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Why a deal now? Pressure from the calendar, mostly

Nov 26, 2011, 5:02 AM EDT

NBA And Players Representatives Meet To Discuss Possible Settlement Getty Images

After two years of negotiations, after 149 days of NBA lockout, after so many marathon negotiating sessions that we all lost track, the NBA reached a deal about 3 a.m. Saturday morning.

That’s great news, we were all sick of taking BRI and escrow and luxury taxes.

But after all that, why now?

Because the calendar became the real pressure.

That’s not what the sides were saying afterwards.

“The reason for the settlement is the fans, the players who would like to play, we’ve got others who are dependent on us,” said NBA Commissioner David Stern. “Our goal was to reach a deal that was fair to both sides and got us playing as soon as possible.”

“Rather than pursue this in court, it was in both of our interests to compromise,” said Billy Hunter of the NBA players association.

But this was more about the pressure of the calendar making it time to get a deal done.

Both sides had said from the start that they understood the momentum the league gained last season, with television ratings the highest they had been since the Jordan era as just one sign of that. There was a real energy to build off of — and to grow revenues.

And for a lot of more casual basketball fans, Christmas is when they start following the league. Christmas is the first day of national broadcast network games — it was like a second opening day with marquee matchups on a huge stage. Missing that was going to be a real blow.

Sources on both sides told us the pressure was really mounting to get a deal done. The players did not want to lose a season of salary ($2.2 billion), the owners did not want to lose a season of revenue (at a greatly increased rate from the last labor deal). Neither side wanted to deal with the damage of a complete lost season, or even most of one. Fans were clearly getting more and more restless and turning away.

What is the point of fighting over how to divide up the revenue pie if the pie itself gets smaller?

A sign of that pressure from the calendar was the fact cooler heads finally prevailed in these talks. Saturday the talks almost blew up again when players attorney Jeffrey Kessler — David Stern’s nemisis in these talks — was on a conference call and said the players demanded 51 percent of the revenues. Stern and Spurs owner Peter Holt rejected the idea fast. In the past, that might have ended the talks, but this time they stayed in the room and pounded out a deal.

With all that pressure, and a foundation laid by those months of negotiations, they reached a deal. A deal neither side really likes, which is how a good compromise turns out.

But getting it done was more about the timing than anything else.

  1. norcal031 - Nov 26, 2011 at 5:28 AM

    Who will be this lockouts Sean Kemp?????

    • Kurt Helin - Nov 26, 2011 at 11:52 AM

      I am looking forward to that.

  2. florida727 - Nov 26, 2011 at 6:19 AM

    “Why a deal now?” Because their individual greed finally overcame their collective greed. Easiest question I’ll answer all day. Wish the ones from my kids will be that simple today.

    • rreducla1 - Nov 26, 2011 at 10:08 AM

      If that is the easiest one you will answer all day, it is going to be a long day for you, because you got it wrong.

  3. stoudemiretotherim - Nov 26, 2011 at 6:34 AM

    @florida: can’t you just give Kurt a break? I, for one, appreciate what he’s done and if nothing else he is the one who told us about the end of the lockout.

  4. acieu - Nov 26, 2011 at 6:41 AM

    Yes we all appreciate Kurt sucking up to the players during the whole mess. Kurt can rest his lips from all of the Players butt kissing for a few days unless Mr. Kessler is able to derail the ratification process.

  5. wiLQ - Nov 26, 2011 at 6:49 AM

    “Why a deal now? Pressure from the calendar, mostly”
    I love topics which answer question in the headline, that’s a real time-saver 😉

  6. seattlesuperchronic - Nov 26, 2011 at 7:50 AM

    Mr Helin, I could kiss you! I don’t care if you backed the players, basketball is back and you were the first person I heard it from, I love you! Hoops are back!!!!!

  7. 6thsense79 - Nov 26, 2011 at 8:49 AM

    Why is this message board filled with fake NBA fans? If you don’t like the NBA or its players go watch Soccer or hockey or golf or whatever it is you find entertaining. I’m glad the league seems to be back.

    • danfromparma - Nov 26, 2011 at 9:54 AM

      Your like the sheep of the political parties. You will follow lock step no matter what the message. Your nothing but a moron.

