NEW YORK — Raise your hand if you had in the office pool the NBA meeting for just about 30 straight hours and making no progress.
Now how come I’m not surprise just about everybody raised their hands? Probably because there was no way the NBA Lockout was going to end this weekend. To quote the guard from the Wizard of Oz, “Not no way, not nohow!”
This became abundantly clear when new Orleans Hornets guard Chris Paul told everyone via Twitter what the players were offered and Derek Fischer channeled his inner Joe Wilson as the NBA lockout has taken on the ugly form of political mid games and slander.
“Why would I trust [Dan Gilbert]
“I want to make it clear that you guys were lied to earlier”
-Player President Derek Fischer
Before I blow a gasket in a moment, lets review what happened to give me stroke like symptoms as I watched all of this unfold.
First the owners and union meet for 30 odd hours and get nowhere. Not one thing is agreed upon or built upon. They might as well not have even happened. Then after the latest meetings, while we were all under the illusion that there was actually some civility going on behind those closed doors (See: Pipe Dream), we are brutally brought back to reality when Derek Fischer, Billy Hunter and various other NBA ballers and reps hit the airwaves and social media to vent their frustration and try to explain their side of the story.
There you have it folks: 30 hours of meetings summed up in one paragraph. My response to this can be summed up in my John McEnroe impression: You have GOT to be KIDDING ME!
How are you going to be so hard headed and so dug in to you’re own demands that you meet for 30 hours and make no progress? Films are made in 30 hours. Cross country trips are completed twice over in 30 hours and you can’t make any progress in that span of time?
Both sides are to blame here but if there is an Evil Empire, the Owners are the Emperor and the players are merely Darth Vader.
To give you a picture of how messed up and impossibly lost the owners are in their own agenda, they sent Dan Gilbert, probably one of, if not the worst NBA owner to the front-line with a message of trust. This is the equivalent of sending out Barry Bonds to an Anti-Drug rally as the keynote.
David Stern hasn’t done much during this lockout to salvage what scraps of his legacy are left dangling in the wind. He’s gone from threat to threat without making any sort of attempt at progress. He must feel that if he gives in to any of the players demands, his ego will take a hit.
As if it hasn’t been obliterated already.
The same can be said for the players side of things. But remember that they want to just minimize the damage of the lockout and minimize the losses. The big issue remains the Basketball Related Income and how much of it the players get. They want 53 percent and the owners want it to now 50. I suppose you could give the owners credit for raising the number from 48 to 50 but to do so would be to also give credit to the players for lowering their percentage from 57 to 53; a difference of $200 million.
I’m no math major but it looks to me like the players are trying harder and sacrificing more here.
But at the same time the union and the players have stepped up the rhetoric. They say the lockout won’t hurt them until much later into the year and that they can play elsewhere. But the issue has stopped being about money when the players and union reps stepped out of the meetings this week.
It’s now about who’s going to get the Lockout Trophy to put on their mantle. The players ran out of money in 1998 and the league won that time. This lockout can now be viewed as the sequel, where the other side gets their revenge. It’s no longer about money, it’s now about who’s ego will bet stimulated and inflated by the outcome and the proof is all over the results of the meetings, the hard headed demands and the rhetoric.
Dwayne Wade said via Twitter: “It’s sad when people when people don’t even try and hide their greed #nbalockout”.
Chris Paul tweeted last night that the owners pretty much gave the players a “take it or leave it” offer to which the players and union it. Derek Fischer then went to the podium and told the NBA universe they have been basically lied to from the start and that this is where the long haul starts.
Great. The NBA Lockout has now entered into the he said/she said realm of the high school breakup where the two sides hit up Facebook with drama laced posts attacking one another and baiting sympathy.
Again, I’m not saying I agree with the owners because I don’t; they do next to nothing to deserve the kind of money their holding the NBA season ransom for. They don’t even crunch their own numbers. If I tried to take a test with a team of experts doing the problems for me that’s defined as cheating and I don’t get the grade. The owners are doing the same thing but substitute grade for piles pf money.
The players DO deserve a larger slice of the percentage. An owner can not blow out his MCL and ACL sitting in his cushy owners suite and ruin his career and future. If he falls out, maybe, but chances are he can’t void a huge pay day the way NBA players can actually playing the game.
Am I supposed to feel sorry that the NBA is in the red because the owners overpaid for sub-par players? Because I don’t. And because they made bad business decisions do they then get to dictate the money and where it goes in this lockout? They shouldn’t but they are. Who do the owners think they are, Wall Street? Ego alert.
But the owners thinking their Wall Street is more proof of their poor decision making. Who wants to be Wall Street?
The Lockout is a mess, the NBA is a mess and the season will be a mess if it ever happens. All the stats and awards and the eventual champion will be asterisked. People won’t come out to the games unless they live in L.A, Chicago, Miami, or Boston. And the owners, by doing what they’re doing and getting slaughtered in the Twitterverse by their players, have fumbled away any hope of ever securing public funding for a stadium ever again.
It’s not a surprise the talks produced no progress. What basis did anyone have to make that assumption? The real losers in this all are the fans because it’s a power struggle now. The NBA is in action, no doubt about that but their on the wrong court and it’s far less interesting.
But hey, they’ve managed to keep one thing a common thread between the games and this lockout mess: the fans are still standing up and screaming profanities at the players and owners for their performances.