View Full Version : ESPN: Stern and players union reach tentative agreement and new CBA may be signed next week

06-18-2005, 02:38 AM
Curry: New CBA agreement may be signed next week

ESPN.com news services

With a July 1 NBA lockout date looming, the president of the NBA Players' Association said Friday he's hopeful that owners and players will have a framework for a new six-year collective bargaining agreement in place by the weekend.

With talks resuming at an undisclosed location in New York, Michael Curry told ESPN The Magazine's Ric Bucher that he is optimistic that the sides might reach a tentative proposal that each side could present to its constituents next week for approval.

Curry did not provide details on what the framework would include, but he described the tenor of the talks as "good."

"Having been through this before, I was optimistic that we could get a deal done in time," said Curry, who was part of the negotiations that resulted in the last collective bargaining deal in 1999, which followed a lockout.

The collective bargaining agreement is set to expire June 30, after which, a lockout would begin.

Curry told Bucher that he knew "it would simply take getting to the 11th hour. We're now at the 11th hour."

According to Curry, the players attending Friday's meeting included himself, Antonio Davis and Pat Garrity. Curry said the team executives at the meeting were Wyc Grousbeck, managing partner of the Boston Celtics; Steve Mills, president and CEO of MSG Sports (representing the New York Knicks); Les Alexander, owner of the Houston Rockets; and Lewis Katz, owner of the New Jersey Nets.

Friday's meeting, which included NBA commissioner David Stern and players' association director Billy Hunter, was the first since June 1, when the sides met for 2 hours at the union's offices in New York.

"We made significant progress today and tonight," NBA deputy commissioner Russ Granik said in a statement. "We will convene again in small groups over the course of the weekend and will reconvene the larger group on Tuesday morning."

The past two weeks have been marked by public posturing from both sides, with the latest salvo coming Wednesday when Hunter traveled to the NBA Finals in Detroit to explain his side of the story as to why talks have been stalled.

Hunter said he would call Stern before the current labor agreement expires, and that call apparently was made Thursday. The sides have engaged in on-and-off talks throughout the late winter and spring.

On Wednesday, Hunter said he surmised from Stern's public comments last Sunday that only three issues remain in dispute -- an age limit for rookies, a tougher drug-testing program and the maximum length of long-term contracts, but deputy commissioner Russ Granik said Hunter's assumption was incorrect.

Owners are known to be seeking several other changes to current rules, including a new luxury tax (dubbed a "supertax") for the highest spending teams, reductions in the size of annual salary increases in long-term contracts, a shortened rookie wage scale and adjustments to the so-called trigger percentages that activate the escrow and luxury taxes designed to curtail spending on player salaries.

Stern did not reference those items when he addressed the media before Game 2 of the Finals, though he did go into detail about where the owners stand on the other items. He said the league wants the minimum age raised to 19, the maximum contract length reduced from seven years to six, and an anti-drug agreement that would call for veterans to be tested year-round. Currently, veterans are tested only once per year, during training camp.

Information from ESPN.com senior writer Marc Stein and The Associated Press was used in this report.

ESPN Link (http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=2088589)

06-18-2005, 09:10 AM
That is great news. There will be a summer league after all.

06-18-2005, 09:32 AM
Let's hope. The issues that are left don't seem to be overly important or too tough to agree on.

06-18-2005, 11:02 AM
*Whew*......(wipes beads of sweat from brow)...now Devin Harris might have some good time with AJ in the off season....

06-19-2005, 01:13 PM
I don't like the sound of that "Supertax". It can't be good for Mark Cuban.

06-19-2005, 01:44 PM
From NYPost article:

Players Association Director Billy Hunter, in Detroit to discuss the potential lockout, sounded as if he was lobbying Knick owner James Dolan. Hunter pointed out the proposed "super tax" - an even nastier version of the luxury tax - would knock the Knicks dead.

The "super tax" proposal charges high-payroll clubs two times for every dollar over a threshold. The luxury tax was a 1-for-1 tax. The Knicks next season could have a payroll of $111 million, with Hunter estimating they could pay a $70 million tax.

"Even for the New York Knicks, that would be prohibitive," Hunter said. "They can't exist with that kind of strain."

06-19-2005, 04:40 PM
So no grandfather clause for those already paying the luxury tax??? that seems a bit unfair.

06-19-2005, 04:53 PM
I'll believe a deal has been worked out when the ink has dried on the paper. However, I fervently hope that deal can be made. And maybe this super luxary tax is why Nash is not a Mav any longer.

06-19-2005, 05:44 PM
I love the idea of punishing owners who are willing to spend money on their teams. Because it just makes sense, who do they think they are?

06-19-2005, 05:58 PM
Originally posted by: bernardos70
I love the idea of punishing owners who are willing to spend money on their teams. Because it just makes sense, who do they think they are?
I feel ya, but if you have even a soft cap there needs to be some kind of repercussion to exceeding it.

06-19-2005, 11:16 PM
I'm not sure why, sike. If the owners want to spend, it's their money. Aren't the Pistons and Spurs under the cap? Are they somehow at a disadvantage because their owners don't spend as freely as Cuban does? I'm open to hearing the reasons why there should be a luxury tax. There isn't one in soccer, and there's nothing wrong with soccer.

06-20-2005, 01:20 AM
Originally posted by: bernardos70
I'm not sure why, sike. If the owners want to spend, it's their money. Aren't the Pistons and Spurs under the cap? Are they somehow at a disadvantage because their owners don't spend as freely as Cuban does? I'm open to hearing the reasons why there should be a luxury tax. There isn't one in soccer, and there's nothing wrong with soccer.

