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Report: NBA owners, players may not meet until September

Aug 16, 2011, 3:08 PM EDT

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You want to know why more and more I’ve become convinced that NBA games will be lost (and I didn’t want to admit that)?

Simple: You’re not going to get a deal until there is a sense of urgency to get a deal done. Now, read these two paragraphs from Alan Hahn at Newsday and tell me if you feel any sense of urgency:

The sides haven’t met since Aug. 2 in New York and (NBA Commissioner David) Stern accused the union of cancelling a meeting last week. The union responded that executive director Billy Hunter was told Stern would not be available for the next two weeks. A union official told me the word was that Stern was taking vacation, but an NBA spokesman said Stern was in his office on Monday and even if he did have a vacation scheduled, he could easily return for a collective bargaining session.

At this point, the union will host an executive meeting in New York at the end of August. The anticipation is the union and league will sit down again in early September, perhaps before the Labor Day timeline that Stern set.

Labor Day is a false deadline, really. But not all that much later there will be preseason games that need to be cancelled. It’s not until late September or early October that regular season games are threatened. That is the real deadline.

Not that either side has any urgency to meet it.

  1. sknut - Aug 16, 2011 at 3:25 PM

    We might as well cancel the season now, the owners aren’t giving in and Stern will be a prick about it till the end. I think there are 12-18 owners who don’t want a season and that is sad. There are so many innocent people caught in this mess that they end up being penalized (i.e. stadium workers, people that work for the teams etc..)

    I have my issues with the players but when Stern is a tool and really its the owners fault we are at this point.

    • trbowman - Aug 16, 2011 at 4:46 PM

      Can’t believe anyone is on the players side.

      I hate Stern as much as the next guy, though.

      • sknut - Aug 16, 2011 at 6:38 PM

        My issue with the owners is that they are the ones who sign these stupid contracts and who want to be saved now. I do see your point about the players though and really its hard to like either side all that much.

      • philliphernandez - Aug 17, 2011 at 1:46 AM

        I don’t know where the anger against the players is coming from. The owners want a new deal and locked out the players for leverage. Fine I understand that.

        Players have made some modest concessions but pointed out that the NBA’s real problem is revenue sharing that that the owners need to settle that among themselves first. The players would take a reduction in Basketball related income and the financial situation is settled, and we have a season.

        Essentially the owners want the players to save them from their own bad decisions and guarantee them a profit, socialist style, whether or not they make good business decisions.

        A major aerospace company made that same argument to me last week in a pricing negotiation. They didn’t budget correctly so they want my company to take a $2 mil haircut off of our asking price so they can meet their profit goals. We told them to pound sand. They are now complaining to my boss and the government that we are not “working with them.”

  2. hail2tharedskins - Aug 16, 2011 at 4:05 PM

    I have to disagree with your take on the real deadline. For you as a fan it might be the threshold when regular season games have to be cancelled. But for the owners and players it absolutely is the threshold at which preseason games have to be cancelled. Remember this fight is about money (not regular season standings) and that is real money lost when preseason games are cancelled, doesn’t matter which side you are on when you are both fighting over the same chunk of money neither side wants to see that chunk shrink because now they are fighting over a smaller pot (the smaller the pot gets the less likely each side is going to happy with their share). All you have to do is look at what happened with the NFL, as acrimonious as that fight was somehow both sides were able to reach an agreement just in time to save the preseason. While the NBA and its players are farther apart that the NFL and their players and its much more likely the NBA will end up cancelling games, make no mistake that cancelling preseason games hurts financially just as much as cancelling regular season games (they may not bring in the same money at the gate but the tv contracts treat the games the same – so close enough to not distinguish). I don’t know when this will get resolved, but I will offer an opinion that if this isn’t resolved in time to save the preseason they won’t save the regular season either (in fact if this drags on into mid-October there won’t be a resolution before 2012). The point is if they aren’t close enough in time to save the preseason they certainly aren’t going to be able to get close enough in time to save the regular season especially since the total dollars at stake will already be in decline and continuing to decline everyday from the moment the first preseason game is missed.

    • philliphernandez - Aug 17, 2011 at 2:00 AM

      I think your right on this, hail2, the rubber has to hit the road for the preseason. If you look at the NFL for precedent the only missed game was the HOF game which shafted Canton but not the NFL teams.

      The part I don’t understand is that if the teams that were purchased in the last decade are the hard liners because they are the most over-leveraged, wouldn’t those guys need the games the most as well?

      Owners like Sterling [spit] have little to no debt because they have been bottom feeders for decades, pocketing the little revenue sharing money that the NBA distributes from teams actually trying to win without contributing anything to the viability of the NBA. To him it wouldn’t matter if no games are played he isn’t carrying the same amount of debt.

      Owners like Dr. Buss need to churn the machine to feed the beast. He is trying to pre pay his death taxes to pass the team to his kids without having to cut in another partner. He needs to play the games because his business plan centers around playing late into the season which produces extra revenue to support going over the cap and the luxury tax his pays to Sterling [spit] and the other bottom feeders.

  3. trbowman - Aug 16, 2011 at 4:45 PM

    Yeah, just announce that there won’t be a season already. Not like any of us expect there to be, might as well do it now.

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