Did the Players Give Up Money to Make the NBA Better? Exploring the 2011 Collective Bargaining Agreement in the National Basketball Association, pp. 158-175

David J. Berri

The NBA and its players union reached a new collective bargaining agreement in 2011. As a result of this agreement, the players will now be receiving less money. The NBA argued that a pay cut for the players was necessary to make the league better. More specifically, the NBA argued that if the players accepted less money, more teams could afford to field competitive teams. Therefore, competitive balance would improve, demand for the sport would increase, and ultimately the players would be better off. Although the NBA did get the players to accept less money, the empirical evidence—from published research—casts significant doubt on the story the NBA told its players.