2011 NBA Lockout
Instructor April Phillips
At the very beginning of the term when I found out that we would have an assignment that would last the entire term I cringed. However as I kept reading about the assignment I automatically thought about the 2011 NBA lockout. When I chose this topic I did not know a lot about how the NBA (National Basketball Association) and NBPA (National Basketball Players Association) functioned as a whole. I do know about basketball but this labor dispute had really nothing to do with basketball the game but everything to do with basketball the business. I had never thought of the NBA as a business before. Picking this dispute gave me a chance to dive into information and research on how the business side of things went. I also knew I would learn many new things as this term went on.
The NBA lockout began on July 1st, 2011 between the NBPA and NBA regarding the CBA. The NBPA union represents the players in the NBA. It was founded in 1954 making it the oldest of the four major United States sports leagues to have a union. Unfortunately, they were not recognized by NBA team owners until 1964.
The NBA was found in New York City on June 6th, 1946 and was called the Basketball Association of America. They changed the name to Nation Basketball Association on August 3rd, 1949 after merging with their rival National Basketball League. The BAA was founded by the owners of the major ice hockey arenas in the NE and Midwestern United States and Canada. The NBA recognizes the first official game to have been played on November 1st, 1946 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The NBA started with 11 teams and now currently has 30 teams all together. 29 of those teams are within the United States and 1 team is in Canada.
Bob Cousy was the player who started the NBPA by writing a letter to each of the leagues teams. All but one responded positively. After receiving the letters back Cousy went to the NBA president in the beginning of 1955 with the players’ concerns. The players wanted payment of back salaries to the members of the defunct Baltimore Bullets club, a twenty game limit on exhibition games and players should get share of the profits, eliminate the “whispering” fee, payment for promoting NBA, a board to settle player and owner disputes, moving expenses paid for traded players, as well as their payments being ten instead of twelve installments to provide more to the players who get cut. NBA president agreed to pay six Baltimore players a two week back salary but then put Cousy and the players off for another two years. In 1957 Cousy went to AFL-CIO to file for a union. The NBA then agreed to “bargain in good faith” with the players union fallowing the season. The NBPA received the basic terms of their initial offer.
NBPA has many important purposes. They negotiate the terms of a CBA (Collective Bargaining Agreement) with the NBA who control the players’ employment and to make sure the NBA and teams meet their rules and regulations under the CBA. Also to monitor, discuss and insure the players have insurance benefits and retirement options as well as educating and certifying the players’ agents. It is said that at one point a player will call the NBPA for help at least once in his career whether it be about the above points or to get legal advice, negotiation on the contract, to resolve a dispute protect medical benefits and other rights or to file a grievance. As you can see there is a need for the NBPA and they do everything they can to help out the NBA players be seen as people instead of property.
The collective bargaining agreement (CBA) is the contract between the NBA, made up of the commissioner and 30 team owners, and the NBPA. The contract covers the rules for player’s contracts, trades, revenue distribution, NBA draft as well as the salary cap. The NBA and NBPA have had trouble in the past. In 1995 there was a labor dispute when the NBA...