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tfan



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PostPosted: 08/05/18 11:51 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

I believe Taurasi is referring to the WNBA/player’s union CBA as “communist”. That is, it doesn’t allow enough differentiation between salaries of stars and salaries of bench players to her liking. As opposed to Russia, where the Russian mafia and oligarchs can pay very large salaries (not justified by capitalist profits) to stars and peanuts to everyone else.


Richyyy



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PostPosted: 08/06/18 12:18 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

tfan wrote:
I believe Taurasi is referring to the WNBA/player’s union CBA as “communist”. That is, it doesn’t allow enough differentiation between salaries of stars and salaries of bench players to her liking. As opposed to Russia, where the Russian mafia and oligarchs can pay very large salaries (not justified by capitalist profits) to stars and peanuts to everyone else.

Some would call that being paid what you're worth. If you're, say, a genius computer programmer, and only five people on Earth can create and write the kind of code you produce, Microsoft or Apple or whoever are going to pay you millions (as long as you know your worth and negotiate it right). The grunts who do the basic coding that any of hundreds of thousands of computer science grads could do are gonna make enough to pay their rent and go to the movies on Friday night.

The WNBA's artificial system means the genius gets barely twice what an entry-level grunt is on, and exactly the same as 40% of the programmers at the company. You can kinda see why someone brought up in a supposedly great capitalist democracy might feel they're not exactly getting their due.



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Randy



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PostPosted: 08/06/18 7:00 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

The WNBA's "artificial" system exists because the WNBAPA is more or less a classic union. The rank and file members hold the superstars salaries down so their own salaries can go up. Seniority as much as anything drives the pay scale. This is completely unlike the NBA model which allows the best players to get 25 x the least talented players. I don't think the owners can be blamed for the WNBA system. They probably don't care much how the salary cap $ are distributed, but with the recent spate of players sitting out, etc they would probably like to pay the best players more and the least talented ones less.



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Rock Hard



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PostPosted: 08/06/18 8:39 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Randy wrote:
The WNBA's "artificial" system exists because the WNBAPA is more or less a classic union. The rank and file members hold the superstars salaries down so their own salaries can go up. Seniority as much as anything drives the pay scale. This is completely unlike the NBA model which allows the best players to get 25 x the least talented players. I don't think the owners can be blamed for the WNBA system. They probably don't care much how the salary cap $ are distributed, but with the recent spate of players sitting out, etc they would probably like to pay the best players more and the least talented ones less.

That is an issue the players must work out with the new CBA. Do they want a new paradigm where the superstars get paid a lot more money than the average player. The other major issue to be worked out is the free agency structure. There is very little player movement with the current free agency structure. The major stars must force to not play in order to have any freedom of movement in the league. The question is will the players be willing to strike in order to address these two important issues.



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Richyyy



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PostPosted: 08/06/18 8:57 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Randy wrote:
The WNBA's "artificial" system exists because the WNBAPA is more or less a classic union. The rank and file members hold the superstars salaries down so their own salaries can go up. Seniority as much as anything drives the pay scale. This is completely unlike the NBA model which allows the best players to get 25 x the least talented players. I don't think the owners can be blamed for the WNBA system. They probably don't care much how the salary cap $ are distributed, but with the recent spate of players sitting out, etc they would probably like to pay the best players more and the least talented ones less.

In the NBA, the owners don't really care how the players want to split up their cash, because everything is so secure, and even the lowest paid players are making a lot of money by normal human standards. But in the WNBA, I do think the owners/league would be a little more invested. If the top players aren't getting enough, they're a threat to not play at all which hurts the product and the league. But if you pay the mid-level players so little that they all decide the WNBA isn't really worth it, you could end up with a few stars and then a load of absolute scrubs. Just playing basketball for money in the USA won't be enough of a draw if they can make more as an assistant coach of a high school team - or by playing in Finland for 8 months and then spending the summer on vacation.

So while it's definitely going to be the players who are most worried about who's getting what in the next CBA, I do think the owners will care a little. Although given that it's a give-and-take negotiation, they won't want to admit that Wink.



