Crippling “hard” salary cap unfair to NBA players

Nick Cremona

There are two sides to every story, and sometimes those two sides share a common goal. In the case of the NBA lockout, that goal is more money. The players want more of it, and it turns out the owners do, too. There are a few more variables at play, such as salary caps, revenue sharing and contract lengths and guarantees, but money is the driving force behind this and all lockouts. But who should get more money — the people running the teams or the people running on the court?

It may seem as if both sides are simply complaining about who will wipe with a 100 dollar bill instead of a fifty, but that’s not the case with the players. They are demanding that a new agreement be reached where they will take home more of the revenue generated by the NBA, be assured more money in their contracts and have the hard salary cap for teams relinquished.

After all, they are the ones providing the entertainment, not the owners (unless you’re Mark Cuban). The players have tried to make concessions; under the most recent collective bargaining agreement that the owners and players all agreed upon, the players were taking home 57 percent of the revenue generated by the NBA. Now, as negotiations for a new CBA have started, the players are even offering to drop that number to 54 or lower.

The owners aren’t listening.

League officials have deemed that under the old agreement, 22 out of 30 teams would have failed to make a profit next season and that has led the owners to take a hard line on reducing expenditures around the league. The first thing they want to cut is the players’ salaries. They have suggested cutting over $750 million worth of salaries, and it’s no surprise that the players don’t agree with this.

If you take a look at the situation from the players’ perspective, it is pretty easy to see where they are coming from. This is their job, and if they are not able to go to work, it is understandable that they would be upset with the owners. Sure, they also want more money in the end, but they have worked hard to get to the highest level of athletic competition and deserve to be compensated accordingly. Players want to be sure they will receive the money that is stipulated within their contracts and not worry about caps being put on how much they can earn. They have tried to meet the owners in the middle on several occasions to come up with some sort of agreement that both sides can be happy with, but the owners have yet to budge. It seems as if the players are going to have to take a considerable step back in terms of bargaining in order for an agreement to be reached. It may not be what they feel is the right thing to do, but it may be the only way.

Now all we can do as fans is wait and hope that talks between the players and the owners don’t drag on like they have begun to with the NFL. The negotiations have begun, and things don’t look all that promising, with a considerable divide still between the two parties involved.

Appeasing the players is best, or else everyone involved is out of luck. The athletes are the ones providing entertainment, while the owners simply manage that talent. Without the athletes, there are no sporting leagues or teams to be owned in the first place. Let the players play. 

Printed on 07/07/2011 as: 'Hard' salary restrictions unethical to NBA players