Let us assume that the 2011/12 season is lost, an assumption that is apparently not at all outlandish. Then what happens? Everyone seems to expect that after the loss of one season, each side will be more reasonable. Perhaps, but I think the owners are banking on the players' willingness to make the substantial concessions.
It seems absurd to throw away a year and only then get serious. The owners and the players are playing chicken with each other. Is either side seriously willing to jettison two or more seasons?
If the players are willing to lose a year, what about a second year? Same thing for the owners. What is going to change next year besides the attitude of the fans?
The players have shorter windows for making money than the owners, but not having games does not eliminate an owner's debt service or the likely diminution of the asset value of the franchise.
The major sticking point at this time appears to be the percentage split of the basketball related income pie. It had been 57% for the players and 43% for the owners. What about a split with the greater of a guaranteed $2 billion or a 50-50, or other, split of basketball related income for the players with a continuing increased percentage for the players as the basketball related income passes a certain number. This would assure that the players would not lose out entirely if five years from now some extraordinary television deal is brokered.