Somewhere In The Middle

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – For anyone that decided to parachute into the NBA lockout saga today, you made it just in time for a rather interesting edition of “He said, He said.”

NBA Commissioner David Stern told the Boston Globe that the union cancelled a scheduled meeting. Players Association officials disputed that claim to Yahoo! Sports, saying there was no meeting with Stern and the league’s negotiating team scheduled, and then countered with this twist:

“The NBA refused to have a staff meeting [Thursday],” a union official said. “Billy Hunter has been with the [National Labor Relations Board] the entire week, including Thursday, and the NBPA was told that Stern would be completely unavailable to meet for the next two weeks.”

The truth (the whole truth and nothing but the truth) is clearly somewhere in the middle of this seemingly harmless mix up. Stern and Hunter are big boys, so whatever tweaking that goes on between the two sides is tolerable so long as the end result is one that leaves everyone smiling.

Plus, with the Hall of Fame induction ceremonies on tap Friday night and Hunter with the National Labor Relations Board all week, it’s obvious there were not going to be any big time face-to-face negotiations this week. If a smaller session was proposed, by either side, and then scrapped for whatever reasons, we can live with that … provided there are more substantive talks planned for the near future.

Besides, after weeks of grim news, Stern did offer some encouraging news to the Globe when he said that he expects there will eventually be a deal struck that would keep us from hoops Armageddon for the 2011-12 season:

“I expect that we’ll make a deal because the alternative is very destructive,” he said. “It’s destructive of $2 billion worth of player salaries and it’s destructive most important to our fans of the game. And if it spirals badly everyone gets hurt. But in some ways I worry because the players have more to lose, especially those in the later stages of their career. So we’re going to do everything we can when the rhetoric slows down to get this thing back on track.”

That’s a much different tone than what we heard in the hours after the first full negotiating session between the two sides just a couple of weeks ago, when the league filed that unfair labor practice charge against the union with the NLRB to prevent a potential decertification.

That’s a much rosier outlook than what Hunter provided last week, when he suggested to a conference at the National Bar Association in Baltimore that the 2011-12 season could be in jeopardy if things don’t change drastically in the coming weeks.

Obviously, things might get a little messier before they get better.

But at least they’re talking … well, sort of.

58 Comments

  1. Mike says:

    I mean it’s like, come on.

  2. I what this season to start on time because it is so boaring now so try to make a deal before october geat hear please.

  3. bulls4ever says:

    players i crazy one million of dollars per year in the end o their carrer is enoght for their retirement with out having to work! averege saleries 5.7 and top payers can win 30million dollars in a contract? are they nuts? stern should say this is the new contract cause i cant pay more if you want sing it if you dont go player somewhere else! no metter where they go nba is gonna be the best league and after a while who cares who was gonna i don! the nba doesent need players that cant low down a few million dollars! we are talking about millions ppl! are they nuts? they have a dream job they would steal be making lots of money! what their problem? Stern man up pls!

  4. JP says:

    The lockout is the players faults we all know this system does not work they need to use the NFL’s unguaranteed contracts and hard cap system. The reason why 22 teams lost money (and they did stop acting like you all know the economics of basketball because your a fan) is because 8 teams have every superstar in the league on them. Remember back in the 80s and 90s when almost every team had a superstar? Wasn’t those the years where the NBA shined the most (you’d be dumb to say no). The players are being greedy and childish if you give me a million dollars I’ll go out there and let you throw a ball at my head for 4 quarters lol shiddd. People do not realize the more the players get their way the more the game gets destroyed. Do not tell me these athletes do not have big azzzzz egos we all seen the commercials and public stunts.

  5. Ahmet Sehic says:

    I agree with out fans there wouldnt be an NBA, but I can see why the owners are being stubborn about how much they make. Last Season more than half of the NBA owners were losing money. I can’t understand why the players are so hard headed about taking a small pay cut..They make more than enough as it is. Iwould play for any team in the NBA right now for no money at all and the players are fighting for a couple of millions.Now thats pure greed. Im not saying that alll nba players are this greedy but the majority of them are because if they werent the lock out would be over by now.

  6. Bojeezy says:

    I agree we should all boycott NBA games and gear for as many days the lockout goes into the season. To show how much they are making the fans angry. I understand they have to negotiate to make a new contract but there should be some common ground by now. Many people are out of jobs so I don’t think either side have a lot to complain about. Just split all the cost and revenue and call it a day. What has been suggested seems more fair. I think if they lose the fans then it would hurt them more than anything else b/c we are the ones paying for the tickets and merchandise.

  7. resty gomez says:

    My 8 year old son is expecting the lockout will soon end. Please, Nba players and team owners go on and negotiate before it is too late! Forget money for a while, but think of the kids who love the game!

  8. fanlockout says:

    When they do get this settled I would love to see the fans unite and NOT attend any games or purchase any NBA gear for at least a week.
    This may show them who really has the power . unfortunatley it likely wouldnt happen

  9. Patti says:

    I have the perfect solution. Meet in the middle. Everybody wins.

