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Power Play for Howard - Negotations

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Negotiation is a conflict resolution process whereby involved parties discuss the issue at hand and the best way forward in attaining mutual benefit or settlement. This is one of the commercial forms of civil case settlement which consist of mediation and arbitration among others.

The Case

Lewicki highlights that;

Juwan Howard a highly skilled and targeted Basketball player was affiliated to the Bullets National Basketball Association (NBA) Team and he even expressed openly his desire to play for them in the 1996 season. Privately he was not attracted to the 7 years contractual value of 78 million dollars offered by the Bullets because he believed he was worth more than that. Miami Heat an interested team counter offered a 7 years contractual value of 98 Million. This resulted into an adjustment to the bullets offer up at the value 89 million dollars but Howard eventually signed for Miami at a value of 101 million. The NBA voided this deal citing player salary cap rule violation. Howard then settled at Bullets for 105 million dollars. The Heat’s manager Mr. Pat Riley went to court in protest.

Howard’s Point of view

Today’s high skilled players put a price on their skills thus killing the natural love and interest in just playing the game. The commercialization of the game has ensured the professional league changes everyone’s perspective in terms of money. The involvements of agents who earn through the player act as a catalyst thus propel players to teams with their self interests being presented alongside the player’s. Juwan Howard as an individual therefore viewed his worth in financial terms and his main consideration was getting a contract that would give maximum value for his services within the next seven years. Considering his age, this was going to be the prime of his career and it has been proven scientifically that nothing much can come out of years of active sportsmanship after this period in his career as a professional player. In negotiations his perceived returns were in form of the monetary and other benefits in form of tangible assets and intangible assets like insurance cover, health cover among others. The cost factor from his perspective is the time that he would engage in inserting his physical and emotional output in making the preferred club successful. The major risk Howard as a player would face is if he did not succeed in winning with the preferred team of choice.  Several questions address the risk factor like:

  • What if he did not live up to the expectations worth his high asking price of the negotiation?
  • What if he did not feel at home at the chosen team?

Miami Heat Manager’s Point of view

            His negotiation was from the aspect of strengthening a winning team for the NBA trophy through a stronger forward. It would cost him the sum offered and days of closely monitoring the player. He faced the risk of either, not winning the trophy after the expensive signing or not signing the player because he is snatched by an interested opponent able to offer much more. Finally as it happened, his main risk was confirmed by NBA for violating the Player salary cap rule thus a voided contract, manager fined 5 million dollars and suspended for the rest of the season.

Bullets Manager point of view

            His negotiation was based on familiarity and previous dealing with the player. It would cost him the amount he offered too and faced the risk of losing him to the interested opposing team, the Miami Heats.  A potential risk was also in the possibility of the case being moved to the court of law. This would mean various considerations would be put into account and the verdict reversed against the bullets’ manager.

In conclusion, negotiations demand that each party is on the same page as to the content of the matter and how the case affects their insurable interests in the point of contention. They should also be ready to reach a compromise that would yield a possible maximum point of satisfaction to both parties involved.

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