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NBA owners going to sit back, wait out players

Nov 18, 2011, 3:07 PM EDT

Mark Cuban, David Stern AP

The story today on NBA lockout moves is the same story we may be seeing for the next few weeks:

Nothing. Nada. Zip.

The NBPA filing a disclaimer of interest and walking away from the talks on Monday, followed by antitrust suits against the league, has not moved the owners one bit. Rather the opposite — the owners have retrenched. I have heard in the last few days that the owners are going to sit on their hands and wait for the players to come back to them. I’m not alone. This paragraph from Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo pretty much sums up what everyone is hearing.

League officials aren’t rushing to meet again with the players prior to the Thanksgiving holiday and are waiting on former Players Association executive director Billy Hunter to contact commissioner David Stern about restarting talks again. The owners have little, to no interest, in negotiating a settlement with the players’ prominent new front man, antitrust attorney David Boies..

Exactly. The owners are done talking, the hardliners have won and they are looking to break the union. There will be talks again, my guess is that around the second week of December the two sides will sit down. Now who is talking — Billy Hunter or the union attorneys — and what the starting point of those negotiations are remain to be seen. But eventually there will be talks.

It’s all frustratingly stupid. The owners could have offered an olive branch to players at the end of the negotiations and we’d be talking free agents and trades right now, not lawsuits. The players could have read the owners better (maybe by decertifying July 1), or they could have counter-offered what Stern put forward rather than dissolving the union. Both sides could have acted like rational adults.

But for now it’s not good news, it’s no news. As it’s going to be for a while.

  1. bassethund - Nov 18, 2011 at 3:24 PM

    Stop with the olive branch crap…if it was something that just needed tweaking to make the contract palatable then the players should have made a counter proposal.

    • Kurt Helin - Nov 19, 2011 at 11:38 AM

      They should have, you are right. Everyone has played this poorly.

    • florida727 - Nov 21, 2011 at 9:40 AM

      This is what the owners should have done from Day 1. Here’s the deal we’re giving you as employees of ours. Take it or leave it.

  2. dirkified - Nov 18, 2011 at 3:45 PM

    I only watch the playoff’s anyway!!!

  3. trbowman - Nov 18, 2011 at 4:12 PM

    Why should they be?

    They offered the players a deal and they didn’t want anything to do with it. Ball’s in the player’s court.

    • deadeyedesign23 - Nov 18, 2011 at 6:37 PM

      The last offer was from the players to the owners, which they turned down.

  4. zblott - Nov 18, 2011 at 4:24 PM

    The players own EVERY marketable good the NBA has – it’s time to start their own league:

    • dadawg77 - Nov 18, 2011 at 5:18 PM

      Players don’t own the team brands. While in some cases is doesn’t mean much, but the players won’t have the brands of Lakers, Celtics, Bulls, Knicks and maybe a few other that matter.

  5. trbowman - Nov 18, 2011 at 4:32 PM

    There isn’t an adjective in the English dictionary that can describe how much of a….disaster a player run league would be.

    • irishjackmp - Nov 18, 2011 at 10:44 PM

      Completely agree. I have this image in my head of the league looking like the teams in that Will Farrell “Semi-pro” a few years ago. Billy Hunter actually floated the idea of a pro league run by the players and said (I wish I was making this up) “we might not be able to play at Madison Square Garden, but we could play at St. Johns…” Sure Billy great idea… pro games at a 5,500 seat arena with pull out bleachers and no luxury boxes… that will sure show the owners. The owners had to of been laughing when they read that.

      As soon as the players realize that as owners they get paid last (i.e. only if there is a profit) whereas as players in the NBA they get paid first (regardless of there is a profit or not), they attractiveness of launching their own league will dissapear in short order.

  6. bearsstillsuck - Nov 18, 2011 at 4:44 PM

    I agree with everybody except zblott who’s probably a ten year old with down syndrome anyway. the owners offered a deal and the players didn’t counter offer so the owners have every right to wait this out and I hope they do.