  10. Brian says:

    Some of the players make more in a single season than the average family in America would make in two hundred years. Their greed is unbelievable.

  11. kyle says:

    please the fans have a revolution to bring back the nba

  12. Chris Javier says:

    David Stern magjakol ka na lang gago wala kang tite

  13. David says:

    After reading most of the comments here, ….wow. Stern makes that much? With all of the things going on around the world, is this necessary for loyal fans? NO! It is an ugly way to portray the league and all it has done thus far. It all comes down to money. Obama doesn’t even make NEAR that much and HE is the president. What are both sides fussing and cussing for? Resolve the matter with the dignity that your elders taught you. Do you have the same responsibilities as Obama and yet get paid a 6 digit salary plus benefits? No? Anyone who can’t answer that can shut it up. Perspective everyone please…See how this all makes sense now? It doesn’t.

    Both sides may have legit reasons, but PLEASE take a step back from being seemingly and disappointingly selfish and look at yourselves. Both sides should be looking at this from some other viewpoints like the loyal fans that watch the NBA all over the globe. It has underminded the tireless efforts of all those who have gone before and those great individuals that fight to protect our freedoms. Money has put a damper on the season the sport and the league permanently. Sleep well if you can..i would not be able to. I was taught better i guess. What does this show to the possible future players who dreamed of being where these guys are now like the Dirks, Yaos, and Ibakas? Aside from that looks at the female branch of your grand triad, the WNBA. Thank goodness they are doing their thing. They should feel proud and not have this tarnish what they strive to do. I will continue to watch. Thank you.

    What could any of you be doing that is worth anywhere near 27 million, players or otherwise? NOTHING. Still got crime, famine, pestilence, dirty water sources, poverty, bad living conditions, oppression, and racism. That is worth the money to fix, this is not. Sink or swim, what’s done is done and I really don’t think that things with the NBA will be the same due to this petty behavior. Glad its not me. I may not be much to anyone in this world but i make real money just like any other hard working person without an inflated salary or sense of self worth. I may never go to a live game or even swing tickets like the above forementioned people, so if i can’t see it on the TV like most of the fans all over the globe, maybe the NFL, NHL, or the UFC will be more accomodating since they can get it together.

    • Knickfan212 says:

      We need you to head the negotiations!!! It’s evident they don’t care anything about the fans.
      The owners are the reason it has come to this because of trying to out bid other owners for top players.
      I’m one that can’t afford to take my whole family to a game at the same time. They really need to get it done.

  14. tanduay5years says:

    LOL – the Steak is still on! But seriously, unlock the season guys! its us whose suffering not the players or the org! its the fans! they got millions from the fans already. All we want is see them play and the team we are rooting for! come on!

  15. Harley says:

    they need a hard cap and the salarys wouldn’t be a problem its the fact teams like miami and boston have 3 allstars who bring in tons of fans while teams like toronto and sacramento have some good players but they just dont stack up. NOBODY wants to see their team get blown out almost every game.

  16. AZ says:

    Yo, owners…players…someone needs to agree on something coz this lockout is NONSENSE. I hate it , i need basketball! At the end of the day they’ll end up getting their millions while WE, the fans, don’t get jack except NO BASKETBALL. Over a few million dollars?? Really??

  17. Doc Eric says:

    Shame on the players! It’s easy to understand owners who would rather close shop than lose more money. The players really have a twisted way of handling the lockout. They won’t agree to slight paycuts but they’re entertaining offers overseas for a lot less. It’s not like they’re earning peanuts with the proposed paycuts. Many of us won’t see that kind of money in our lifetime. Have they ever considered the “small people” affected by their greed? Think of the ticket salesmen, janitors, snack and souvenir vendors, etc.

    The owners should just reboot and start a new league and negotiate directly with the players. I’m sure many players don’t like the way they’re represented. Billy Hunter isn’t in a hurry because he’s the only one earning during this lockout.

    Can somebody get my message to Derrick Fisher? C’mon man…you’re better than this. Or would you rather play exhibition games like the one in the Philippines? As a Lakers fan I’m eagerly awaiting your vengenace on Dallas.

  18. LJ says:

    ARE YOU JOKING!!!!!!!!
    I live in Australia, and Im struggling without the nba. The lockout is so frustrating. I go for the heat and im interested to see who we might get in free agency. The same with the rest of the league, everything at the moment is just rumours because no-one can do anything!!!!!
    Please….. Players and owners, take a pay cut each agree and get on with the season. People stuggle for food, water and basic life needs all around the world.
    STEAK!!!!!!!!!

  19. Sing says:

    Now that I have a little time to think. I truly and sincerely think NBA and fan should go a couple of years without NBA. I HAD MADE MY DECISION THAT IF THERE IS NO NBA, I WILL BE INDEFFERENT.

    Sing

  20. papalicious says:

    steak..steak

  21. AJC says:

    I know this will be deleted, but at 27 million annually, Commisioner Stern earns more than any NBA player. This is completely out of line. If he agrees to a 20% cut , then and only then will the league be actually bargaining in good faith.

