If NBA teams are really in such bad economic shape then how come we’re not seeing more teams change hands? In other words, if “[a]bout half of the league’s 30 franchises are losing money” then how come that isn’t leading owners to sell their teams? Someone genuinely losing money on his NBA team ought to be willing to sell it at a cheap price to a rich guy hoops fan who doesn’t mind losing money, or just to a businessman who overestimates his basketball-management prowess.
Rationally speaking, if NBA teams are hugely profitable it makes sense for owners to grab as large a share of the revenue as possible. And if NBA teams are posting huge losses it . . . also makes sense for owners to grab as large a share of the revenue as possible. The state of the economy, in other words, has very little to do with anything. And this is really the key issue in the collective bargaining dispute—as a fan, I’d be fine with a hard cap (easier to understand) and happy with shorter contracts (nobody likes to see a team crippled by a bum long-term deal) but from a business point-of-view the owners’ core interest is in reducing the players’ aggregate share of the revenue but nothing about their pursuit of that goal has anything to do with the business cycle or anything a fan would care about.