|*Atlanta Hawks Alex Meruelo*||*TBD:* The Hawks are transitioning from one of the messiest ownership |
situations in NBA history (co-owners suing each other) to a business-minded
new owner in Alex Meruelo. Hard to know who will cast the Hawks' vote, let
alone what that person is thinking.
|The Hawks have a big market, but bad revenue. They are very interested in |
revenue sharing ... if the formula is right.
|HAWK: After a five-year fight for control, they may not even know about this.|
[MHI note: reference to Atlanta Spirit, LLC]
|FENCE: Southland pizza magnate is awaiting approval of his purchase of the team from an Atlanta group; was surely aware of what Stern wants.|
|*Boston Celtics Wyc Grousbeck*||*HAWK:* But it's complicated. The Celtics are due for a fantastic, new |
media deal, which will be one of the best in the league. Once that's
official, revenues will be strong, and then the focus may shift to the
reality that this roster has a short window. With short-term TV money and a
strong roster, worries are more about years from now -- the owners' long
offers are tailor-made to that.
|The Celtics would be payers in any revenue sharing, especially when their |
new local TV deal is complete.
|HAWK: Huge debt service -- but the team is riding high and too old to be taking seasons off.||DOVE: He "has a new television deal that is a financial windfall for the Celtics. Wants to play," a basketball official said.|
|*Charlotte Bobcats Michael Jordan*||*HAWK:* Jordan is in something of a pickle. As a player he was strongly in |
favor of high player salaries. As an owner in a small market, he needs to
pay players very little without being made to look cheap. A hard cap would
be great for him.
|Together with Herb Kohl of the Bucks, Jordan made a presentation to owners |
arguing for very strong revenue sharing.
|HAWK: Up against it in once-fertile territory burned out by not one but two owners, absentee Bob Johnson and long-gone George Shinn.||HAWK: Has millions but is "looking to save money and lower salaries. M.J. is getting cheap," a league executive said.|
|*Chicago Bulls Jerry Reinsdorf*||*DOVE:* Reinsdorf is seen as close to David Stern, and likely to go along |
with the commissioner when it's time to make a deal. Also, his team makes
money, has reasonable salaries, and is on the rise, so playing the season
is good for him.
|As a high revenue team in a huge market, with plenty to lose, Reinsdorf is |
said to be tepid on revenue sharing.
|DOVE: Once sued NBA over cable TV. Now a league stalwart, raking in tens of millions.||FENCE: A Stern ally "on the side of the owners who say the CBA needs to be fixed," a basketball official said. But the Bulls are in a big market with returning most valuable player Derrick Rose, so money is flying away during a lockout.|
|*Cleveland Cavaliers Dan Gilbert*||*HAWK:* Gilbert is said to be a very strong hawk, and even willing to miss |
the season. Missing what is slated to be a rotten season on the court is
palatable and getting closer to the end of Baron Davis' deal would be a
blessing. Also, keeping LeBron James and the Heat from any chance of
winning the 2012 title would be OK.
|Aggressively and enthusiastically for it, although it is not thought that |
Gilbert has influence with many other owners.
|HAWK: Came by distaste for system honestly, seeing it take LeBron James -- but may make $25 million-plus this season with his payroll slashed.||HAWK: Gilbert watched LeBron James leave for South Beach, while the former title-contending Cavaliers finished last. One executive said Gilbert is "one of the tough owners who wants to break the players."|
|*Dallas Mavericks Mark Cuban*||*HAWK*: Cuban's position is that he'll spend as much as the league will |
allow him to spend, so he would very much like it if spending the max
didn't put him so deep in the red.
|Cuban is against aggressive revenue sharing. Dallas is a good market, and |
the Mavericks have good revenue, but the team is not profitable so Cuban
may be leery of writing checks to other owners.
|HAWK: Once wouldn't agree if Stern said 2+2=4. Putting him on committee appointment was a gutsy move that has impact whichever way this gadfly goes.||DOVE: Wants to play basketball immediately, especially with the Mavericks defending their first NBA title. One caveat: might want shorter player contracts; he's on the hook with Brendan Haywood for five years and $45 million.|
|*Denver Nuggets Stan Kroenke*||*HAWK:* As owner of the NHL's Colorado Avalanche, Kroenke knows well the |
powers of missing a season to stick it to the players, and word is he's
more than happy to repeat that process in the NBA.
|The Nuggets are said to be strongly in favor of aggressive revenue sharing.||HAWK: Team is on verge of disintegrating while the Avalanche, the family hockey team, prospers.||HAWK: Lost Carmelo Anthony in a trade to the NBA's largest market. No fan of the old system. One executive noted Kroenke's determination: "Stan owns Wal-Mart and he won a class-action lawsuit at the U.S. Supreme Court."|
|*Detroit Pistons Tom Gores*||*HAWK:* The Pistons were once a good business. Gores -- an L.A. based |
private equity investor -- is intent to run the team like a business and
wants all the help he can get from a new CBA.
