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.