Nearly 114 employees layed off by NBA

Baseball

About 114 people have been laid off over the last two days in a planned cost-cutting move that the NBA league’s spokesman said Thursday are “not a direct result of the lockout.”

11% of the league office workforce in New York, New Jersey and internationally make up the laid off employees represented.

Spokesman Mike Bass told The Associated Press that the layoffs are “not a direct result of the lockout but rather a response to the same underlying issue; that is, the league 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,” Bass said.

$300 million is claimed to have been lost by the league this season after hundreds of millions were lost each previous year through the collective bargaining agreement that expired at the end of the day June 30.

The players were locked out by owners after the sides remained far apart in their final proposals. Commissioner David Stern said at the time it was too early to think about how it could affect staff, but made it known that he was aware that the league would “have to go back and look at everything now with our operations.”

Reductions have already begun. Since October 2008 the NBA and teams have trimmed their staff by about 275 either through layoffs or by leaving positions vacant when employees departed.

Administrative costs, travel and new technology are also cut by the league. Offices in Europe and Asian have been consolidated while offices in Paris and Tokyo are being closed and a studio in Secaucus, N.J. where the draft annual draft lottery is held is being shut down. The NBA Store on 5th Ave. in New York has been closed, though a new location is said to be opened again by the league.

Detroit and Charlotte are at least two teams that have cut staff since the work stoppage was announced about two weeks ago. Stern said that day a lockout “has a very large impact on a lot of people, many of whom or most of whom are not associated with either side.”

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