enjoy a game anymore in a decent seat because of the money the owners and players make. I'm all for the Capitalism and them making money...but it doesn't mean casual fans aren't being screwed in the process.

    Greed is still one of the 7 deadly sins.
     
  18. Major

    Major Member

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    This is exactly it - we already saw it with comments on the Lowry signing. That he just took the money and didn't care about winning, etc.

    Interestingly, the article criticizes the CBA - but the CBA was designed with the opposite idea in mind. I'm pretty sure the majority of owners aren't happy with players taking less either, unless it's for their own team. The CBA was designed to make it easier for smaller market teams to compete by putting them on a more level playing field and making it harder to pay multiple players the max. That helps spread out the stars by letting the Utahs and Milwaukees of the world be able to offer the max while other teams are in cap hall. The CBA was designed with the assumption that players would chase the money. But if the stars just shun those teams anyway to take *less* money elsewhere, the whole concept behind it falls apart.
     
  19. pmac

    pmac Contributing Member

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    They could easily solve this problem by getting rid of the max contract. If LeBron could play for 30+ mil he would likely never play with another star. It becomes a conversation if he can only make 19 mil and it's reasonable to consider taking a 15% pay cut if you can guarantee title contention. A 50% pay cut would never happen though.
     
    1 person likes this.
  20. Rocket River

    Rocket River Member

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    I honestly think they should get rid of the Max.
    Set a Salary Cap.
    Then the contracts are based on PERCENTAGES.

    Salary Cap is say 60 million
    LeBron - Wants 20 Million - 33%
    Wade - Wants 15 Million - 25%
    Bosh - Wants 15 Million - 25%
    83% of your salary is on those three
    You now have to build the rest of the team
    So
    Next year when the Cap goes up . . . so does their money but not their percentage
    Still have your Exceptions . . 1% . . 2% Exceptions
    but the HARD CAP is 105%

    Now Superstars have to say . . . I can get 35% in Utah or 30% in LA
    or I can get 55% in Toronto
    If Toronto stupid enough to do it. . . well . . their team will just suck

    Rocket River
     

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