Over the past few days the NBA has made some moves, laying off about 115 people. A league spokesperson said that this was part of a planned cost cutting and apparently are "not a direct result of the lockout." I'm not sure how much I buy into that, with the timing just a little too convenient to fire 11% of your employees spanning the New York, New Jersey and even some international workers.
The NBA has claimed to been losing hundreds of millions of dollars in each of the previous few years of the now expired collective bargaining agreement, including a $300 million dollar loss last year. Since late 2008, between the league and the 30 teams it governs, there have been about 275 jobs that were lost.
There have been two teams (Charlotte and Detroit) that have already let people go since the lockout began, and I'm willing to bet that more teams will follow that trend should the work stoppage continue. As for the Heat, they cut a lot of their ticket sales staff last season after so many season tickets were sold after the Big 3 made their commitments to play for Miami.
I also just learned that they closed down the NBA Store in New York City, which doesn't surprise me because everything there was ridiculously overpriced. Nobody is going to spend $35 on a T-Shirt when they can get the same one online or in a different store for $20 or less. Supposedly the league plans to re-open the store in a different location. I'm sure the rent on their 5th Avenue location was huge and I can't imagine they had been making much money especially of late.
Here are some comments from NBA Spokesman Mike Bass on the layoffs
"(The layoffs are) not a direct result of the lockout but rather a response to the same underlying issue; that is, the league's expenses far outpace our revenues. The roughly 11 percent reduction in headcount from the league office is part of larger cost-cutting measures to reduce our costs by $50 million across all areas of our business."
The league has also trimmed jobs in their offices in Europe and Asia while totally closing down their Paris and Tokyo locations. They also plan to close the doors on their NBA Draft Lottery studio in Secaucus, New Jersey. Between the league and the individual teams, I expect a lot more people to lose their jobs as the lockout continues. Another unfortunate circumstance of the position that the league now finds itself in.