Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Lockout - NFL and NBA - What does it actually mean?

The NFL lockout was considered a joke by most sports writers. They knew the teams would never miss training camp or preseason games. The NBA lockout is going to do some damage. They're predicting there might not even be a season. (Yes, this would mean the Dallas Mavericks are Champs for 2 years.)

Well, so what does it all mean? What’s the point? Here’s my abridged version.

The NFL teams have never been losing money, they still on average, make almost $10 MM a year. That’s why the NFL lockout was a joke. In the NBA, some teams are actually losing money. That’s why this lockout means something. The main focus in each of these lockouts has been salary cap. Salary cap is the maximum dollar amount each team within the league is allowed to pay out, for all players combined. So, if the salary cap is $50MM for each team, then what each player makes per year added together cannot be more than $50MM. For the NBA, if it goes over $50MM the owners pay a hefty fine (aka luxury tax) to the league for each dollar amount over.  The NBA owners are trying to pass a rule for a “hard cap”. This means that they wouldn’t be able to go over the cap at all. (This is actually how the NFL is currently; the NFL doesn’t let teams go over their caps. The NFL lockout was to increase the hard cap – that’s it; the NBA is trying to emulate the NFL in this regard.) The NBA players also want more money from “basketball related income”; basically they want the money that their name and face are bringing to each team. The owners don’t want them to get it all (they already share some of it, players want more, owners want to give them less). The spread of what each side wants is fairly large, and an agreement will be difficult.

The NBA also wants to be able to opt out of players if they’re not holding their own weight. Football and baseball players can be dropped or not receive pay if they are under performing. NBA doesn’t have this option, and the league wants it. The players don’t want it, for good reason. If they are under performing, they can get cut or go broke; however, it could keep the players from sitting on the bench making millions and doing nothing for the team. Look at Yao Ming, the tall Chinese guy for the Houston Rockets (now retired). He sat on the bench for two years making millions. He was affecting the salary cap for Houston, and hurting the team in the long run. See both sides to the argument yet?

You hear a lot of talk about the Collective Bargaining Agreement, it’s basically the agreement they’ve been running under the past few years. It’s where all the pay percentages and cap dollars are discussed. So, because that agreement expired and they hadn’t come to terms with a new one, the lockout occurred.

Now, both sides are being greedy. The players and the owners both want more money. Both sides are wrong, but both sides are right. The thing is, (in my opinion) the owners are working toward a better goal, of helping those teams without the higher revenue streams (teams like Minnesota Timberwolves – smaller market, smaller revenue stream; they could be losing money with how the agreement currently is and would lose more with how the players want to change it; if the owners get their way, it could put them in a money making situation). I know that each side is greedy; each side needs to quit making these unholy amounts of money. Especially the players, but I understand their side too. They are the reason the teams are making money, so they should get more of a share. It makes sense, but it’s ridiculous. However, if they can get it to where other teams are in a better place and can make money, instead of losing it (not their fault they are in smaller markets), then I’m okay with it.

It’s a rock and a hard place for sure.


  1. What it means IS everyone should just switch to watching college basketball, a much more exciting version of the sport! :)

  2. I am (once again) going to have to agree with Hutch! Ha!! I am not an NBA fan....

    This post was great because it cleared up what is really behind both of these lockouts in a way we can all understand! Great post! :)

  3. Ha ha ha, I still love the NBA. I know I shouldn't say it, but it's a faster pace and keeps me more entertained!! Thanks Jamie, glad I could clear it up!!

  4. I did not actually realize that the NBA is in a similar situation. How interesting. I agree that watching players and owners argue over an amount of money that is so large I can't even wrap my head around it is annoying. However, it's a job, just like any other and there is a right way and a wrong way of doing things. It makes it hard to watch, though, knowing that the "sport" is all about the money. Definitely makes college more enticing. Although, they are all playing just to go pro and will drop a degree like it's hot if they get the chance to go pro.

    I wonder if the Roman gladiators had this problem?

  5. Pretty sure if you didn't agree with the gladiators, then you got to visit the lions. Which, was apparently, still entertaining!