      I quit going to games 2 years ago for the simple reason I was paying top dollar to sit in the top row of the arena. I couldn’t see the players, bad eyes. I don’t have that problem at other professions sports. Must mean the NBA are SUPER GREEDY. Easily able to afford good seats to enjoy the game.

      Now, because of their greed. I won’t watch their crap tour on TV. I can always find something better to watch.

      Remember you slime ball. It takes fan’s to pay salaries. Guess what f wad, your a dying breed. The fan’s are leaving the NBA for the simple reason we are being raped by the greed of both the players and the owners. I’m done being raped.

      Bend over 6thsense79, reach for the soap. You deserve to be raped.

      • brooklynbulls - Nov 26, 2011 at 1:34 PM

        Son, you need to log off the computer right now and go address your psychological issues. Sorry to hear about what happened to you in prison.

      • 6thsense79 - Nov 26, 2011 at 1:53 PM

        First off I don’t normally like to get into a match of wits with you danfromparm because I don’t like battling an unarmed man such as yourself. Secondly this isn’t politics. This is entertainment. I choose to spend my entertainment budget watching the best Basketball players in the world and if it gets too expensive for me I will find another form of entertainment that fits my budget. I could care less what the players make and I could care less what the owners make. My only issue is can I afford to follow the games…..

        Only a complete idiot or someone with a loose grasp on reality would equate entertainment dollars to politics. One is entertainment which hurts no one. The other is politics and electing people who have the power to send people to war, cut funding for health care, social security, etc…..You know…life or death issues.

        Lastly you resulting to the lowest common denominator as insults is a reflection of limited intelligence. I mean I’ve been insulted by the best of them in my short 30 some years on earth…..Come on do better than that.

        Oh and you really need to get help with your rape infatuation. I’m sorry you grew up with coach Sandusky as your mentor but the world is not like that. There is help for folks like and I sincerely hope you get.

        A concerned NBA Fan.

    • rreducla1 - Nov 26, 2011 at 10:06 AM

      Indeed. I hope all these guys take a hike now that play is apprently about to resume.

  8. Amadeus - Nov 26, 2011 at 8:54 AM

    I feel so much better now knowing that multimillionaires won’t be missing any more paychecks. It’s good to know once again that America has its priorities and values in order. Now, everyone get out there and support your team and keep shopping.

  9. 06mustang - Nov 26, 2011 at 10:05 AM

    Yeah! I’ve been losing sleep over gangstas not getting their bling. Now they can get back to making child support payments and shining their Bentleys. Hey kids, put down those presents, the NBA is on!

  10. trbowman - Nov 26, 2011 at 10:07 AM

    I haven’t looked over the details yet, but I’m guessing there are more concessions to the players in this deal than I would have liked.

    Still, I was starting to miss my Wizards……

    • rreducla1 - Nov 26, 2011 at 10:10 AM

      I hope you know more about basketball than you do about the league’s economics and history. Your next post with some insight in it will be your first.

      • trbowman - Nov 26, 2011 at 10:23 AM


  11. thejokewriter - Nov 26, 2011 at 10:29 AM

    Not in the mood for the NBA now. I just rented the Gabe Kaplan classic Fastbreak and The Harlem Globetrotters on Gilligan’s Island. Let Curley Neal “show you how!”

  12. jollyjoker2 - Nov 26, 2011 at 10:46 AM

    I think posters are depressed because we were all hoping the owners had a spine. Apparently not. Owners now need to shut the hell up.

  13. brooklynbulls - Nov 26, 2011 at 11:37 AM

    Wow…there are a lot of miserable people on this board! Its the holidays, basketball (the sport we all took a moment out of our day to catch up on) is returning…..Life is good so someone else’s life getting better doesnt destroy my day.

  14. brooklynbulls - Nov 26, 2011 at 11:40 AM

    Wow…there are a lot of miserable people on this board! Its the holidays, basketball (the sport we all took a moment out of our day to catch up on) is returning…..Life is good so someone else’s life getting better doesnt destroy my day. Plus I’m really happy for the those who suffered economically through this period.

  15. zurnvs - Nov 26, 2011 at 1:11 PM

    Who cares?

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