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This sums up the owners’ position pretty clearly. The only thing that makes sense is total victory.

Oct 23, 2011, 4:30 PM EDT

David Stern, Adam Silver AP

From a great piece by Sports Illustrated’s Sam Amick:

“What we told the players again today was that we could not trade one off for the other,” Silver said of BRI and system issues. “As much as we would like to find a way for a so-called win-win for both parties, or we win one and you win one, in terms of the future of this league, we don’t think it makes sense.”

via David Stern, NBA turn labor negotations into disgrace – Sam Amick –

This was another quote in the midst of all the disaster of Thursday’s meetings to get lost in the shuffle. But nothing explains the league’s position quite like this. If you and I negotiate over something, we’re going to reach a conclusion which is at some level, a win-win in most instances. Even if one of us wins more than the other, both sides are getting something out of it. If two companies negotiate a business deal, most often it involves satisfactory terms for both sides. That’s not what’s going on here. At all.

The implication from Silver’s statement can be interpreted as such:

“It doesn’t make sense for the players to win anything. It only makes sense for us to win everything. BRI, system, everything.” What’s more, considering the concessions the players have already made in negotiations, it’s not just winning. It’s “it only makes sense if we achieve total victory and win overwhelmingly.” This will not be news for most of you. But if you’re pondering the insanity of both sides being so close and not being willing to make a deal, this is a good explanation. It’s not about the win. They’ve got that. It’s about the rout.

  1. Fan On Fire_Maurice Barksdale - Oct 23, 2011 at 5:01 PM

    This isn’t two companies negotiating, this is a company and it’s employees negotiating, and that’s a big difference. And even if the players lose on every one of those issues, they still win. They will still be getting paid millions of dollars for playing a game.

    This woe is me, poor poor players, Stern is a slave over seer nonsense is pathetic. The changes the owners want to make will make the game better for the fans, and that’s more important than any issue the players have. If the fans lose interest in the product the players lose anyway.

    The money comes from the fans so the fans needs come before the players. The fans want competitive balance, and the NBA owners and players need to give that to us, or we’ll continue to find other things to spend our money on.

    • mytthor - Oct 24, 2011 at 1:29 AM

      The players are employees, but it’s not like they’re the employees at your local wal-mart. They are not replaceable — the owners need them for there to be a league. Not just SOME players, these PARTICULAR players. They are the best in the world at what they do. The owners, on the other hand, run the gamut from excellent at what they do to terrible at what they do.

      It may make the game better for the fans of particular cities, but it will just make it worse for others. If the talent can’t all go to the Lakers, and instead go to some small market team, it makes it better for the small market but worse for the big market. And guess which market has more people. You say the fans want competitive balance. Some fans want competitive balance — personally, as a Lakers fan, I’m just fine with being one of the top 10 teams. And I don’t like the fact that my teams success gets shared as a way to help poorly run teams. There are teams that are bad because of the unfairness of the system, then there are teams that are just plain bad.

      Why everyone likes to bitch about the players getting paid millions to play a game while the owners get paid millions to WATCH a game I’ll never understand.

  2. flyerscup2010 - Oct 23, 2011 at 5:34 PM

    surprise, basketball’s billionaires are just as greedy as football’s billionaires.

  3. dwats49 - Oct 23, 2011 at 5:53 PM


    • blackheld - Oct 28, 2011 at 10:16 PM

      Oh, yes. PLEASE, players. Sit it out. Wait YEARS. Let LeBron and Melo and Bosh all get old and retire. Let Garnett retire and take his $5M every year. Take your five minute fourth quarter scrimmages and go away and pout.

      The NFL is successful precisely BECAUSE they promote parity. They have the Franchise tag. They have the Transition tag. They have Tenders. They can BUILD good teams, if they have good management.

      You players want to build your own teams, in your own choice of cities. So fine. Create your own league…find a judge that will rule the time spent locked out counts against your contracts, then just sit tight on your 57% til the current league falls apart, then form a league where all your buddies can play in the same city you do.

