Players Willing To Give Up $3 Billion, Time for Owners to Step Up

Maybe we'd get a deal done if Lakers scum would
kindly move to the back of the room

In the first bit of positive news on the NBA lockout, former ESPN writer Chris Sheridan states, "They are a lot closer to a settlement than most people realize." According to Sheridan, the players are offering to give up $3 billion over the next 6 years (So they would make $500 million less per year than they were this past season). The owners wanting a system where all teams would make a profit no matter how poorly they are run want the players to cough up about $8 billion. Who wouldn't want a business which guarantees profits?

Personally I think crummy owners should lose money. That you should actually have to be competent to make money for your business, but I digress. Seems to me that the players are trying to get a deal done and if the owners can actually start negotiating in good faith, we could have an NBA season.

First thing the owners need to do is stop looking for a 10 year deal. Deals are typically 6 years in length. I know why they want a 10 year deal. The economy sucks now and they'd prefer to have the players making  money based on this current economic climate. If I were the players I'd be looking for a shorter than 6 year deal, but to their credit they're fine with 6. As Sheridan points out, eliminating years 7-10 brings the sides closer together. I believe if the owners were to actually soften their demands on how much the players should give up, the players would in turn be willing to improve their offer. I would think the players would prefer upping their offer to $4 billion than losing a season or playing for less overseas. 

The ball is in the owners' court. Show you care about the fans and start negotiating for real. If you want some utopian system where all the owners make money despite how they manage their teams than do what every other sport does and increase revenue sharing. If the Lakers were in the MLB instead of the NBA they'd be sharing their huge tv deals and other marketing advantages. The players are willing to take significant pay cuts. The question is now will NBA billionaire owners prefer to give fans a season or holdout so they can buy themselves another yacht or Summer home? Time to step up billionaires.

You can read Sheridan's column here.

You may also enjoy the popular video: Bring Back The NBA