Ah, David Stern. What a champ. Even when things look dire, the man’s willing to raise the stakes. After meeting with the NBAPA on Wednesday, the NBA Commissioner said “I’m focused on let’s get the two committees in and see whether they can either have a season or not have a season, and that’s what’s at risk this weekend.”
That certainly makes the negotiations over the next couple days pretty damn important. If they fail, Stern’ll be backed into a corner and the entire season will be hanging on his whim. Even as the two sides have gone back-and-forth inanely over the past few months, I’ve tried to avoid becoming alienated.
If Stern cancels everything before it’s begun, he’ll choke out the hopes of NBA fans way, way before he has to. What’s wrong with a 1998-99 style morass? In that scenario, at least, fans can hope and dream of a resolution. Sure, it’s not ideal, but I don’t think anyone wants this to mirror the 2004-05 NHL lockout – except maybe some of the hard line owners.
So maybe, just maybe, Stern’s using this as a negotiation tactic. He’s setting a serious tone for this next set of meetings, at the very least. Hopefully, with this quote hanging over their heads, both sides will come together and finally make some serious progress.
‘Cause otherwise, jeez, I better learn something about college basketball.