No deal, part two. But the league presented a “revised” proposal to the players and they’re going to look it over before making an official decision. Billy Hunter said, “It’s not the greatest proposal in the world,” but that also means it’s not all bad. So hold until Monday for something more. David Stern said if the players were to accept this offer, there would be a 72-game season starting Dec. 15.
Ken Berger of CBSSports.com: “Another outcome likely will begin to unfold Friday before the union even decides whether to accept the proposal — and would continue to progress regardless of the outcome of next week’s player rep meeting: Agents dissatisfied with the deal the union has negotiated and the intransigence of league negotiators already have more than 200 signatures on decertification petitions which are ready to be submitted to the National Labor Relations Board requesting a vote to dissolve the union, according to a person familiar with the plans.”
J.A. Adande of ESPN.com: “The union should be framing its disagreement with the owners in terms of individual freedom and fantasy league-like roster possibilities. Instead they’ve come off as simply bickering about money. They’re down to a $2 million difference between the mid-level exception the NBA wants to offer for teams in the luxury tax and what the players want to see. There were only seven luxury-tax paying teams last season, so if this had applied last year we’d be talking about seven players and a total of $14 million per year. These are the details that are holding up a deal worth more than $4 billion annually?”
Tom Haberstroh of ESPN.com on Miami’s future title odds: “Unlike the Heat, the Thunder, for example, do not have all their talent locked up for the long haul. Russell Westbrook, Serge Ibaka and James Harden haven’t received extensions, and the team may not have enough room to keep them all. Thus, the Thunder’s returning EWA drops to 49.9 wins in 2012-13, 32.0 wins in 2013-14, 18.7 in 2014-15 and so on. Meanwhile, the Heat possess more than 50 wins’ worth of talent under contract — although not necessarily signed to play — through 2015-16.”
Sean Deveney of Sporting News: “Source says league conceded on sign-and-trades for taxpayers. That’s a big one for the union to have.”
Good news! If the season is canceled, there’s a chance OKC would have a lottery pick.
Not basketball, but Joe Posnanski wrote a seriously terrific piece on Joe Paterno yesterday: “But I will say that I am sickened, absolutely sickened, that some of those people whose lives were fundamentally inspired and galvanized by Joe Paterno have not stepped forward to stand up for him, have stood back and allowed him to be painted as an inhuman monster who was only interested in his legacy, even at the cost of the most heinous crimes against children imaginable. Shame on them. And why? I’ll tell you my opinion: Because they were afraid. And I understand that. A kind word for Joe Paterno in this storm is taken by many as a pro vote for a child molester. A quick, “Wait a minute, Joe Paterno is a good man. Let’s see what happened here,” is translated as an attempt to minimize the horror of what Jerry Sandusky is charged with doing. It takes courage to stand behind someone you believe in when it’s this bad outside. It takes courage to stand up for a man in peril, even if he stood up for you.”