      Of course, when you massacre those poorer, less talented small market teams, the stands will be empty, and eventually the TV contracts will go away, but hey…you’ll be happy. At least, those of you in about 6-8 of the league cities will be happy, and screw the rest of the players. Right?


      :sound of crickets:

      But really…hang tough. You gotta win.

  4. jmclarkent - Oct 23, 2011 at 6:15 PM

    Great. At this point I can’t say that I’m optimistic that we will even get a half of a season…

  5. brooklynbulls - Oct 23, 2011 at 6:24 PM

    @ Fof…..competitive balance? And i guess everyone should also win a trophy in the end just for participating. The owners are the source of this problem. If u feel that players r overpaid (despite one’s earnings are based on the revenue they generate, not their worth) u have only the owners to blame for that. They are the ones who began overpaying for subpar talent….throwing these ridiculous contracts around. Now they insist upon holding the league, the fans and local economies hostage as they create a new system to protect themselves from themselves.
    They created this system, validated it (agreeing to give up 57% on the last agreement) abd now appear to be pouting juvenile billionaires demanding a do over. What self respecting proefessional puts up with that? How would u feel if your boss granted u a salary based on the money you generate, gave u a raise and then 1 day comes in and says “you know what? I change my mind.”

  6. ballparkprints - Oct 23, 2011 at 7:03 PM

    No good will come out this! White team owners want total victory over [what is] mostly black employees. Bad blood between them, will be forever….

  7. danielwestrick - Oct 23, 2011 at 8:15 PM

    I am sorry to say this … BUt the 2011-2012 season will be cancelled and the NBA will go down … Plus, the NHL has gotten a lot better and will be the #3 sport in the US behind Football and Baseball. Besides, the college game is getting a lot better

    • leearmon - Oct 24, 2011 at 9:39 AM

      While I am a small fan of hockey, just based off of demographics it probably will never be more popular than the NBA. Also, the NBA based off of ratings, tv deals, and marketability is the second most popular sport, only behind the NFL.

  8. bcjim - Oct 23, 2011 at 8:45 PM


    You have to be kidding. A normal company just lays people off when they want to cut costs. That is not applicable in this case, the employee number its fixed essentially.
    At the end of the day, three things remain true…1. It its the owners league. 2. What they pay translates directly to what fans pay. 3. Whatever deal is reached will still have the players making absurdly high incomes.

    There is no reason the next deal has to be better for the players than the last deal. The owners priorities may have changed, the economy certainly has changed. Payrolls are slashed ask the time, usually by rif, as I said above, that is not an option here…so salaries go down.

    • mytthor - Oct 24, 2011 at 1:31 AM

      There is no chance the next deal will be better for the players than the current one. the player’s FIRST offer gave more to the owners than the current one, and the owners looked at it like it was insane.

  9. jucam1 - Oct 23, 2011 at 9:18 PM

    Fan Fire, i fully agree with you!… I love to watch ball on TV but I want the owners to fully break the Union…. Competitive balance, a hard cap, and nom-guranteed contracts or short guranteed contracts is the only way to make this league fun and competitive again…. Are these owners greedy idiots?… Yes, they sure are… But you cant have a league run by the players.

  10. 140chrviolation - Oct 23, 2011 at 9:38 PM

    Look, I don’t care who wins between players and owners. I want the games and some assurances of a healthy league well into the future. That said, anybody who thinks that the NBA is boring, uncompetitive or needs improvement of the product- I just don’t get it. We had an excellant regular season.The players are skilled and compelling. There are great young players coming on and starting to fill the shoes of their elders. The playoffs had drama, from Memphis’ run, San Antonio’s struggles, the Lakers getting swept and OKC’s steady growth. We had an unexpected run by the Hawks, a strong showing by the Bulls to only fall short of the Finals by getting beat by the most hated and top heavy team in today’s NBA. Then the Heat fall to a deserving champion, with an all-world basketball player, one of the best PGs to play the game (in his third attempt to finally win a ring), and owned by the most visible owner in the league. This is a season after one which saw another Lakers-Celtics matchup and had huge ratings. So many story lines and people think the league needs to be made “fun and competitive again”? It’s just strange to me.

