NBA Players Reach Tentative Labor Agreement With League

Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports via Reuters

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Ted Goodman Contributor
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The NBA and its players’ union reached a tentative seven-year collective bargaining agreement Wednesday.

The deal virtually guarantees labor peace through the 2023 to 2024 season, although it can be opted out of six years in. The players agreed to a 51 percent share of basketball-related income, which is roughly the same amount they receive under the current contract, according to the New York Times.

An interesting change in the new contract is subtle, but may effect some of the league’s top earners. The “Over-36 Rule” is a part of NBA contract law that makes it difficult for players who are 32 or older from signing five-year deals, and makes it more difficult for players 33 or older to sign four-year deals. The change in the rule is expected to help the NBA super star, and current president of the players union, Chris Paul the most, according to SBNation. The rule changes could make Paul the first $200 million NBA player.

The league suffered from a lockout in the 1998 season, which resulted in a 50-game regular season. In 2011, the league suffered a brief lockout, shortening the season to 66 games.

The NBA is in the middle of a nine-year deal with television networks worth $24 billion. ESPN and TNT signed the blockbuster deals in 2014 at a time when television networks were fully behind the notion that live sports would keep declining television viewership from total collapse.

While the league does not have nearly the same amount of parity as America’s other major sports leagues, the stacked rosters of the Cleveland Cavaliers, Golden State Warriors and San Antonio Spurs have increased television revenue and popularity both at home and around the globe.

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