NEW YORK — The wait for basketball still drags on but every time there is even a droplet of news, it is viewed positively. The report that the NBA and the Union are planning on meeting next week can be viewed as the most positive news to come out of the lockout yet.
It will be the first time since July 1st that leaders from both sides have met and it couldn’t come at a more dire time in terms of getting the NBA season started on time. It seems like a fading dream to start on time, but it’s not over until the fat lady sings.
Or David Stern.
“If Labor Day comes and goes without us huddled in ready to kiss off our Labor Day weekend to make this deal, then we may be headed to a bad place.” said Stern on and ESPN podcast earlier this month. Despite the league’s efforts to calm the storm of a late start by releasing the NBA schedules for both the Preseason and Regular season, there is much unrest among all those connected to the sport.
The fact the two sides are meeting is swell and all, but no progress is expected to be made. Nothing as complicated as people wanting money and people not wanting to give it up can be solved over night.
Or over a two month period.
In fact, many players including Luke Walton and Derek Fisher believe games will be cancelled and only then will deal making truly begin. It’s a sad state of affairs, but once what little money starts coming off the table, that’s when both sides (specifically the owners) will start to sweat and make forced actions.
Fisher stated that he hoped the two sides would meet at least twice, preferably consecutively, after the August 1st meetings. That clearly hasn’t happened and the reason is down to finger pointing on each side.
The league and owners are pointing at the players claiming the players are essentially dragging their feet, going as far as filing a claim with the National Labor Relations Board against the players on August 2nd. The players in turn point to the owners and the league as not showing a dire enough interest, as David Stern is finishing up his vacation this week. The league has maintained the stance that he was available for any labor related meeting during the duration of his vacation.
Stern says the offers are deteriorating in quality as the lockout wears on, but isn’t giving up hope that a settlement can be reached and games can be saved. ”We’re always going to sit down and talk and discuss and probe and prod and ask questions of each other and deal with hypotheticals,” Stern said. ”So there are many different ways to propose things….we’re not through at all.”