Basketball Wiretap

Adam Silver Again Brings Up Soft Cap Issue When Asked About Parity

Jun 20, 2018 12:52 PM

A few weeks after repeatedly mentioning how the NBA has a soft cap instead of a hard cap when asked about parity, Adam Silver brought up the topic again on the eve of the draft.

"There's always a next collective bargaining agreement and over the years we've talked about a harder cap than we have now," said Silver. "The NFL has a much harder cap than we do; ours is somewhat soft. Obviously, it allows teams to go significantly above the cap and the tax level and that's the case with both Golden State and Cleveland. They are significantly above where our tax level is right now."

Silver admitted he hears complaints from owners and fans.

"The 28 other teams, they're the biggest complainers that these two teams have met four times in a row [in the NBA Finals]. Ultimately, collectively our 30 teams are in charge with what system we have, along with the players. And by the way, the players on 29 other teams want a system regardless of where they are drafted or where they sign to be able to compete for championships, and that's what you want," he said.

Silver said the NBA doesn't "want to go about breaking up teams just to break them up, just to force some sort of parity that is kind of unnatural."

ESPN

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NBA Sends Memo Suggesting Possible Elimination Of One-And-Done Rule By 2021

Jun 15, 2018 3:29 PM

The NBA has sent a memo to all 30 teams on Friday indicating that the one-and-done rule could be eliminated as early as 2021.

The memo does not mention the one-and-done rule by name, but it is meant to remind teams the league and the players union could agree to scrap one-and-one before the expiration of the current collective bargaining deal in 2024.

The first draft in which the rule is changed will surely be loaded with the best prospects from two straight high school classes.

The memo serves as something of an advisory to teams who might think about trading away future first-round picks in the lead-up to Thursday's draft. 

The league instituted the one-and-done rule in 2005, but it has since been met with criticism on many sides of the issue.

The league will discuss the issue further during annual meetings at Summer League in Las Vegas, the memo says.

Tags: High School, NCAA, NBA, NBA NBA Draft, NBA Draft General, NBA CBA

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ABC Earning Approximately $50M In Revenue For Each Finals Game

Jun 8, 2018 9:08 PM

The cost to advertise during the 2018 NBA Finals is up from 2017.

An ad spot for Game 3 is averaging $634,627 per unit. In 2017, ad ad unit was going for $607,156 per unit.

Using those figures as a guideline, ABC will lose out on as much as $50 million in ad sales revenue for each game the Finals is cut short by.

According to AdWeek, the upfront unit cost is $679,000 for 2018 compared to $535,325 in 2017.

Anthony Crupi/AdAge

Tags: Cleveland Cavaliers, Golden State Warriors, NBA, NBA CBA, NBA Playoffs

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Bucks Sign Seven-Year, $200M Local TV Deal

Jun 6, 2018 12:14 PM

The Milwaukee Bucks have agreed upon a seven-year, $200 million television deal with Fox Sports Wisconsin.

Fox will pay the bucks $26 million for their rights next season, up from $20 million last season.

With 4 percent annual escalators, the contract averages around $30 million per year. 

The Bucks’ previous deal with Fox Sports Wisconsin carried an annual average in the high teens.

Increased interest in the team is reflected in its local RSN ratings that this past season rose almost 6 percent to its highest TV ratings in more than 12 years. 

John Ourand, John Lombardo/Sports Business Journal

Tags: Milwaukee Bucks, NBA, NBA CBA

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End Of Game 1 Had 51 Million Concurrent Streams In China

Jun 4, 2018 4:55 PM

The end of Game 1 of The Finals had 51 million concurrent streams in China, according to Tencent.

In the United States, there were 21 million viewers watching the end of Game 1.

The end of Game 7 of the Western Conference Finals between the Warriors and Rockets had 60 million concurrent streams. 

Brian Windhorst/ESPN

Tags: Cleveland Cavaliers, Golden State Warriors, NBA, NBA CBA

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NBA Sees No Correlation Between 82-Game Schedule, Increased Injury Risk

Jun 1, 2018 3:32 PM

During his press conference before Game 1 of the NBA Finals, Adam Silver was asked about whether the league might consider reducing the 82-game schedule to avoid injuries.

"In terms of the 82-game season and injuries, just a few of the examples you gave," said Silver. "Obviously, Kawhi Leonard hardly played this season. It’s an injury from last year. I don’t really know much about his injury other than he played very few games this year, so it’s hard to tie that injury to an 82-game season. Of course, Kristaps Porzingis was lost fairly early in the season, so it’s also hard to tie that to the length of the season.

