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About The Cap: How Larry Fleisher and David Stern Built the Modern NBA

The Cap tells the fascinating, completely overlooked, behind-the-scenes story of the deal between the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) that created the salary cap in professional basketball in 1983 --the first in all of sports, against the backdrop of a looming players’ strike on one side and threatened economic collapse on the other. Through the story of these negotiations and its two protagonists - Larry Fleisher (of the NBPA) and David Stern (of the NBA) - The Cap explores the economic and labor history of the NBA within the context of the broader sports landscape.The book is based on contemporaneous sources, interviews, and a trove of internal NBA documents never before analyzed. This book belongs in the library of any sports fan interested in economics, sports history, analytics, and the growth of the sports business. 

 
 

 Praise for The Cap

"A legal thriller, a close account of the tortuous 10-month negotiations, in the mid-1980s, for the big play that eventually put both the NBA’s players and the owners in the win column.”- Wall Street Journal , Holiday Gift Books Selection

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"First-time author Mendelsohn combines exhaustive research and a smooth narrative style to tell the complex history of the salary cap, full of remarkable characters, unpredictable twists and unforgettable anecdotes... basketball and sports fans interested in what goes on behind their favorite team's closed doors will find this an important and accessible account of the NBA's salary cap and how it has Effective professional sports, for better or worse. A unique history recommended for all public library collections​." - Library Journal

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"Mendelsohn’s work is an essential piece of NBA literature... accessible to nearly all readers and of particular interest to anybody who wants to understand the circumstances that have perpetuated the NBA’s ongoing popularity. The Cap... gets the highest of recommendations." - Blazersedge, The Cap is Essential Reading for NBA Fans

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"If you've ever wondered what negotiations on this level actually look like - especially when held behind closed doors The Cap is a revelation." - RaptorsHQ, What The Cap Teaches Us About Progress and the NBA's New Position

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“To follow the NBA one must follow the money. To follow the money and to understand how and why players earn the staggering sums they do, intricate knowledge of the league’s labyrinthian salary cap is required. In The Cap Joshua Mendelsohn delivers a most comprehensive and well-written history and breakdown of the NBA’s economic bylaws and, in effect, a compelling evolutionary tale of the professional game, its principal characters, and the guiding fiscal policies behind its explosive global growth.”—Harvey Araton, author of When the Garden Was Eden

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“In The Cap we get a blow-by-blow description of the maneuvering, threatening, striking, chaos, and even outright war that forged today’s relationship between the league and its players. Most important, we learn the stories of the people who made it happen, including Bob Cousy, David Stern, Oscar Robertson, Larry O’Brien, Bob Lanier, and Larry Fleisher—the first capologist. It’s a fascinating read for anyone interested in the history of the NBA and anyone interested in its Collective Bargaining Agreement.”—Larry Coon, NBA salary cap expert and writer for ESPN.com

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“The salary cap is a fixture in today’s pro sports. The Cap chronicles the story of how Larry Fleisher and David Stern—two men locked in a bitter NBA labor dispute—forged a partnership that shaped the future of pro basketball and other sports leagues for years to come. This lively and authoritative account of that battle fought decades ago is a must-read for any true sports junkie interested in sports history. It is all true. I know. I was there.”—Jim Quinn, union lawyer for the NBPA, NFLPA, NHLPA, and MLBPA and author of Don’t Be Afraid to Win: How Free Agency Changed the Business of Pro Sports

 

Media Appearances

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