David Stern celebrated his 69th birthday yesterday, but he wasn’t very festive looking. The calendar is not our friend. Nearly three months into the NBA Lockout, the 2011-2012 NBA season looks just as far and improbable of hapnennig as it did back in July 1, when it all started. The Union and the league didn’t reach an agreement, again.
It’s getting old going over the numbers. The revenue sharing, the hard and soft cap, the length of the agreement, and there’s more. Billy Hunter told the press that David Stern and the owners still want the players to go well below the 50% line with their cut from the Basketball-Related revenue. The players were getting 57% according to the last agreement. They’re willing to go down to 54%.
As Derek Fisher put it – I don’t believe Thursday’s talks moved the situation beyond where it was last week. And they didn’t even schedule any more meetings. Just promised to call each other up next week and see when the other one is free. Yay for us. The season is still schedueled to begin November 1, with the Mavs playing the Bulls. A lot to look forward to, right?
If the full season is to be saved, a deal has to be struck in the next week or two. Training camps? postponed. Pre season games? If they actually reach an agreement pretty soon, I guess the start of the season will be the actual pre season, learning games period. And what about free agency period?
Most experts agree that a free agency period plus the training camp should be around four weeks. Where does that leave us, fans, who want to see a full NBA season? We need an agreement now, but it doesn’t seem to be coming any closer to that.
The small group meetings were going fine, but when the whole entourage from both sides met, things went South. The owners refused to agree to leave the salary cap system as it is. Billy Hunter telling the truth, or just lies to the media? I actually thought the two sides agrees on not talking about what goes on inside these meetings. Things are not looking good.
We head into this weekend without plenty of hope, without hardly any hope at all. Look, for the entire season to be cancelled it’s going to take a lot more time. They made an agreement much much later in 1998, with a lot of bad blood and angry meetings, filled with profanity and what not between Stern and Hunter, according to rumors. Maybe it’ll come to that again. I just have a feeling that the owners don’t want to come to an agreement. They prefer a lockout, and getting a huge leverage over the players, who can’t all get 7 million dollar offers from Italy like Kobe Bryant.