An End to the NBA Lockout? It’s More Complicated Than You Think

James Nosek | Press Box Perspectives Editor/Columnist

“It is very close,” said ESPN NBA Insider Chris Broussard Thursday night about the ending of the lockout and the possibility of starting the NBA season up by mid-December. David Stern also said, “I would not presume to project or predict what the union will do. I can hope, and my hope is that the events of next week will lead us to a 72-game schedule starting on December 15th.”Holy cow, that’s a lot to swallow when you first read it, because it seems way too good to be true.

An actual end to the lockout? Come on.

Tonight embarks the 133rd day of the lockout and looking at those two comments, I’m not convinced that a deal is close between the players and owners despite the rumors. Thursday night, the owners offered a new proposal of a 49-51 split revenue decision, which Broussard said it is “essentially a 50-50 deal.” The deal ended up being turned down by the players.

This sounds just like the 50-50 split deal that we saw back in early October when the players refused that offer as well, saying that “it was actually a 51-49 split, in favor of the owners.”

I like how Marc Berman, sports writer for The New York Post, said it, “Egos are running rampant, NBA players don’t want to lose in anything.” You can say this is just a big battle between whose ego is bigger and from what we know about the NBA, we know the players win in that department by a land slide.

The owners keep making deals and want to negotiate but their offers haven’t been completely realistic and then on the other side, there are the players who are acting like little kids, not cooperating one bit, it’s obvious that both sides have problems. Just like the October offerings, it feels like we keep going in a circle, going right back to where we started.

The negotiations keep going round and round, and no progress.

“I remain from trying to characterize progress or not,” Derek Fisher, Union President, said. “There was not enough progress to get a deal done and that’s the disappointing part about it because we want to get back on the court.” Looking at this comment, come on. “We want to get back on the court?” That’s not true at all, if they really wanted to get back on the court, the lockout would have been over in early October. These guys are greedy and to “egotistic.” These players just need to “take the pay cut and get back to work,” as Bill Plascke, LA Times columnist, would say. If you didn’t know, NBA players are the highest paid athletes in professional sports with an average salary of 5.1 million dollars, according to the LA Times.

It’s sad that this is happening in the NBA but at the same time it is pathetic, all this is doing is making the NBA look even more like a joke league, and it shows how greedy the athletes and owners are. This really tarnishes the NBA’s reputation. Right now, even though there is a ton of coverage by ESPN about the lockout, nobody really cares, it’s not like it is the heated debate every second, like the NFL lockout was. That right there was important because people care about the NFL but they don’t have that same love for the NBA. Who knows when this will end but at least there are some kind of rumors for a new deal.

 For next week, Broussard reports that a new offer will be made either Monday or Tuesday. The offer adds a few more “extra things,” to go along with the “50-50” deal:

  • The minimum payroll, which has historically been 75%, will go up significantly. Broussard said, “This is good for the players.”
  • Teams right at the salary cap will have an exception with about 2 ½ million dollars that they can use to go get another player. Broussard said that this “Has never been seen before in the league.”

                                                                                                                                    According to ESPN reports

Just looking at this offer by the owners, they are trying really hard to end this lockout and they should, it has gone on long enough. Both of these “extra perks” are in favor of the players and it’s hard to see why the players wouldn’t accept it and move on. If this doesn’t get done by Tuesday then the possibility of a season is pretty much over because according to Broussard, if a deal isn’t made then David Stern’s offer will go back down to 47% and that won’t make any progress, that will put this whole thing back into the cycle of doubt.

How about we end with this thought because Bill Plascke hit the mark when he said this:

“Stars bigger than the league? Not even close-stars can’t exist without the league,” it’s so obvious but at least somebody gets it.