Maybe the NBA learned a valuable lesson from the recent NFL Lockout. Instead of engaging in pointless bargaining sessions in August why not just wait until the 11th hour? By the looks of things that’s exactly what is happening with pro basketball’s labor strife.
The NFL made little headway until it came down to crunch time. At the drop dead hour, when potential revenue loss became a reality, suddenly a deal was hammered out and the NFL season began.
David Stern might not intend to take a similar approach but that’s about the only acceptable excuse for why the two sides of this ordeal have failed to make any meaningful progress.
Currently we’re just about two months into this debacle and both sides have met about once a month on average. Call me a cynic but somehow I just don’t get the feeling that this upcoming season is going to begin on time if it is played at all.
So, what is it going to take to get both sides to move expeditiously?
As more and more players line up work overseas, you’d think there might be some sort of a fire lit under the leather seats of the owners.
As the reality of million dollar paychecks being ripped up becomes a strong reality you’d think the players would demand their union to get back to the table.
Instead the exact opposite has happened – nothing.
It could be that the nature in which the NFL lockout unfolded has spoiled us all. No games were missed save for the first preseason game. No paychecks went wanting. No owners missed out on precious preseason revenue.
There’s one problem with this scenario as it relates to the NBA. You see, the NFL off-season is much longer. If the NBA is content to sit back and relax, waiting for a resolution to work itself out on an NFL type schedule then chances are we won’t see the season begin until December if we’re lucky.
Now the players might be enjoying their time off. As of now they haven’t missed out on anything. The owners could well be vacationing instead of stressing the loss of a season. That’s fine because their bottom line has yet to be affected.
But don’t fool yourselves. If no significant progress is made in the next four weeks then the likelihood of the 2011-12 season being erased will become more inevitable than LeBron James failing in the fourth quarter.