By Chris Sheridan
NEW YORK — The NBA player agents who have not been happy with the way collective bargaining talks have been unfolding are starting to speak up — just as the 11th hour is arriving for saving the Nov. 1 start of the regular season
The following memo, obtained by SheridanHoops.com, was sent to clients of one high-profile agency and was expected to be sent to all the clients of agents Arn Tellem, Jeff Schwartz, Bill Duffy, Leon Rose, Henry Thomas, Dan Fegan and Mark Bartelstein.
It is reprinted here verbatim:
I am writing to you because the negotiations between the NBPA and NBA owners are at a critical stage. You must take action and protect your rights.
Your Voice Must be Heard
Any deal you and the owners agree upon will have a major impact on you, your family, and your career.
- Educate yourself on the specifics of the negotiations and proposals that have been made.
- Demand a full vote by all players on any proposed deal between the players and owners.
- Contact the NBPA to ask questions and speak out about the issues that will directly impact you and your family.
The Current Proposal Hurts Your Earning Potential
The NBA demands deep cuts and major “givebacks” that will cripple your earning potential and the earning potential of every future NBA player.
- The NBPA offered to reduce the players’ share of BRI from 57% to 52%. This will result in a transfer of over $200 million per yearor a minimum of $500,000 per player back to the owners.
- This results in at least 8% or more of your salary being withheld by the owners each season through the escrow withholding. This applies to all contracts, including contracts signed before the lockout. You may never receive this money back.
- The owners demand mandatory reductions in all player salaries in addition to the escrow withholding, including “claw backs” from all existing contracts by as much as 10% per year.
- With an 8% escrow and a 10% “claw back,” each player will likely return 15 – 20% of his salary to the owners at the end of each season.
- A reduction of the players’ share of BRI to 52% will result in severe restrictions on free agency and your ability to obtain your true market value.
- Every NBA team’s Salary Cap will be significantly reduced, leaving teams with much less Salary Cap room to sign free agents.
- Teams will possess all of the leverage because there will be fewer teams competing for your services.
- Players will compete against each other for shorter and smaller contracts than the contracts that were available under past systems.
- A reduced salary cap reduces the Maximum Salary.
- The NBA demands a reduction in the Mid-Level Exception salary and contract length as well as new limitations on Bird rights. This will severely restrict usage of these very important exceptions and harm your ability to negotiate a fair contract.
Refuse Any Deal that Excludes the Players from the Explosive Growth of the NBA
The owners demand a long term deal with the players but do not want to share in the tremendous growth and success of the league over the past six seasons.
- Over the past six seasons:
- The NBA enjoyed record attendance, sky-rocketing television ratings, and ever increasing television rights deals;
- NBA franchise values have continued to escalate and set records (compare the sales of the past six years to previous sales); and
- International growth is rapid and constant with a growing worldwide television audience and more games played internationally.
- During the 2010-11 season, the NBA experienced its highest revenues ever.
- Demand to see the complete financial records of the owners over the past six seasons, including their related entities (such as regional sports networks and arenas).
Never Respond to Ultimatums or Threats– Stand Strong for Your Principles
The owners will threaten a doomsday scenario, but you must not yield to their ultimatums or threats.
- The NBA seeks unprecedented and unjustified changes to the collective bargaining agreement.
- Do not acknowledge “scare tactics” and fight to achieve your goals. You fought your entire life to reach the NBA and must not let your right to receive fair compensation be taken from you now.
- Careers are short with limited time to maximize your earnings and limited opportunities to share in the money you help generate for the league. If you don’t fight to preserve your rights now, you will pay the price in each pay check you receive for the rest of your career.
- It is your career, your family, your income, your future. What will you do?
Participate in the Process and Protect your Individual Right to Bargain
When the time comes, you must demand that the NBPA submit any proposed agreement to a vote by all NBA players and provide every player with a reasonable amount of time to review and consider the proposed deal. We urge you now to become involved and educate yourself. Knowledge is power!
Contact the union to educate yourself and fight for what is important:
- No further reduction of the percentage of BRI received by the players.
- Maintain existing structure of the Bird and Mid-Level Exceptions.
- No reduction in Maximum Salary from existing levels.
- No reduction in Contract Length from existing levels.
- No changes to Unrestricted Free Agency and improve Restricted Free Agency.
Any deal must include these points. Remember, it is not about when or how fast a deal is reached, it is about taking the time to secure the best deal.
We are here to support you. We welcome the opportunity to address any questions or concerns you may have.