And the lockout goes on and on and on and on and on

I have been trying to write something on the current situation of the NBA, but, frankly, this got me seriously irked and mad, I was afraid I would say the wrong things and this would turn into an R-Rated blog quickly. I hoped this would solve itself in these last few days but, one more time, the owners pulled the rug right under the NBPA’s  1 feet.

Now, to a session I like to call “Lockout for dummies”

So, here’s what happened, in a nutshell: Players cut their BRI (Basketball Related Income) participation from 57% to 53%. Owners said they wanted the players to get 47%. Now, that’s unfair, BRI doesn’t involve a bunch of things, like TV deals (we’ll get to that soon).

Owners said, “no way. Players were like, “but dude”. Eventually, owners decided to compromise: ok, we’ll compromise, how about we go from getting 47% of the BRI to 50%, BUT we take about US$ 300 millions before we do it?

The NBPA wouldn’t fall for what, essentially, was a 53-47 split in favor of the owners.

In another meeting, the owners wanted a 50-50 split. Take it or leave it, the NBPA was told, we won’t even discuss system, salary cap, luxury tax unless you take the 50-50 split. Of course, the players walked out on the meeting.

Everybody thoughts the talks were over. No más! Finito! Word come out that the league and the union were talking again. They left the BRI talk off the table and went in on the system. Luxury tax: check. Amnesty rule: check. They were making progress.

Team started to cancel scouting trips to get ready to sign free agents. Video analysts were rehired. Optimism was setting in.

“If we don’t get a deal by this weekend, I’ll considered it a failure on everyone’s part”, said the commissioner David Stern.

Twitter was ready to blow up when last Friday’s meeting was over. People expecting to see, if not a deal, at least the start of one.

“Nah, we were kidding, 50-50 take it or leave it”

[insert explosions montage video here]

Once again, the players left. No talks schedule. Depression setting in

And here’ where we are right now.

To summarize it even more, the owners attitude is “hey, we got 47%last season, right? OK, we’ll compromise and get 50% this season”.

Now, the players “last stand’ was 53%. They already gave that up. Their new bottom line is 52.5%. Unfortunately, the owners have all the leverage in this deal. As the billionaires, the people making money outside of basketball, the people where losing money in basketball means tax deductible numbers, the owners can sit back and wait.

In all of this, the owners never discussed the TV deals. Unlike the NFL, basketball’s TV deal is signed with individual teams. And they never talked about splitting it. Because, you know, you don’t need the other 29 teams to have a league. TV would so pay for scrimmages, right? Right!?

But, not all is lost. Glass half full view is: the new CBA is 95% done, NBA and NBPA just need to figured out that 2.5% difference in the BRI split.

Stern already killed any notion of an 82 game season. Which, honestly, is a good thing. Squeeze games together would lead to fatigue and injuries.

NBA should be back for Christmas. And that would be an amazing gift from Santa Claus.

  1. National Basketball Players Association
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