The next 48-hours could determine the fate of not just the NBA season but also the future of pro basketball as we know it. With David Stern’s season slicing guillotine hovering just above the 2011-12 season Friday’s bargaining session was the most important to date.
Reports of progress are like rings in LeBron’s collection – there are none. Both sides didn’t seem to make much movement towards making a deal. That doesn’t mean all is lost, at least not yet.
Today both the players and owners are back at it bright and early in New York City. Perhaps finally sensing the urgency a few of the NBA elite were in attendance as the likes of Kevin Durant, Dwyane Wade and Carmelo Anthony all made their first cameos of the labor strife.
While little to no progress was made on getting a new CBA in place the owners have finally figured out a more appropriate revenue sharing program.
According to reports the ante has been upped to $180-million to be split among all teams with a healthy boost to $240-million in the third year of the supposed deal. That’s more than triple the measly $54-million that was placed in the community pool last season.
And Stern wonders why his league is going belly up.
The real question is where is all this extra cash coming from? If it were up to the owners then it’s the players who foot this bill. NBA owners are asking the players to take a steep reduction in how much they’re taking off the top. Derek Fisher’s official stance has been that the owners are the ones who must figure out a better way to share their own wealth.
With the news of a new revenue spilt in place it would appear the ball is back in the union’s court.
No matter what the players will have to take less. How much less is where the battle goes from gentlemanly to ugly. Recently the players were enjoying a split that hovered near the 60-40 area. Talk about negotiating a bad deal. Now the owners want to flip the script and take a 53-47 share for themselves.
It doesn’t take a Cal Tech math major to know how much more the owners want back.
However it does take a little common sense to understand just how much work must be accomplished this weekend. Never mind Stern’s threat, the real deadline for camps opening and the season starting is here. If a full season is going to be salvaged then the reclamation project began yesterday.