Time For Some Action … Next Week

– For labor updates, follow: @daldridgetnt | @AschNBA

REVISED PROPOSAL TO BE REVIEWED BY PLAYER REPS

11:47 p.m.: At least no one delivered any ultimatums this time.

The labor talks broke after nearly 11 hours tonight and despite chatter earlier about a deal being done, the sides finished the night the same place they finished them last weekend. The players have a proposal to consider and will now take that proposal to their player reps, as early as Monday, per union executive director Billy Hunter.

The proposal is a revised one and not the “reset” proposal that was threatened if the players did not accept last weekend’s deal by the end of business Wednesday. Hunter and union president Derek Fisher didn’t seem particularly enthused by what they’d heard.

“We have what we characterize a revised proposal from the NBA,” Fisher said. “It does not meet us entirely on the system issues … We’ve decided to take a step back and confer with our player reps.”

Both Hunter and Fisher were asked about the disappointing expressions they wore when they faced the media before departing the hotel, but Hunter insisted that it should not be taken as an indicator of anything but the fatigue associated with the process.

“Its been a long haul. We’re coming near the end of it,” Hunter said. “We’re trying to get this thing done.”

It has to get done if the players want the current deal on the table, which NBA Commissioner David Stern said will include a 72-game schedule that would start Dec. 15 and would require the start of the playoffs and The Finals back a week to make the calendar work. If the players don’t accept the offer, Stern indicated that the league’s reset proposal, with the 47 percent of BRI and salary rollbacks, would be the only deal on the table.

Stern also said the time for negotiating is finished.

“There comes a time when you have to be done negotiating, and we are,” Stern said.”We wait the response from the union. We did our best … We moved as far as we can move. I am optimistic the NBA owners would approve it if the players union approves it.”

Stern stopped short of calling it the league’s last, best offer. But that’s exactly what it is.

“We took pains out of respect to the efforts of everybody, not to characterize it precisely that way,” Stern said. “But if this offer is not accepted, then we will revert to our 47 percent. We have made our revised proposal and we’re not making another one.”

Both Stern and deputy commissioner Adam Silver acknowledged how tough it would be for any union to take the proposal on the table back to their reps, but he also made clear that the players are not the only ones uncomfortable with the details of the proposal.

“We don’t expect [the players] to like every aspect of our revised proposal,” he said. “Many teams don’t like every aspect of our proposal.”

But at this stage of the game, some 132 days deep in this lockout, this is where they are. And that means the players hold the fate of this season, the one that could begin as early as Dec. 15 and include just 10 missed games, in their hands.

***

SPECIAL DELIVERY

10:21 p.m.: Finally, we get some news that should wake up the masses, courtesy of Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. Might there be a proposal on the way for the players to consider?

According to Woj’s latest tweet there is:

After finishing call with owners’ labor relations committee, David Stern will deliver union a revised offer tonight, league sources tell Y!

He then added this for good measure:

Owners revised offer will be working off current negotiations with players — not the threatened ‘reset’ offer awaiting if talks broke down.

Now this sounds like real progress. And it’s some welcome, positive news after the hype and letdown from Checketts-gate earlier.

***

RUH-ROH, NEW ISSUES CROPPING UP?

8:56 p.m.: Turn away from your computer for two minutes and all the positive vibes about a potential deal being on the horizon are replaced with gloom and doom. (Thanks a lot Ken Berger).

Berger, of CBSSSports.com delivered a nasty backhand to the face of basketball lovers everywhere a short while ago when he tweeted that there was modest progress being made on the mid-level and that new “hurdles” had emerged.

Nine hours of negotiations, a day after both sides pulled a 12-hour marathon session, and we get hurdles? Hurdles? In the infamous words of John McEnroe, “You cannot be serious?”

Unfortunately, he was dead serious:

Negotiators for the league and players’ association made modest progress on the use of the mid-level exception for luxury tax-paying teams Thursday, but other guidelines governing exceptions and the tax level emerged as a new sticking point, three people briefed on the labor talks told CBSSports.com.

