NBPA Consulting Economist Murphy Gives Q&A
NBA.com: How does it make sense economically to hold out for a small percentage that’s much less, in sheer dollars, than what the players are losing by missing games? A gap of 2.5 percent is worth $100 million annually, but a missed month of paychecks is $400 million.
KM: Part of it on our side is an investment in the future. If you give up a lot today, you’re not just giving it up today, you start the next contract from that much lower. So you’re talking about the long-term impact of that kind of concession.
You can say the same thing for the owners. They’re losing money every week. The answer is, both sides are losing in this. It’s a shame we can’t get a deal. But I’m not going to make it sound easier than it is. It’s always easy to say, “Well, one of you guys should give in.” But tell me who? And when someone says, ‘Just compromise,’ at least recently, that hasn’t been happening. Maybe it will.
NBA.com: Some cynics think the owners wanted to get to this point to squeeze the players via lost paychecks.
KM: I think there’s an element of that, a desire to see how far they could push the players to see when the players would crumble. Given that there was not a great cost … it’s almost too bad that it isn’t more costly to lose the start of the season. If it had been, they wouldn’t have done it. The idea that I can get this, like, almost-free test of the other side’s resolve is tempting, right?