    There is no logic that dictates that the Commissioner earns more than the players who make the game what it is. His salary should be no more than 10 million at the most.

  22. Steve Seley says:

    With the players running away to Europe like rats leaving a sinking shift. I can only say to all you Greedy players and owners. Screw you all may the NBA go out of business.

  23. stuntman mike says:

    America’s jobless just envies these greedy millionaires… We should all have a peice of their stake!…mmmm stake

  24. KB24 says:

    Please end this lockout. You guys are fighting over millions when people all over the world cant find water and food, just please end it..

  25. ZULU says:

    With some of the top ballers hinting that they may play over seas. All parties concerned had better get more serios with the comments. The players will lose if there is no season but Stern may have to take a cut in pay as well. No I for one won’t watch a bunch of guys from the development squads. The owners had better understand that it’s about quality of performance. No sports league has a monopoly of entertainment,period.

  26. ncs83 says:

    It’s millionaires fighting millionaires. Shutup and do your job!!! Both sides!! They’re obviously not thinking about all the people that work in the arenas who will be out of work. Greed is bad.

  27. Mr. Rick says:

    Guess I might have to try to learn to like hockey. Even though I hate sports where they just whack a puck or kick a ball back and forth until someone gets lucky and maybe scores once or twice over the two hours it takes to get through a game. Certainly can’t compare to the precision of the NBA game!! Plus it’s hard to follow tht little puck around on the ice.

    But hey you gotta go with what’s available right? We all know if it wasn’t for the fights hockey would be a dead sport.

  28. coach151 says:

    Well I for one agree with all of you… My take is the Fans, who without there will be no pro sports at all!!! I sure many of you saw that George Clooney Movie about the beginning of Pro Football and how a college kid made the game profitible, well guess what, it was the Fans that made the money the issue, now we’re on the brink of higher ticket prices (I really don’t complain because I can’t afford NBA Tickets), consession and souviners prices rising and prima-donna athletes giving 50% effort in the playoffs (LaBron – & the Celtics), come on, they only real losers in all this is the Fans… Oh, I can’t pay my million dollar mortage, their gonna cut off my $10K month cable system, I won’t be able to fill up my Maybach, come on gentlemen, agree to disagree, and play ball… I for one don’t see a penny of this split, I just want to watch the Lakers win another Championship…

  29. John V says:

    They really need to sit down and get this thing fixed. I have been a nba fan almost all my life. When it all boils down the fans pay the owners and players salary and we demand basketball. They need to take the fans in consideration thats if they really care about the fans like they say.

    • Knickfan212 says:

      I second the motion!. And me being a Knick fan really needs this season to start so I’ll know if I jump off the roof or not.

  30. wayne_a says:

    well until the players agree, and real revenue sharing becomes a fact, there will be no season, the CBA is only the first step, though it may be the most difficult, (or not)

  31. Shanty says:

    Maybe the players should take up other careers? Nate Robinson could do high jump, Lamar O could take up MMA after his knock on JJ Barea, whilst lebron could move into politics. After all, he whines, complains and talks a lot of baloney without ever getting results. This lockout surely opens new doors for these fine young men.

  32. Jordan says:

    I live in Australia. I am coming to the US in December this year. I am going to be pissed if I don’t get to see a live NBA game. The lockout needs to end, and soon. Split it 51-49 to the players, because at the end of the day, they are the league.

    • willie says:

      the owners are even giving them 53-47… the greedy players just dont want a paycut from their current 57… hope the lockout ends soon though

  33. dombinator says:

    cmon nba we need our ballers back!

  34. Tristan Ray Casro says:

    End this lockout please! We folks can’t live without the NBA!

  35. OH YEAH says:

    OH YEAH.

  36. donmatter says:

    @Gaz
    id rather have the players get greedy than the organization and owners. wht the hell do they do? business? at least the players bust their nuts day in and day out so i don blame them at all for not cooperating. not to mention there on the road and away from their homes and families. so yea. its all about the players and the fans. owners and organizations make more money than they should already

    • CMac says:

      I’d gladly play in the NBA for significantly less than the NBA players currently get paid. The players get to play a game they love (and earn a fortune) all year round. Not many people can say that about their current job! The money needs to go to the teams so they can continue to build and improve their facilities for supporters and players alike, and offer services that create value for everyone involved.

  37. vectorsigma says:

    I love steak! Had it for lunch

  38. Gaz says:

    Players are starting to sweat. They won’t earn close to the same amount in Europe, so here they are doing a back-flip. T’was always going to happen. Their just greedy, and it was about time the NBA did something about it.

  39. Tim says:

    Nice to see that the “fans” are getting a mention in all of this.

    Aren’t they the ones with all the money, who pay for the tickets, who buy the endorsed products… who in effect, make the whole thing “profitable”? Should be a three way negotiation, with a Fan Movement Representative as mediator. Sort your penny-pinching out boys!

  40. Vincent says:

    They will agree onto something because the steak is high

  41. demented says:

    hoping they just get it done before the pre season… ive watched too many flash back games, which are good at first, but i do need the current games to keep my sanity in this era