Bernardos, I agree that it is there money and they, the owners, can do whatever they feel is good for the team. But the Cap and the luxury tax itself is to prevent the dynasties from existing. It is supposed to stop the teams that are willing to spend all the money they have and take on all the talent in one league. The Yankees are an example of this.

You talk about soccer like it hasn't got problems with teams having an unfair advantage and that is just totally wrong. Clubs throughout the world are struggling to keep pace with the major teams in the different leagues. Teams like Real Madrid, Manchester United, Arsenal, Bayern Muenchen, and others take the majority of the best talent and then capitalize on that. You never here of some poor little town's team winning the cup, cause they have no chance to compete with the bigtime clubs in there leagues. I'm glad basketball has a cap unlike soccer and baseball.

06-20-2005, 09:28 PM
I think a Spurs vs. Detroit final proves it doesn't matter how much you spend on the team. I know the Spurs at least are under the cap. Which big money team is taking their chances away? The mavs payroll is probably twice that of the Spurs, yet they won nothing so far. The luxury tax helps owners like that of the Clippers, who if I remember correctly, said "it costs too much to win" and would rather stay under the cap and collect the money at the end of the season. BTW, by the same token small town teams don't win anything, neither do the Hawks in my lifetime nor the Clippers.

06-20-2005, 10:57 PM
Why Sumptuary Laws,
Despite a Rich History,
Never Lasted Very Long
June 15, 2005; Page B1

(See Corrections & Amplifications item below.)

The rich are very rich in America these days, and even the merely affluent can afford silk underwear and diamond dog collars. In earlier eras, the reaction to such conspicuous consumption might have been sumptuary laws.

Out of favor for the past few centuries, such laws were once considered not only desirable but actually divine. The laws, which were enacted in Europe and Asia from ancient times through the 18th century, prohibited common people from wearing flashy status symbols -- jewels, silk or pointy-toed shoes, for example -- and from spending too much on other extravagances, such as parties. For a time in ancient Rome, people weren't allowed to spend more than 100 asses -- animals being the common currency then -- to celebrate certain festivals. On nonfestival days, Roman citizens could invest only 10 donkeys in a party and serve no fowl except one hen -- "and that not fattened for the purpose."

Sumptuary laws had some laudable purposes, but they also had some reprehensible ones. On the good side, they reduced the obvious disparity of wealth between haves and have-nots; they discouraged farmers and laborers from throwing away their rent money on baubles; and they promoted -- or tried to, anyway -- selflessness.

The other side of the coin was not so shiny. Sumptuary laws, which didn't apply to royalty or the clergy, usually reinforced class distinctions by dictating a person's appearance based on the station he or she was born to. The ruling class didn't want to risk guessing another man's status, an inevitable result if everyone could wear leopard fur or taffeta jerkins. Before the laws were adopted in 14th-century England, wrote Henry Knighton in his chronicles of the period, "there was so much pride amongst the common people in vying with one another in dress and ornaments that it was scarce possible to distinguish the poor from the rich, the servant from the master, or a priest from other men."

Although often working at cross purposes, secular and spiritual leaders both promoted sumptuary laws for self-interested reasons: Money that their subjects or flocks spent on lace or long scabbards was money not available for tithe or taxation. "The clergy regarded expenditures on clothes or baubles as draining money from the church," wrote Barbara Tuchman in "A Distant Mirror." Meanwhile, the government believed that "if people could be made to save money, the king could obtain it if necessary."

Elizabeth I, who became England's queen in 1558, strongly advocated sumptuary laws, decrying the social confusion that resulted when the "meanest" were "as richly appareled as their betters." Furthermore, the desire for such clothes could so overwhelm "such inferior persons," she said, that they might be driven "to robbing and stealing by the highway." So outraged was Elizabeth by the "monstrous and outrageous" competition for most extravagant hose that she set a precise limit -- a little more than a yard -- on how much textile could be used for a pair of men's stockings.

The early settlers of the Massachusetts Bay Colony frowned on vanity and frivolity. Yet even in the Puritans' drab and meager universe, some of them couldn't resist a bright color or fancy button. By 1651, the colony's government was officially "grieving" because of some people's "intolerable excess." The community should remember that the Lord "has been pleased to afford us unexpected blessings in this wilderness," the court said, counseling its members to use those blessings in moderation.

And when America's statesmen met in Philadelphia in 1787 to draft a constitution, a Virginia delegate, George Mason, urged that Congress have the right to enact sumptuary laws, arguing that a democracy could require "manners" from its constituents not in order to keep people from distinguishing themselves by appearance, but to guide them toward appropriate conduct.

Mason's proposal was unpopular. To the extent such things could be controlled, other delegates claimed, taxes and tariffs did so more efficiently. Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts said, "The law of necessity is the best sumptuary law." He knew as well as anyone that few settlers had their own looms, and cloth was expensive to buy.

Even after sumptuary laws disappeared in the 19th century, many people still believed that excess in fashion was impious. "The wearing of gay or costly apparel naturally tends to breed, and increase, vanity," sermonized the Anglican clergyman John Wesley. "Every one of you that is fond of dress ... know in your hearts it is with a view to be admired, and that you would not be at the pains were none to see you but God and his holy angels."

In the end, sumptuary laws could not defeat the forces of human creativity. "Whenever they prevented escalation in one form of spending," wrote Robert Frank in "Luxury Fever," "they almost always stimulated evasive actions that were at least as costly." After Florentine law limited the number of courses that could be served during an evening meal, for example, inventive cooks created the pastry-wrapped meat-and-pasta torte.

A century ago, a French historian, Etienne Giraudias, eulogized sumptuary laws for all time. "Everywhere, after a brief time, they have been abolished, evaded or ignored," he wrote. "Vanity will always invent more ways of distinguishing itself than the laws are able to forbid."