A day after the owners sue the players Billy Hunter predicts a lost season for the NBA
He gave a wide ranging interview at a seminarwhere he candidly answered questions.
NBA Players Association executive director Billy Hunter said Wednesday that if he "had to bet on it," he would wager that the entire 2011-12 season would be wiped out by the lockout.
He also described the gap between players and owners as considerably greater than it was before:
Hunter said owners initially demanded that "we give them back a billion dollars a year," and then it came down to $900 million.
"We're $800 million apart per year," Hunter told about 200 people during a seminar at a conference in Baltimore of the National Bar Association, an organization of predominantly African-American lawyers and judges.
Hunter's own previous quotes about the proposal at the deadline said the owners were asking for 8 billion over ten years (or 800 million a year), and he quoted the sides as 700 million apart in previous talks before [as the players offered to give back 1 billion].
The league filed suit against the NBA for not bargaining in good faith. The premise behind the suit appears to be that players have repeatedly threatened to decertify.
Regardless of what you think of the merits of the suit [I think it's comical given that the players gave a fairly significant concession while the owners have asked for unheard of concessions], the move was a brilliant one by the NBA.
They'll now fight the initial rounds of a decertification suit in the court of the owner's choosing. It doesn't mean they'll win, but it certainly helps their odds considerably.
What does all this really mean? It's the same rhetoric in a way. The sides are really far apart. They're sniping at each other, taking each other to court, getting all pissy much like any labor negotiation where both sides what drastically different things.
Two things need to happen for us to have basketball this season:
1: The owners need to get rid of their flat rate salary scale plan which pushes BRI to sub 40% levels by the end of the deal.
2: Both sides need to compromise significantly on the BRI% change. 50/50 is a number that might happen which is a roll back of about 15% in terms of salary.
It seems unlikely that either side is going to make any movement before we're scheduled to miss games. I'd look for no real movement between the two sides until we hit October and the threat of missing real games hits us. At that point, we'll see a last, best offer by both sides and have to hope the offers are close enough to start real negotiations.