When the NBA indicated this summer that it was nearing a deal to put advertisements on its uniforms, in the form of two-inch-by-two-inch patches on the shoulder, we figured it was putrid but inevitable. But mostly we figured it was impending. Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver said not one single owner was against the idea, so all that was left was to work out the logistics before players took the court as partial billboards on opening night—now less than two weeks away.
Never underestimate a billionaire's desire to make another couple million—but also never underestimate a sports owner's willingness to squeeze out every penny of what he thinks he'd owed. Uni Watch is reporting that the ad program is a no-go, at least for this season, and it's because the owners couldn't agree on how to share the profits.
Surely four square inches on a Miami Heat jersey is going to bring in more money, and be more valuable than, the corresponding four square inches on a Memphis Grizzlies uniform. Isn't Micky Arison entitled to a bigger slice of the advertising pie than Michael Heisley?
Sure, David Stern is against it. But he's powerless here, in the face of a blatant cash grab. No, the only thing standing in the way of free money is a few owners concerned that they won't be getting enough of the free money.
Meanwhile, the Kings now play at Sleep Train Arena.