"So what our data shows right now, it’s a little bit like driving. Of course, if you drive more miles, you’re more likely to get into an accident. So if you play 82 games instead of 62 games, of course you play more basketball and you’re more likely to get injured.

"But we’re not finding, with all the analytics we’re doing, a correlation between the 70th game you play necessarily making it your — becoming more injury-prone than you are in the 30th game.

"As I said before, where we do see a correlation is lack of rest. That’s why we added a week to the schedule. We’ve dramatically reduced back-to-backs and other things we’ve done to create more space in our schedule.

"82 isn’t a magic number. And there is, of course, a financial component for the league and the players of playing a full 82-game season. But we continue to look at other ideas. Whether we have a midseason tournament and reduce the number of games in the regular season, that’s something we could look at. I think our playoff format is working pretty well.

"But life changes, society changes, entertainment options are constantly changing as well. So we’ll continue to look at it from a business standpoint.

"But I do mean this most importantly, and we talk to the Players Association a lot about this, if we had any data, hard data suggesting that a season that was 75 games or 72 games instead of 82 games would reduce injuries other than just playing fewer games, we’d be taking a hard look at shortening our season. We just don’t have that data right now."

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Tags: NBA, NBA Injury, NBA CBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

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NBA Explains Why They Will Seek Royalty From Sports Betting

Jun 1, 2018 1:15 PM

Adam Silver expounded on the NBA's position on seeking a royalty from legal sports betting now that it will be widely legalized in the United States.

"One of the issues we had on the table and have been seeking is a so-called integrity fee," said Silver. "And the notion of the integrity fee is that, as we’re now dealing potentially with 50 different jurisdictions, all with differing permutations of sports betting law, it’s going to dramatically increase the enforcement cost for the league office.

"So we think the integrity fee is something we’re entitled to, one, because we have the additional cost. And also something, as I’ve said before, and we’re not hiding from, we also think we are due a royalty and that if the intellectual property that is created by this league — and I know all the leagues support this position, but in the case of the NBA, we’ll spend roughly $7.5 billion dollars creating NBA basketball this season. And to the extent that product is then used for casinos, betting parlors to make money on, we feel, just in the same way a musician that receives a royalty for the music that’s being played, that we should receive some sort of royalty.

"So call it a royalty; call it an integrity fee. We will have additional expenses, and it’s ultimately our intellectual property and we ultimately believe we should be compensated for it."

Silver was then asked whether he expects the NBA to collect that fee after discussing it with the other side.

"Good question. It depends. I think we’ve had better receptions in certain states than others. There are very strong gaming interests, some who we’ve talked directly to in many states that do significant business through their casinos in those states, and, again, their position has been very public.

"Their view is we’re not entitled to that integrity fee. And my response to those gaming organizations is if that’s your view, then we will negotiate with you directly, because I think many of them desire to get official data feeds from the league, they desire to use our trademarks for placing bets. Some of them desire to have official designations from our league and others, so we will have direct commercial negotiations with those casinos, which is, to me, not inconsistent in any way with also seeking that integrity fee."

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Adam Silver Broaches Possible Changes To NBA Cap Structure In Response To Parity Questions

Jun 1, 2018 10:28 AM

During his press conference before the start of the Finals, Adam Silver mentioned a possible change to the NBA's cap structure in response to two separate questions.

Silver was first asked about the NBA's pursuit of parity under his administration in light of the Warriors playing the Cavaliers in the Finals for the fourth straight season.

"But underlying that question, of course, is the notion of parity," said Silver. "And I’ll deal with it directly. I’ll say that as a league you’re constantly looking to design systems that help to achieve parity, but the notion in this league is parity of opportunity. As I said, I don’t want to take anything away from the spectacular achievements from ownership throughout management that it takes to get these players here, and of course from the players themselves and the enormous amount of hard work that goes into it.

"Also, on the other hand, you could do more to achieve parity, but you also don’t want parity of mediocrity either. So you look to find the right balance as a league, and it’s something we always continue to look at. But I will just add, as I said earlier, I looked this up. LeBron, now over the course of the last eight Finals, has played with 59 different players. So even if you were looking to design a system to try to create more parity, just take it in the East, I’m not sure what else you would do.

"I will add something, and it’s no secret we looked at for a long time — we have a soft cap system. And you have two teams here who are both, with their tax, the highest salaried, highest payroll teams in the league. That’s something we’ll continue to look at. But that’s for another day."