One of the people said league negotiators signaled a willingness to raise the so-called “mini mid-level” to three years starting at $3 million for teams above the luxury-tax level, to be available every other year. The previous offer was a two-year deal starting at $2.5 million, available every other year to tax teams. There was no indication union negotiators were ready to agree to this slight improvement in the owners’ proposal, as it would reduce the mid-level exception for tax teams from last year’s five-year, $37 million total to three years and $9 million for teams above the tax line.

Also Thursday, a new hurdle emerged in the discussion over when teams would face the new restrictions owners are proposing for teams above the luxury tax threshold. Two of the people briefed on the talks said owners were pushing for teams under the tax at the time of the transaction to be restricted from using the full mid-level — four-year deals starting at $5 million — if the signing put the team over the tax. In that case, the team would be restricted to use of the mini mid-level. Union negotiators want the new restrictions to be based on where a team’s payroll sits in relation to the tax prior to the use of the exception — not where it stands afterward.

After a 12-hour session Wednesday produced minimal progress, the two sides pushed past the eight-hour mark Thursday with the threat looming that league negotiators would pull their existing offer off the table and replace it with a worse one. The new offer, originally scheduled to be furnished to the players at 5 p.m. Wednesday but delayed due to the ongoing talks, would feature a 53-47 economic split in favor of the owners and also would include a hard team salary cap and rollbacks of existing contracts. The two sides currently are negotiating off a league proposal that would give the players a 50 percent share of revenue and maintain a soft-cap system — albeit with a vastly more onerous luxury tax system, more restrictions on exceptions, shorter contracts and smaller annual raises.

That’s just fantastic.

All that talk of progress and now this.

There have to be evil spirits at work to do this to us after all this time. Whenever things appear to be close to some sort of resolution we go right back to the point where both sides need a break from each other before things go haywire.

***

CRICKETS SINCE CHECKETTS …

7:07 p.m: From Ken Berger‘s Twitter feed to all of our ears!

“Remember that time, when Dave Checketts said the lockout was over? That was awesome…”

Check the post below for more on the empty claim delivered by Checketts earlier, the one proclaiming the premature end to the lockout, the one that set off alarms all around the Twitterverse.

And nearly two hours later … crickets!

***

***

LISTEN TO YOUR ELDERS

5:21 p.m.: First it was Bill Russell (below).

Now it’s another group of former NBA living legends weighing in on all things lockout with the talks reportedly headed into the stretch run, if you believe what former exec Dave Checketts said on a Utah radio station this afternoon (and you need to listen for yourself to see exactly what he said about there being a deal in place).

No offense to Mr. Checketts, who spent almost as much time talking about the lockout as he did Penn State and his Real Salt Lake soccer team, but we’ll spend our time listening to our own in-house experts (check the video above and below). And for the record, everyone from DA to the Dalai Lama has refuted the report from Checketts as being not only wildly premature but mostly just false (for now).

The folks at TNT were kind enough to round up the likes of Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith, Reggie Miller, Steve Kerr, Steve Smith, Chris Webber and the newest member of the family, Shaquille O’Neal, to discuss the lockout’s current state of affairs with the venerable Ernie Johnson serving as moderator. It’s worth your time:

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LEGEND BLASTS HARD-LINERS ON BOTH SIDES

4:42 p.m.: We know it’s not necessarily the chic thing to do in today’s NBA, but the players and owners might want to take a minute to listen to the “old heads.”

When the great Bill Russell busts the hardliners on both sides for doing major damage to the game, as he did to Ken Berger of CBSSports.com, there might just be something to what he says:

“As a very interested bystander, I just hope they get a deal,” Russell told CBSSports.com in a phone interview. “And it will not come from the hard-liners on either side. I think they all know that. I have this theory that hard-liners are like true believers. And true believers think that any compromise is a retreat. And moving forward, that doesn’t cut it.”

Russell’s words carry weight – and not just because he is the most decorated champion in NBA history. The former Celtics’ star was among a group of 20 All-Stars who threatened to boycott the 1964 All-Star Game in Boston unless the NBA recognized the newly formed players’ union.

