NEW YORK — Raise your hand if you’ve heard this before: the NBA and the Union are very close to a deal that would end the lockout and return basketball to the masses.
This is the second time in five days that we have heard this news and it’s both good and bad.
The bad is that they’ve come close twice and can’t get a deal done despite being so close. The owners are still pressing for the players to accept their 49-51 split on revenue that favors the players. The players want that number raised to at least 52. There are other issues such as luxury taxes and player salaries that are still yet to be ironed out, but we’ve moved at a snails pace from October until the progress we have now.
The good is that we have been told a deal is close twice in five days. This is something we haven’t heard since the lockout has begun: A deal is close. now we’ve heard it twice and that has to mean something. The players said that they can’t accept the proposal from Sunday under the current parameters of the deal, but that doesn’t mean they hate it. Instead, they are going to have their amendments to the deal ready to be discussed and that right there is the progress we should have had from the get-go.
The owners are arguably the ones holding this deal up because they feel they can entice and threaten their way into getting the maximum out of the players and the deal.
But it’s actually the players who can be considered the winners in this whole deal and it has come to their egos in the eleventh hour. If the lockout ends, the players can tout that they rejected Stern’s deal, laughed at his school yard threats and dragged the meetings past the deadline and got a deal done.
But as of now that deal isn’t done. There is still the revenue split, the salary cap issues and the luxury tax that needs to be resolved. The meetings are ongoing and the potential for positivity is there but we’ve seen it before. I’ll believe it when I’m seeing the opening introductions of the players on whatever surrogate opening day date is determined upon some 30 days after the lockout ends.
But that’s the key, the lockout has to end and as of now, despite all the hype, the lockout is still on. But the hope is there and that’s new and it’s kind of nice.