Silver later compared the NBA's struggles with parity to the NFL.

"Again, the only slight pivot I’d make from your question is I view it as a quality of opportunity as opposed to an NFL-type parity, because I think it’s a different game where there truly is an “any given Sunday” notion, frankly, despite the Patriots’ incredible success over the last decade and a half," said Silver. "I think they’ve achieved a kind of parity, and hat’s off to them. It may be they’re able to do it through their collective bargaining system or something that I’m missing. But I think it’s fundamentally a different game.

"My point before, if you have LeBron James playing with 59 different players over eight years, it means that presumably the team LeBron is on is going to be a dominant team. Whether they get to The Finals every year is a separate issue. Not to take anything away from strong coaching and general managing and ownership at that team, but you have certain players in our league that are so transcendent that their team is always probably going to be in the hunt.

"I would also say about the Warriors, again, it’s a team largely built through the draft and some strategic trades. Again, I watch, as I look at our teams investing enormous resources in coaching, in facilities, analytics, they certainly believe there is something more than just putting players on the floor.

"In fairness to Golden State, there is something special going on here. But now, in terms of overall parity, I guess I’ll go back to where I started: Can our system be improved upon? I think it can. I think it’s something we’re constantly looking at.

"As I said, ideally, at least from the league standpoint, and these are things we need to talk to our Players Association about, that you still have two teams that are significantly above, not just the cap, but the tax. So one of, presumably, the elements that creates a bit more parity in the NFL, one of the factors other than the game, is they have a so-called hard cap. We don’t have that."

In comparing the NFL's parity to the NBA's, however, Silver didn't acknowledge how his league's seven-game playoff structure typically decreases variance.

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NBA Still Not Interested In Pursuing Expansion

May 31, 2018 10:16 PM

The NBA continues to resist the idea of expansion despite an obvious location in Seattle and strong candidates in Las Vegas, Mexico City and Kansas City.

"As I’ve said before, expansion is not on our agenda right now. We may turn back to it at some point. And I’ve had this discussion with both Mayor Goodmans (Oscar and Carolyn) in Las Vegas about their desire for us to expand and have said I view us as, in essence, already having a team in Las Vegas because we have a two-week-plus Summer League there every summer, which has enormous economic impact on the city.

"So before the NFL announced they were putting a franchise, before the NHL put in a franchise, the Golden Knights, in Las Vegas, we of course had an All-Star Game in Las Vegas. So we’ve been heavily involved there for a long time.

"Expansion, at least for right now, even to the question earlier about parity, I’m very focused on creating a competitive 30-team league right now. Part of it, in a way it’s quite remarkable that when you have a league with the amount of basketball being played on a global basis and the 450 best players in the world all coming to one league, and understandably people are saying can’t you do more to create more competition among your 30 teams, at least from a competitive standpoint my first reaction isn’t to think, all right, let’s add a 31st team or 32nd team. It is to see what is it we can do system-wise, training-wise, whatever it takes to create more competition within this league.

"But invariably, as I’ve said before, it’s only natural for any business to grow and expand at some point, so we’ll look back to expansion.

"It’s not just Las Vegas. There are lots of terrific markets out there in the United States and some in countries attached to the United States who also have wonderful cities that could potentially house NBA teams. So those are all things we’ll continue to look at."

The NBA last expanded in 2004 with Charlotte, which replaced a franchise that had relocated to New Orleans.

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NBPA Launches Mental Health And Wellness Program

May 25, 2018 3:16 PM

The National Basketball Players Association has announced the launch of its new Mental Health and Wellness Program. The Program will serve as a resource for all NBPA members, assisting them with a wide range of mental health challenges and issues.

The Mental Health and Wellness Program will be developed and managed solely by the NBPA, with its primary headquarters located in Los Angeles. Keyon Dooling, who has been serving as the NBPA Player Wellness Counselor since January 2018, will soon be joined by a Director of Mental Health and Wellness.

“In recent months, several of our players have spoken candidly about their internal struggles,” said NBPA Executive Director Michele Roberts. “Their stories have reminded us all that mental health challenges may be faced by everyone, including professional athletes. This is an area that can no longer be neglected. As a Players Association, it is our responsibility to provide our members the resources to succeed both mentally and physically. Accordingly, we have decided to make mental health a priority now.”

“I am thrilled to be a part of this new program within the NBPA,” said Keyon Dooling. “I look forward to serving the needs of our players and to continue normalizing the conversation around mental health in the NBA.”

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