By Patrick Barron,
Sports Business Writer
Basketball fans everywhere, hold your breath. The upcoming 2017-2018 NBA Season is not lost yet. Both the National Basketball Association (NBA) and the NBA Players’ Association (NBAPA) are in talks to renew their collective bargaining agreement. The agreement among them deals with topics such the NBA Draft, player’s contracts and the salary cap.
So far, there is some information that has been leaked from the ongoing negotiations of the two parties. Those proposals are not final until both parties vote to approve the updates to the agreement. In the current agreement, there is a provision that allows either side to opt-out by December 15 and both the NBA and NBAPA have teased that possibility. By discussing a possible renewal, it shows that both parties are not seeking to have another lockout. It is detrimental to both the NBA and the NBAPA when a lockout occurs, because a lot of money is lost and fans are upset when they cannot watch their favorite teams play.
According CBSsports.com, the NBA will get to keep the controversial “one-and-done” provision regarding collegiate athletes in the collective bargaining agreement. Originally, the NBA’s Commissioner Adam Silver sought to expand the rule to forcing college players to play for another year, but he conceded on his plan. As reported by Yahoo! Sports, Silver has said “College sports is a huge business in this country. Purely out of self-interest, strong college basketball, I believe, is helpful to the NBA.”
In addition, the league rule stipulates that prospective players are one year out of high school or attend a year of college before becoming eligible to enter the NBA draft. For example, New York Knicks point guard Brandon Jennings played overseas for one year after high school as he waited to become eligible to enter the draft. Critics argue that it limits potential lifetime income and cite other sport leagues requirements such as Major League Baseball. After high school, a baseball player is free to enter the MLB draft.
However, there is good news for former players. The NBAPA are pushing for new benefits to those players in areas such as education and health. This can be interpreted as a response to the heart-related deaths to former players such as Philadelphia 76ers’s Center’s, Hall of Famer Moses Malone and fan favorite Darryl “Chocolate Thunder” Dawkins. Both men were middle-aged and former athletes renowned for their strength. In order to achieve their goal, the NBAPA has agreed to keep current the Basketball-Related Income (BMI) deal at 50-50.
The NBAPA Vice President, Cleveland Cavaliers’ superstar LeBron James said, “We got a group of guys that are in there that know the negotiations, so any way to give back and try to help our former teammates and help former players and things of that nature”.
Overall, these developments in ongoing negotiations is win for both the NBA and the NBAPA. Both parties do not want to relive the 2011 lockout, which lasted 161 days and cost employees their jobs and a large loss of income. There seems to be more trust and communication among the NBA and the NBAPA. Hopefully, in the next coming weeks there is an official announcement of an agreement renewal. Until then, let the current NBA season begin!
A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, October 25th print edition.
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