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The number four omission seems odd for US companies. For companies in East Asia or that have many Chinese investors, the reason is very simple. Four is an unlucky number. It's been well known that companies selling to Asia often skip model number 4 and jump from Model 3 to Model 5 simply to avoid triggering the unlucky connotations of 4. Especially in HK, Taiwan, China, Singapore, etc.

The only way that I can see how owners could voluntarily pay millions to mediocre basketball players is if there is a prisoner's dilemma occurring: each owner thinks he is better off by paying the money, even though collectively they'd be better off not paying the money. Is this because there are so few dimensions to differentiate yourself from your competitors?

Nothing in the NBA article will matter if the SCOTUS finds in favor of the owners in American Needle Inc. v. the NFL. Then the owners (in any of the professional sports) can pretty much do whatever they want.

Sports with player union problems have a simple solution. Combine revenue sharing with no contracts at all. The union gets some share of revenues and they decide how to pay their members. Trades are consummated entirely on the merits of the trade.

The omission of number 4 is not so mysterious - if someone nudges up earnings from 8.4 to 8.5 cents per share, it is more likely to be reported as 9c than 8c in the newspapers.

I have not read the details of the article though, as it requires a WSJ subscription.

The NBA should do the following:
1. No salary cap.
2. Take the best 16 teams into the play-offs.
3. Shorten the season in order to extend career lengths.
3a. Eliminate age restrictions (if you want players to learn good professional habits, why do you want them to continue being amateurs?) and start European style youth programs.
4. Every player is a restricted free agent at the end of every season; If a player plays less than 25% of minutes, while healthy for at least 51% of the season, he is automatically a free agent.
5. Shorter contract lengths (3 year max).
6. No bailouts, no relocations*; let bad teams fail.

*There will be A Great Reshuffling before this rule goes into place: OKC goes back to Seattle. Maloff brothers may leave Sacramento and go to Vegas. Memphis, New Orleans, and Charlotte are eliminated. Replaced with teams in Sacramento and Canadian City TBD.

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