The players and owners spent the last two days discussing system issues with the general understanding that if they could get through the system issues that they could agree on economic ones.
Ultimately, the sides couldn't agree on the system issues, and the fans will lose two weeks of the season.
In the midst of negotiations it had been reported that the league and players had come close to agreeing on a revised MLE, but the players wouldn't agree to a more punitive secondary tax, reduced contract lengths, or smaller raises.
The league viewed their position of giving up on non guaranteed deals, a hard cap, and a rollback of existing salaries as tremendous concessions. The players said that they were only conceding things the players already had making them not concessions at all.
Whichever view you take, everyone loses in this scenario.
The players will ultimately take less money and likely give in on all the points they wouldn't now.
The owners will lose revenue and fan base.
The fans will lose the game they love.
It's sad that they couldn't come to terms. It's sad that the players were so hung up on the system as long as it guarantees them the same total money. Would a hard cap and non guaranteed contracts be bad for players if they still got 2 billion a year? No. I think it would actually be better for the players in the long run.
However, the owners offer was much better than that.
At the same time, it surprises me that the owners were willing to go to the mat over system issues, since they only really need 15 votes to pass the thing, and I'd think there'd be at least 15 owners that wouldn't care enough about the system to lose games over.
It's the type of scenario where things could have been resolved by either side giving, and neither side really budged from it's initial position. The owners only budged from a fake position where they included unreasonable things just to have something to concede, the players didn't seem to budge at all on the system and wanted to keep it intact for giving up the revenue.
While both arguments have merit, the players better sleep long and hard on their stance.
Mark it down now, at one point they could have had:
50/50 BRI split
Soft cap with a 2nd tier punitive luxury tax (which would have likely been an effective hard cap, but also would have only prevented two teams from spending what they spent last season).
If a season is missed, the players are going to end up with something closer to 45-47% BRI and a hard cap system with non guaranteed contracts possibly in the mix as well. It won't be pretty. The players can hold out, but the owners aren't likely to fold, and the offers are going to get worse, not better, from here on out.