“Basically I was one of those guys that helped get the players’ association started,” Russell said. “And they’ve done wonderful things. I knew David Stern before he was commissioner, when he was associate attorney for the NBA. And if I remember correctly, he said, ‘I do not consider the players’ association my adversaries. They’re my business partners.’

“That’s where, a lot of the things that David has done — and I’ve known him up close — have been beneficial for both sides,” Russell said.

Russell, 77, winner of 11 NBA titles, wanted to speak with CBSSports.com after he learned of union attorney Jeffrey Kessler’s comments in which he referred to NBA players being treated like “plantation workers.” Kessler, who made the comments to The Washington Post Monday night, apologized to several outlets Wednesday.

“I think that’s an invalid accusation,” Kessler said. “I think the whole deal is not about black and white. It’s about money, OK? I don’t see any signs of being greedy. It’s a typical negotiation and that’s all it is. And there are a couple of reasons it’s difficult, because there are hard-liners on both sides.

“But to me, the name-calling or vilifying the other side is a non-issue,” Russell said. “All that is is a distraction — a distraction from the task at hand, which is reaching an agreement that neither side will probably be completely happy with. But that’s the art of compromise.”

***

TAKING STOCK OF THE NBA LOCKOUT

3:45 p.m.: The intrepid and incredibly dedicated group of reporters staking out the labor negotiations in Manhattan are doing more than just playing with that solitaire app on their iPads!

They are working while they wait. What they are working on, however, well …

Asch sent this memo from the scene:

NBA labor tote board through 11/9

Courtesy of the accounting firm of Howard & Beck, NYT: 

– Total NBA labor negotiations meeting time: 

22 sessions, 148 hours … since lockout imposed July 1 THRU the 12-hour Wednesday session Nov. 9. 

– Since they “got serious” (Sept. 27 THRU Nov. 9): 

16 sessions, 118 hours. 
Today (11/10) is session No. 23 in honor of the great alleged turncoat Michael Jordan

This is quality accounting work!

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THREE HOURS AND COUNTING …

3:02 p.m.: All is quiet on the meeting front as things push past the three-hour mark. But progress is being made, according to DA (check the video above). That works for us.

The news cycle of the past few days could use a positive spin. And the end of the lockout would certainly qualify. Just being on the cusp of a deal would go a long way around here.

The tone of things has certainly improved from earlier in the week, when both sides were obviously a bit perturbed with each other. There was the business of that ultimatum the owners issued. And then there was that union/unity press conference Tuesday.

ESPN The Magazine’s Chris Broussard suggested that we almost didn’t get to this point (via Twitter):

owners were so upset by Tuesday’s player press conference that they nearly refused to meet b4 Wed’s deadline. Stern must’ve calmed them down

Now if they could just get a deal done!

***

IDENTIFICATION PLEASE …

1:51 p.m.: More Twitter fun for us all, courtesy of DA:

TO: Members of the News Media

FROM: The Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service

As you know, FMCS Director George H. Cohen has been involved in mediating the ongoing NBA and NBA Players Association negotiation.

It has come to our attention that a Twitter user identified as @TheMediatorGC has been impersonating Mr. Cohen, using his photo, and has impersonated him in contacts with various members of the media via Twitter. The impersonator has made false, defaming and inflammatory comments regarding the parties in the negotiation and the Director of the FMCS.  Please be aware that this is an impersonation. Director Cohen does not have a Twitter account. Please do not attribute comments or information found on Twitter to Mr. Cohen or to the FMCS without first checking with the FMCS Office of Public Affairs …

***

MISSING YOU

1:33 p.m.: One Metta World Peace (the artist formerly known as Ron Artest) is busy on Twitter this afternoon reflecting on all the things he misses during the lockout. You need to see for yourself. A sampling of some of his work:

– I miss the LA times telling me how sucky I am. That’s the best. End the lock out. I miss jeff van gundy. The Malcolm x of announcers

– I miss the unhealthy plane food. I miss staples low music in the arena . Lebron misses Cleveland. I miss locking down people.

