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NBA must fix broken business model

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The rescue was provided by the emergence of superstars Larry Bird and Magic Johnson, a national television contract that introduced prime time broadcasts, the departure of underfunded owners and a collaborative labor approach that ultimately lured the involved parties into the same huddle.

So, if you're NBA commissioner David Stern, overseeing a league that ranks a distant third at $4 billion? If you're union executive director Billy Hunter along with Derek Fisher and the other player representatives, what now?

The smartest people in the room have to figure this out.

Las Vegas is a ghost town. And Sacramento is hurting. And so are Milwaukee and Minneapolis and Charlotte and Atlanta and Phoenix. And are we missing anyone here?

Stern estimates that it took his league five years to fully recover from the lockout that shortened the 1998 99 season to 50 games. And back then, at the player association's meeting in a hotel on the Las Vegas Strip, Las Vegas was booming.

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The NFL can withstand a labor blip.

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"I think the one thing that's clear is that both sides have an enormous amount to gain from making a deal," Stern told reporters after a recent bargaining session, "and both sides have an enormous amount to lose by not making a deal."

The NBA? Not in these brutal economic times.

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Even assuming there is some fudging of the numbers and let's not be naive here there are plenty of indicators suggesting the situation is not just more of the same, namely, millionaires (players) and billionaires (owners) wanting to get richer while sucking fans into another labor vortex.

Owners of 22 franchises claim to be losing millions annually under the collective bargaining deal that expired Thursday.

Indeed, of all the issues Bottega Veneta Clutch Red

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Terrific TV ratings for the Dallas Miami championship series notwithstanding, the NBA's economic environment is eerily reminiscent of the early 1980s, a terrible time for the owners and the majority of players.

That is absolutely the question. The NBA will never compete with the NFL in terms of popularity, television viewership and revenue streams that generate approximately $8.5 billion annually. Major League Baseball is solidly entrenched in second place, with an estimated $7 billion in annual earnings.

Only so many teams, they argue, can be squeezed into lucrative markets like Los Angeles, Chicago and New York. What about a system that secures the financial futures of Salt Lake City and Sacramento, of Minneapolis and Milwaukee?

the Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers. Major League Baseball uses a formula that requires all teams to contribute 31 percent of their local TV revenue into a pot, then distributes the funds among the needier smaller franchises.

By Ailene VoisonChips. Cracks. Gaping holes. It's all there. You don't have to be a rocket scientist, an economist, a salary cap expert, or an NBA player or executive to recognize that the league's business model is flawed, perhaps irreparably.

But this time there is no easy fix. The money is bigger, the imbalance between the haves and have nots more substantial, the issues even more complex.

separating the league and its players the overall revenue split between Bottega Veneta Iphone Case

In the NFL, earnings from nationally televised games are evenly split among franchises, hence the viability of Balenciaga Bags Outlet Shop

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The fact the New Orleans Hornets franchise is in receivership should petrify owners and players alike, and is almost as ominous as the number of teams that recently were sold (Detroit, Atlanta, Philadelphia); are on the market (Memphis); are expected to be on the market (Milwaukee); are in jeopardy of being relocated (Sacramento); or recently relocated (Seattle).

Yet with a lockout now under way, the owners and players couldn't even agree on whether revenue sharing should be incorporated into a new agreement. The players say yes, while the owners say it's another conversation.

owners and players, the need for a hard salary cap, the length of player contracts, among them the revenue imbalance between major markets and smaller to mid market franchises looms as the most vexing. Small market owners have been seething about this for the better part of a decade.

"There is something wrong if 22 of the teams are losing money," said professor Gabe Feldman of the Tulane Sports Prada Sunglasses Original Law Program. "That exact number may not be accurate, but I do think some change is necessary to allow these smaller market teams to compete financially. The question is, 'What kind of an NBA do you want?' "

By contrast, the NBA has minimal revenue sharing and a staggering disparity in local TV contracts: The Kings' annual $11 million contract with Comcast, for instance, is pennies compared with the $3 billion to $5 billion the Lakers expect to generate over the next two decades with their new Time Warner deal.

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