|Tom Gores plays his cards close to his chest, but the armchair analysis is |
that his team would likely be in a beneficiary in most systems.
|HAWK: Whatever helps Bill Davidson's widow get the team off her hands. |
[MHI note: published before team was sold to Tom Gores]
|FENCE: Another new owner likely to side with the hawks.|
|*Golden State Warriors Joe Lacob, Peter Guber*||*DOVE:* Lacob and Guber are said to be in a strong financial position in an |
excellent market. Playing this season is unlikely to hurt them. What's
more, they have an overhaul to complete.
|Lacob and Guber paid so much for their team so they could reap the rewards |
of their big, lucrative market. Who in their right mind would want to share
the benefits of that investment with the Grizzlies?
|HAWK: Huge debt service after paying $450 million to preempt Larry Ellison but did it because they're excited to be here.||FENCE: Still new to NBA ownership but seem willing to spend when a new collective-bargaining agreement is reached, having already secured Jerry West as an advisor.|
|*Houston Rockets Leslie Alexander*||*DOVE:* The Rockets have an excellent TV deal and are very well run -- they |
don't have the same pressure other teams have to change the status quo.
|Like the Spurs, the Rockets are doing just fine, thank you very much, and |
don't need big changes to the status quo.
|DOVE: Low involvement makes him a dove in this context. They're a marketing success, healthily in the black.||DOVE: Is often willing to spend, but not quite with the big boys. Alexander paid $34 million the last two seasons as Yao Ming played only five games while battling foot injuries. Shorter player contracts might be on Alexander's mind.|
|*Indiana Pacers Herb Simon*||*DOVE:* The Pacers have coped with poor results on the court and on the |
business side. However, they appear to be turning the corner, have
reasonable contracts and are becoming bullish on the future. Simon is said
not to want a long lockout, and would go for a reasonable new CBA, so long
as it comes with good revenue sharing.
|The Pacers are incredibly enthusiastic about aggressive revenue sharing, of |
which they expect to be major recipients.
|HAWK: Billionaire developer and league stalwart before the 2004 Ron Artest suspension. Even after losing tens of millions, he's like the Maloofs, but calmer.||FENCE: Simon has a "small-market team that wants revenue sharing," a basketball executive said.|
|*Los Angeles Clippers Donald Sterling*||*DOVE:* Sterling is aggressively in favor of anything that makes him money, |
and was a critic of the last CBA, which he thinks was a giveaway to the
players. Nevertheless, he makes money from his NBA team right now and is
more than happy to let the Blake Griffin money machine keep rolling.
|Very tricky subject for the Clippers. They have a huge market but a lousy |
TV deal. Under city-sized formulas they'd be payers.
|HAWK: Of course, if everyone made as much as he does, labor and management would be at the bar, buying each other drinks.||HAWK: His teams lose on the court, not on the accounting ledger. Has plenty of money to wait it out.|
|*Los Angeles Lakers Jerry Buss*||*DOVE*: The Lakers have good revenues that they'd like to keep collecting. |
Jerry Buss is close to David Stern, and likely to support any deal the
league is pushing.
|The Lakers stand to lose the most in revenue sharing, by far. Reports are |
conflicting about whether they have accepted the idea of paying tens of
millions per season. This is a huge issue.
|DOVE: Had good financial reason to coo through the years.||DOVE: Any time away from the court is lost money for a successful owner who has little revenue stream outside of basketball.|
|*Memphis Grizzlies Michael Heisley*||*HAWK:* The Grizzlies have one of the toughest business challenges in |
sports. Heisley is eager for big changes, including a team-by-team hard cap
to keep costs down.
|Revenue sharing could change everything for the Grizzlies' bottom line, as |
the team is perfectly positioned to benefit in a major way.
|HAWK: Stuck inside of Memphis with the immobile blues again after leaving Vancouver, a market almost twice as big.||HAWK: He's been trying to sell. The Grizzlies had a nice playoff run and their arena is one of the league's newest, but Heisley wants the big-city boys to start spending more like him.|
|*Miami Heat Micky Arison*||*DOVE:* Arison is a respected moderate among owners, and is liable to be |
influential. This time around, business is looking up as the clock ticks on
a team in its championship window, so he'd like to play.
|The Heat, likely in line to pay only a little, are moderates on the issue |
of revenue sharing.
|HAWK: Cruise-line billionaire lost millions building glamour franchise — but can't support hard cap that would make him dump a superstar.||DOVE: Poster boy for how to manipulate the old system; put together James, Bosh and Dwyane Wade.|
|*Milwaukee Bucks Herb Kohl*||*HAWK:* Kohl is "as hardcore as anyone" in agitating for big changes, |
according to one insider.
