The National Basketball Association (NBA) could begin slashing players’ salaries in a bid to recover money lost from cancelled games from April 15. However, they will pay salaries owed to players as earlier scheduled for April 1.
It is said that this is an allowable scenario according to a clause contained in the collective bargaining agreement with the players. The clause is referred to as the “force majeure.” The NBA put a stop to the current season on March 11 after an Utah Jazz player in Rudy Gobert tested positive to the coronavirus. The pandemic has forced a shut down in all sports leagues across the United States.
According to a memo shared to league sides making up the NBA, it was stated that plans about the April 15 payment date will be later relayed to them. April 15 is the date the league is meant to be officially ended before its disruption by the coronavirus pandemic.
Under the terms of the deal agreed between the NBA and union, the league is afforded the right to withhold a percentage of players’ salaries should a catastrophic situation cause league games to be cancelled, including happenings like pandemics.
It is not clear when the league is likely to resume, or the players start playing once again. It is also unclear when and whether there would be any play-offs this term.
There is also an alternative to be explored. The league could also decide to store money under the disaster clause in the short term. They can later from this fund pay players when the suspended games are eventually played out.
NBA organizers who are prepping themselves for bouts of financial losses should the season not resume are according to several reports looking for arena dates in August where league games can be played, and the league brought to a close.
The coronavirus pandemic has led to the suspension of many sporting activities across the world. League owners and organizers will be scratching their heads at the thought of losing a fortune should their respective leagues not resume in time. The NBA was suspended after Utah Jazz’s Rudy Gobert was found to have contracted the virus.
Written by Roland Arum