As the NBA and its players head toward the possibility of another pro sports lockout, a world infatuated with basketball waits to see whether it will be the owners or the players that give up more. Would you believe…neither?
Indications are that the undrafted rookies, who saw their salaries dip with the implementation of a draft-position-dependent wage scale in 1995, will take another hit in the upcoming negotiations.
Players who are not yet in the NBA, you see, are represented by neither side in these negotiations. The union represents its members, who are existing NBA players. The most vocal and powerful among them are veterans — a group that tends to do very well in CBA negotiations, at the expense of the young players who literally have the most at stake.
Research has shown that in recent years that group has kicked in something like $200 million a year, and there seems to be no limit to the league and union’s willingness to force that group to [give up] ever more cash.
Abbott also points out that the NBA’s players don’t mind the age restriction in place that forces prospects to play at least one year of college ball–they actually like it. I personally have a formula for my own age restrictive measures, known as “Half her age plus seven.” It’s too bad that I can’t fit that on a license plate.