– I miss zen phil not giving Luke and Adam morrison playing time! I miss the bald headed Espn announcers. I miss the going bald TNT announcers

– I miss the dance teams cheering because they have too not necessarily because they want to. I miss Kobe taking shot after shot. Lmafo

– I miss Philly , Detroit and Boston fans. They craziest fans in the NBA . I be scared man! I miss going to Philly n Kobe buying Philly steaks

– I miss the refs running down the court like they have hot tomales in their pants.. I miss Charles Barkley commentating

– I miss Clyde fraziers lime green pig skin suites with orange slices throughout the linen and pitbull skit chin-klet-tas

– I miss the supersonics

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SYSTEM ISSUES TO BE RESOLVED

1:15 p.m.: TNT’s David Aldridge checked in with some informative information from New York that should help us prepare for today’s session:

Assuming no delays in the pre-meeting caucus each sides conducts with itself, the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association should be underway in their pivotal meeting in New York.

Sources have indicated that the sides made progress Wednesday on three of the five significant system issues that separate them. Those are believed to be the escrow account that the league has implemented since 2006 where a portion of player salaries are withheld and placed in escrow in case the players’ overall share exceeds their agreed-upon percentage (the league is looking for a 10 percent escrow commitment from players in the next collective bargaining agreement), the league’s “repeater tax” proposal that would add additional financial penalties for luxury tax paying teams that do so three or more times in a five-year period, and the so-called “cliff” issue, with the union concerned that teams that are marginally and infrequently tax payers get punished financially under the league’s proposals just as badly as teams that are tax paying recidivists.

It is not known how much progress was made on those issues, though a source indicated Thursday morning that the moves were incremental rather than substantial, a view also expressed by the union’s executive director, Billy Hunter, in his post-meeting remarks early Thursday.

That would leave mid-level exception use for taxpayers and the ability of tax payers to execute sign-and-trade deals as the two significant issues that still aren’t close to being solved.

The NBA wants to limit tax paying teams to a “mini mid-level” exception that would only run two years and start at $2.5 million in the first year. The union has countered with a four-year mid-level starting at $5 million. Both sides have agreed that whatever mid-level is adopted for tax payers, it will only be available to them every other year.

The league argues that teams that go into the tax shouldn’t be able to add to their rosters by using the full mid-level, as the Lakers did with Ron Artest in 2009 and the Celtics did with Jermaine O’Neal last season. The idea is both to reduce the payrolls of tax paying teams to bring them closer to those of non-payers, which the league thinks will help competitive balance, and to get more players into the system for non-tax payers. The union believes that such restrictions will chill the market for free agents–in essence, taking the top five or six paying teams out of play–and will also affect players who don’t sign with the top teams, because the teams that bid for them will be able to sign them to smaller contracts than they would have to if the bigger payroll teams were able to pursue those players.

The NBA has similar concerns about allowing tax paying teams to execute sign-and-trade deals, where a free agent is allowed to add an additional year to his contract by signing a deal with his old team, which then immediately trades him to another team. Free agents got a seventh year if they re-signed with their old teams under the previous CBA, but only six years if they signed with another team. This was the method used, for example, by LeBron James when he went from Cleveland to Miami last summer–though the Heat was not over the tax threshold when it made the deal.

The union has pointed out that tax payers have only been involved in sign-and-trade deals five times over the past several years, making it an issue hardly likely to impact competitive balance.

***

A PICTURE IS WORTH … ?

1:02 p.m.: Using recent negotiation sessions as a guide, the men (below, pic courtesy of Steve Aschburner) setting up this room for the post-session media briefings probably don’t need to rush.

Asch has ordered us not to read anything into their being just one room used for the pressers. Apparently there are certain factors at work within the hotel that prevent the use of more than one room. And by no means are we assuming anything with the union backdrop going up first.

Shared Space?

***

READY FOR ANOTHER ROUND …

12:24 p.m.: It’s time. It’s time for the owners and players to go back into that negotiating room in Manhattan and time for them to get back to the business of bringing our beloved game back to the masses.

