High hopes. That’s what we’ve got right now.
If you missed Thursday evening’s pressers with the league and players, there was a theme: Friday is important. Both David Stern and Billy Hunter signaled towards Friday’s meeting as a key moment in these arduous labor negotiations.
Hunter said a deal was “within striking distance.” Stern answered “yes” when asked if he knew what a deal would look like. To say that we’re on the one-yard line with the hopes of punching it in would be an understatement. (Let’s just hope they’re more effective in the red zone than the Sooners, amirite?) It’s right there.
I’ve been optimistic since the beginning, but my personal opinion is that Friday is deal day. The system’s all but agreed upon and now it’s just a matter of slotting the BRI together with it. There’s still some handwringing and still some negotiating to be done but if there’s just a little flexing, the deal’s on the table. If that happens, shake hands and call it done. There wasn’t going to be anything announced Thursday at 10 p.m. ET, especially with the World Series stealing all the spotlight. If the league’s announcing a deal, it’s going to happen Friday afternoon so that it sits all alone in the news cycle and runs on a continuous loop like the NFL’s did.
But I feel like this whole thing is within a whisker of caving in. It’s like they’re defusing a bomb and one wrong snip and the entire things explodes in everyone’s face. As one person tweeted me, let’s hope Friday isn’t the Hurt Lockout.