The NBA Players’ Union Executive Committee had the opportunity to review the NBA Owners’ latest proposal: Result – it doesn’t look good for basketball fans. One of the new issues that the Committee has difficulty with – is the Owners’ request for an “unlimited escrow system”. Such a system assures that the Owners would be reimbursed for however much they exceed the negotiated amount of basketball-related income (BRI).
In other words, if teams spend more than the allotted percentage, they not only retain the 10 percent of each salary held in escrow, but if that 10 percent doesn’t cover the excess then the additional funds can be deducted from a one percent of BRI dedicated to “post-career player annuity and player benefits.” If the excess still hasn’t been satisfied, future benefits and escrow funds can be utilized to cover it. In essence, it assures the owners that no matter how much they spend in any one season, they will not have to pay more than the stated percentage.
Other issues proposed by the Owners and the Union finds objectionable include a clause that would give teams the right to send players down to its Developmental League (D-League) and pay them at a drastically reduced scale, and a 12 percent reductions in both the minimum salary and the first-year salaries of first-round picks.
With growing player dissatisfaction comes a growing threat by the Union decertify and sue the NBA in Federal Court for violating the Sherman Antitrust Act. We shall see this week if the Union plans to make good on such threats