So what if we’ve said that before every single meeting throughout this lockout. But that 12-hour session that ended early this morning was hopefully just the appetizer for today’s pow-wow, which kicked off minutes ago.

If, as our Steve Aschburner reported, there was only slight progress made on several key issues yesterday, today’s session should hopefully give way to much more substantive talks on the core issues dividing the two sides.

ESPN.com‘s salary cap specialist Larry Coon tossed another interesting twist into the mix with his latest piece, which explains how the value of franchises could rise in concert with the owners’ split of revenues:

The league’s assertions that they are losing upwards of $300 million per season have been met with skepticism from the players association and fans alike. After being given the opportunity to examine the league’s books, the union admitted the league was losing money, but said the losses were closer to $100 million than $300 million.

The union also believes the league has up its sleeve a few extra ways of squeezing out a profit. One of these is an ancillary benefit associated with negotiating a more favorable split of basketball related income (BRI) with the players. Business valuations are tied to revenues and expenses. By negotiating the players down from 57 percent of revenues to 50 percent (and counting), the league is ensuring the teams a decrease in expenses – and therefore an increase in projected profits. This will drive up franchise values.

How much will franchise values increase? It’s hard to say. There are a lot of factors that go into determining the value of a business, and a number of ways to do the calculation. A conservative estimate might be a $3 million to $12 million average increase in franchise values for each percentage point in revenues the league wrests from the players. Decreasing the players’ split of BRI from 57 percent to 50 percent therefore might be worth $21 million to $84 million per team.

The owners will only see this money when they sell their teams. But when they do sell, none of it is shared with the players.

83 Comments

  1. chubbena says:

    I can tell players and/or their families are commenting here….

  2. Greg says:

    I keep reading comments to the effect “the owners don’t make money without the players”. Are you kidding me? These owners were successful businessmen long before they owned NBA teams. Did Paul Allen make his billions from the Blazers? Obviously not! Why should the owners accept anything less than exactly what they’re asking for. Once again, they are successful businessmen who know what it takes to be profitable. They don’t need basketball. I’m sure for many, the NBA team they own is just a small portion of their portfolio, and an unprofitable one at that.

    I admit I was disappointed when I found out that the season wouldn’t start on time, but with the ungrateful attitude these basketball players have and the fact that so many people in America are struggling to make ends meet. They need to be grateful for the situation they are in making millions of dollars to PLAY A GAME.

  3. Jonathan says:

    It is now time for the majority of players to decide, not just a couple of representatives. I urge the players not to destroy the NBA. You will be the loser foremost. Your salaries are the envy of other sports and countries. Get real. Accept the deal.

  4. Chris says:

    Someone just give already, both sides make more money than any typical fan will see in their lifetime. unless your name is Latrell Sprewell you will be able to feed your family, pay for anything you want, and then some. Quit being so damn greedy

  5. cedric says:

    I just through my NBA 2K12 in the trash.Nba player and owners make alot of money and hard working pepole get pennis so what ever.

  6. cedric says:

    Im sitting her watching nba tv and listen to the press with Fisher and its the same old mess im tired of it. Forget the NBA

  7. Joe says:

    Does the league/owners not understand how pissed off this makes fans???

  8. I liked what JR had to say to Bojeezy….!!!!

  9. Widgel says:

    Players are EMPLOYEES only!!!! They dont pay and risk their money on the franchise. Yes people come and see them, but that is what they get payed for. Just because I have good staff that make allot of money doesn’t means i give them a share of the profits!!!! Players need to suck it up and realise they have been on a great streak and over payed for many years, now is time for reality.

    If players want any of the BRI they should have to declare any outside team endorsements and pay the owers their share also. Logic is the same!!!!

    Lets play play please, I am getting really bored with football.

  10. watcher says:

    Y’know, I was really missing the NBA until I hired ‘Air Bud’ on blu-ray last week. The mounting overdue fees a small price to pay when witnessing hoops nirvana (canine style) five times a night. Can’t believe he isn’t in the 2K12 legends pool.

