This whole thing sucks so friggin' bad man...Silver lining though, if you listen to the entire David Stern press conference after today's meeting -- whether you wanna believe Stern and Silver, it sounded like there actually was a modicum of progress made today. Maybe even more than a modicum.
If I have this correct:
(1) Originally, the owners were first offering something like 53/47 or 54/46% on the BRI sharing (in favor of the owners) WITH additional givebacks (see below). Players walked away, as they should've. After all, they were getting 56 or 57% of the BRI under the prior agreement, no? Did these owners and Stern really expect them to take a 10 or 11% hit on the BRI as well as cave in to givebacks - hard cap, no guaranteed contracts, etc.?? Come on..That rediculous pie-in-the-sky stance did nothing but waste time by the owners imo. It showed they weren't serious about coming to a quick resolution.
(2) Then today, a 50/50 split was discussed but again, with those additional givebacks. Players rejected that one too but at the end, as per Stern, a 50/50 split with no givebacks was informally discussed last minute, where Hunter/Fisher supposedly took it back to the players -- unfortunately that was said to be rejected as well. Stern kinda stressed that it was not a formal offer and also indicated to the press that he has no idea if it will still be on the table in the future...
2 things here for me -- (1) The fact that Stern/Silver mentioned it took place and that (2) Fisher & Hunter thought enough of it to take it back to the players is what I found encouraging.
Also of note, Stern indicated early on that the owners have come down off several of their earlier demands as well (I presume these are some of the "givebacks" being discussed in addition to the BRI ----> (1) a move off the hard cap by the owners; (2) guaranteed contracts would be authorized (something the owners were looking to take away); (3) no roll-backs of existing salaries (I believe the owners wanted big salary players to make concessions on contracts that were already signed under the old agreement--to me that would've been rediculous--the players union can't possibly agree to that); and (4) an opt-out would exist for the players after 7 years of a proposed 10-yr deal.
I mean, I dunno man.. I'm no fan of Stern or the owners and at first it sounded real bleak today but if you really listen to what Stern was saying, it sounds like there's definite progress being made here. As we're approaching crunch time, the pendulum clearly looks to be swinging toward the players if you ask me...As of now, no plans are in place for future meetings but you gotta figure that'll change in the next 24 hrs..Call me an optimist but despite no agreement thusfar, it sounds like the owners are seriously coming back down to Earth on many of the key issues. Hopefully that bodes well.. I mean considering where this whole thing was, a 50/50 BRI split with little or no givebacks isn't terrible...Still, I bet the players are holding out for a little more. Something tells me that if the players can get this to 51-52% BRI with little or no givebacks, we'll finally have basketball (I believe Fisher is saying the players are standing firm at 53%). Both sides might consider that a victory...Both sides may not be that far apart anymore..Decide for yourselves -- here's the Stern/Silver press conference:
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