It’s baaaaaack! Yes as I am sure you are all well aware by now, the NBA has reached a tentative agreement and professional basketball in America starts back Christmas Day. While it’s great to have the NBA back, I gotta say my excitement was tempered upon reading all the tweets and instant analysis stating that the deal was done, but yet again worked out better for the larger market teams. I will admit I was less than vigilant about following the details of the negotiations as they unfolded, as it was not only dull, but frustrating and futile with all the misinformation. I was however beginning to appreciate Michael Jordan’s ( and 9 other owners) hard line stance on the matter, and began feeling that if a season needed to be missed in order to usher in a more parity driven league… then so be it.
The 10 owner cabal didn’t get there way, but it seems as though it wasn’t all bad for the NBA’s lower half. Unlike Roberto Gato’s fearless leader Andrew, I do care about the little details of the new CBA and how it affects the small market teams – most importantly of course our Charlotte Bobcats. So while the dust has yet to settle and I am about as far away from an expert on labor negotiations as is theoretically possible, here are some of the new details and how they may affect the Charlotte Bobcats. ( To get you primed and ready, here are a couple articles from much smarter people than I on the new CBA Details – 5 Key Points from the new CBA – TBJ and Breaking Down the New CBA )
The Amnesty Provision –
Teams can now cut a player with a bad contract from the team without penalty at the start of any season. DeSagna Diop can speak 5 languages and I hope Michael Jordan tells him he has been cut in every single one of them. The salary cap albatross that has played (if you can call it that) in a total of 43 games since being traded here in 09 may as well pack his bags now. That said, players don’t get huge contracts for nothing usually. Sometimes it’s the tantalizing physical ability, sometimes its just the hype, but in most cases the player is talented just maybe not to the degree his ridiculous contact would suggest. This new rule coupled with a harder cap may result in some decent role players coming available and will make it harder for the Heats and Lakers of the NBA to snatch them up at cut throat league minimum prices. Put this one in the win column for the ol’ Bobcats.
Revenue Sharing -
This hasn’t been finalized yet, but its being reported that the amount of total revenue sharing will increase three fold. While I would much rather the whole model be reworked into a much fairer, more equal model where revenue sharing isn’t even necessary, this is the next best thing. As a team in one of the smallest of markets, this will obviously be a good thing. Charlotte and other teams in smaller less NBA crazed markets hemorrhage money during good seasons much less during the rebuilding years trying to catch up to the infinitely wealthy major city teams. Luxury tax and TV contracts will now be divvied up amongst all 30 teams now. To borrow from current affairs, the NBA’s 1% will finally pay its fair share.
Luxury Tax -
Now we’re talking. The luxury tax was basically always just a way for big money teams to piss all over the salary cap and its desired effects. The salary caps attempt to keep teams on an even playing field meant virtually nothing if you had enough money. And while that hasn’t changed, it is now much more expensive to pull off. The new version of the luxury tax is in my opinion the single biggest jump towards parity provided by the new CBA. Teams like the Lakers will now have to think twice before hoarding high priced, more talented players. This again opens the door for Charlotte to bolster its roster with players otherwise unavailable due to the wide gap between franchise worth. The new escalating tax will also be multiplied for repeat offenders, something the cash strapped Bobcats should never have to worry about.
There are a whole ton of details to discuss and dissect, and some that are yet to be revealed, but these are the 3 that jumped out to me immediately for their impending effect on the Bobcats franchise. We have basically a whole month to figure out the details and their consequences for Charlotte before the season begins on Christmas. I was really hoping for whole sale changes that would level the financial playing field once and for all. After all, parity simple cannot be bad. Competition drives innovation and growth; the more competitive the NBA, the better the overall product. While this isn’t Charlotte’s dream scenario, it is a lot better than the previous arrangement. Ultimately, only wins on the court will make it a successful and thriving franchise, the new CBA just takes some necessary steps to making basketball a viable business in the Queen City.
Nic Watson is a Staff Writer for http://robertogato.com/, a Charlotte Bobcats Blog on the http://fansided.com/ – Fansided Network. Follow him on Twitter http://twitter.com/#!/MustachioGato – @MustachioGato – and like us on Facebook. http://www.facebook.com/pages/Roberto-Gato/187523814602035