Tuesday, June 21, 2005

NBA labor agreement: the haves get screwed gently by the have-mores

As reported here and elsewhere, the NBA and its players association have come to terms on a new collective bargaining agreement that will run through the 2010-11 season.

What's the opposite of a pyrrhic victory, as in the players lost the battle at very little cost?

I think they "lost" in the sense that the owners always had the upper hand, especially since it's the players who come out looking worse in any work stoppage.

My guess is that the players association publicly took a hard line on some issues that they weren't too overly concerned about, i.e. age limit, contract length, to make sure they were giving up too much and setting up a precedent for future dealings. And after taking the hard line, they could say "Well, we gave up X and Y. Woe is us." but still get back on their Escalades knowing they'd have enough money to pay their six baby mamas and have enough left over for a steak dinner.

And even with these concessions, NBA players are far, far better off than their NFL cousins, who enjoy shorter careers and no guaranteed contracts.

For the rest of us though, it's just a bunch of millionaires and billionaires redistributing their poker chips. The important thing is that there's no lockout.

<< Home