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new york shock exchange
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Between "Stern and a hard place"?
Yesterday NBA commissioner David Stern said there was no quantifiable progress in collective bargaining talks over the summer, and the league is seeking a on-third reduction in player salary costs.  Stern would like "player costs" to drop by $750 million to $800 million. Team owners currently spend about $2.1 billion annually in player salaries and benefits. NBA brass says the owners are in a “diseconomic situation,’’ with projected losses of about $340 million to $350 million this season.  This posture flies in the face of various economic studies claiming the owners are indeed making money.  This is clearly a "shot across the bow" from Stern, in what looks to be a long and protracted negotiation between the NBA and Billy Hunter, head of the NBA Players Union.  Hunter appears be caught "between a rock and a hard place" in that (i) the players will not want to budge on a "hard salary cap" or salary reduction, and (ii) the players and their enablers, don't appear to be realistic on how bad the economy is and the quality of the product the NBA puts out.  I predict that the players will eventually take a pay cut, but Hunter resign or be fired first.

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