Tag: 2 weeks cancelled NBA
The NBA commissioner, David Stern, came out Monday saying that despite the efforts from both parties to reach an agreement and after 12 hours of extensive talks, the Players Union and the NBA team owners are still so far from reaching a new collective bargaining agreement that he has no option to suspend the first two weeks of the 2011-2012 NBA regular season. Perhaps what the fans should be more worried about is that as of press time, no new negotiation meetings have been set, and the differences among these two groups is so big that Stern said in his own words that there is a gulf separating both parties.
Let’s be clear about a couple things. For starters, it is quite evident know that this is really about business. The fans are not really an issue here anymore. Games are going to be lost. For a moment there, it seemed as if that was the right negotiation strategy. The owners believed that once the players knew that they would lose their first few salary checks, they would step back and begin the negotiations. Now, it is quite clear that this is a risk the players are willing to take. They are in it for the long-haul, as the Players Union President, Derek Fisher of the LA Lakers, said in the press conference. The issue here is that after many hours of talks, players and owner are nowhere near an agreement on key items such as luxury-tax specifics, contract lengths and annual raises.
This is now the 103rd day of the NBA Lockout. It’s interesting that Derek Fisher began the press conference reassuring fans that they had to understand that the players were not on strike. That this was something that the owners wanted and pushed them into: a lockout. This is a big issue now. A few days ago, the main issue here was how the basketball-related income would be split among players and owners. For a moment there, David Stern tried to convince players that a 50-50 was the way to go. But that proposal didn’t even get a chance to get evaluated by the owners for players said they weren’t backing up. The owners want to give players a 47% of the basketball-related income. Players are not willing to go lower than 53%.
This is the second work stoppage in the NBA season to bleed into the regular season. Both David Stern and Stern and the player’s association executive director Billy Hunter were in similar positions in 1998, when a 204-day lockout only left time for a 50-game regular season. That’s right, the NBA season began on February 1st 1999. They certainly don’t want to find themselves in that position again, but the differences among players and owners.
David Stern has said many times that the owners have already made some concessions, in a way, putting the ball back in the players hands. The thing here is that this is not very precise. Stern says the owners are willing to surrender their longstanding insistence on an actual hard cap. It also seems that this concession comes linked with a proposed system change that included a luxury tax of $2 for every $1 that teams strayed above the tax threshold. There’s more: at one point, it could go up to $3 for every $1 after seven years.
The players are not backing up. The owners are staying in place too. The thing here, and for the sake of the sport, is that at one point or another one of the two parties is going to blink. It’s then and only then that we might get this negotiation started and see some NBA basketball this season.