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The National Basketball Association’s (NBA) use of a salary cap to restrict player salaries and team payrolls is commonly seen in other professional sports leagues throughout the world, but it is unique in many ways which affect its efficiency in achieving its alleged purposes. Introduced in 1984, the salary cap was supposed to help the league restore competitive balance, as it theoretically would have prevented wealthier teams from overspending and dominating the less wealthy teams. As time has passed, it has become evident that competitive balance was not achieved following the adoption of the salary cap, and it has been widely speculated that the true motivation behind the implementation of the salary cap was the ownership’s desire to keep salaries low, so they would receive a larger share of income. When looking at historical salaries, sources of revenue, and negotiations between players and owners over the years, it becomes apparent that the shares of revenue between players and owners was the most important issue. By studying the NBA salary cap, insight could be provided about how salary controls affect workers, not just in professional sports, but in other industries as well.
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Goldrosen, Jeffrey M., "The Motivations and Effects of the NBA Salary Cap" (2018). Senior Projects Spring 2018. 119.
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