News broke tonight that yet another agent-written letter was sent to the players imploring them to not concede on the owner's demands. This is of course, frustrating news for many. The last thing this negotiation needs is a third party throwing a wrench in things like the random Singapore sub plot in Pirates of the Caribbean 3. Anyhow, here is the link to the letter that was sent. However, through a personal connection I was able to acquire the original letter that was sent, prior to editing. Here it is (note: it is very humorous how few changes were made, and how little time was taken, on this letter to capture its new tone):
Just as the owners have come together to negotiate a new collective bargaining agreement, several concerned agents have also come together to discuss the status of our future earning potential. There are important negotiations taking place that will impact us. Because we are united in our concerns that we continue to earn our commissions and have our voices be heard throughout this process we have created this joint letter to our players.
This letter was prepared by the agencies and agents listed below, and is being sent to all of the players they represent:
Arn Tellem of Wasserman Media Group
Bill Duffy of BDA Sports
Dan Fegan of Lagardere Unlimited
Jeff Schwartz of Excel Sports Management
Leon Rose and Henry Thomas of Creative Artists Agency
Mark Bartelstein of Priority Sports and Entertainment
I am writing to you because the negotiations between the NBPA and NBA owners are at a critical stage. You must take action and protect us.
Our Voice Must be Heard
Any deal you and the owners agree upon will have a major impact on us, our families, and our careers.
Educate yourself on the specifics of the negotiations and proposals that have been made.
Demand a full vote by all players on any proposed deal between the players and owners.
Contact the NBPA to ask questions and speak out about the issues that will directly impact us and our families.
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The Current Proposal Hurts Your Earning Potential
The NBA demands deep cuts and major “givebacks” that will cripple our earning potential and the earning potential of every future agent.
The NBPA offered to reduce the players’ share of BRI from 57% to 52%. This will result in a transfer of over $20 million per year or a minimum of $50,000 per player (editors note...assuming a 10% commission here) away from the agents and back to the owners.
This results in at least 8% or more of our commissions being withheld by the owners each season through the escrow withholding. This applies to all contracts, including contracts signed before the lockout. We may never receive this money back.
The owners demand mandatory reductions in all player salaries in addition to the escrow withholding, including “claw backs” from all existing contracts by as much as 10% per year.
With an 8% escrow and a 10% “claw back,” our commissions may drop by 15 - 20% at the end of each season.
A reduction of the players’ share of BRI to 52% will result in severe restrictions on free agency and our ability to earn on your true market value.
Every NBA team’s Salary Cap will be significantly reduced, leaving teams with much less Salary Cap room to sign free agents.
Teams will possess all of the leverage because there will be fewer teams competing for your services.
Players will compete against each other for shorter and smaller contracts than the contracts that were available under past systems.
A reduced salary cap reduces the Maximum Salary.
The NBA demands a reduction in the Mid-Level Exception salary and contract length as well as new limitations on Bird rights. This will severely restrict usage of these very important exceptions and harm our ability to make money off of you.
Refuse Any Deal that Excludes the Players from the Explosive Growth of the NBA
The owners demand a long term deal with the players but do not want to share in the tremendous growth and success of the league over the past six seasons.
Over the past six seasons:
The NBA enjoyed record attendance, sky-rocketing television ratings, and ever increasing television rights deals;
NBA franchise values have continued to escalate and set records (compare the sales of the past six years to previous sales); and International growth is rapid and constant with a growing worldwide television audience and more games played internationally.
During the 2010-11 season, the NBA experienced its highest revenues ever. Demand to see the complete financial records of the owners over the past six seasons, including their related entities (such as regional sports networks and arenas).
Never Respond to Ultimatums or Threats– Stand Strong for Your Principles and keep making us the money we deserve
The owners will threaten a doomsday scenario, but you must not yield to their ultimatums or threats
The NBA seeks unprecedented and unjustified changes to the collective bargaining agreement.
Do not acknowledge “scare tactics” and fight to achieve your goals. You fought your entire life to reach the NBA and must not let your right for us to receive fair commissions affect this.
Careers are short with limited time to maximize our earnings and limited opportunities to share in the money you help generate for the league. If you don’t fight to preserve your rights now, you will pay the price in each pay check you receive for the rest of your career. It does not matter if the season is cancelled....an 8-10% pay cut now is a far worse deal than losing out on a year's worth of potential earnings. Just trust us!
It is our career, our family, our income, our future. What will you do?
Participate in the Process and Protect your Individual Right to Bargain
When the time comes, you must demand that the NBPA submit any proposed agreement to a vote by all NBA players and provide every player with a reasonable amount of time to review and consider the proposed deal. We urge you now to become involved and educate yourself. Money is power!
Contact the union to educate yourself and fight for what is important: No further reduction of the percentage of BRI received by the players. Maintain existing structure of the Bird and Mid-Level Exceptions. No reduction in Maximum Salary from existing levels. Ending world hunger. Solving the AIDS crisis. No reduction in Contract Length from existing levels. Proving whether or not God exists. No changes to Unrestricted Free Agency and improve Restricted Free Agency. A date with Jessica Alba. Any deal must include these points. Remember, it is not about when or how fast a deal is reached, it is about taking the time to secure the agents the highest commissions numbers and completely screwing over the fans in the process.
We are here to exploit you. We welcome the opportunity to address any questions or concerns you may have.
AGENTS: JUST GO AWAY