The NFL isn’t the only professional sports league facing potential labor issues.
While football owners are on the cusp of locking out their players for the 2011 season, the NBA may be on the verge of doing the same thing if no collective bargaining agreement can be reached.
NBA commissioner David Stern stole headlines Thursday when he announced the league is aiming to cut player salaries by $750-800 million next season – or roughly a third of the players’ $2.1 billion annually earned through salary and benefits.
The league’s CBA is set to expire on June 30, and while some significant changes have long been expected, Stern’s estimate Thursday sent shockwaves through the sport and made a 2011 lockout seem like a realistic outcome.
The owners described their current predicament to the union as a “diseconomic situation,” claiming they are projected to lose a $350-400 million this season. Despite an increase in ticket sales, owners said a new CBA agreement is a necessity, as players currently earn 57 percent of the league’s basketball-related income.
In addition, CBSSports.com is reporting that the NBA is even considering contraction in attempt to make the league profitable to owners once again.
If an agreement cannot be reached before next fall, it would be the NBA’s first work stoppage since the 1998-1999 season. And with an NFL lockout possibly looming as well in 2011, it would be an untimely disagreement for the NBA, who is looking to establish itself as pro sports' No. 2 league behind the aforementioned NFL.
With decisions and deliberations still months away, here is the action to watch tonight (all times Eastern):
Orlando Magic at Miami Heat (7:30 p.m., ESPN)
Two of the Eastern Conference’s best, and most star-studded, teams meet in a preseason battle of the Florida franchises. LeBron James scored 38 points in the Heat’s victory last night over the Atlanta Hawks.
New York Yankees at Texas Rangers (8:07 p.m, TBS)
With a 3-2 series advantage in hand and returning home, the Rangers send Game 2 winner Colby Lewis back to the mound to face the Yankees’ Phil Hughes.
BY THE NUMBERS
5 – Length of the deal striker Wayne Rooney signed with Manchester United on Friday. Last week, Rooney voiced his displeasure with the club and said he might not return following the 2012 season. But yesterday, Rooney said he was “delighted” to return after “intensive discussions" with the organization.
60 – Points No. 1 Oregon hung in their Pac-10 romp over ULCA last night. It was the Ducks’ first game since being named No. 1 for the first time in school history last week.
7 – Day disabled list the MLB is currently considering specially for players who suffer concussions. The new rule could be implemented as soon as next season.