NBA possibly avoiding work stoppage feels like it would be against the norm

The NBA and NBPA are apparently moving towards a deal that will avoid a work stoppage and address the collective bargaining agreement that has an opt-out in 2017. That’s great news for NBA commissioner Adam Silver and executive director of the NBPA Michele Roberts. It’s smart not to kill the golden goose. The NBA has been experiencing somewhat of a resurgence since the CBA was signed in 2011. If the NBA can avoid a work stoppage, it is going against the norm of recent labor relations negotiations.

Over the past five years only MLB has been the only major league able to avoid a work stoppage — of course their CBA with the MLBPA expires this year. The NFL and NBA had lockouts in 2011, while the NHL has a lockout in 2012. Fans almost expect lockouts at this point. There needs to be some type of leverage exerted and the owners usually beat the players to the punch with lockouts being more prevalent than player strikes in the most current negotiations.

There hasn’t been any good news during the NFL’s most recent labor agreement. The CBA could be leading to a dip in quality of play. The NFL and commissioner went to federal court to maintain power as judge, jury, and executioner in regards to player discipline. Ask NFL players how much they like the current CBA. The NHL lockout seems like it comes every time the CBA expires.

The NBA is trying to avoid any work stoppage. Strikes and lockouts are bad for business. First, each side snipes at each other through the media. The public gets sick of the millionaires versus billionaires argument. Sponsors back out, because they don’t want to be involved with the issues. TV partners aren’t happy because they lose content. Advertisers get less bang for their buck buying ad spots during DVRable content.

This would be another success for Adam Silver who seems to be making every right choice. He’s been lauded for his handling of the Donald Sterling situation, the HB-2 controversy in North Carolina and is working with the NBPA to avoid any national anthem issues. In terms of business television rights skyrocketed, team valuations are growing at an insane rate and the product is extremely appealing to sponsors and partners.

Avoiding a lockout would help the NBA build its momentum. At a time when the NFL is struggling, the NHL is growing but not at the same rate of the NBA, and MLB is having demographic issues, The NBA and NBPA are working to leverage the current landscape to their future benefit. A CBA extension would be perfect for those future goals.