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NBA LOCKOUT: (Michael Milken Voice) "Take The Deal!" PDF Print E-mail

Milken Makes His Worst Trade
The NBA owners and Commissioner Stern have given the NBA Players ultimatim after ultimatum to sign a collective bargaining agreement and get back to work.  One of the proposals on the table featured a 50/50 split of basketball related income ("BRI") between the owners and the players.  The owners have chirped that the next proposal would only be worse - BRI of 47%, salary roll-backs and unguaranteed contracts.  Should the players make this "trade" or not?  For answers, one could look to insider trading case against Michael Milken, one of the most astute traders in the history of Wall Street.  In the late 80s Milken was under investigation for insider-trading and racketeering charges.  Federal authorities had considered accepting a guilty plea to a single felony, as presented by Milken's lawyers.  After dragging his feet on the plea deal and having his co-workers testify against him, the single plea deal was dropped as being too favorable to Milken. 

The feds then offered Milken the chance to plead to two felony counts, three if the deal included immunity for his brother, Lowell.  Milken would also have to admit to wrongdoing and cooperate with the government.   However, Milken dragged his feet again, and did not agree until the 4pm deadline had passed.  Fired from Drexel Burnham and separated from his trading desk, a broken Milken finally pled to six felony counts and a payment of over $600 million - the worst trade of his life.  With the NBA players faced with an exploding offer from the owners, what would Milken advise them to do?  TAKE THE DEAL!

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