NEW YORK — Representatives from the NBA Player’s Union will meet with Commissioner David Stern and the owners today to try and feel out where everyone really stands on the upcoming NBA Collective Bargaining Agreement.
The two sides are meeting in a sort of last ditch effort to make progress and give David Stern a good excuse to extend the deadline Midnight EDT. If no agreement is reached (and don’t expect one to be) and Stern doesn’t see a reason to extend the deadline(which he actually might), then as of Midnight New York time tomorrow, the league will have officially locked out the players.
Now if this all seems familiar like you’ve heard it before, you have. Not only has the NBA done this before, but the NFL is currently locking their players out after the NFLPA and the NFL owners failed to reach a civil agreement on a new CBA.
The ramifications of having two professional sports leagues (and two of the most popular and profitable I might add) locked out with their upcoming seasons in peril will not be a good thing for anyone let alone members of those respective groups. But if you’re betting against the lockout happening, either renege on that bet or prepare to lose that money you threw down. If the lockout doesn’t happen at Midnight, it will happen soon after.
If David Stern extends the deadline because both sides are talking, don’t be fooled. When both sides are prepping their legal cases they can mention how they both tried to play nice before the other side turned their backs.
It’s legal mumbo-jumbo like this no NBA fan wants to hear.
The deal that is set to expire at the end of today was negotiated six years ago and came after the last lockout which occurred in 1999. The result was not a lost season, but rather a shortened one. In addition to the (inevitable) NBA lockout, the beginning of the 2000’s has seen lockouts in the NFL and the NHL which nearly crippled the sport professionally in America. The NHL has bounced back since in its own niche way and according to extreme cynics, will get a huge boost when its the only winter pro sport on in 2011.
What the two sides are fighting over is what the other two lockouts, and all lockouts for that matter, have been about: money. The players want a larger cut of the revenue sharing (which you’d think is pretty considerable) and want to resolve other issues pertaining to the salary cap.
These issues have been called “critical” to getting a deal done.
But when dealing with millionaires and millionaires, you can’t please everyone and from the sounds and looks of it, no one will be pleased for a long time. The owners are pushing for a hard salary cap due to 17 of the NBA’s 30 franchises lost money last year. The New Orleans Hornets had to be sold to the NBA and the Sacramento Kings are most likely going to relocate. This also then raises the hush-hush issue no one wants to talk about and wants to pretend is not there despite it’s ugly and prominent face: the small market vs. bug market issue.
All of this and more is coming to a head and will most likely result in an NBA lockout at Midnight EDT or if not then, soon. But pay attention to what happens with the NFL labor dispute; what happens there will have a trickle effect to the NBA. But in the meantime, get those goalie pads ready because the summer will be chilled with the anxiety of an NBA season in jeopardy.
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