If you follow the NBA, chances are you’ve heard of the recent Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) that was reached between the NBA and the NBPA last week. This agreement was reached just before the December 15th opt-out deadline preventing another NBA lockout. The last time a lockout occurred was in 2011 when an agreement could not be reached between the NBA and NBPA resulting in a delayed start to the season from November 1st– December 25th. This caused an overall reduction in the amount of games played that year from 82 to 66 games. This was the fourth lockout in NBA history and lasted a total of 161 days. Thankfully we won’t have to endure another lockout next season, but here’s a little background into what this whole CBA thing is about and what players are involved.
Within the NBA there are many different entities working together to bring us all the basketball we need and love each year. The NBA consists of the commissioner–Adam Silver– and 30 team owners while the players contract individually with whatever team they play for. The players also have a resource called the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA), directed by Michele Roberts, which exists for NBA athletes to work together for the betterment of all players in the league. According to the NBPA webpage, the association is a union for current professional basketball players in the NBA ensuring the rights players are protected and that every conceivable measure is taken to assist players in maximizing their opportunities and achieve their goals, both on and off the court.
The CBA functions as an agreement between the NBA and the NBPA dictating the rules of things like player contracts, trades, revenue distribution, the draft, and salary cap. The last CBA took effect in 2011, and hasn’t been updated since. With the expiration of the old agreement comes some proposed changes to the agreement that will take effect in 2017. Some of these changes include strategies for decreasing the amount of injuries that players sustain. The NBPA has proposed a shortened preseason schedule, and a limitation on back to back games. Increasing the number of games where all players are playing healthy is a goal for both parties in the agreement.
Another piece of the new agreement will be a change in the current domestic violence policy. Currently the sanctions for domestic violence are inconsistent and some players have received punishment more harsh than others. The proposed change focuses on assisting an offending player with getting the help and rehabilitation they need to move past violent and destructive behavior. Also, the new CBA will make changes to the drug testing procedure. The NBA has made it clear that they are firmly against players consuming marijuana, but they will be tightening up their testing procedures to make it more convenient for players to take their tests without major disruptions to their schedules. The new CBA will also address changes to the economics of the NBA with a large financial upside for the players in the league.
As long as the NBA and the NBPA exist, there must be an active CBA in place to govern the operations between the two entities. The CBA that was reached last week was approved “tentatively” and will be finalized in 2017. The new agreement will last another 7 years and will need to be re-established after that time has expired. The NBA and NBPA are positive that the relationship between the two parties will continue to be mutually cooperative as the key players for both associations have changed over the years and. In the past, the two party leaders could hardly be in the same room as one another due to extreme tension, but with new faces comes new opportunities for improvement.
Both the NBA and the NBPA are committed to maintaining a relationship of respect and friendship with one another which means many more years of NBA action to come.