NBA: Michele Roberts’ First Job—Settling Age-Limit Question

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The age-limit question, left open in the 2011 collective bargaining agreement, should be the first priority for new NBPA executive director Michele Roberts. (Image capture from nba.com)

The age-limit question, left open in the 2011 collective bargaining agreement, should be the first priority for new NBPA executive director Michele Roberts. (Image capture from nba.com)

After more than a year of controversy, the National Basketball Players Association has its new executive director to replace Billy Hunter and Michele Roberts—the high-powered Washington, D.C., attorney won’t have much of a honeymoon period.

The current collective bargaining agreement runs through 2020-21, but at least one expert thinks the players will opt out of the deal in 2017 and the league will lock out the players on July 1 of that year.

Larry Coon, an expert on the current CBA, thinks any lockout will be short and sweet, with the players just wanting to get back some of the basketball related income they gave up to get the 2011 deal done.

“I expect the players to opt out in 2017 and for the league to impose a lockout on July 1, 2017 (because they can’t do business without an agreement in place,” Coon wrote in April. “However, negotiations will be quick and smooth (similar to 2005) and there will be a new CBA in place in time for the 2017-18 season to begin on time.”

But before that crossroads can be reached, the most pressing issue is the question of the age limit. That question was left unanswered in the 2011 deal.

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