    • somekat - Oct 24, 2011 at 1:57 PM

      The player are not “skilled and compelling”. There is nothing “skilled or compelling” about pefossional basketball players (who are not centers), not being able to hit a open 15 foot jumper. Or not being able to hit 85% of the FT’s. Players are more athletically gifted than they have ever been. They are also the least skilled they have ever been (at least in my life)

      The NBA is in fact boring (75% of games are a 1 on 1 or 2 on 2 variety, no team ball), is uncompetitive (3/4 of the playoff teams, and EVERY team that is at an elite level is known before the season, something inheritantly wrong with that), and it needs improvement (see last 2, plus lack of fundamentals, plus the league selling out the rules to add to ratings etc etc etc). There is a reason that while much more fun to play (and much easier as far as people, equipment, space), the NBA is leaps and bounds less popular than MLB

      Because it is a boring product dominated by the same 5-6 teams every year

      • leearmon - Oct 27, 2011 at 3:42 PM

        I couldn’t disagree with your sentiments more. What data can you prove that shows “75% of games are a 1 on 1 or 2 on 2 variety”? My guess that was you making stuff up. Show me a time when the majority of non-centers hit 85% or better from the charity stripe. Don’t think that has ever happened, but if you can present some facts I would be sure to know. Also “The NBA is leaps and bounds less popular than MLB” is just categorically false. Don’t believe me check this out

        Essentially I think you just made a post full of guesses and hyperbole. The same 5-6 teams dominate the NBA each year? I can give you 10 teams that have dominated as you put it over the course of recent history. Lakers, Spurs, Heat, Celtics, Mavericks, Thunder, Bulls, Magic, Suns, Pistons just to name a few.

        Every team that is of elite level is known before the season? Did you think the Bulls were going to have the best record in basketball last year? Did you think the Grizzlies would have a team that could go to game 7 of the second round? Did you think the Pacers would make the playoffs? And finally did you predict two seasons ago, that the Thunder, who at that time hadn’t made the playoffs in franchise history, would be title contenders just two years later? I based off of your earlier statements, I seriously doubt you got any of those right.

  11. somekat - Oct 24, 2011 at 1:51 PM

    If I’m paying you a million dollars a day to deliver a newspaper, then notice and say “Hey, I’m only going to give you $100 a day to deliver my newspaper”, it’s not a “route” in negotiations. It’s the prices getting closer to what they SHOULD be. They players should not be getting 57% of BRI, period. Yes they are the product, no they don’t deserve more than 50% (I realize there are expenses not included in that, that’s why they are called expenses. Show me any signifigant expenses the players burden themselves, and we can talk). Even giving 50/50 is generous on the owners side. Just check ANY business model and you can see that.

    Sometimes, if a system is BROKEN, which the NBA definitely is, one side has to give up all the issues, in order to fix the system, and more importantly, the game, long term. As is, you are 2-3 years away from being MLB, where it’s the same teams year in and year out

    Should of just done a hard cap at 50/50 and called it a day. I don’t care if player want to all get together and try to win 10 titles. More power to them. Take below market value to do it then. If they want a max contract, then when they hit the cap, that should be it. They shouldn’t be able to pull a few mil for this vet, an exception for that vet, etc etc. You want Lebron/Wade/Bosh? That’s fine, but at their contract levels, with a real “cap”, the rest of the team would be Bob and Stan from the safeway. Same holds for NY if Paul were to end up there.

    The NBA has givin up waaay to much to the union over the years. Like most unions, they were more worried about being greedy and getting everything possible for their members, than they were at striking a balance between what is best of their members, and what is best of the business. When you take that tact, at some point, the business bottoms out

  12. jollyjoker2 - Oct 27, 2011 at 8:14 PM

    Players never gave up anything. There is no CBA …THERE IS NO CBA… Can’t anyone comprehend anymore or just tone deaf.

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