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patsweetpat



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PostPosted: 08/06/18 10:15 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

GEF34 wrote:
patsweetpat wrote:
Randy wrote:
patsweetpat wrote:
pilight wrote:
Why substantially increasing WNBA player salaries is more complex than you think

http://www.espn.com/wnba/story/_/id/24247429/why-increasing-wnba-player-salaries-more-complex-think

Quote:
"Are we going to talk about the CBA, too?" Phoenix's Diana Taurasi asked.


From that article, this quote by Taurasi:
"I've said the WNBA is the most communist business you'll ever be in," she said. "And it's funny, I spent 12 years in a communist country feeling the benefits of a free economy. It's bizarre to me that I've lived in this paradigm. I've lived the American dream somewhere else."

FWIW, the Russian sports teams for which Taurasi has played are directly subsidized by the Russian government. When DT says she's been "feeling the benefits of a free economy", what she apparently means is that she's benefitted from a foreign government's financial largesse. That's fine, so far as it goes. I don't begrudge DT taking the money that's been offered to her. I just wish she wouldn't point to the arrangement as some sort of free-market exemplar, in order to comparatively sh*t-talk the W.


They pay her a lot of money. That's a free enough economy for her.


Honestly, that's probably exactly what she means.

"I get paid a lot of money, even if it's government money" = "a free economy" and "the American dream".

Okay. I'm not sure how the WNBA is supposed to go about emulating that particular "business" model, but okay.


I don't believe all teams overseas are subsidized by the government, and from all I've read about the team Diana Taurasi played from, it's not subsidized by the government. If you have an article or something that says otherwise I would love to read it.


From this article about the murder of the shady industrialist who owned Taurasi's former team:

An avid fan of basketball, which he played while growing up in Lithuania, Kalmanovitch indulged his passion by pouring millions of dollars a year into the Spartak women's team which also received heavy subsidies from the Moscow regional government.

http://www.fullcourt.com/lee-michaelson/4709/spartak-moscow-owner-murdered

And from a Medium article:

The women’s basketball landscape is drastically different in Russia. Historically, the Russian government has been kind to professional sports, offering subsidies to teams in order to attract talent from elsewhere across the world. And it’s worked; plenty of WNBA players flock to not only to the Russian Premier League, but to the Euroleague, the Women’s Chinese Basketball Association, and other leagues overseas for much thicker paychecks than what they can find here in America.

https://medium.com/the-rough/the-future-of-the-wnba-looking-past-diana-taurasi-faa79a4c98fb


tfan



Joined: 31 May 2010
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PostPosted: 08/06/18 4:44 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Richyyy wrote:
tfan wrote:
I believe Taurasi is referring to the WNBA/player’s union CBA as “communist”. That is, it doesn’t allow enough differentiation between salaries of stars and salaries of bench players to her liking. As opposed to Russia, where the Russian mafia and oligarchs can pay very large salaries (not justified by capitalist profits) to stars and peanuts to everyone else.


Some would call that being paid what you're worth. If you're, say, a genius computer programmer, and only five people on Earth can create and write the kind of code you produce, Microsoft or Apple or whoever are going to pay you millions (as long as you know your worth and negotiate it right). The grunts who do the basic coding that any of hundreds of thousands of computer science grads could do are gonna make enough to pay their rent and go to the movies on Friday night.


The comparison with Taurasi to her peers would be that she is at the top tier in talent. She can’t do things that only five players can do, she only does the same things better. The analogy would be to programmers who are more productive - fewer bugs and work is done quicker than peers. Those programmers become the highest paid, but they don’t have an “order of magnitude” wage disparity with the programmers who are one step away from layoff. The WNBA salaries are probably similar to what a top-rated programmer makes versus a low-rated one (in the same programming domain). But if not, there is an alternative to paying Taurasi more.


Quote:

The WNBA's artificial system means the genius gets barely twice what an entry-level grunt is on, and exactly the same as 40% of the programmers at the company. You can kinda see why someone brought up in a supposedly great capitalist democracy might feel they're not exactly getting their due.


The WNBA started out paying the lowest players somewhere between $12,500 and $15,000 a year. Had they maintained that low entry, or went back to it, Taurasi could get a nice disparity in wage, and the league could remain semi-financially viable.

