Mark Cuban Wants to Adios the NBA's Salary Cap? Apparently. Quite the "Game Changer."

Categories: Sports
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Photo by Sam Merten
This morning's New York Times looks at the NBA lockout and wonders whether all the owners -- those from small markets, those with big payrolls, those losing money, those winning titles -- are on the same page when it comes to demanding givebacks from their players. Long story short: Yes and no. As in:
Micky Arison, whose Miami Heat play in the N.B.A.'s 14th-largest market, is among the owners most eager to settle, according to people close to the talks. Mark Cuban, whose Dallas Mavericks play in the league's fifth-largest market and have one of its highest payrolls, is one of the most intractable.
But Cuban does have a solution -- at least, according to Bill Simmons and Grantland, where yesterday Billy Hunter, executive director of the National Basketball Players Association, was a guest for an hour-long podcast during which he threw out this revelation: Cuban wants to ditch the salary cap altogether. And that, says Hunter, is "The Game Changer." Slam Online directs our attention to the transcript:
Question: The owners seem like they want something bigger than a new labor deal. They want to create a new economic model for the league. What responsibility do you have to help them build that model?

Billy Hunter: Mark Cuban, ironically, came out with a structure that he called "The Game Changer." We talked about moving in a different direction, in terms of no salary cap. We took that idea back into our room, and we in turn responded with something similar. I saw the reaction that he had to it, and two or three other owners in the room were really excited about it. Keep in mind, when you start talking about no salary cap, the salary cap has existed in the NBA for at least the last 30 years. It was the creation of David Stern. I don't know if there was any pushback because of that. We were prepared to pursue that whole idea of going into a different direction.
The salary cap for last season was $58 million; the Mavs' payroll this season is projected to be around $63 million.

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Cuban talks about getting rid of the salary cap because he knows the cap inpedes the ability of teams like Dallas (ie high income franchises) to maintain a top level team over time, and makes the teams more on a level playing field with each other for talent.

Newsflash: the salary cap making the league more competitive is the idea and the goal.

Take a look at european soccer clubs to see how a cap-less NBA would evolve over time. There are the clubs who have the talent, and they stay on top and win the trophys just about every single year, while the mediocre teams stay mediocre, and the bottom teams struggle to stay in the top division.

IOW the rich stay rich and the poor stay poor. It is very, very rare for a team to change their lot in life, unless and new owner comes in with a wheelbarrow of money (see Man City) and turns the roster.

Mark, I love you as an owner and you brought to us a championship trophy. But no, this idea of no cap is wrong for the league, it will make the players even more primadonas than we have now, and will set in perpetuity the pecking order of the teams.

A bad idea. period.

Josh's broken records
Josh's broken records

Interesting idea..Baseball doesn't have a cap, and the Yanks don't win every year.  I've seen talk of contracts being no longer than 4 years too and there's also been alot of talk about contraction.

  I'll get back to thinking about hoops, when we have completed our mission.

Chris Danger
Chris Danger

I say do it, get rid of salary caps and luxury taxes, its ruining professional sports. Let the free market decide whom or where a player goes. In its place, take these smaller market teams (Cleveland, Miluwakee, N.O.) and make them the AA/AAA affiliate teams and bring these younger men up in those to actually learn both the NBA game and how to manage their scene, makes more sense than than the current d-league, which is an absolute joke...

Sporty Sport
Sporty Sport

No salary cap, increased luxury tax. Small market teams stay afloat as farm teams subsidized by the major markets. Mavs win more but their ticket prices go up. I think I'd rather be a Cleveland or Milwaukee  fan and pay reasonable ticket prices for better seats to see my kids try to make the playoffs or upset the big boys during the regular season.


The one thing neither side really cares about is the fans. The ticket prices won't go down nor will the concessions. I'm interested to see what the backlash will be initially in markets that aren't as successful, like Sacramento or New Orleans.


" I think I'd rather be a Cleveland or Milwaukee  fan and pay reasonable ticket prices for better seats to see my kids try to make the playoffs or upset the big boys during the regular season."

Really, I highly doubt that.  So you enjoyed the early 90's mavs? the late 80's boys? 

that statement might work for baseaball where that is the father of father son sporting trips, but proabably only bc baseball is the most affordable of the majors to attend, even when they do win

Josh's broken records
Josh's broken records

I did not enjoy the early 90's Mavs..but did attend many a game and watched all of em..The three J's were the bomb! Dick Mottaaaa we got Emmm..

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