NBA Facing Likely Work Stoppage

National Football League (NFL) and National Basketball League (NBA) logosEarlier tonight, the Dallas Mavericks defeated the Miami Heat to win their first NBA title.

Instead of basking in the glow of a fantastic postseason, the NBA (and its fans) now gets to look forward to a nearly inevitable work stoppage which is likely to begin shortly after June 30th (which is when the current deal between the NBA and its players union expires).

The commissioner of the NBA, David Stern, has publicly stated that the collecting bargaining agreement between the players and the league has to change dramatically going forward. Stern claims that the league's teams lost a total of $300 million during the 2010-11 season, with 22 teams losing money.

The league wants dramatic changes to the CBA so that teams stop hemorrhaging money, while the players want to prevent this at all costs.

The upcoming NBA work stoppage (it seems unavoidable) is going to be very similar to the 2004-05 NHL lockout that cost the league an entire season. The NHL claimed that its teams lost $273 million during the 2002-03 season (sound familiar) and that dramatic changes were needed. An owner-friendly deal was eventually struck in the summer of 2005.


For the average sports fan (especially those living in North America), the idea of two of the four major North American sports leagues being shut down AT THE SAME TIME is almost too much to contemplate.

After all, the NFL is also in the midst of its own work stoppage as NFL teams and players try to figure out how to divvy up billions of dollars in revenues. The 2011 NFL season, which is scheduled to begin on Thursday, September 8th, is in very real danger of being lost. The NFL's work stoppage has dragged on for months now, and there is really no indication that it is going to end anytime soon. Neither side seems willing to budge, and both sides seem to be settling in for a long work stoppage.


In the case of the NBA, the economic downturn can largely be blamed for the league's current fortunes. Owners have said that the current economic environment makes the current labor agreement untenable, and that drastic changes must be implemented. Many fans simply don't have the disposable income to take their families out to games - instead, they are choosing to remain at home, watching the games on their 50 inch TVs (certainly not a bad choice).

The NFL work stoppage, on the other hand, has not come about because the league is suffering. As a matter of fact, the league has remained wildly successful since the "Great Recession" started back in December of 2007.

Instead, one of the major reasons behind the NFL's current work stoppage is that the NFL's owners want a deal that allows them to recover more of the money that they spend on stadiums and other expenses (such as the creation of the NFL network, etc). The owners want a deal that allows them to claw back more of the money that they put into growing revenues (at least, according to them). They also want an expanded schedule along with several other things.


Sports fans are going to have to deal with the very real possibility that they may not be watching any NBA or NFL games for a long while.

Filed under: General Knowledge

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