Apparently in Russia they let the super rich owners outspend the others for American talent. It must make being a fan of the outspent teams challenging. The WNBA could try that, but I don’t see it working. You would have a few Lynx-type teams and many Tulsa Shock teams, with the attendance and interest in each city reflecting that. Although, if the league went to 2 or 3 teams, some fans here would be very pleased with the average level of talent in the league.


Richyyy



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PostPosted: 08/06/18 5:00 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

tfan wrote:
Apparently in Russia they let the super rich owners outspend the others for American talent. It must make being a fan of the outspent teams challenging.

You mean like, say, Major League Baseball?



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pilight



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PostPosted: 08/06/18 5:10 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Richyyy wrote:
tfan wrote:
Apparently in Russia they let the super rich owners outspend the others for American talent. It must make being a fan of the outspent teams challenging.

You mean like, say, Major League Baseball?


Luckily the US has other sports with salary caps, like the NBA, that don't have competitive balance issues



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tfan



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PostPosted: 08/06/18 5:24 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Richyyy wrote:
tfan wrote:
Apparently in Russia they let the super rich owners outspend the others for American talent. It must make being a fan of the outspent teams challenging.


You mean like, say, Major League Baseball?


They do have a luxury tax, although it looks like most of that never makes it to the poorer teams. I guess the WNBA players could point to MLB (the lone USA league without a salary cap) as a model when negotiating their next contract, but negotiating with a subsidiary of a league that has a “soft-cap” makes it tougher. However, they would seem to have a good shot at a NBA-style “soft-cap”.

The stars are stuck between trying to get more money from a league that doesn’t make money, or from non-star players who have to approve giving more of their money to the stars.

Wikipedia says that the Yankees and the players union fight any attempts by small market teams to add a cap to MLB. Maybe the WNBA union can team up with Glen Taylor or Magic Johnson to fight the less-rich owners. The ability to buy a championship could make the NBA owners (or other very rich) more interested in owning a team.

It would be nice if the system was setup in such a way that bad teams with few stars had an ability to pay a great free agent significantly more than a great team with lots of stars. But even then you could get Fowles-ish movement just based on the summer job nature of the league making championships more valuable than some amount of money.


calbearman76



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PostPosted: 08/06/18 5:48 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

A few points:

1) Russia is not a communist country and it hasn't been for a few decades. It is an authoritarian country (as opposed to democratic) whose economics are part socialism and part capitalist cleptocracy.

2) I believe the WNBA owners would be happy to let the players decide however they want to divide salaries amongst themselves. Their concern is total salary and total cost of benefits, and the owners should step aside on an individual player cap exemption or other modification as long as they maintain the total cap. Competitive balance is also important, but I doubt is as important as total cost.

3) The travel issue with Las Vegas exposed a problem. The season was shortened by 2 weeks because of Europe; travel is greater because of the balanced schedule and so there are fewer off days. The Aces took what I believe is the only daytime non stop from Las Vegas to Washington National Airport, but a seven hour delay followed by a cancellation caused a big headache. The CBA will have to address this.


pilight



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PostPosted: 08/06/18 5:57 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

calbearman76 wrote:
1) Russia is not a communist country and it hasn't been for a few decades. It is an authoritarian country (as opposed to democratic) whose economics are part socialism and part capitalist cleptocracy.


Diana Taurasi was in the 4th grade when Russia stopped being a communist country



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CamrnCrz1974



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PostPosted: 08/07/18 11:20 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Richyyy wrote:
Maybe the sheer volume of flights and destinations makes it unworkable, but I always thought a sponsorship/partnetrship deal with a major airline would've made a lot of sense. Make somebody the Official Airline of the WNBA, give them a few ads somewhere, and rather than a basic lump sum get preferential treatment for the players to travel in return. Business Class rather than coach when possible, make sure all the exit row seats are reserved for players, and so on.

Maybe charters aren't possible, but improving the current situation might be.


100 percent agree.

Given the travel situations/issues that have been highlighted this year, as well as player discontent with certain terms and conditions of the CBA and other matters (as expressed via social media), finding a corporate sponsor in the airline industry should be a big priority for the W this offseason.


