More details are being revealed about the NBA lockout.
According to a new ESPN report, NBA owners have their priorities and playing games isn’t first on that list.
With more games expected to be canceled and revenue already lost, the league is looking beyond this month, and possibly the entire season, so that a financial makeover can finally take place after years of losing money.
Spurs owner Peter Holt called the lockout “an opportunity to make a few bucks.”
While players are not bending to the offers from owners, they are unfazed. Owners are determined to reshape the league by creating a system like the NFL or NHL, where spending is capped and small-market actually have a chance to compete with the biggest teams in the league.
But, it’s not done very easily.
Reforming the NHL’s financial structure required a lengthy lockout, wiping out the entire 2004-05 season. But, long-term, it’s beneficial. The NFL is making money, not losing it like the NBA. So, losing the entire season to the lockout seems more of a reality than first though.
“The competitive issues and the economic issues, certainly we don’t want to lose the season, I don’t think the NHL did either. It ended up happening,” said Holt, chairman of the owners’ labor relations committee. “There are certain things that we feel we must have.”
With both sides far apart on an agreement of a revenue split and the structure of the salary cap system, it seems the loss of the entire 2011-2012 NBA season may just happen.
There is no indication owners will be prepared to go beyond a 50-50 split, and with players currently at 52.5 or 53, the sides are about $100 million apart on an annual basis.
So far, the first two weeks of the season has been canceled (100 games total), and more are to follow.
NBA commissioner David Stern said last week that he feared games could be lost through Christmas without a deal this week. And, after three days of meetings with a federal mediator, negotiations between owners and player fell apart when union officials said they were told they must commit to a 50-50 split of revenues before owners would agree to discuss the salary cap system.
No announcements for further game cancellations have been revealed just yet.