Posted by: Kingsguru21 | October 4, 2011

Lockoutpalypse links

No comments from me today other than I think that until the regular season comes and goes–or an official announcement from the NBA cancels games–I’ll believe the regular season will be intact because, if for nothing else, there are people who want the NBA to have a season.

Ray Ratto from CSN Bay Area:

So today’s no good in the NBA. Posing will commence shortly, and then another meeting will be called, and people will get optimistic again, and then be let down several more times until the moderates finally weary of the whole stupid game and say, “I want to make money again.”

And money will be made. It may cost some games at the front end; it may cost a lot of games, and the panic from the basketball media will be as frantic as that from the football media this summer.

But nobody turns away money forever; even those who want to will be worn down by those who don’t. Hardliners are usually the extremists, and governance is done from the center, especially in times of plenty. And no matter what the owners say, these are times of plenty in the NBA.

Zach Lowe from the Point Forward (SI.com):

And so the league capped its formal offer at 47 percent — a $400 million annual giveback from players. But at Tuesday’s meeting, the league and players informally discussed a true 50/50 split, according to Stern and Silver. Leadership on both sides agreed during the latter part of the meeting to float the 50/50 idea with their various constituents, and Stern said the league side “felt confident” they could sell the 50/50 split to the rest of the owners. Just as they were feeling that confidence, though, the players returned and said they could not accept the 50/50 deal, thus ending the talks and prompting Silver’s disappointment.

There is nothing wrong, factually, with this narrative, at least as far as I know right now. Nor is there anything wrong with the league pushing for a 50/50 split with players. The owners want to make money, and they are negotiating hard. They are well within their rights to push for the 50/50 split–a $280 million annual giveback, at least, from the players–and a hardening of the cap system that may introduce a bit more parity.

But they should not be surprised the players, at least initially, rejected that deal outright. As Larry Coon pointed out this week at ESPN.com, the players have never received less than 53 percent of basketball-related income under any collective bargaining agreement over the last 28 years. Dropping to 50 percent is a huge blow, both psychologically and in terms of real dollars in the league’s growing money pie, even if a few non-star players texted SI.com’s Chris Mannix late Tuesday and said they would take a 50/50 deal. Maybe they will. Maybe the majority of the union will.

But for the league to expect the union leaders to be all smiles about it today was unrealistic — so unrealistic that it bends logic to expect people as smart as Stern and Silver would have truly expected such a happy reception on Oct. 4. Presenting this narrative to the public is a shrewd attempt to paint the players as the ones holding up a fair deal, when in reality the players simply rejected — for now — a deal they rightfully consider a massive giveback.

Ken Berger from the Bergersphere on CBS Sports:

So while Hunter and Stern remained publicly entrenched in the ecoomic positions of their most recent formal proposals — with the players asking for 53 percent and the league offering effectively 47, the reality is this: the gap has closed to 2 percentage points of BRI, the difference between the midpoint of the two offers.

With each percentage point of BRI worth about $40 million, the two sides — who were at one time $8 billion apart over 10 years — are now a mere $80 million apart on an annual basis. So you can see what the two sides saw Tuesday — the road to a deal that both sides eventually can find a way to live with that is better than the alternative of missing a substantial portion of the regular season.

Tom Ziller from SBNation.com:

In the NBA, fans aren’t just customers. We are investors. We bankroll the whole operation. Of the $2 billion spent on building and renovating NBA arenas since 2000, $1.75 billion of it has been public money. Without a public willing to play Stern’s extortionist games — ask Seattle what happens if you refuse to build a gym on the league’s terms — the NBA would be hosting its biggest games in rinky-dink arenas, or worse, on college campuses. Instead, the public plays along and bites on the threats, Stern’s NBA rakes in $4 billion a year and owners have the luxury of demanding a bigger slice.

We deserve answers. When Robert Sarver sits across from a collection of players and says that he hasn’t gotten the return he wanted on the Suns, and that’s why he and his buddies are demanding massive concessions before he’ll sign their paychecks, the fans left in the cold deserve answers. Those fans built U.S. Airways Center in the ’90s and paid for its renovation just before Sarver took over. They ought to hear directly from Sarver’s mouth why they are being deprived the product their investment in the arena guaranteed. Season ticket holders deserve the opportunity to ask Sarver why bringing the mid-level exception home to his wife in a designer handbag is more important than providing the product they have already paid for.

Gregg Doyle off Twitter: “This is doable people.” (Doyle wrote this awhile ago in case you’re wondering why I linked to only that tweet.)

Apparently, according to TZ, the players union will fund workouts for players.

Chris Sheridan of Sheridan Hoops (he moved from ESPN in case you didn’t know):

Are we really supposed to believe they won’t be able to find a way to meet in the middle on the financial issue — as well as the remaining systemic issues — between now and the end of the weekend? C’mon.

If there was a tactical error made Tuesday, it was Stern’s decision of increase his formal offer from 46 percent to 47 percent. After that offer was made, the players went into a separate conference room to vent their displeasure, and they were still foaming at the mouths 90 minutes later when a knock came on the door and Derek Fisher and Hunter were summoned next door and told something completely different by Stern, Silver and Spurs owner Peter Holt.

“We asked the players: Would either side entertain the notion of a 50-50 deal? While in the process of discussing that with the owners, we were advised by the players that they would not do that,” Stern said. “It’s fair to say we were making good progress with the owners, but is was disrupted by the players saying no.”

No new talks are scheduled, but there is a lot of time between now and Monday.

The union is going to try to maintain its ground now — “The union told us there was no reason to schedule another meeting,” Silver said — but there will certainly come a point between now and Sunday when it behooves everyone to try to make the closing push.

“We’re ready to meet and discuss anything anyone wants to talk about,” Stern said.

Henry Abbott from TrueHoop on ESPN.com:

Most notably, if the union were to decertify, something Hunter has never been enthusiastic about, it would likely be against the will of the union. Which means players would end up being represented by a lawyer to be named later, likely, source say, someone who has not been part of the process yet at all. That lawyer would presumably be selected by the agitating agents, and it’s anybody’s guess if such a person would have the trust of the players.

In other words, there could be an almighty tangle of judges, legal expenses and agitation.

It is entirely possible that a negotiation that is paused over $100 million or so in revenues could disintegrate into $100 million or so in legal fees.

And once it goes there, who knows where it ends.

Lastly, some not so lockout but new arena news, apparently there are talks between some of the important parties (not the Maloofs) involved in arena talks. (H/T Akis.) Ryan Lillis has a much more expansive piece up at the Bee on it.

Have fun with lockoutalypse.


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