GEF34



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PostPosted: 08/07/18 11:09 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

patsweetpat wrote:
GEF34 wrote:

I don't believe all teams overseas are subsidized by the government, and from all I've read about the team Diana Taurasi played from, it's not subsidized by the government. If you have an article or something that says otherwise I would love to read it.


From this article about the murder of the shady industrialist who owned Taurasi's former team:

An avid fan of basketball, which he played while growing up in Lithuania, Kalmanovitch indulged his passion by pouring millions of dollars a year into the Spartak women's team which also received heavy subsidies from the Moscow regional government.

http://www.fullcourt.com/lee-michaelson/4709/spartak-moscow-owner-murdered

And from a Medium article:

The women’s basketball landscape is drastically different in Russia. Historically, the Russian government has been kind to professional sports, offering subsidies to teams in order to attract talent from elsewhere across the world. And it’s worked; plenty of WNBA players flock to not only to the Russian Premier League, but to the Euroleague, the Women’s Chinese Basketball Association, and other leagues overseas for much thicker paychecks than what they can find here in America.

https://medium.com/the-rough/the-future-of-the-wnba-looking-past-diana-taurasi-faa79a4c98fb


Thanks for posting the articles. According to the article below Diana Taurasi's current team is not, or at least no longer subsidized by the government.

http://www.espn.com/espn/feature/story/_/page/espnw-russia160505/brittney-griner-diana-taurasi-opted-play-russia-money-escape-spotlight

Quote:
Dozens of teams are funded in part by local governments, while other clubs, such as the one Taurasi and Griner now play for, are backed by a huge corporation. (UMMC is the second-largest copper producer in Russia and operates mines across Europe.)



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pilight



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PostPosted: 08/09/18 1:06 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

The case for boosting WNBA player salaries

https://wtop.com/social-media/2018/08/the-case-for-boosting-wnba-player-salaries/

Quote:
Of course, the NBA rakes in far more revenue. However, in the 1971-1972 season – the year the NBA started drawing the same number of fans that the WNBA attracts today – the average salary was $90,000, which would equate to roughly $500,000 today.



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miller40



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PostPosted: 08/09/18 1:31 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

GEF34 wrote:
patsweetpat wrote:
GEF34 wrote:

I don't believe all teams overseas are subsidized by the government, and from all I've read about the team Diana Taurasi played from, it's not subsidized by the government. If you have an article or something that says otherwise I would love to read it.


From this article about the murder of the shady industrialist who owned Taurasi's former team:

An avid fan of basketball, which he played while growing up in Lithuania, Kalmanovitch indulged his passion by pouring millions of dollars a year into the Spartak women's team which also received heavy subsidies from the Moscow regional government.

http://www.fullcourt.com/lee-michaelson/4709/spartak-moscow-owner-murdered

And from a Medium article:

The women’s basketball landscape is drastically different in Russia. Historically, the Russian government has been kind to professional sports, offering subsidies to teams in order to attract talent from elsewhere across the world. And it’s worked; plenty of WNBA players flock to not only to the Russian Premier League, but to the Euroleague, the Women’s Chinese Basketball Association, and other leagues overseas for much thicker paychecks than what they can find here in America.

https://medium.com/the-rough/the-future-of-the-wnba-looking-past-diana-taurasi-faa79a4c98fb


Thanks for posting the articles. According to the article below Diana Taurasi's current team is not, or at least no longer subsidized by the government.

http://www.espn.com/espn/feature/story/_/page/espnw-russia160505/brittney-griner-diana-taurasi-opted-play-russia-money-escape-spotlight

Quote:
Dozens of teams are funded in part by local governments, while other clubs, such as the one Taurasi and Griner now play for, are backed by a huge corporation. (UMMC is the second-largest copper producer in Russia and operates mines across Europe.)


The President and CEO of the company financing the team are corrupt oligarchs with (rumored) ties to the Russian mafia and close friendship with Putin though. I guess the money doesn't come directly from the state, but their relationship with the state is what allowed them to get the money.


calbearman76



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PostPosted: 08/09/18 2:23 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

The funding of teams, whether government (local or national), oligarch or business, doesn't really matter. The point is that in the United States funding of sports teams are basically private business. Certainly their are government subsidies for stadiums and there is significant sponsorship revenue from business, but the basic American formula for financing sports is what it is. This can't be changed through a CBA.

