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Old 12-22-2011, 10:07 PM   #1 (permalink)

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Default Heat owner was against the CBA


Miami Heat owner Micky Arison revealed Thursday that he voted against ratifying the NBA's new collective bargaining agreement, saying that ballot was cast as a protest of how revenue sharing is expected to work in the deal.

Arison is the second owner to publicly disclose that he voted against the CBA, joining Dallas' Mark Cuban.

The NBA's Board of Governors approved passage 25-5, and Arison's "no" vote came after it was already assured that the deal would go through and the league would be back in business. In an interview with six Heat beat writers, Arison would say that he would vote the same way if the outcome was hanging in the balance.

"While I did everything I could behind the scenes, and some not so behind the scenes, to get playing by Christmas, when you come down to it, financially ... it's a tough financial deal for us," Arison said. "Particularly the revenue-sharing piece of it, the way it's structured. For us to have to pay revenue sharing to larger-market teams was disturbing. And we will. So that was a kind of protest vote."

Arison's announcement came tinged with one major caveat: He wanted a deal, and fought for a long time to get one. Miami, which lost last season's NBA finals to Dallas, enters this season as the prohibitive favourite to win the 2012 championship. NBA rules prohibited Arison from having virtually any contact with players during the lockout, but he said he felt they understood he wanted a deal.

Turns out, just not this particular deal. Or, more specifically, not the revenue-sharing aspect of this particular deal, even while acknowledging that it was help level the playing field in the NBA.

"I did everything I could, from both the owners' side and the players' side to get a deal done as quick as possible and to miss as few games as possible," Arison said. "So you've got to connect that with the 'no' vote."

The Heat made money last season for the first time in at least a decade, riding the boost that came from the first year of having LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh on the same team. But the new deal will eventually have a punitive salary cap and revenue sharing designed to help the so-called "small market" teams.

In short, revenue sharing figures to hit Miami hard, even though Arison said he believes his "big market" club actually has a smaller market than Minnesota.

"While the original intent of the owners was to have a hard cap, which would have basically levelled the playing field, instead because of players' refusal to accept that they just made it extremely expensive," Arison said. "So now you have to financially deal with how expensive that is."
Heat owner Arison voted against new CBA - sportsnet.ca WAP
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