If there is no “significant progress made” between NBA players and owners come next Monday then there is a chance the entire 2011-12 NBA could be called off. According to reports, David Stern is prepared to pull the plug on the season should talks between the two sides fail to make progress in the coming days.
Some view Stern’s proclamation as ploy. Others believe it to be more than idle threat.
Whatever the case, the NBA season hangs in the balance as negotiations continue this week.
If this is a power play by Stern then it comes at a point far too late in the game. This move should have been made weeks ago or last week at the latest when the preseason was put on life support.
If in fact we go NBA-less this year it will be because both sides failed to act with any urgency once the lockout began. To date only a minimal number of meetings have occurred during this three month hiatus. Suddenly time has become an issue.
There simply isn’t enough time to hammer out a deal, rush through free agency and have a full training camp at this rate if we’re to enjoy a full season. Thus Stern is pulling out the big guns.
Derek Fisher and the rest of the players union bear an equal portion of blame too if things fall apart in the coming days. It took Fisher equally as long to step up his efforts to unify the players.
But we’re still too early in the process to begin the blame game.
Right now all that matters is getting as many decision makers in the room as possible to get this new deal done. Higher profile players such as Kobe Bryant and LeBron James are being urged to make an appearance at the next session scheduled for Friday in New York.
All of the NBA headliners have a hefty burden of blame to bear. None of the marquee players have had much of a voice in this process. Seemingly content to sit on the sidelines, awaiting an NFL style labor miracle to occur would appear to have been the approach.
Well, it was the wrong approach.
Not all is lost, yet, but things a definitely looking grim.
Stern’s bold move might be just what the doctor ordered. It could also be the move that officially administers last rites to a dying season.
Time will tell. Whatever time there is left, that is.