  11. Mehul Patel says:

    I think that these new taxes are ridiculous! It is just eating up so much time with unnecessary negotiation. I understand that this is a big deal for the players since it is for the next 10 years, but its just because of money. The players have to stop thinking about themselves for once. There are people around the world and in the country that don’t even have money to eat dinner, afford clothing, and are desperately trying to find a way to survive. The players make tons of money and i don’t think that this is going to affect their life as badly because they are MILLIONAIRES. Minor players make about minimum of $400,000 per year. I am pretty sure they can go to Walmart unconcerned with $100,000. Players such as Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, and Derrick Rose unquestionably had/ have love for the game and love for the fans. The players need to start thinking about them, because every night during the season, they work their tails off for the audience. The players should take those admirable characteristics and reach an agreement in order to start the season before December because it doesn’t seem likely to have an NBA season if they cut out December games.

  12. dak says:

    i am a firm bielver in the emplyee should share in some of the profit as the owner with out the employee there would be no owner all companies work the same they make more then they can spend in a life time and make you slave for that money while they sit back and do nothing forget that line of thinking that companies should get all while we get crumbs thats why america will keep failing cuz the rich get rich and the poor get poor

  13. Karam Skaf says:

    Theres still hope that a deal might come about. They are still talking and no one has decided to leave the negotiating table so that is a really good thing to see. I just hope and pray that a deal will be made this weekend or so. Im tired of waiting and on behalf of all nba fans and analysts hurry up! we want our games back!

  14. Matt says:

    Unless Ernie has a new nick name or stole Steve’s identity and championships, I don’t think Steve Kerr was there for that discussion :).

  15. beermelons says:

    To all the posters who complain about the players “wanting a share of the revenue, even though they are employees”…….It’s the OWNERS, not the players who had the idea to LIMIT salaries to a certain percentage of revenue….the players would be perfectly happy to have no set share of the revenue, but simply to have the ability to sign with whatever team they choose, for whatever a team is willing to pay. Saying that the players are overstepping their employee roles is based on misinformation. Besides that, when you talk about employees, the comparison to an average company worker is not appropriate. To give an example, David Letterman is an employee of CBS, Howard Stern an employee of SiriusXM. They are in a position to demand and get a lot more, because they are indispensible “employees”………as are the NBA players

    • beermelons says:

      having made the previous comment, I am fully aware that this will not be decided on whose position is more justified, but rather on who has more power when push truly comes to shove. I get the impression that its the owners who have that hammer,. The only possible weapon the players have is the legal remedy should they decertify, and Im not sure that would do it for them. I would say to the players that, as a practical matter, they would be better off caving.

      • end_the_lockout says:

        Aw, I liked your first post better!

        But I have to agree with your second one too. Sad but probably true.

  16. Anthony says:

    Please make a deal

  17. Metta World Peace is Crazy says:

    Just sign & move on.

  18. Bojeezy says:

    The players are basically being screwed over because the owners can’t manage their businesses correctly. If they are complaining that it is unfair for teams like Lakers to go over the cap it is not their fault because they have the money to spend. If you look at this economy there are haves and have nots. So they should tell the owners tough luck and make better choices on players in free agency. They need to stop low balling the players and give something because I think that the players have given more than needed in concessions. The hard liners are seriously destroying what is left of the season. I just hope for our sake that they get something done before this month is over.

    • JR says:

      Bojeezy – “The players are basically being screwed over because the owners can’t manage their businesses correctly”

      – Successful business owners manage their business correctly by making changes such as minimizing costs, downsizing, restructuring, increasing prices, finding more customers (fans), and trying to find new revenue streams. 22 of the owners are making a loss, yet ticket prices have increased (fans complain) and they created new revenue streams such as digital and increased TV deals. And they are still making a loss! Seems like the only thing left to do for them to manage their business correctly is to cut player payments. What the owners are now doing is taking action to manage their business correctly.

      – If a teams makes more money, that is better for basketball than players earning more money. It means smaller market teams can afford to grow their market. It means they can build better facilities for players, and better trainers for players so we get better basketball. And it allows them to invest in ways to grow the revenue further, so the players benefit more. Teams losing money means cost cutting all around and higher ticket prices for fans.

