Welp, I was wrong about that. I should’ve known that these two sides were too stubborn to actually get a deal done. Can’t believe I fell for it. (Actually, I can, because I’m dying for any positive sign.)
The NBA’s big Friday negotiations have ended and we’re almost back right where we started: Basketball Related Income.
According to Ken Berger of CBSSports.com, the two sides split after failing to come to an agreement on BRI. Neither side will move. The players sit at 52.5, the owners at 50. However, Billy Hunter said the league actually dropped their offer to 47 percent.
“[Stern] snookered me. … He made a move. He went to 47.”
The league has yet to cancel more games since the first two weeks were axed, but according to multiple reports, David Stern will cancel more games Friday that extend to Nov. 30. And on top of that, he said there’s no chance for a full 82-game season.
After all that positive momentum that was built Wednesday and Thursday, it’s that nagging issue of how to split revenue that is hanging up each side. Pretty ridiculous, especially when you consider that each percentage point is worth about $40-50 million per year. Meaning, the two sides are hung over something like $80 or 90 million.
Via CNBC, a missed month costs players about $400 million. Going from 52 percent to 51 on 7-year deal costs them about $280 million. Stupidity reigns supreme.
I get the feeling as Billy Hunter said last week, this is more if a principle thing than dollars and cents type of thing. I had real optimism heading into today because it just made too much sense to get a deal done. But this has devolved to greed and petty stubbornness. Both sides are to blame, but how can you expect to get a deal done when you bring new conditions to a meeting? The great fear now is that all the good work done this week will be undone by Friday’s failed talks.
Derek Fisher addressed the media following the talks and said simply, “We have ended talks for today and for now. There wasn’t enough to close this deal … Today wasn’t the day to try and close this out.”
There was also some talk that it wasn’t solely BRI that broke talks down. There are a few system issues to be worked on as well. Fisher said that the union doesn’t want to lose taxpaying teams as options for players with exceptions. The luxury tax was reportedly the system issue still dangling heading into today’s talks.
Billy Hunter: “We did what [Stern] said [he] needed and it was like their eyes got bigger. They just wanted more and more.”
All’s not lost though. There was a good reason for the optimism and just because the two sides are having trouble finding a common ground on BRI doesn’t mean that the season’s in jeopardy. The feeling all along has been that the two sides are walking on thin ice and once wrong step could cause a breakthrough in the wrong direction. But crossing the system gap is a big on. The assumption there was that the BRI issue would fall into place a bit more once the system was handled, but that doesn’t seem to be happening.
Talks are done for Friday, and there haven’t been any more meetings scheduled.