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NBA, union finalize audit of revenues, player compensation

By Steve Aschburner, NBA.com
Posted Jul 22 2011 6:15PM

Both NBA revenues and total player compensation increased by 4.8 percent for the 2010-11 season, according to a joint audit finalized Friday by the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association.

The audit showed that Basketball-Related Income rose from $3.643 billion in 2009-10 to $3.817 billion last season. The players' share increased from $2.076 billion to $2.176 billion, equaling 57 percent of BRI as provided in the recently expired collective bargaining agreement between the league and the union.

Player compensation increased in each season of the six-year CBA, while the NBA has cited losses in each of the six seasons totaling more than $1.5 billion. While BRI has increased, the owners have said their non-player expenses have risen at a greater rate.

The average player salary for the 2010-11 season was $5.15 million, an increase of 16 percent over the life of the six-year CBA.

The NBA imposed its first lockout since 1998 on July 1 after negotiations throughout June, and dating back more than 18 months, failed to produce a new deal. Owners were seeking a 50/50 split of BRI, a hard salary cap, shorter contracts and a 10-year CBA as concessions from the players when the two sides met in their last bargaining session June 30.

The union offered a pay cut of approximately $500 million over a six-year contract that would effectively reduce their share of BRI to 54.3 percent. But the players have resisted a hard cap and contend that many of the owners' financial problems could be alleviated through a more aggressive revenue-sharing arrangement.

No negotiating session is scheduled. In the last lockout, which stretched into January 1999 and led to a shortened 50-game regular season, the two sides failed to meet from the start of the lockout until Aug. 6.

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