It’s been a few days since we last checked in on the NBA Lockout, so why don’t we take a look at the progress being made… haha, made you look, stupid. There’s no progress being made, which is spectacular for the NBA’s incredible momentum from this year’s Finals. Mainly because that momentum is dead. The casual fan’s death rattle is sounding like a feeding bell at the Kardashian manor, and now the owners, league officials and players are all acting like children fighting over a toy.
Those of us who still give a crap what these guys do, let’s all say it together – there’s not going to be a season. Very well done, friends. Now how about a little rundown?
– The league is striking first against the looming threat of the players’ antitrust lawsuit, as the NBA has sued the players’ union for a “declaratory judgment that the lockout of players does not violate antitrust laws,” according to Reuters. Basically, the owners are trying to protect their wealthy asses, because the antitrust lawsuit could cost them three times as much as they’re paying players now.
– NBA Players’ Union representative Derek Fisher and David Stern are going to meet 3 or 4 times for negotiations during August. That’s all. August has 31 days and the season starts in November, but they’re only going to meet over 1/10th of the month. Nice to see that there’s a fire under these guys to avoid a catastrophic collapse that would make the NHL and MLB strikes look like a sorority pillow fight.
– Speaking of Fisher and Stern, coming out of their most recent meeting, Fisher was at least cordial when he acknowledged that the two sides are light years apart.
“I think Peter and Glen Taylor, Mr. Stern, Adam Silver are articulating certain things in the room, expressing their desire to get a deal done. But where their proposal lies makes it hard to believe that.”
Stern? F*ck cordial.
“I don’t feel optimistic about the players’ willingness to engage in a serious way.”
“I think it’s fair to say that we’re in the same place as we were 30 days ago,” Stern said. “And we agreed we’d be in touch to schedule some additional meetings.”
Fantastic. That’s some good commissioning right there. Basically, as CBS Sports’ Ken Berger points out, Stern is doing what most of us expected him to do and using the NFL Lockout’s resolution as his jumping off point. But it’s a case of apples and oranges. The NFL was never claiming that 22 teams were losing money. The NFL is a profit monster, and the players just wanted a better return on their efforts. The NBA is a stuck pig and owners are begging for a do over on their own stupidity.
Ultimately, Stern and the owners want the players to cut their salaries down, and obviously the players don’t want to do that. And with a mutual “We’ll meet when we feel like it” attitude, this league is not operating this year. At least it will be considerably more fun when the contracts of Dwight Howard, Deron Williams and Chris Paul, among others, expire with no chance for their current teams to salvage them.