Stern: NBA hopes to cut salaries

Oct. 22, 2010 at 10:56 PM
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NEW YORK, Oct. 22 (UPI) -- NBA Commissioner David Stern said Friday he hoped the league would cut its costs by at least $750 million in its next contract with the players.

Stern, in a pre-season news conference, also said he is not "spending a lot of time" thinking about the possibility of contraction.

The regular NBA season begins next Tuesday and the league's collective bargaining agreement will expire at the end of the 2010-2011 campaign.

"I'm allowed to be optimistic and not consider it a cloud because I've probably been in a dozen collective bargaining negotiations," Stern said. "The last 10 of them have involved some of the same actors that are currently at the table, so we know we're going to get an agreement done."

He said his goal would be to trim player salary costs between $750 million and $800 million in a new deal.

There have been media reports this week that the league would be open to eliminating some teams.

"I would say that we're committed to small market teams," Stern said. "We are going to have a new CBA eventually and we're going to have a more robust revenue sharing.

"The issue of contraction is one that has to be discussed in the context of collective bargaining with the players, whether if there are markets where there may not be buyers for teams that are looking to be sold.

"That raises the issue of contraction. But it's a sensitive subject for me because I've spent 27 years in this job working very hard not only to maintain all of our teams but along the way add a few.

"But I think that's a subject that will be on the table with the players as we look to see what's the optimum way to present our game, and are there cities and teams that cannot make it in the current economic environment. I'm not spending a lot of time on it."

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