The NBA keeps wondering why the Players and Union won't accept their terrible deals

NBA Lockout: D-League Clause Now an Issue; Player's Excepted to Reject Offer

NEW YORK — Just when we where tube fed hope that the NBA Lockout was nearing it’s end by the so-called experts, we now learn that a brand new, never before discussed clause is now a major issue in getting a deal done and ending the lockout.

This new clause involves the NBA’s Developmental league and it’s policy regading player demotions.

For those that don’t know, the D-league is basically the NBA’s minor league system. Certain teams are affiliated with a D-League team and rookie players and second year players can be sent down to that affiliate and essentially free up a roster spot. The Timberwolves famously did this to Jonny Flynn last season for  a short period during the season. The purpose of the D-League is in the name: to develop young players into potential NBA roster worthy talent.

But under the new clause the owners are proposing that the D-League be allowed to accept players into their fifth NBA season. The owners also want said player to receive a salary decrease when sent to the D-League. Under the previous deal, contract were not restructured for send downs and call ups.

But are we realty surprised these owners can’t negotiate? Their terrible sense of everything else having to do with the NBA put is here. It’s sort of on us for being so shocked they are not award winning bargainers

It’s as though the owners don’t want to deal. They’re miffed the players won’t accept their deal they thought was pretty decent and now they’re defecating all over the negotiation s with terrible and transparent proposals like raising the age limit to enter the NBA to 20.

If you’re having flashbacks to when this was last discussed some five years ago you’re right where I am.

You can’t make it up folks. The owners are just throwing things at the wall, not even concerned with whether or not they stick, they’re just throwing things for the sake of throwing them.

Is it to agitate the players; no doubt. Is it working; most definitely.

Another stipulation to an already included clause is that teams that don’t pay a luxury tax would not be able to use the mid-level exception if it took them over the salary cap — which is the very reason the mid-level exception exists.

“They don’t wanna deal” said on agent. That’s right, this lockout is so ass-backwards that I’m agreeing with an agent, the same parasites that I feel are holding up this lockout and could tear the roof off it if they get the desertification they want.

The players are understandably going to reject this latest proposal but that doesn’t mean doomsday yet. Stern has said that December 15th is a date to circle in terms of getting a deal done. But in reality crunch time isn’t until the beginning of January. If a deal isn’t done by then , the season most likely is.

“We both recognize the seriousness of what we’re facing,” Stern said. “I think both sides would like to begin the season on Dec. 15th, if that’s possible. I think our teams want to start playing. That desire is matched by our players. We’ve done the best we can to cause that to happen. I think the events of the week and the offer that we presented had the desired impact of causing us both to focus intensely on whether there was a deal here to be done. We very much want to make the deal that’s on the table that would get our players into training camp and to begin the 2011-12 season.”

Billy Hunter called on all player reps to meet Friday to discuss and breakdown the latest proposal. Dallas Mav’s rep Jason Terry said that the players are ready to walk away from this deal even if David Stern threatens to cancel the entire season if they do.

“In life and society there are three classes: There’s the upper class, the middle class and lower class,” Terry said. “And what the owners are trying to do right now, what their proposal is, get rid of the middle class so you have one or two guys on each team making ‘X’ and the rest of the guys crunched down at a smaller number and then no middle ground.”

David Stern’s retort to the player’s reported displeasure with the new proposal: “We don’t expect them to love every aspect of our revised proposal. I would say that there are many teams that don’t like every aspect of our revised proposal.”

Then try this on for size: start negotiating so teams will — BECAUSE THAT’S THE POINT OF A NEGOTIATION!

I understand the power-trip aspect of all this, I get that. But how can this be fun anymore? We’re talking about a lost NBA season, a self-inflicted death penalty. Stern has been trigger happy enough to want to have gotten the suicide over with months ago. It’s like he wants to push the players to the edge, talk them off only to psyche them out and push them back on the ledge.

And the worst part of it is that slimy shoulder shrug answer he does when asked why the league is such a mess. It’s sick and it’s making fans bipolar towards the NBA.

Business lesson No. 1 Sterny Boy: Never make you r consumer hate the product.

That’s where we are at. The fans, the people that are going to pay the percentage of the revenue they’re fighting over and the ticket sales and the jersey sales that will inflate the income hate the game. They do not want to pay to get in, they do not want to pay to wear the merchandise and they do not want to watch your game on television.

But are we realty surprised these owners can’t negotiate? Their terrible sense of everything else having to do with the NBA put is here. It’s sort of on us for being so shocked they are not award winning bargainers.

How about Stern goes back a letter and double checks his MBA. He’s got a terrible business sense about this whole thing that has been pushed back in his mind by greed. The little people, the little folk who are actually struggling and can’t negotiate their way out of a bad situation hate you, hate your sport and are easily going to be driven away.

I hate to beat a dead horse, but the NHL was an intense sport in the 90’s. People knew the player’s names, they had great merchandising revenue and they were, as the NBA is now, on ESPN.

Now after a lost season half a decade ago, it’s a niche sport that only the die-hards get into. Lucky for the NHL, hockey is a global sport and has a loyal following.

The NBA; not so much.

Quick, without Google-ing it, who won the MVP in the NBA in 2002? Who won the Eastern Conference Finals in 2005? Name me another player not named Rose, LeBron, Kobe or Durant that are playing the game in a market other than yours?

That’s what I thought. That’s what Stern doesn’t get. The same people, the one’s who are NBA die-hards, that were stumped for answers to those questions can easily tell you the last 10 Super Bowl winners or even the last cast of Dancing With the Stars.

The NBA thinks too much of itself and that’s not the players fault, that’s on the owners. They think they’re a global business and they can’t even stay afloat in the country they play in. The NFL is already ready to put a franchise in London. Baseball has the World Baseball Classic. If you’re European you’re either a model, a filmmaker, a footballer or a hockey player.

Basketball is over stepping it’s bounds and it’s going to lose it’s fans. Jordan retired in 1997 and a lot of people credit that with killing basketball for the better part of the next five years. But what gets washed over s that chunk of time in 1998-99 where there was no basketball. Heck a lot of people didn’t even know there was a lockout before this one.

It’s because no one cared. The NBA drove away what small fan base they had before and we all came back, as if coming back to an abusive lover. But the abuse is happening again and the power trip is happening again and the lies and games are happening again.

How much can a fan take before they trade in the value of their NBA loyalty to pad the loyalty they have to their other three favorite teams in separate sports?

No Hornets? Fine we got the Saints.

No Knicks? It’s painful to lose them and it breaks out hearts (because, love them or hate them, the Knicks have loyal fans) but we have the Yankees, Mets, Jets, Giants, Islanders and Rangers.

No Raptors?! My goodness what will we do with our sports time? Oh yeah, we have the Maple Leafs, the Blue Jays and the Bills are right down the road. You know right next to the Mets, Yankees, Jets, Giants, Islanders and Rangers?

You get the picture. The NBA is digging it’s own grave. Miami Heat fans are proof of how loyal fans are. No Heat? It’s freaking Miami baby, clubs and parties are to us what the Packers are to Green Bay.

The point is this: fool us once shame one us. Fool us over and over after that? Sayonara dude, America has three other professional sports leagues and that’s just the tip of the global sporting world. The NBA needs to get it together or the greed fueling this lockout could be the fatal and ironic blow that ends it all.

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