A couple of weeks ago, as I was lamenting what looked (at the time) like the end of the road for the NBA 2011-12 season, I explained that the league was facing an especially nasty confound. You had three factions (players, big market owners and small market owners), and there was simply no common ground between two of them (the players and the small market owners). When all the motivations were factored in, it was simply hard to imagine a long-term accord that served everyone. Now that the parties have settled, I’m looking at the new collective bargaining agreement and trying to understand how it’s anything more than a band-aid on a sucking chest wound.
I see how the players won. They gave back a few percent of revenue but prevailed on several critical structural issues. The big market owners (BMOs) have to deal with some new luxury tax issues but they’re still positioned to spend big and dominate the league. Continue reading