|Herb Kohl made a presentation to owners in Dallas, with Michael Jordan, |
that called for very robust revenue sharing.
|HAWK: U.S. senator/billionaire retailer has assumed losses as civic duty.||HAWK: Kohl "believes that the current CBA agreement is broken," a league official said.|
|*Minnesota Timberwolves Glen Taylor*||*HAWK:* Taylor has lost a lot of money on his Timberwolves, and would |
presumably like to lose less. But he is said to be looking for incremental
improvement, not a profound overhaul.
|The Timberwolves could be big recipients, and are said to be pounding the |
pavement hard on this issue.
|DOVE: Tiny-market billionaire, expected to go with the program as chairman of the board of governors.||HAWK: Had one of the NBA's smallest payrolls and wants everyone else to face similar spending restrictions.|
|*New Jersey Nets Mikhail Prokhorov*||*DOVE:* Prokhorov bought a money-losing team and has been resolute about |
turning a profit, which would suggest "hawk." On the other hand, he's
determined to make a big arrival in Brooklyn in 2012, where local TV and
sponsorship prospects are bright. That requires a healthy, happy Deron
Williams in uniform.
|A huge dilemma of revenue sharing is how to handle market size. Clippers |
and Nets are in huge metro areas, but have nothing like the revenues of the
Lakers and Knicks.
|HAWK: As a rule, flashy Russian billionaires don't buy in to lament conditions.||DOVE: Is similar to Grousbeck; has "new TV deal, [plus] new arena [coming] in Brooklyn," basketball official adds.|
|*New Orleans Hornets NBA*||*DOVE:* As the NBA owns the team, the good money is that this vote will |
echo whatever Stern wants. And by the time Stern presents a deal to owners
for their votes, it's a sure thing he'll want it to pass.
|The Hornets stand to be beneficiaries of aggressive revenue sharing, and |
therefore for it.
|DOVE: With the NBA running the team, they'll send someone so Stern doesn't have to give up the gavel to vote.||HAWK: The Hornets are owned by the NBA, so Stern has an extra vote in his pocket.|
|*New York Knicks James Dolan*||*DOVE:* For all the jokes about Dolan's leadership in basketball, his |
Knicks are a lucrative, fine-tuned business. Not to mention, they have a
roster that's generating excitement. On the other hand, they have one year
left before potentially having the cap space to bring in another big name
-- a 2012 return would be OK.
|Stern insists the big market owners are united in favoring more revenue |
sharing. But how much? The Knicks trail only the Lakers as likely payers.
|DOVE: What, him worry? His bionic cash cow made money while paying $150 million in salaries and luxury tax and embarrassing all concerned on the court.||DOVE: Dolan is "financially motivated to play," said one league executive, because his stars, Anthony and Stoudemire, will fill seats. He also has a lucrative local TV deal.|
|*Oklahoma City Thunder Clay Bennett*||*DOVE:* It would be a hell of a season for the Thunder to miss -- this is |
their time. Not to mention, Clay Bennett runs a successful business.
|Under some revenue formulas, the moneymaking Thunder would be payers. Given |
their market size, that's a condemnation of how most of the owners run
|HAWK: Tiny market, payroll about to zoom -- but Stern may hold his marker for backing the move from Seattle.||HAWK: Successful in a small market thanks to quality draft selections. But he wants some cost controls, plus he owes Stern for green-lighting his team's move from Seattle.|
|*Orlando Magic Richard DeVos*||*DOVE:* With Dwight Howard in his prime and the best arena in the NBA, they |
want to win now. One big caveat: They're fighting hard for provisions that
would make it hard for Howard to leave, such as limiting free agency or
creating a cap that would make it hard for a big salary team like the
Lakers to sign the big man.
|Not big on it. Should help them but word is they haven't pushed for it.||HAWK: If owner Rich DeVos' people think it through -- for once -- nothing matters but rules incentivizing Dwight Howard to stay. |
[MHI note: Heisler reported Bob Vander Weide represents the Magic on NBA labor committee]
|DOVE: Has a cushy arena deal and Dwight Howard at his peak.|
|*Philadelphia 76ers Josh Harris*||*HAWK:* Nobody knows Harris, nor if he'll be approved as an owner in time |
to vote on this deal. But like Gores, he has a business background, and
negotiated a favorable price to buy the team. Signs are he intends to watch
the bottom line closely.
|The 76ers are unlikely to collect or pay much, which makes this not much of |
an issue for them.
|HAWK: Corporate owner Comcast has long tried to dump the team. [MHI note: Published before sale to Josh Harris]||FENCE: His purchase of the 76ers approved this week. Not expected to be a prominent voice.|
|*Phoenix Suns Robert Sarver*||*HAWK:* When you ask around about Sarver, there is no doubt. He wants a |
much better CBA for owners.
