NBA union chief Billy Hunter (Photo: AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
Initially, the NBA owners wanted to keep the escrow money they owed the players but now it appears they have had a change of heart.
The locked out players will indeed receive their portion of the $160 million that was withheld from their contracts this season, according to an Associated Press report. Per the expired 1999 collective bargaining agreement, players were required to have eight percent of their annual salaries withheld to ensure they were not receiving more than 57 percent of the league revenue.
The money will be distributed to the players for the first time since the agreement went into effect because revenues were up during the 2010-11 season, and salary costs fell short of the 57 percent threshold. The exact numbers are not available at this point but the players will receive a kickback and that could be good for some who aren’t receiving pay checks and may not for a while during the messy lockout.
The owners had originally asked to keep the money as part of collective bargaining negotiations despite the fact revenues were up this past season and the payment was agreed to in the last collective bargaining agreement.