When David Stern sat down to give a press conference at 12:45 central time Saturday night, I really had no idea what to expect. More of the same? Tempered optimism? Disheartening negativity? A duet with Adam Silver singing the bass part on “Reunited”?
Probably the last thing I expected was for Stern to sit down and basically explain the league’s entire proposal to the players and then add that if they don’t take that deal by Wednesday, the next proposal will be infinitely worse.
Stern said it wasn’t an ultimatum. But that’s exactly what it is. Take it or leave it, players. And if you leave it, be ready to put your money where your mouth is. Because the season will be in serious jeopardy.
The federal mediator put out six proposals, or “what-ifs”, for the two sides to consider. According to Stern, the league has adopted five of those. One of those being a solution to the torturous disagreement on Basketball Related Income. The NBA’s proposal includes a “band” that would pay the players up to 51 percent if projected revenues are met and as low as 49 if they are not. And if revenues exceed projections, the players would get 57 percent of the overflow. So if the league’s projection — which is 4.5 percent growth — is something like $4.5 billion for next season (or whatever) and the league brings in $5 billion, the players would get 57 percent of that extra $500 million. Or at least that’s the way I understood. It was very confusing you see.
But why lay it all out there and issue this deadline? Because Stern’s brilliant, that’s why. Keep Reading…