Commissioner Stern: Players, Owners open to contraction
"The players actually have been heard to suggest that as well, which was interesting because that means they are suggesting that we eliminate 30 jobs, or the potential for 30 jobs. So we’ve said to the players, you know, ‘Give us the right to contract, let’s agree upon what the basis will be. Let’s make this deal and then let’s continue to look at that subject.’"
HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Interesting times.
In recent interviews, Commissioner David Stern has mentioned that owners and players have discussed the forbidden topic of contraction.
A lockout was always on the horizon, however, the fact that owners and players aren’t opposed to eliminating franchises is surprising.
Let’s be real: the league should axe a couple of the weaker franchises. Even with a new Collective Bargaining Agreement, certain markets can’t support the NBA.
However, contraction would be costly. The owners would have to pool their money, buy the team(s), and then give the franchise(s) the axe.
Each team would cost a minimum of $250 million. Plus, there’d be complications like lease deals. As Stern mentioned, the toughest part would be identifying the franchises to cut.
The players would lose 12-15 jobs per each team. And two teams would mean a loss of 24-30 high-paying jobs.
It’s far more likely franchises are moved. Seattle, if they get a new arena, is a hoops-hotbed. Kansas City already has a shiny, state-of-the-art facility. All they need is a team.
It’s a sign of how far the once-mighty NBA has fallen that players, owners, and even Commissioner Stern are talking contraction.
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