After Tuesday’s all-important, ultimate decision-making meeting between the NBA owners and players, we were treated not only to another deadline threat from commissioner David Stern, but also a statement by union director Billy Hunter that he and the players just don’t have time to meet this month. Stern, of course, said that if a deal isn’t reached by Monday, the first series of regular season games will be canceled, and neither side bothered to set up a follow-up meeting for today, tomorrow, or Saturday.
Naturally, we can blame Yom Kippur for the lack of meetings tomorrow and Saturday, as Stern, Jordan Farmar and Amar’e Stoudemire have plans. But the lack of urgency for meeting today has now left Sunday as the super duper spectacular in-your-face most important meeting ever. So how’s that gonna go?
Before they walked away from each other and plunged the N.B.A. into limbo, owners and players discussed the most basic, equitable-sounding solution to their conflict: a 50-50 split of league revenue.
The players rejected the offer — which was made in an informal side session at Tuesday’s bargaining meeting — because it represented a 7 percent, or $280 million, reduction from the current level. Their last offer was 53 percent, with indications they would go to 52.
(Via the New York Times)
Player rep Derek Fisher, seen above whistling “Winds of Change,” said that this was a move by the owners to give the players a chance to back down. And they didn’t. Good for them. Because what’s going to come next will be a worse offer from the owners. Then an even worse offer. Then decertification of the union. Then the season is gone. And at this point, nobody should care about the players anymore, because regular people are being affected.
The league’s cancellation of the preseason and the likelihood that regular-season games will soon be wiped out, is causing collateral economic damage in cities around the league. The loss of games will mean the loss of jobs for waitresses, bartenders, hotel workers and others who count on pro basketball’s six-month season for employment.
Without the NBA and the revenues it produces, places like Cleveland, Memphis, Orlando, Portland and Salt Lake City could be in for a long winter.
(Via the Sacramento Bee)
Kobe Bryant and LeBron James were applauded by the union recently when they sort of offered to loan their teammates money to get by. Who is loaning the beer guy money? Other than the welfare office, that is.