David Falk Warns of Two-Year Lockout

Not to overload the forum with new topics, but I thought today’s New York Times piece is juicy reading. Semi-retired superagent David Falk predicts an imminent clash between players and owners in which the players union will be trampled, with a good chance of an extended lockout.

Key points, plucked from Falk’s new book. “The Bald Truth”:

– The salary cap, already reported to be inching down this summer, will be down significantly for 2010-2011 (he predicts)

 – When the current collective bargaining agreement expires in 2011, David Stern will push for a hard cap, shorter contracts, a higher age limit and an end to the mid-level exception — and will get his wishes.

– Owners are prepared to stem operating losses by locking out players for two years if they resist stricter cap rules.

– Falk thinks run of the mill players are paid too much and superstars are paid too little. He thinks the cap should (and might be) abolished for stars.

From a strict basketball perspective, this last point is most interesting. Is a $20 million player worth four times as much as a $5 million player, or 10 times as much? Or only twice as much? My initial reaction was that superstars are overrated… but on reflection, I would say they are not, that there SHOULD be a huge disparity in what players are paid. It’s just that the conventional wisdom on which players are stars or superstars, is often wrong.

On the others, Falk could be accused of being alarmist, in the interest of getting attention for his book tour. But no one is better connected, and none of what he suggests is farfetched.

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