|Sarver is strongly in favor of revenue sharing, although the Suns are |
unlikely to realize a ton of income.
|HAWK: Whoever's responsible, he has a real plight with big losses in banking too.||HAWK: Sarver is right next to Stern in demanding lower player salaries. The Suns would have lost about $15 million if the season had been played under the former salary structure, but only a few million if there is no 2011-12 season. Amare Stoudemire blames Sarver almost entirely for the divisive tone of talks with players.|
|*Portland Trail Blazers Paul Allen*||*HAWK:* Allen's team regularly sells out games, has tremendous local TV |
ratings, and now even has largely reasonable salaries, but is a persistent
money-loser. Like Cuban in Dallas, Allen would like to spend whatever it
takes to win, but would like that amount to keep him from broad financial
|The Blazers may benefit from revenue sharing, if nothing else because a lot |
of the competition -- the Lakers, Rockets, Spurs and Thunder -- would
likely be payers.
|HAWK: Small market or no, how hawkish can a Microsoft multibillionaire be?||HAWK: The Microsoft cofounder is a billionaire, but Portland is a small market and Allen wants spending control among all owners.|
|*Sacramento Kings Joe and Gavin Maloof*||*HAWK:* The Kings need, essentially, a miracle. A radical CBA win for |
owners is the best chance they've got. Also, they could be among the owners
who would profit from a lockout.
|The Kings stand to benefit mightily from just about every revenue sharing |
plan now on the table.
|HAWK: Took big hit in casino biz too, but assuming they get meaningful relief, they're not burn-village-to-save-it types.||HAWK: The Maloofs are ringing the cowbell for cost control. The Kings have an outdated arena and a sagging franchise that might move to Anaheim.|
|*San Antonio Spurs Peter Holt*||*HAWK:* Holt is aware that his small-market team needed to win the lottery |
twice to create a profit. He'd like to address that meaningfully, so his
team can stay in the black. On the other hand, there are limits to this
hawkishness: One of Tim Duncan's few remaining years of high productivity
would be a steep price. Also, the Spurs may be the best-run team in the
|See the Thunder entry above.||HAWK: Chairs labor committee. Tiny-market team with big payroll — but his franchise has defined "model citizen," on and off the court.||HAWK: Has done incredibly well in one of the NBA's smallest markets but wants to level the playing field with the big-city owners.|
|*Toronto Raptors Larry Tanenbaum*||*HAWK:* The same owners weathered an NHL lockout, and in Canada hockey is |
the national religion. This is nothing compared to that.
|The Raptors have a very good local revenues, which would make them payers |
in most systems, so aggressive revenue sharing is not their favorite idea.
|HAWK: They do OK as part of a corporate family with fans buying tickets to get the best seats for Maple Leafs games. |
[MHI note: Heisler reported MLSE CEO Richard Peddie as the principal owner]
|HAWK: Lost Chris Bosh to Miami, and his young team vanished; supports revenue sharing, tighter spending.|
|*Utah Jazz Greg Miller*||*HAWK:* The Jazz paid through the nose for a competitive team most of the |
last decade -- money that's tough to make up in a small market without a
different CBA. Miller also just lost a star player, Deron Williams, to a
threat to move to a bigger market. He'd like changes.
|The Jazz are in a small market without much profit, so they would be |
|HAWK: Small market, big payroll but just suffered enough PR damage for a decade.||HAWK: Small-market franchise showing cracks in the foundation after the trade of Deron Williams and the "retirement" of Jerry Sloan.|
|*Washington Wizards Ted Leonsis*||*HAWK:* Leonsis' experience in the NHL is said to have convinced him of the |
power of hard negotiating. And he recently paid a heck of a lot of money
for a team that hasn't been good lately.
|Like the Sixers and Hawks, the Wizards have a big market but not a ton of |
revenue. They are unlikely to pay or receive much.
|HAWK: Paid king's ransom for a goofy team and arena to go with his Capitals, thinks the NHL did it right.||HAWK: Leonsis is a hard-line owner "who has been through this with his NHL team, the Washington Capitals, [and the] NHL missed an entire season," an NBA executive says.|
 Owners in red on NBA labor relations committee; Owners in bold reportedly willing to cancel games --reservoirgod Sun Sep 11 2011 16:56:26 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time)
 See http://articles.latimes.com/print/2011/oct/21/sports/la-sp-nba-owners-20111022 --reservoirgod Fri Oct 28 2011 23:25:27 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time)
 See http://articles.latimes.com/print/2011/oct/21/sports/la-sp-nba-owners-20111022 --reservoirgod Fri Oct 28 2011 23:25:27 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time)