Union Director Hunter Expects to Hear From NBA Soon on CBA Proposal
"It is the status quo,'' Hunter said in an interview Friday with FanHouse. "No question about it.''
With the NBA now claiming it lost $370 million last season, down from the projected $400 million figure commissioner David Stern provided last February, owners then sent the union a proposal calling for a significant cut in salaries after the current CBA expires June 30, 2011. Union officials rejected it outright, and said they would be sending a counterproposal.
The union's draft reached NBA officials in early July, and Hunter said there still have "been no comments at all from them about our proposal.'' Hunter, though, expects to hear something soon from the NBA, and then plans to offer some specifics on what the union proposal entails.
"Within the next few days or so, I'll probably be saying something,'' said Hunter, in Las Vegas because he is on the USA Basketball Board of Directors, meeting here while Team USA trials are going on in preparation for next month's World Championship in Turkey. "I want to hear from (NBA officials before commenting). I suspect that there may be some comments from them forthcoming.''
After the CBA expires next summer, many believe there will then be a lockout due to the two sides being far apart. Hunter has said he wants his players to be prepared for that possibility.
"Our contention is that the league is doing extremely well, and we hope to demonstrate that if and when we get together,'' Hunter said about why he doesn't have a problem with the current CBA in place. "We hope to demonstrate that to them, to go through our analysis of what the financial situation is.''
Union officials cited several recent figures they believe show the NBA is doing well. SportsBusiness Journal reported last week at least 15 NBA teams have sold this year to date more than 1,000 new full-season tickets compared to 11 a year ago. The publication reported the league season-ticket renewal rate is above 80 percent, up 7 percent from last year, and that season-ticket revenue is up 5 percent and likely to continue to increase throughout the summer.
Hunter doesn't agree with Stern's contention about losses of $370 million. But he wants to state his case personally to Stern.
"I'm going to wait and talk to David and eyeball him and give him my interpretation,'' Hunter said. "We hope to hear from them any time. I've gotten word that they're going to be reaching out to us, and I'm just waiting to hear from them.''
Chris Tomasson can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @christomasson