NFL to School NBA in Lockout Lecture

He was instrumental in aiding a successfully ending to the NFL Lockout, and now the NBA players are calling on Demaurice Smith to solve theirs

LAS VEGAS — The NBA is in it’s 77th day being locked out and it’s about to get schooled by a league that recently resolved their work stoppage.

DeMaurice Smith, the Executive Director of the NFLPA, is going to lead a dialogue with players in the NBA Player’s Association who are currently locked out by the NBA’s owners.

According to a source who is close to Derek Fisher, acting president of the NBA Player’s Union, Smith will discuss with 70 players what went down in this summer NFL Lockout and why decertifying was a mistake. The call for help to Smith comes after Tuesday’s talks with NBA Owners broke down and resulted in no new progress being made.

Despite the sentiment of some fans, the break down of the labor talks is weighing on the spirits of the players, who according to a source: at the end of the day just want to play.

“If 52 or 51 gets a deal done, I’m positive we’d do that. But the [owners] are trying to get it in the 40s. We’re not willing to go to 40s.”

- Jared Dudley, Phoenix Suns player’s rep

The NBA Owners are meeting in Dallas and some still remain hopeful that Commissioner David Stern will ease (or the term in owners circles is cave in) on his hard-line stance on the issues causing the work stoppage. Despite the lack of progress Tuesday, progress was made last week when the two sides met. This progress is what discouraged and weighed on the spirits of the players when Tuesday’s talks came to a screeching halt.

A main issue in the battle is how much the players will get in terms of percentage of basketball income. As of the previous labor agreement, the players earned 57 percent of all basketball income. The owners want that number drastically lowered and the players want to see only a marginal decline.

“If 52 or 51 gets a deal done, I’m positive we’d do that.” said Phoenix Suns players rep Jared Dudley. “But the [owners] are trying to get it in the 40s. We’re not willing to go to 40s.”

Much like the NFL Lockout this summer, the main focal point of the NBA Lockout is monetary. The teams that are successful finished in the green and those that didn’t went into the red. Unlike the NFL, the league has become top heavy with superstars earning piles of money and the average and lower-end players earning a Grand Canyon’s difference.

The problem is the league is top flight and low rate; there is no middle ground in terms of money.

Monster contracts given out at will have been seen in the past and is one of the major reasons we have a lockout. This is a fact that the bloodthirsty agents have sniffed out and are trying to edge out Billy Hunter who is with the Player’s Union and play puppet master with the players to make sure their role in the NBA isn’t rendered largely irrelevant.

Bill Simmons recently tweeted his 7 reasons why the NBA isn’t going to end anytime soon (and why that makes him not a happy Bill Simmons). He basically summed it up to blaming both sides for the mess and correctly pointing out that both sides will look increasingly foolish as this debacle rolls on.

As usual, Simmons hits it on the nose.

Bringing in Smith of the NFL is a good idea, however if progress is to be reached, it must be realized that the two situations are vastly different with a totally polar opposite cast of characters. At this point, any progress that is made is good news but we have been fooled before and if the recent past is any indication, it will continue to happen.

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