You mean I copped to my secret, and no one believes it!? Geez, what a waste. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

Ok, so you all know the NBA is now on hiatus because the players don't understand why the league wants to level the spending field across teams. You know the argument. The players contend that there is no direct correlation between spending and wins. And that league will never find its panacea of a level playing field by squeezing the spending band amongst teams.

Well, Seth Pollack over at SBNation AZ just completely disproved that claim.

The owners insist that they need to level the playing field between all 30 teams so the big markets teams (or those with deep pockets) can't continually outspend the rest of the league. They believe that more equal spending will give more teams the chance to be competitive.

The history is clearly on the owners side.

And by disproving that claim, natural order is restored. I mean, doesn't it just make sense that the more you spend the more you win? Otherwise, why would smart people like Mark Cuban continue to spend money hand over fist?

Read Seth's article (linked above). Look over the charts.

Under the old system, the more you spent, the more you won.

The top 5 spenders have won the last 4 championships.

Over the past 5 seasons, the top 10 spending teams enjoyed an 82% chance of making the playoffs. A 82% chance! And that's including the Knicks. If you take the Knicks out of the top 10 analysis, it's an 89% chance of making the playoffs. Everyone else? 40%.

Need any more reasons why the NBA wants to level the spending field?


So long, Billy. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

The worst thing that could possibly happen has just happened. NBA Commissioner David Stern questioned the cajones of the players, and the players went ape-shit.

Now the union has decided to dissolve itself (via 'Disclaimer of Interest') and let the players and their lawyers file an anti-trust lawsuit against the league for unfair labor practices. By disclaiming interest, there's no more union which means there's no need for those 130 signatures to request a vote to decertify. It's done. The union is gone.

Figuring this would be a tactic the players might use, the NBA has already dug in its heels and is ready to wait as long as it takes for the court system to decide in their favor. At least that's what Stern says. The NBA will even argue that all current contracts should be voided as well, making the 'reset' proposal even dicier.

There is a tiny theoretical chance that the players will win this case. And I guess that's what they are hanging onto. Hope it doesn't break on them.

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Are the players making the right move?

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What does "RT" mean?

This afternoon @NBA announced that Commissioner David Stern and Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver would be fielding questions about their current CBA proposal, starting at 7PM EST via Twitter. Don't know of this ever happening before, a professional sports league taking to social media to express their point of view, so it was an event worth watching. What is wasn't was an event that accomplished its objectives, whatever those were. 

Winning converts to their position would have been a reasonable objective. Even preaching to the choir would have been somewhat of a win. This Q&A session accomplished neither.

Social media is a tricky thing. As much as we all benefit from being able to read interesting nuggets that were previously concealed, it can turn on those who don't know how to handle the power of a truly open forum. Tonight, the NBA chose to drink from the fire hose and got a little wet in the process.

Update 11/13/11 10:44 PM PST: NBA's Twitter account posted its message to players and full proposal here

Jump it for more....

 

First, they answered questions without re-tweeting the original question. Instead of a real conversation, it was the NBA  spewing its talking points. Nobody is fooled by that. We see that this isn't a legitimate dialogue, and nothing more than a glorified, simplified, slightly arrogant press release from the league. 

Once they got that figured out, it was apparent that they only fielded the questions they wanted to answer. It wasn't like our forum here, where anybody can (justifiably) point out my errors, and I can try to refute it. Instead, it was more like a Harlem Globetrotters/Washington Generals game, where the outcome is in the bank before they throw the ball out for play.

I agree that the players should accept the current deal. But the only way they will do that is by the league extending an olive branch, not the point of a bayonet. This Q&A session didn't do that at all, and probably only exacerbated player discontent. Players Dwyane Wade and Spencer Hawes expressed their disgust with the NBA's badly aimed PR campaign. Said Hawes:

@spencerhawes00: still doesn't answer my question. Btw Median salary is 2.3 and there are 160 guys (and climbing) on minimum deals. Thoughts?

And Wade:

@dwaynewade: Now yall all see the answers-- we the Players have been receiving..

Yes, we do. It's like talking to a brick wall. Doesn't matter what legitimate concerns are brought up, the talking points will be spoken regardless. That's no way to have a conversation.

The NBA did itself no favors tonight. Players don't have much choice but to accept the deal on the table. Still, pride is a powerful force, and the owners' actions tonight didn't win hearts and minds. They came across as heavy-handed and imperious and, if anything, were counterproductive.

The full @NBA Twitter feed from tonight can be found here. Your thoughts?


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