Monday, March 24, 2014

The Money of the NBA

Although David Stern may not be the most popular guy to basketball fans, he is certainly leaving the NBA in pretty good shape. Since falling into the hands of Stern in 1984, the NBA has done a lot of growing, both domestically and internationally. In fact, the playoffs are now broadcast live in 215 countries around the world. So, while NBA teams begin to look toward the quickly-approaching playoffs, we can look at the money behind the NBA.

Revenue and Worth

The NBA’s revenues are no longer counted in millions of dollars, like they were when Stern took over. Instead, the revenues totaled $4.6 billion for the 30 teams last year. Altogether, the 30 franchises of the league are worth $19 billion, compared to $400 million for the 23 franchises in 1984. Last season’s gate receipts totaled $1.3 billion around the league and the salary cap has reached the $58 million mark for teams.

As far as operating income goes, which is the amount of profit gained after subtracting operation costs, the NBA saw the highest amount ever last year with an average of $23.7 million. The league’s NBA China venture, which began in 2008 with the help of $253 million in investments from the likes of the Walt Disney Co. and ESPN, is estimated to be worth approximately $1.5 billion.

The CBA and Television

The recent collective bargaining agreement between the NBA owners and players has had a huge impact on where the money of the NBA goes. According to that CBA, the amount of revenue to go to the players decreased from 57 percent to 50 percent. The CBA also had an emphasis on revenue sharing, meaning that the lower revenue teams would be supplemented by the higher revenue ones. There will be an estimated $200 million changing hands this year based on the revenue sharing rules.

With so many experts in fields such as negotiations and business acquisition financing, the NBA is making plenty of money through TV contracts as well. The current set of contracts with TNT and ABC are set to expire after the 2015-2016 season. Those contracts are worth an annual average of $930 million. In local TV, the Lakers are showing that there is money to be made. The Lakers’ deal with Time Warner Cable earned the franchise $122 million last season as the first year of the 20-year, $3.6 billion deal.

Most Valuable Franchises

For the second-straight year, the New York Knicks are the NBA’s most valuable franchise. Up 27 percent from last year, the Knicks are worth $1.4 billion. The $1 billion renovation of Madison Square Garden and longest playoff run in over a dozen years pushed revenue to $287 million. The franchise’ operating income of $96 million last year is a record for an NBA franchise.

The second-highest valued franchise in the NBA is the Los Angeles Lakers, according to Forbes. The current value of the franchise is $1.35 billion with last year’s revenue totaling $295 million for the Lakers. However, the Lakers were charged the highest luxury tax-- $29.3 million—due to a payroll of $100 million last season. The Lakers also turned an operating profit of $66 million last season.

The NBA’s final billion-dollar franchise is the Chicago Bulls with a worth of exactly $1 billion. Thanks to four-straight years of leading the NBA in attendance, the Bulls always turn one of the highest revenues. Last year’s revenue for the Bulls totaled $195 million with an operating profit of $52 million. 

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Chicago Could Land the Next Big 3

Since the “Big 3” of Boston made the Celtics instant contenders, every city seems to be looking for the next trio of all-stars to take them to the NBA Finals. And according to rumors around the league, it looks like the Bulls could put together the next Big 3 as soon as next year. With plenty left to happen in the NBA between the end of this season and the beginning of the next one, there is no certainty that Chicago can woo the likes of Carmelo Anthony, but they are certainly trying and the move could make perfect sense.

Potential Bulls Big 3

The whole idea behind making moves for the New York Knicks’ star, is to pair him with Chicago’s current stars — Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah. So far this season, Noah has been one of the most impressive big men in the NBA. Some experts are even calling him the best. What we know for sure is that Noah is the best perimeter-defending center. He always plays with great passion. For the potential Big 3 in Chicago, Noah would be the emotional leader, and the big man to match what was Boston’s Kevin Garnett and what is Miami’s Chris Bosh.

As for Rose, the trio of all stars would only be a trio if Rose can come back healthy and still be close to the superstar that he was when he won the MVP trophy. But, with back-to-back major knee injuries, we won’t know how good Rose will be until he starts playing again. The explosive point guard would be the biggest question mark for the new Bulls squad. The uncertainty around his ability to come back strong may prove to be too big of a gamble for Anthony to pledge his future to Chicago.

The biggest moving part in Chicago’s quest to obtain a Big 3 is Anthony. Should they entice him to Chicago, the Bulls would be getting a proven star and one of the NBA’s best scorers. Although he is often accompanied by criticisms that he is a selfish player and doesn’t play defense, Anthony would definitely become an offensive threat that the Bulls desperately need. And with Chicago’s great defense that seems to almost put security gates around their basket. Anthony’s lack of defensive effort may be compensated for by the rest of the squad.

What Needs to Happen

In order to get Anthony to Chicago, a host of actions need to be taken. First of all, Anthony would have to leave money on the table. He could make approximately $33 million more in free agency if he stays with the Knicks instead of going to another team. Additionally, Chicago would have to persuade Anthony away from the bright lights of Los Angeles should he choose to leave New York. If all of that happens, then the Bulls would have to make room for the max-level contract that Anthony would want. To do so, the Bulls could amnesty Carlos Boozer to save $16.8 million, and let Kirk Hinrich leave in free agency to clear up some cap room. The Bulls may also be forced to lose another piece should Anthony join the team, meaning that a player like Taj Gibson could very well be living in a city other than Chicago next year. The move for Anthony would come at a great price, but if it makes the Bulls legitimate title contender to match the Miami Heat and Indiana Pacers, how do you say no to that?

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Rockets Bench is Their Achilles Heel

The Houston Rockets have had a great year. At 41-19, they've put themselves in a position to be successful in the playoffs. What's their achilles heel?

The up and down play of their bench. They've got some solid bench players, such as Omer Asik, Jeremy Lin and newly acquired Jordan Hamilton (Asik would start on most teams). The offensive firepower is lacking with this group.

When James Harden's out and these guys hit the floor, the ball stops and the shot clock just twinkles down. Coach Kevin McHale is fully aware of this and that's why Harden plays 38.5 minutes per game.

What can they do about this? Jeremy Lin needs to be more aggressive. He's not confident on offense right now and he needs to hit threes. If Lin can get going and put points on the board consistently, that'll set the tone and raise the confidence of the whole bench.

Whether Lin can consistently hit shots is to be determined, but the bench is the biggest x-factor going forward. If they can give them a lift, that's huge and unexpected. What do you think of the Rockets bench play this year?

LeBron James Hits a Three at the Buzzer (That Doesn't Count)

LeBron James hit an incredibly tough three to end the third quarter against the Rockets. James Harden smothered LBJ. LeBron faked, paused and eventually banked in the triple.

Too bad it was waived off! If he'd launched the shot just a split second earlier, it would've been cash money. How about that shot though?

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Reebok Classic Episode 3

Reebok came out with a funny ad. It features Allen Iverson, Shawn Kemp and more. Dig it!

My favorite part is Allen Iversons bit at the end. What's your favorite part?