CANOE Network SLAM!Sports

 
SLAM! Sports SLAM! Basketball
  Sat, October 4, 2003


NBA NEWS
RAPTORS
NCAA BASKETBALL
SCOREBOARD
COURTSIDE BLOG
COLUMNISTS
COMMENT






PLAYER BIOS
MOVEMENTS
INJURIES
STATS


FIND A PLAYER:
CONF. STANDINGS
EAST STANDINGS
WEST STANDINGS
WEEKLY SCHEDULE
DAILY LEADERS














Curry believes in salary cap
Union boss says it brings 'balance'
By BILL HARRIS, TORONTO SUN

This may send a chill up the spines of NHL players, but the president of the National Basketball Players Association -- who just happens to be a Raptor -- believes salary caps are the wave of the future in pro sports. "I think salary caps are needed," said veteran forward Michael Curry, who was traded to the Raptors from the Detroit Pistons during the summer.

"With any collective-bargaining agreement, you want an opportunity for players to earn good salaries during their short careers. You want them to be able to maximize. And at the same time, the owners deserve a right to be able to earn a profit.

"So caps are okay to have a balance. Once you get that competitive balance, it's all about who runs their franchise the best and who makes the best decisions."

Now, some players who dream of a completely open market aren't going to agree with Curry, who has a finance degree from Georgia Southern and a master's degree in sports management from Virginia Commonwealth. He may be the president of the NBPA, but he doesn't speak for everyone.

The collective bargaining agreement between the NBA and its players -- which features a salary cap for teams (although there are numerous loopholes to get around it), a luxury tax on extravagant clubs and maximum player salaries based on years of service -- has its fair share of critics. With the NHL potentially headed for a labour dispute next year, the NBA system is being examined closely by hockey types.

Some would argue the NBA's system restricts teams too much. Cap and tax concerns certainly have stopped the Raptors from making various moves. But think about it: Is it the actual system that has thwarted the Raptors, or their own questionable decisions?

As a person on the "inside," Curry's views are significant, and at times bordering on surprising. There are some things he would like to tweak in his league's CBA, but he likes the general model.

"There's not one deal possible that everyone is going to be happy with, so you have to compromise," Curry said. "We would like to make a couple of changes in our next CBA, which hopefully we'll get within the next year."

The CBA is entering its sixth and final season, but the league has an option to extend it for a seventh season. Either way, Curry believes relations between the NBA and its players have improved and he's hopeful a new deal can get done without labour disruption.

The NBA locked out the players in 1998 and half a season was lost before a new deal was reached. At the time it appeared as if the league had gained on almost every issue. Salary caps for teams had existed for quite some time, but two new twists were caps on individual players' salaries and the luxury tax on teams.

Curry knows those are controversial subjects, but overall he believes there were gains and losses on both sides.

"We have maximum caps for player salaries, but the last time I checked I don't think it has been bad," said Curry, alluding to the fact they're aren't many paupers in the NBA. "The maximum caps were a compromise by high-end players and I think all the other players were appreciative of that. It was good for establishing the middle class (exceptions to the cap that encourage the signing of mid-range veterans) and raising up the minimums. You have a lot of guys who were able to get good contracts because of that."

Curry, 35, has two years remaining on his four-year term as NBPA president and he plans to complete his service as long as he doesn't retire at the end of this season, which he acknowledged is a possibility.

"You get criticized a lot (as president of the NBPA)," he said with a shrug. "The reality is, I try to do what I feel is right. We try to educate our guys and present everything to them so they can make decisions on what they feel is best, not only just for the players and the owners, but for the game.

"What you don't want to do -- and this comes from a retired player -- is destroy the goose that laid the golden egg."









Do you like the new-look Raptors heading into the 2013-14 NBA season?
  Yes, new GM made great moves
  No, they will still be a terrible team
  Unsure what to make of it


Results | Story