According to the Merriam Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, tenth edition, the term "strike" is defined as a "temporary stoppage of activities to protest against an act or condition." This is what the NBA players union decided to do in July 1998. The term "lockout" is defined as "the withholding of employment by an employer and the whole or partial closing of his business establishment in order to gain concessions from or resist demands of employees." This is what the NBA owners decided to do. What transpired over a period of several months was one of the most interesting settlements in labor-movement history. What were the demands? Who were the winners? Who were the losers? What incentives drove the behavior of the players and the owners? Follow the links below and take notes in order to answer these questions.

KEY CONCEPTS

Cost/Benefit Analysis, Incentive, Labor Union

STUDENTS WILL

  • Describe the circumstances around the 1998 NBA players strike.
  • List the incentives that influenced player and owner decisions.
  • Identify the costs and benefits the strike had on various groups.

INTRODUCTION

basketballAccording to the Merriam Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, tenth edition, the term "strike" is defined as a "temporary stoppage of activities to protest against an act or condition." This is what the NBA players union decided to do in July 1998.

The term "lockout" is defined as "the withholding of employment by an employer and the whole or partial closing of his business establishment in order to gain concessions from or resist demands of employees." This is what the NBA owners decided to do. What transpired over a period of several months was one of the most interesting settlements in labor-movement history.

What were the demands? Who were the winners? Who were the losers? What incentives drove the behavior of the players and the owners? Follow the links below and take notes in order to answer these questions.

MATERIALS


PROCESS

Seventy players will make the league minimum which is $272,500 for veterans and $242,000 for rookies. Here is a list of the salaries of players in the league from 1995 - present

To get an overview of what happened during the six-month strike, click on the links below.

Chronology of NBA Labor Strike

"League at a crossroads"

"A lockout primer"

What did the strike cost the players in lost salary? See this website that contains information about the salary cap for each player and the 50-game prorated salary of each player for 1998 - 1999 season.

Were the owners and the players the only ones who lost out because of the strike and the lockout? Who else was hurt by the cancellation of NBA games?

Read the following two articles about lost revenue of those individuals and/or business indirectly related to the game.

"At United Center, Behind the Scenes"

Labor Relations in Basketball - The Lockout of 1998-99

PDF version

HTML version

"Philly bearing brunt of All-Star absence"

  • What other entities (businesses, individuals, or government) might have been hurt by the NBA strike/lockout? [Some possible answers are: fans, advertisers, advertising agencies, NBA merchandising companies, athletic shoe stores, government tax revenues, etc.]
     
  • What other businesses and/or individuals might have benefited from the NBA strike/lockout? [Some possible answers are: roller derby, college basketball, NHL, musicians could have better choice of dates to play in the arenas, etc.]

EDUCATOR REVIEWS