The war is coming—between the NBA Players Association and their league—and if you believe superagent David Falk the players should be prepared to bend over and take what's coming to them.
Falk has made a lot of people—including himself—very rich by understanding just how to make NBA owners part with their money, so it's safe to say his opinion on the matter carries some weight. The league is struggling financially, teams are losing money, and when the collective bargaining agreement expires in 2011, Falk says that David Stern will be looking to cram quite a few concessions down the players' throats. And he will win.
How extreme? Falk said he believed Stern, the commissioner, would push for a hard salary cap, shorter contracts, a higher age limit on incoming players, elimination of the midlevel cap exception and an overall reduction in the players' percentage of revenue. And, Falk said, Stern will probably get what he wants.
"The owners have the economic wherewithal to shut the thing down for two years, whatever it takes, to get a system that will work long term," he said in an extensive interview to discuss his new book. "The players do not have the economic wherewithal to sit out one year."
Yeah, that's sounds about right. The 1998 lockout was a disaster for the players and their union leadership has not improved much since then. Plus, even Stern's biggest critics admit that he is a diabolical genius, so maybe the players should do their best to play ball and perhaps he'll go easy on them. You know, maybe they could do their hair up nice and try to smell pretty at the negotiating table?
Falk's Blunt Warning About Future of N.B.A. [NY Times]