Yesterday, the NBA owners and players union met for what many analysts called a critical conversation that would decide the fate of the league’s camps and preseason games beginning on time. Well, if you’re a fan of training camps and preseason games, I’ve got bad news – the meeting went terribly and you’re poop outta luck. If only the league’s commissioner, David Stern, could put the result of the meeting in a fabulous light.
“Well, we did not have a great day, I think it’s fair to say that,” Commissioner David Stern said. “On the other hand, we did say that it is our collective task to decide what we want on the one hand on each side, and two, what each side needs if we choose to work ourselves in such a way as to have the season start on time. That’s still our goal.” (Via Forbes)
As I have often pointed out, the NBA Lockout began on July 1. Today is September 14, and the commissioner of the league is just now telling us that both sides have set a goal to figure out what they want. In reality, it shouldn’t take more than two months for the players to say they want a 50/50 split of all revenue and the owners to say they want shorter max deals and a harder cap. But apparently it’s easier to find a Lohan a job.
As for Players Union President Derek Fisher, he also thinks that the preseason is a complete wash.
“I think coming out of today, obviously because of the calendar, we can’t come out of here feeling as though training camps and the season is going to start on time at this point.”
So if neither side even knows what it wants and there has been no clear progress in closing the $7.8 billion gap, what the hell do we have to be excited about? CBS’ Ken Berger apparently thinks that yesterday was bigger progress than Stern or Fisher are letting on about.
Neither side would say how far the players moved economically, but a person with knowledge of the negotiations said they expressed a willingness to move lower than the 54.3 percent of basketball-related income they last proposed on June 30 as a starting point in a six-year deal. Stern disputed the players’ contention that the owners haven’t made an economic move since the day before the lockout was imposed. Nobody outside the room knows how many millions the two sides shaved off the gap, but it hardly matters since everyone seemed willing to concede that they’ve at least dipped their toes on common ground when it comes to dollars.
Two things about this theory – 1) All we’ve heard since July 1, and even in the weeks leading up to the lockout during the NBA Playoffs, was that the players wanted to copy the efforts of the NFL players in resolving their lockout. OK, so they want 50/50 then. How is that so hard for them to present? According to Berger’s anonymous source, the owners are considering 54.3% of revenue as a legitimate starting point. So how has it taken more than two months for Billy Hunter and the players to say, “No, we want half”?
2) After each of the past four meetings, there have been more reports suggesting no progress than anything else. But it seems like there is a growing number of analysts and writers who either believe that we’re closer to a resolution than we think, or they’re just offering a juxtaposition to the obvious for the sake of web traffic. Either way, let’s say for a second that both sides are making considerable progress, but they’re keeping it under wraps so they can pronounce some last second heroics to announce the salvation of the season. Is the NBA really run by that many idiots who think sports fans really care if the season begins on time or not after all of this arrogant posturing?
If they think they’re in for a cheer, they’re going to be shocked when they’re met with a fart noise.