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Numbers being thrown back and forth, cool T-Shirts from the players and the usual political words from David Stern. Bottom line – We don’t have a proposal, no agreement between the players and owners. The NBA Lockout is very near.

More players showed up to the talks today in Dallas than ever before. David Stern seemed happy with their fashion statement (wearing dark gray T-Shirts with “STAND” written on it) and the fact that so many new faces showed up. I guess he was tired of seeing Derek Fisher and Billy Hunter.

It was great to have so many players in the room. I think sometimes by not being part of the dialogue, by not hearing the expression of the other side’s point of views, by not observing and engaging in the give-and-take, you lose something. So we were hoping that more players would come, and we were actually cheered by the fact that they were there, and some of the new players did make themselves heard.”

Stern wasn’t happy about all the jibber jabber on part of the players’ union during the last two days since the Tuesday meeting, saying it wasn’t helping in any way, pointing out that both sides need to tone it down during between talks.

The talks themselves? Nothing really budged. Still the matter of a 5 year agreement the players want, making 2.07 Billion Dollars a year in salaries. The owners want a 10 year deal with the players making 2 Billion dollars a year. And that’s before we’ve reached the revenue sharing plan. Stern and Adam Silver both said that wasn’t an issue until the labor dispute was settled.

Gut feeling? Easy guess. Unless some miracle happens, we’re getting a lockout. I think the owners want one, attempting to break the union. They don’t have players to bring in instead, this isn’t the 1980’s in the UK just yet, but Thatcherisim is all over this baby. I don’t think the players are the good guys, but they’re the less evil guys in this one. According to predictions, the players piece of the pie will drop to around 40% if they take the owners offer. That is way too little for the people who get the tickets moving.

The best solution? Less teams. We’re never going to have 30 teams all being profitable. David Stern doesn’t want that, despite knowing it’s better for the league. He thinks globally, and about expansion. That’s just his view on the matter. It won’t happen, and that’s too far from the actual subject. Stern’s face and words don’t breath too much hope into the talks. His talk of the players conceding 500 million dollars being “modest” aren’t helping as well. Get ready for 1998 all over again.