The deadline is almost upon us. David Stern marked close of business today as the take it or leave it deadline for the NBA’s last offer.
Reports coming from numerous sources that the NBA and the NBAPA are trying to arrange a 1pm meeting in New York to get a deal done before the clock strikes midnight on the current offer.
Players had their own get together so the NBAPA could put out all the details of the latest NBA offer to make sure all were well-informed of what exactly was being offered to them. Prior to the meeting, sentiment was that a lot of players wanted to just accept the deal and get back to work. Word started to slip out that after the proposal was clearly laid out; all were in favor of rejecting the deal.
Most players now are willing to accept a 50-50 deal as long as “system issues” were tweaked more in their favor. Changes such as teams over the salary cap would still be available to use the full mid-level exception. The NBA currently only wants to offer over the cap teams the ability to use a 2.5 million exception, instead of the full 5 million dollar version. The NBAPA also want to see longer guaranteed contracts.
Many fans are split between blaming owners, players, or simply Stern himself. Unfortunately Stern maybe doing everything he can to get a deal done, but it seems like his hands maybe tied. There seems to be at least 9 (and possibly 13 depending on which report you read) hard-line owners who want to concede nothing to the players and get everything they want. This group consists of course of mostly small market owner including Michael Jordan. Yes, the same Jordan who once made thirty million dollars for playing one year of basketball!
We know there have been owners on each side of the room willing to deal, and those who simply want to win. Micky Arison said it best via his twitter account, responding to a tweet “you are barking at the wrong owner”. Which lead Arison to pay a fine of $500,000. The sad thing about this whole ordeal is that besides fighting, I mean negotiating between the league and Players Association, the fighting internally on both sides has often been just as cantankerous.
No matter what the two sides say to each other, let’s just hope they can put their egos aside and come to a fair deal. Lets be honest, the owners almost always “win” these battles, so it’s not a surprise at how many concessions have been made by the Players Association. But it has gotten to the point where this small group of owners wants the 100% win. Going in with that kind of thinking is never good for negotiations. Starting a conversation with the idea that “if we have to lose the season to get what we want” is never going to benefit the talks.
The two sides have one last shot to get this right. We have to hope it goes in as if Carmelo was taking the shot…and not someone who can’t come through in the clutch.