Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Seven NBA Stars Ask out of Players Union

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Seven NBA Stars Ask out of Players Union

Article excerpt

The framework of a new National Basketball Association labor deal emerged Tuesday, but a potential agreement could be undercut by high-powered agents seeking to decertify the union.

The league and the union have agreed to the basics of a new collective bargaining agreement, according to a source familiar with the talks who asked not to be identified.

But the plan could be scuttled after Michael Jordan, Reggie Miller, Patrick Ewing and other NBA stars issued what amounts to a no-confidence vote in their union leadership.

On Monday, Jordan, Chicago teammate Scottie Pippen, Ewing, Charlotte's Alonzo Mourning, Orlando's Horace Grant and Atlanta's Stacey Augmon were among players signing notices saying they no longer wish to be represented by the union. Miller was to sign today, said his agent, Arn Tellem.

The players association expected to have an offer to present to player representatives by conference call today, with a vote taken Friday.

Under the proposed six-year deal, players would receive a greater share of revenues - approximately 57 percent, up from the 53 percent they currently receive. Included in the sources of revenues would be money generated by luxury skyboxes, club seats and international television.

The agreement would feature a rookie salary cap and limit rookie contracts to three years, after which a player would become an unrestricted free agent, the source said.

The college draft would remain at two rounds for the first three years of the agreement but would be cut to one for the final three years.

The salary cap, which would rise from $15 million to around $24 million, would be tightened by a luxury tax, triggered if the share of league revenues devoted to salaries exceeds 63 percent.

Individual contracts signed for raises in excess of 10 percent would be subject to the tax.

While the luxury tax was added to protect owners from escalating salaries, clubs will still be allowed to re-sign their own free agents without regard to salary cap limitations.

The provisions, however, do not sit well with the 15-member board of agents, which advises the union on labor negotiations. …

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