Ultimatums, threats, and dissension in the ranks

Ultimatums, threats, and dissension in the ranks

Nothing good came out of the Saturday meetings, a result which didn't surprise anyone. However, the NBA announced its intention to play hardball. Take the deal Wednesday or three percent of BRI is coming off the next offer.

Does the NBA really have the willingness to back up such an arbitrary deadline? If the players come in on Thursday and say we're ready to take the 50/50 would the NBA really say no? The answer, of course, is almost certainly no.

Arbitrary deadlines are perceived as meaningless because they typically are meaningless. However, there is a point somewhere not far down the line where their threat is real and driven by owner dissension.

There are two segments of owners, those looking to get a deal done because they desperately want a season and those looking to crush the players whether it costs them a season or not. It will only take two owners to switch from one group to the other to completely change the dynamic of the negotiation from the owners perspective.

At the same time, the players have also split off into at least three groups. The first group are those willing to ride out the process with the union, the second group wants to overthrow the union and take the NBA's best offer, and the final group wants to overthrow the union and decertify.

It's unknown whether groups two or three have a large enough membership to get something done, but I'll be rooting for group number two since groups one and three will likely cause us to miss a crapload more basketball.

What does all this mean? Well it means of the five or so total factions between both sides, a majority of them are leaning in directions that leave us with a missed season. I felt for a long time the sides were close enough that there's no way this doesn't get done, but both sides are sitting there with their dicks out trying to piss longer.

Only problem is they're pissing gold down the toilet while arguing over stupid crap that neither side should care about like "Can teams over the luxury tax execute sign and trades?". Seriously who gives a crap?

There were five such signings over the last CBA and at least two of them were epic failures by the Knicks. Why is this an issue for either side other than both sides want to see whose yellow stream can last the longest?

The players and owners started off the negotiation 2.5% apart on BRI. According to the reports I've read, the players moved down to 51% while the owners made another one of their PR moves up to 51%. It's a PR move, because the 51% number was attached to a bunch of contingencies which were highly unlikely meaning their position really didn't change.

Of course, despite the players move and owners lack of a move, the players will still be viewed as greedy by the common NBA follower. A position which is sort of silly from the big picture view of things.

The owners received record revenues last season while the player portion of those revenues is a fixed cost. Despite that, they claim not to be able to make a profit because they haven't been able to contain the other costs of doing business outside of player expenses.

The players have agreed to take 12% pay cut with 18-20% shorter contracts, and increased restrictions on which teams they can play for while the owners have agreed to give the players absolutely nothing, but the players are universally cast as the greedy party by most fans I speak with.

Greedy bastards those players. Now if they took a 14% pay cut, that would be something, but 12% with lesser guarantees and lesser freedom? Douchebags I tell you. That's not to say I think the owners are wrong or greedy either. I don't. If I were an owner, I'd probably be going for the jugular too.

There's not a "fair" in this thing, there's only what you can negotiate.

At any rate, the vibe is really lousy for anything getting done. We'll have to hope for the best, but there's little use containing your disgust at the whole process.


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  • fb_avatar

    Doug, rarely does a writer come so close to achieving an extended metaphor involving a
    "pissing contest." Well done.

  • In reply to Paul D:

    That's what I bring to the table. I put the Koala in Quality.

  • Having basketball to watch this season was wishful thinking, I guess. I hope the players come to the realization that this is the end of line for them. Take the deal guys. Pissing contest indeed. UGH...

  • Occupy the United Center! Um, are the players part of the 99% or the 1% in this scenario?

    Seriously, it seems like the owners have all the power here, and there's no hint of "fairness". Doug, can you give any more insight into the different positions held by the different owners' factions?

  • In reply to petert23:

    They're all part of the 1%, that's why this feud is so pathetic. Millionaires fighting against billionaires for more money while society is crumbling around them. Good job!

  • In reply to DannyV:

    some players don't make that much money and don't last long in the NBA so calling them millionaires isn't that realistic. if i saved 5000 a month for 20 years I'd be a millionaire by age 45. they get out of the nba and what do they do now. start a whole new career path? not easy. the fault is with the rich players who are causing this whole kerfuffle. and the poor players are either too stupid to realize it and work with the owners to fix the system or just are being ignored because they suck at basketball (relatively).

  • In reply to mepeterser2451:

    What you say may be true but you have to take into account the fact that these players make at the MINIMUM, $480,000 dollars a year to play a GAME. If your career in the NBA is really short, say 3-4 years, you'll still make about 1.5-2 Million dollars, that's more than the large majority of people will make in their whole lives. So that is why I don't want to hear any of this arguing over money when you make more than people who actually went to school and worked their butts off to get educated.

