NEW YORK — After word came down that games will be cancelled due to the lockout, the predictable turn of events has brought on another predictable action: the NBA and the Player’s Union will resume labor talks today to avoid cancelling more games.
The reality of the season being postponed or even cancelled hit a new level of possibility Thursday when news broke that 43 preseason games and the entire schedule of training camps were cancelled with no CBA being in place by the deadline. Maybe it’s a legitimate move to get things done, maybe it’s clockwork at this point no one knows or cares. The only balling anyone is doing is on a gridiron and the only court the NBA is duking it out on is a federal one.
Today both sides are viewing the cancellation of 43 (meaningless) games as a call to action. The Union cancelled a regional meeting Tuesday to allow their negotiators to meet with the NBA and it’s owners to try and make progress on the stalled labor talks. How much progress is made is yet to be determined. When the potential progress is built upon is an even bigger uncertainty. Anything and everything seems to get in the way of labor talks maturing beyond what they are. Whether it be player briefings or the Jewish holiday season, when the NBA and the Union will meet again after this week is as big a mystery as anything out there.
Despite the utter lack of progress in getting a deal done, the frustrated players insist they stand behind Billy Hunter and ask for support in there stance.
“We support Billy 100 percent. We support D-Fish 100 percent. My main thing, we’ve just got to stick together. As players we’re sticking together.” said New York Knick Carmelo Anthony.
One thing that NBA Owners are fearing more than anything in these talks, is Union desertification ala the NFLPA doing so during this summer’s NFL lockout. Union head Billy Hunter and Player rep Derek Fisher have taken a hard stance against such an action, but only time will tell how many games will be cancelled before they ultimately make a decision to go ahead with desertification.
Two major things stand in the way of the NBA season getting under way. One being the player’s resisting the hard cap David Stern wishes to implement. The other involves how much of a percentage of revenue the players will earn under the new CBA. Under the previous agreement players earned 57 percent of all basketball income. The player’s aren’t opposed to a small slice being cut out but the owners want the total share of the players to dip into the mid 40’s. This is a number the Union has rejected such a low percentage and thus the fight continues.
Derek Fisher argues that the expected growth in popularity of the NBA means a higher revenue stream and a lower cut for the player would be cheating them out of precious earnings.
“Our game has never been more popular and we’re poised to see tremendous revenue growth over the next 5 to 6 years. … We must share fairly in the continued growth of our business. Any deal that decouples us from a fair share of the revenue growth in the years ahead is a deal we cannot accept. Period!”
-NBA Player President Derek Fisher
Mr. Fisher may sound a bit pompus in his quote, but he has a point. Even though nobody cares about the ‘popular’ NBA (40% of the populus doesn’t even know it’s locked out), the earnings will continue to grow and ANY divide in sharing will hurt the side with the lower percentage.
Why they can’t go 50/50 is so far beyond me it’s ridiculous. I believe that would accurately fill out Fisher’s claim for fairness in sharing, but who am I to talk; I’m just an unbiased common sense sports writer, not an uber-intelligent economic strategist of an NBA player or Owner.
Either which way you look at it, a deal does need to be reached soon, otherwise (as we’ve seen) games will be cancelled. It’s only a matter of time before the ones that do count start slipping away.