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So earlier today there was a lot of doom and gloom being thrown out there in the press that no further talks would be taking place and that regular season game cancellation was imminent. After the dust settled a lot more came out and I'm now of the opinion that there will be a NBA season.

Previously I've been very hard on the owners and for just reasons. These billionaire owners wanted the players to take a 20% pay cut, rollback on contracts already signed, and guarantee that all owners, no matter how incompetent they were, would make a profit. Today the owners continued with their hard line and formally only offered to bump up their BRI proposal by 1%. This infuriated the players and essentially meant no deal would get done today. See the players had already agreed to go down from 57% to 53% and then LeBron James started barking at them that the players must be in agreement that they don't accept a penny less than 53% Greedy agents tag-teamed the players saying Billy Hunter and Derek Fisher were doing them a disservice and it was time to dump them. So when the owners went up only 1% to 47% (nowhere near the LeBron demand of 53%), the players had enough. To get to the NBA you have to be ultra competitive and this offer was a slap in the face to competitive people who prioritize winning on a daily basis.

Then FINALLY the owners made a huge concession and inquired whether the players would agree to a 50/50 split. They also agreed to forget about all the hard cap nonsense and rollbacks on existing contracts. Basically they finally made an offer that wasn't asking the players to bend over on. After the jump, Chris Sheridan says it best.
Sheridan Hoops
Moreover, the 50-50 concept (Stern made sure everyone understood the distinction that the owners are officially offering 47 percent, but conceptually are willing to go to 50-50. They also made it known that owners last weekend backed off their demand for rollbacks or givebacks from players’ current contracts) does not constitute the owners’ final offer.

“It demonstrates the potential for more movement on our part,” Silver said.

So if you read between the lines and cut through the bullshit, the end game became clear.

There is a deal to be done at 51/49 or 52/48, and there are five days to get there.

To me, that’s a layup.
So now the biggest obstacle is for Fisher and Hunter to get at least 50% of NBA players on board. They're now negotiating amongst themselves. The owners were greedy dicks for long enough, but are finally playing ball. They've offered 50% and there's no reason to believe if push came to shove and the season was on the line they wouldn't go to 51%.

In my opinion, they should meet directly in the middle now at 51.5%. The players can feel like they won keeping the reduction at 10% and the owners in turn could boast they knocked 10% off the players' earnings. Win win. Only greedy NBA agents or idiot players like LeBron can get in the way now. If you're wondering why agents are putting up such a stink it's because when they changed player contracts from an open market system like baseball to slotted salaries, many players decided why do I need an agent to sign a contract? I don't even need to negotiate. Why give him/her a cut, when I can keep it all, minus some hourly lawyer pay. The agents want their cuts back and are not advocating for their clients. They're only out for themselves.

So I was 100% Team Players and totally fed up with the owners, but now it's up to the players. Negotiate a deal in the next few weeks. I don't care if it's an 82 game season or a 75 game season, but it should get done now. Tell LeBron to shut up and realize if you nickel and dime (not the best analogy for billions of dollars) over one percentage point you're simply going to have games cancelled. How many cancelled games will wipe out that 1% anyway? How many games wipes out 2%? And so on.

There's finally a deal to get done and I expect it to get completed. I'm looking forward to a crazy free agent period and camps to start sometime this month. Banner 18, Let's Get It!

JR 10/05/2011 12:52:00 AM Edit
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14 Responses so far.

  1. Anonymous says:

    Banner 18? Really? Do you honestly think this group of players that tailed off miserably at the end of the year (only upstaged by the Sox taking a bigger freefall) will they have a sincere shot at a Championship? The best thing that can happen is that they miss the entire season, Payroll and contracts galore expire and Dwight Howard is a free and clear free agent (because with a lockout he can't be sign and traded). Boston will have the most cap space and shot for a Howard-Rondo led team. Hold out for that 53% LeBron!! Please!!!

  2. JR says:

    Yeah I honestly believe they have a sincere shot. In my opinion if they had kept Perkins they would have won the title this past season, so what's one more year on our veteran players (who mind you stay in great shape?) All dependent on if they add another solid center.

  3. BRADinLA says:

    Awesome report JR. Makes me feel better about this whole thing.

  4. Jenda says:

    Yeah, this is movement. I honestly thought the owners would budge but I expected to do so much later. As for the Banner, if Danny pulls some decent Center trade that doesn't kill the team (like the Perk trade did) there is a great chance.

  5. Karl says:

    Thanks for this JR. Great report and definitely leaves me more optimistic.

  6. Awesome post JR, honestly though I'm half rooting for a half season cause I think the celtics would be better off playing less games lol

  7. Anonymous says:

    The role players are going to be pissed if these multimillionaire veterans forfeit anymore games.

  8. Anonymous says:

    What does this mean regarding the Hard Cap?
    I really want one. I am tired of seeing those greedy asses earning too much. And I want to see the Lakers suffering from it the most.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Pls, enough w the Perkins talk. He is not that good, and next year will prove that. Anyways, enough w this lock out, and since when is Lebron James a financial advisor? I have no respect for any of these guys, for not coming out w a deal, it's time they get back to work. BTW why aren't the players pulling for the league to be a bit more equal, creating a shot for every team, even the smaller Markets. I think i the end this is not about Basketball, but it seems to me that players are being just as selfish as the Owners. Yes, i do think 50/50 is not bad, and it would be good for the League + players.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Players turned into whiny bitches. They forgot that the people actually sign their pay cheques. So they should go out there and play. Even if they earn much less. After all it's their passion, right? Not just a job they need to do.

  11. Anonymous says:

    If we could get a center like Chris Kaman or Samuel Dalembert we definitely can win again. Hell call me crazy, but Earl Barron has killed us enough times over the past two years. We may as well sign him and see what he can do. I'm a bit worried about Pierce, but I'm sure Ray, Rondo, & KG are in great shape. All we need to do is add a couple athletes to the bench like Terrence Williams a shooter or two like Kapono or Redd and with our experience we definitely can make another run. We need youth and athleticism more than anything so getting Terrence Williams would be huge. He just needs direction.

  12. Sarah says:

    I really hope this ends soon because hearing about the lockout is getting old and so so that I can see the C's play in Boston on my bday in January since they cancelled the preseason game I was supposed to see in CT. I just want to be able to see basketball on TV again.

  13. JR says:

    Yeah I hear you on the lockout talk getting old stuff. That's why I didn't post today on it. It gets tiring. At least they're close now, so only extreme stupidity should prevent a deal.

  14. Anonymous says:

    You know, i don't feel sorry for any of these guys. They make millions, while most of us can hardly find a job that will pay you 40.000 a year, and that's if we are luck. The NBA is a business like any other, if they are indeed losing money, i'd think the players would be a bit smarter, by really think about tomorrow and take a hit, like most of us already have. This is just ridiculous, and i can't stand guys like Lebron James being furious about not getting 53%. I think he forgot, one day he was poor; he forgot where he came from. It is almost impossible for most of us to bring our families to watch a basketball game; tickets are to expensive; players are neaty. Look at the guys from the played this game in the past; they played with heart, and hardly made as much money as these guys are making. This whole thing is making me sick.

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