NBA union chief Michele Roberts questions Commissioner Adam Silver’s … – Washington Post (blog)


NBPA Executive Director Michele Roberts (Courtesy of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom)

Recently appointed National Basketball Players Association head Michele Roberts has drawn a line in the proverbial sand. The first woman to lead the organization said NBA Commissioner Adam Silver’s “cries of poverty” will not deter the NBPA from its plans to opt out of the current collective bargaining agreement in 2017, Yahoo Sports reports. She also questioned Silver’s proposal to smooth out revenues to prevent a rapid expansion of the salary cap in two years when a new $24 billion television deal with ESPN/ABC and Turner could triple the league’s annual revenues from $930 million to almost $2.7 billion.

Silver said earlier this month at an NBA Board of Governors meeting:

“We still have roughly a third of our teams that are not profitable under the current system, despite revenue sharing. It’s our hope that with that additional money, if we can keep our other expenses under control, we’ll have a better operating league and a league that over time is going to continue to grow.”

Now Roberts is responding. She told Yahoo Sports:

“I can say that I was more than surprised [about Silver comments]. I am not suggesting that Adam is telling a lie. I am sure that the owners told him that. But it’s difficult for me to believe that, especially after looking at the 2011 CBA negotiations and seeing all the money the players don’t have now. There’s $1.1 billion that the players would’ve been otherwise entitled.

“I find it very difficult to appreciate how any owners could suggest they’re still losing money. It defies common sense. We know what the franchise values are. I don’t have to say ‘$2 billion’ [the amount former …read more

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