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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.
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.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%.
“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.
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 Tweet