Column – Collective Bargaining Agreement a flawed system

Dan Nelson, Dan Nelson, and Dan Nelson

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In a time where the National Basketball Association (NBA) has more talent than ever, one thing holds the progression of the sport back: the economy.

Instead of lowering revenue and lowering the salary cap, the new “Collective Bargaining Agreement” (CBA) should include a cap on how much you can spend on any single player. Doing this would make attaining a highly marketable player easier for lower market teams and even the playing field.

In turn, the season would be more balanced with more evenly matched teams playing against each other, making the playoff race tighter and increasingly more fun to watch.

The downward spiral of the NBA economy is making its way to another lockout.

The NBA has what is called the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). The agreement is essentially on contract for how long the NBA will continue to run with the current policies and contracts, similar to the health care plan or even a presidential term.

This is a flawed system where the worst record gets the best chance at the first overall pick in the NBA draft.

Teams are tanking and losing games on purpose just to get their hands on the first pick. It’s a breech of the CBA.

High-market teams like the Los Angeles Lakers and the Boston Celtics continue to make tens of millions of dollars while lesser market teams like the Cleveland Cavaliers and the struggle to persuade their star players on board, similar to the financial crisis going on in America. The rich get richer while the poor make every effort to tread water.

Playing in a “lesser market” means that the team is in a city where it is hard to attract fans to games. There is not as much demand to buy tickets whether it is because the team is bad or the city around them just doesn’t care about the sport.

High market teams like the Lakers receive a lot of endorsement money either through the team or through its players, such as famed basketball icon Kobe Bryant.

Teams have struggled just to keep fans in the seats. They need a household name on the team, and without one franchises have nothing to attract fans, which loses more money and makes it even harder to sign a player worth watching.

This season, the New Jersey Nets have reached record low in attendance.

It is fair to say this is because of their pace to hold the worst win-loss record in NBA history. In wake of the lack-luster ticket sales, the Nets have pulled out all of the stops to try and rally fans. They are offering to do your taxes for free if you are 18 years or older. All you have to do is buy a ticket.

In light of the NBA’s recent economic struggles, the NBA commissioner David Stern has reduced half of the NBA teams revenue to entice more fans to attend games. This has subsequently made the salary cap go down, which is what one team is allowed to spend on their entire roster.

The revenue drop is a good thing for fans, but the NBA still will not have a high enough salary cap to pay big-name players the amount they want to play for their franchises.

Teams can restructure a player’s contract at any point and offer extensions to the contracts while still being able to go over the cap. This causes teams, usually of the upper echelon, to go tens of millions of dollars over the salary cap forcing the league to compensate.

This season, the NBA is reportedly losing close to $400 million.

Teams are scrambling to dump the salaries of older players by trading them for draft picks and cash incentives just to get out of the red. This is only worsening sales and infuriating fans because the players that these clubs have spent so much money on to increase attendance are being traded away for virtually nothing.

The problem with the NBA’s economy it all comes down to is that players are simply being overpaid.

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