  • In reply to DannyV:

    do you think rose would have been able to attend college if he sucked at basketball? if players only last a few years and make 2 million, then what. sure they can afford to go back to school but who wants to start over at that age and after making so much money do you really want to live a life of earning 35,000 a year? true, it beats the life they would have lived without the money. and maybe they can use the money to invest in their future. but these guys didn't get an education and those millions are going to disappear pretty quick. most people given a million dollars couldn't save it or use it profitably. i just don't think people can complain about losing millions when they have never had that money. you would feel the same way as them. the owners feel the same with their billions. it's just human nature.

  • In reply to petert23:

    You are basically split between the rich / competitive teams and the poor / lousy teams.

    The first group wants a season the second group would rather play hard ball and get a better deal.

  • Unions once lifted powerless workers up from horrible living conditions and slave like labor to middle class retirements and an 8 hour day with relatively safe conditions.

    Now this "union" is enabling a select few, including a cadre of agents/leeches to derail an NBA season and the players/their clients income and enjoyment of the game over such a small amount of money. We knew the players were going to have to come down as NFL players did to 50/50ville.

    You can say congrats to the players for giving up their 57% to make this happen, but why let your livelihood be potentially shattered over that final one percent? You hear so few players are actually informed/involved in the process. And then the consensus is these guys all get high nearly on a daily basis, and blow thier millions ala Scottie Pippen(what $80 Million) within a few years. Maybe the game where Bronald McDonald and D-Wade aka souless con man with garbage parents are the quote "Stars of the League" just needs to be turned off until players wake up, and quit being such D-bags. Not that the owners aren't greedy, sell their mother's soul creatins either, but at least they've created jobs and products/businesses which have enriched people's lives.

    Again, I feel sorry for today's players who have been basically abandoned, and brought up on a garbage culture of usery and drugs. Really in the end the parents have abandoned this generation both poor and rich alike.

  • In reply to RoadWarrior:

    I'm generally not a fan of the idea of the overall theory that "The players should just give in because they're going to lose anyway".

    People have been saying that for a long while, but the owners offer has thusfar improved with their continued hold out.

    Also, by extrapolating this theory, the players would simply take whatever the owners offered at any point and have a simply horrible deal relative to what they'll ultimately end up with.

    The owners are also losing a ton of money, and they're also just as able to move the final 1%.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    i believe you were also saying players should give in because they're going to lose anyway in previous posts. stop jumping back and forth. it's not a matter of should or shouldn't. everyone's greedy and that's a good thing. hopefully everyone is able to negotiate the best deal for themselves that they can get. it takes a long process full of deceit and manipulation. the real reason they are in this lockout is because of system issues. hopefully the owners can win something for the fans as well. a competitive nba.

  • Players are really stupid. They are in some kind of reality of their own. I just don't understand how a richer NFL gave less money to its players and the NBA guys want more. And that too for 100 mill in which most of it will go to the top 5% anyhow. The 95% of the league is losing probably 5 to 10 mil with this 50/50 BRI deal...Has anybody calculated that?
    The difference in BRI between the owner's offer and the union offer...which is 100 mil and how much of that will eventually go to the top players(the top 50) and how much the others will get if the union gets its BRI

  • Here are a list of reasons I see the players as greedy
    1) 50+ percent of the revenue with no share in the expenses
    2) looking at the number of over paid players that underperform
    3) comparing themselves to the stadium workers
    4) the arrogant manner in which they behave while making millions to play a game
    5) wearing $5,000 suit and speaking like you care for the common worker
    6) because you are so better paid than the common person and yet, you act like you are so under represented.
    7) the stupid comments about being slaves.... multi million dollar a year slaves.... really... you denigrate those who did suffer
    8) anyone else.... please feel free to continue the list
    9) the stupid comments made by some of the players and the thugs that many of you are
    10) the fact that you made hundreds of thousands of dollars last year and are unable to exist without additional immediate income....

  • The attempts to paint one side or the other as "greedy" are really a waste of time. There's no right or wrong here, just what you can negotiate. My only sympathies are with the true little guys; arena workers, business owners who depend on the games, etc.

    I hope the players have the good sense to recognize when the owners have really made their last, best offer and take it. Whatever it is will be better than what they'll get after a lost season, unless they win in court. It's true that Stern has repeatedly cried "wolf" but you have to remember in the story, there eventually WAS a wolf.

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