The two sides met for more than 15 hours yesterday and appeared to make a decent amount of progress on system issues. According to some reports, the system is almost all but settled and now it’s about a BRI compromise. Today’s deal day. It’s just a matter of getting it done. Here’s your song of the day.
Chris Mannix: “One source briefed on the talks Wednesday said agreement by the end of the week ‘very possible.’ ‘Lot of real progress tonight,’ source said
Ken Berger of CBSSports.com: “The two sides discussed system issues exclusively Wednesday and into Thursday morning, not touching on the BRI split at all. One source warned, “They still haven’t gotten to the meat and potatoes.” But the general feeling from both sides was that a level of determination to bridge the gap between the system proposals has reached a level of urgency not seen at any times during the two-plus years of negotiations. It is generally presumed that once the more difficult system issues – mainly the level and rates of a new, more punitive luxury tax system – are agreed upon, the economic negotiation would be easier to agree upon.”
Kevin Durant: “Earlier today I watched Stephen A. Smith talk so bad about JaMarcus Russell. Who are we to say he don’t deserve a second chance? I believe in second chances and not kicking a man while he’s down! SMH”
Howard Beck of the NYT: “One person who was briefed on Wednesday’s talks said the sides had “moved closer” on most of the system issues, but cautioned that an agreement was not in hand. The parties did not discuss the division of revenue, which remains just as critical as the system issues.”
Zach Lowe of SI: “Again: Sources are mum about precisely where the league’s tax proposal stands today. Sources close to the talks indicated last Thursday that the league had softened the tax ratios, but that the multiplying penalties for routine payers remained. A source close to the talks tells me that remains true today–that the league has stood by the multiplied penalties for teams that pay the tax three or more times during a five-year span.”
Henry Abbott writes that 82 games might be too many at this point: “Or maybe it really is just a big ol’ scheduling nightmare, which will result in a tough-to-watch, too-long season with ridiculous travel and far too many back-to-backs. As basketball fans, we have been pining for a full season. But now that it’s the end of October, in the name of seeing energetic players at their best, maybe it’s time to embrace the idea of lost games. Put down your shoehorns, oh schedule makers. As much as we have been rooting for 82 games, the calendar says it’s time to root for top-quality NBA basketball instead.”