Chances of an NBA season tipping off in December are fading fast with a deal looking further and further away. The NBA players’ union are, according to ESPN, still not happy with the owners’ latest proposal that will be discussed at a National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) meeting later today.
During the two-hour meeting on Sunday night the union executive committee pulled a number of rotten bones out of the latest proposal. Chief among these is an unlimited escrow system. Owners would be compensated for however much they go over the amount of basketball-related income (BRI) that is allowed to be spent on player wages. Add this to the other methods of getting back their payment and it means owners never having to pay more than the stated percentage of BRI.
BRI will be either a 50-50 split between players and the league or a 49-51 that fluctuates depending on economic conditions and other factors. The next item on the union list is one that would give teams the right to drastically reduce salaries by sending players to the developmental league or “D-League.” The NBA has denied this and that the issue is instead on “a B list” of points that are still to be pored over. The Union is also unhappy with a 12% reduction in minimum salaries and first-year salaries of first-round picks.
You can see why it looks increasingly unlikely the season will get underway. While the season is at this crossroads, the sports book and gaming industry are losing out on revenue. The NBA is one of the largest US sports worldwide in terms of betting and it’s never a good thing when the season isn’t going on. The legal mess that exists is likely to get even messier than a gaming industry party as time goes on and the prospect of a whole season being lost is very real.