  7. thetooloftools - Nov 18, 2011 at 8:23 PM

    Hey Ballers… Grip up. Your all getting really bad advice. The old school elite players already have theirs. Are you seriously stupid enough to believe they care about you mid level players.
    It’s just that you are TOO WEAK to stand up and say “I’ll play anyway”. Your letting a small group of players and a few reps drag the rest of you around by the nose like little Bitche~. Do you know why they didn’t put the last offer to a vote?
    Because most of you would have taken a 50/50 and worked out the details later. Instead, they shut you all out.
    Kobe, Wade, Mello, LePunk… you are letting these clowns speak for you.
    Can I give ANY player reading this a basic lesson in economics?
    Something you own union won’t tell you?
    If you increase the competitive balance in the league, more fans will attend games. More fans will watch on TV. It’s a win/win at 50/50.
    The owners are not going to move and you can sue them all day long but you will not win as nobody is stopping you from forming your own league and going your own way.
    LeBron James and Cris Bosh caused this mess and you won’t even own it.
    You don’t even acknowledge it.
    Walked on MAX deals saying ‘we don’t need the money.. we’re going to win not two, not three or four, not five” as the (|)-hole Lebron ran his mouth.
    We bad.
    Don’t look so bad now but the rest of the players are too psissy to take the GREAT money and do your job in fear of pi~~ing off the player elite.
    Don’t be surprised if the owners come back and say.. ok.. we are going to play a season and those who will play for this $ will play… and those who don’t, choose not to.
    They OWN the NBA.
    What part of that don’t you players get ?
    53/47 is next and then you will really be hurting.
    I wish I could feel you pain.
    Any other players in the 4 major sports would take your 50/50 in a heart beat.
    If not, I can live without the NBA for a year or two.
    I would rather live with and NBA where Milwaukee can compete with L.A. then having a fly in from LA where they know they are going to lose but “get to see Kobe”.
    Big deal.
    The league of stars isn’t working any more.
    The new reality is what the NBA owners are bringing to the table.
    I spoke to a “pro player” guy the other day who was 100% behind not “caving to those greedy owners”.
    I never raised my voice and verbally kicked his (|).
    I just stated the facts.
    He shook my hand and said “yea… your right”.
    I took the emotion out of it and he bought right in.
    He knew I was right.
    The players could learn from him.
    This is a pi~~ing war and MOST of the players are going to lose as history has proved that more players spend LESS then 5 years in the NBA then spend more time…. and their clock is ticking on a lost year.
    And they didn’t even get a vote.
    How sad

  8. irishjackmp - Nov 18, 2011 at 10:36 PM


    Enough already with your constant “the owners are the bad guys here… they haven’t given enough” posts. Here’s a radical concept. How about just giving us the information regarding where things stand and let us decide for ourselves whom we agree/disagree with instead of you continually telling us that you put the blame on the owners.

    I find myself surfing this site less less because even before I open posting I know it will be some version of you blaming the owners.

    You are pro player here… we get it already, ok?

  9. ispysomething7 - Nov 18, 2011 at 11:37 PM

    Kurt is long on LeBron’s schlong! That’s the truth!

  10. PanchoHerreraFanClub - Nov 19, 2011 at 10:51 AM

    My guess is that owners and players will sit down again and talk in April.

  11. jimsjam33 - Nov 20, 2011 at 1:07 AM

    When are those Ferrari and child support payments due again ?

  12. semperfiguy1011 - Nov 21, 2011 at 3:22 PM

    Go ahead and sue, players and see how far that gets you. You are employees, and for the life of me I can’t understand why you won’t get that through your heads. The owners are simply going to wait you out, and 53/47 is where you’re headed next. If you don’t want that, the owners will simply move ahead with replacement players. Go haed and think you are bigger than the game. New stars are on thier way up and you had better realize that. In a couple of years, you will be forgotten and the league will still be there and it will be fine. You have really stepped in it big time with this decision. Millionaires will never beat billionaires. Bottom line: You’re screwed.

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