50-50 Split Still Divides Players and Owners


After three days of meditation including one 16-hour session no progress has been made in NBA labor negotiations. No doubt David Stern is on the horn with Santa now telling him not to make any plans to stop by an NBA game during his rounds. No real surprise there. Despite the extra effort there is still one sticking point that is holding up any chances of an NBA season in 2011-12.

The continued insistence of the owners on a 50-50 revenue split is what appears to be the pony holding up this show. It is reported that the players have continued to come down in their share of the revenue going all the way down to 52.5% in today’s talks.

Still not good enough for the owners. But that was no secret. Just a couple weeks ago the owners insisted on a 50-50 deal to be agreed upon before talks could even resume. Luckily mediator to the sports stars, George Cohen, stepped in forcing the two sides to get back to the table. Too bad the more than 30 hours of talks yielded little more than late night meals and drawn out discussions.

Currently there are no future dates scheduled to resume negotiations. Again, no real surprise there.

This lockout had “season-ender” written all over it the moment it began. Now it is on Derek Fisher to regroup with his troops. Given David Stern’s hardline stance and the owners unwillingness to budge from an even split it is on the players to make more concessions or simply walk away. That’s exactly the position the owners have wanted to be in all along.

Billy Hunter hasn’t exactly been reading the warning signs. From the jump the owners were out to paint the union into a corner. Hunter’s decision to ignore the NFL playbook by forcing talks through decertification was his first mistake. That left the owners with all the power.

Now, here we are. Dead in the water.

The truly sad fact is that it is the owners who are looking for a bailout at the expense of the players. Nobody forced a 57-43 split on the owners but that’s what they agreed to during the last work stoppage. Now that they’re losing money it has become all too convenient to point the finger of blame at the players.

Safe to say that until the players meet the exact demands of the owners on the revenue split that we’re not going to even have a chance at seeing a season.