The name of the game for both players and owners must be, "How can we expand revenue?" All other issues are secondary, including how the revenue pie is divided.


pilight



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PostPosted: 08/13/18 7:39 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Here is a schedule using the same home dates as the actual WNBA schedule. There are four back-to-backs (eight teams) for the whole league, only because the league scheduled seven games in two days four times. Move four home dates and there would be none. Even with the schedule this compact, it's hard to believe they couldn't move four dates.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1VI7C3IZdpCLbLqRcPCkGoFTSC3CEvetux4cSn04TzMs/edit?usp=sharing



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Last edited by pilight on 08/13/18 12:55 pm; edited 1 time in total
Richyyy



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PostPosted: 08/13/18 12:43 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

From what I've heard, certain teams actually like back-to-backs, because they keep travel costs down. If you fly-play-fly-play-fly home, presumably it's cheaper than fly-play-fly-hotel room stay-play-fly home.

Also - and this one is pure speculation based on something that occurred to me the other day - keeping a couple of back-to-backs on the schedule for each team could be a move by ownership/the league to make sure the Players' Association have to negotiate it out in CBA discussions. These things are always give and take, so you leave something like that hanging around as an issue so that you can get something else back if the players want it enough. But that one's just me guessing, not based on any information.



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tfan



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PostPosted: 08/16/18 12:22 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Liz Cambage tells us 5 ways the WNBA is failing its players


pilight



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PostPosted: 08/20/18 3:33 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

WNBPA announces changes to its executive committee

http://www.hoopfeed.com/content/2018/08/20/wnbpa-announces-changes-to-its-executive-committee/

Quote:
Sue Bird, Elena Delle Donne, and Chiney Ogwumike were elected to the offices of Vice President; Elizabeth Williams was elected as Secretary; and Carolyn Swords was elected as Treasurer.



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Richyyy



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PostPosted: 08/20/18 4:13 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

pilight wrote:
WNBPA announces changes to its executive committee

http://www.hoopfeed.com/content/2018/08/20/wnbpa-announces-changes-to-its-executive-committee/

Quote:
Sue Bird, Elena Delle Donne, and Chiney Ogwumike were elected to the offices of Vice President; Elizabeth Williams was elected as Secretary; and Carolyn Swords was elected as Treasurer.

Already up on their Leadership page on their website as well: https://wnbpa.com/about/leadership/ . They got that up damn fast.

Interesting that one of the people elected was the team rep and most quoted player during the Las Vegas missed game mess.



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PUmatty



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PostPosted: 08/20/18 5:09 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Richyyy wrote:
pilight wrote:
WNBPA announces changes to its executive committee

http://www.hoopfeed.com/content/2018/08/20/wnbpa-announces-changes-to-its-executive-committee/

Quote:
Sue Bird, Elena Delle Donne, and Chiney Ogwumike were elected to the offices of Vice President; Elizabeth Williams was elected as Secretary; and Carolyn Swords was elected as Treasurer.

Already up on their Leadership page on their website as well: https://wnbpa.com/about/leadership/ . They got that up damn fast.

Interesting that one of the people elected was the team rep and most quoted player during the Las Vegas missed game mess.


Monica Wright hasn't played in the league in two seasons. How long does a player stay in the union. In this list, she sticks out like a sore thumb.


Richyyy



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PostPosted: 08/20/18 5:31 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

I would presume that's a central part of why they've just elected a new Secretary and a new Treasurer.



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Rock Hard



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PostPosted: 08/20/18 6:05 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Richyyy wrote:
Maybe the sheer volume of flights and destinations makes it unworkable, but I always thought a sponsorship/partnetrship deal with a major airline would've made a lot of sense. Make somebody the Official Airline of the WNBA, give them a few ads somewhere, and rather than a basic lump sum get preferential treatment for the players to travel in return. Business Class rather than coach when possible, make sure all the exit row seats are reserved for players, and so on.

Maybe charters aren't possible, but improving the current situation might be.

That's a good idea, Richyyy.



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