NBA Players, Owners Reach Deal?

This story made no sense.  The NBA players and owners reached a tentative deal.  This settles the antitrust lawsuit and starts a new CBA.  The players would have to ratify the CBA and reform the union, as part of the settlement.

Here’s the bit that confuses me.  The new deal is almost exactly the same as the one the players refused two weeks ago.  What is Billy Hunter doing?

Billy Hunter is doing CYA to try and save his job.  He’s telling the players “Look at this great deal I negotiated!” rather than “I totally bent over for David Stern.”

That’s the problem with a State union.  The union leader’s primary goal is to protect his job as State middleman.  Advocating for workers comes second.

This is ridiculous.  The players could have accepted this 2 weeks ago, and saved 6/82 of their salary (playing a 72 game season instead of 66 games).  They got almost nothing for holding out 2 weeks.

It might be rational for players to accept this offer.  If they refuse to ratify the deal, then there may not be a season.  If they’re still negotiating in August 2012, the owners may not make a better offer.  They may not have won in an antitrust lawsuit, and the lawsuit would not have been resolved in time to save the season.

State union negotiations are a game of chicken.  That isn’t the way a free market negotiation works.  It’s a creation of the State.  Due to the way State labor law works and the State basketball monopoly, each side has to act like they’re willing to ruin the season, in order to get concessions from the other side.

It might make sense for the players to ratify this CBA and re-unionize.  They should fire Billy Hunter.

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