The first two weeks of the 2011-2012 season for the National Basketball Association has been cancelled as players and owners fight for their “fair share” of the projected $3.8 billion in Basketball Related Income (BRI). BRI constitutes all the money made through basketball operations, including gate receipts, broadcast revenues, in-arena sales of novelties and concessions, arena signage revenues, game parking and program revenues, and sponsorship revenues.
Under the previous contract, the BRI was a 57-43 percent split in favor of the players and the owners want it to be a 50-50 deal. The last time that the two sides met, each was reluctantly willing to accept a 53-47 split in their favor. However, each side can’t have 53 percent of the BRI, for any math-challenged person knows you can only divide 100 percent of the total, not 106 percent.
The practical, cost-conscious owners want a greater share based on their claim that most NBA teams are losing money, while the players don’t want to relinquish their current share. Just how practical are the owners? In November 2011, the NBA board of governors approved the sale of the Golden State Warriors for a record $450 million to a group of financially knowledgeable investors. The buyers were well aware that since the 1999-2000 season that franchise had qualified only once for the playoffs and boasted a 371 won and 603 lost record during that period. What a bargain.
Then there is the other half of the equation — the players whose average salary is $5.15 million. This isn’t too bad considering that their main talent is to run around in their underwear and try and put a round sphere into a wire hoop.
Carmelo Anthony, the star of the New York Knickerbockers team, was set to “earn” $17,149,243 for the season. With the cancellation, Melo already stands to lose approximately $1.6 million in salary and he lamented, "It's stressful. If it's a dollar, if it's 10 dollars, losing money is losing money, regardless of how much you have."
For the moment, Carmelo may be able to commiserate with the 14 million currently out of work, and with those who do have a job earning the median salary of under $47,000 a year. When the strike ends, he will be able to get buy with his salary of $209,137 for each game that he plays. Since he averaged 35.7 minutes playing time in each game during the past season, based on his present salary that would come to $5,858 per minute played. It would take him less than nine minutes on the court to reach that yearly median salary.
Carmelo’s salary was larger than most Americans, but was only thirteenth in the NBA. With that fact weighing heavily upon him, Melo might not be mellow regardless of the outcome.