NBA Commissioner Adam Silver made a bold statement on Tuesday, claiming that a “significant number of teams” are simply losing money. Those are strange words to hear in a time when valuations are the highest they’ve ever been; when players agreed to almost $1.5 billion in contracts. Let’s not forget the $24 billion nationwide television contract that was recently signed. On paper, the NBA appears to be in good shape.
Silver made that statement after a 4-hour meeting with the Board of Governors during which the league’s 30 owners discussed a variety of subjects, like the arena deal for the Milwaukee Bucks or the possibility of changing the playoff format.
The subject of players being able to get out of their collective bargaining agreement was also brought up, and Silver expressed his desire to prevent this from happening again in the future. He also made the argument that a many of the league’s teams are still unable to make a profit despite the obvious economic boon.
Between the costs of running a team, increased arena costs, smaller TV deals, luxury taxes and the increase in self-funded practice facilities, teams are having a hard time turning a profit.
Tuesday’s meeting proved to be unfruitful when it came to finding a solution for players opting out of the collective bargaining agreement. There was a brief discussion on possibly shortening the period, so deals could be signed sooner.
Silver admitted that the league is using an “imperfect system”. As of right now, owners and players can opt out of the collective bargaining agreement in December 2016, but Silver doesn’t believe that players will take that route.
Silver’s statement sparked a bit of controversy online, and the public and NBA players are having a hard time buying the argument that team owners are losing money.