      A bit of context here too:
      – The NBA’s average player salary in 2011 was $5.15 million! NHL is less than half that at 2.4 million. NFL, which is profitable is $1.9 million (their pie is also 3x bigger).
      – Take a look at just how much player wages have increased over the last few generations. Not only do these players earn 100..x the average person, but their wages have increased and an astronomical rate:
      http://niketalk.yuku.com/topic/35542#.TryCm0NfDpA
      – Michael Jordan earned $90M over 13 years. Kobe Bryant signed a 3 year $83M extension! Rishard Lewis got an $118M 6 year contract!
      – Michael Jordan earned over $30M twice in his career and won championships both years so he really did earn it. The most he earned in any other year including the 4 other championships with was $4 million! So the average player today earns over 20% more than the best player ever did in his prime.
      – Michael Jordan is the only person in the world that actually knows what it is like on both sides. He challenged an owner to sell and had the guts to buy. He’s now a majority owner and understands the truth of what is happening. He’s not a hypocrite, he’s just now understands the owners side of the fence. He wants to bring a championship to Charlotte, but can’t under the current system because good players will play elsewhere and the team isn’t making a profit to re-invest.
      – If you argue players are giving back $2B over a decade, then consider that the alternative is teams losing $2B over a decade, since the gap between the teams losses and the player wages cuts are almost the same.
      – Owners are rich because of other businesses, and owning NBA teams are a drain on income, it doesn’t make them rich. Players make +50% and get to keep it. Owners spend their share on the players private jets, trainers, managing the buildings, promoting the sport, support staff, If they weren’t already billionaires they’d be bankrupt.

      Michael Jordan Salary:
      1984-85 – $550,000
      1985-86 – $630,000
      1986-87 – $737,500
      1987-88 – $845,000
      1988-89 – $2,000,000
      1989-90 – $2,250,000
      1990-91 – $2,500,000
      1991-92 – $3,250,000
      1992-93 – $4,000,000
      1993-94 – $4,000,000 (still got paid to play baseball, deservingly so)
      1994-95 – $3,850,000
      1995-96 – $3,850,000
      1996-97 – $30,140,000
      1997-98 – $33,140,000
      2001-02 – $1,000,000 (donated to 9/11 victims)
      2002-03 – $1,030,000
      = 6 championships, 5MVPs, best player ever

      Kevin Garnett Salary
      1995-96 – $1,622,000
      1996-97 – $1,666,000
      1997-98 – $2,109,120
      1998-99 – $14,000,000
      1999-00 – $16,806,300
      2000-01 – $19,610,000
      2001-02 – $22,400,000
      2002-03 – $25,200,000
      2003-04 – $28,000,000
      2004-05 – $16,000,000
      2005-06 – $18,000,000
      2006-07 – $21,000,000
      = 1 championship (after a trade), 1 MVP

  19. Tony says:

    Did anyone even understand what Shaq was trying to say?

  20. TS says:

    Even Kenny Smith sounds grumpy. He’s usually so upbeat and positive about stuff.

  21. damn! says:

    make the lock out end pls….

    we need game to see….

  22. Nelson says:

    everyone get off the players… they have budged way more then they needed to for this to be fair… the owners have done nothing but complain.. so again get off the players back and get on the people that are really the source of the problem… the owners…

  23. dave says:

    heck i want to see some basketball ….

    i wouldn’t mind seeing some 1 on 1 or 3 on 3 games. easy to film, maybe just one camera view from back court and one under the net, and people could put them on youtube, i’m sure some good talent would show up and get a following.

    or, get some of the international ball games on primetime in north america

  24. damn! says:

    crab mentality they dont think about others affected….

  25. tom B says:

    they will settle before the evening is over.
    Count on it.

  26. Brandon says:

    Think not only about the NBA players and owners. Theres vendors,people who work at the stadium, and the low paid players. They need to figure out a deal, and i dont care whos fault it is. The NBA can be damaged for years to come.

  27. damn! says:

    LET THE GAMES BEGINS…..

    end the lock out, hope this meeting will end the lock out.

  28. George G. says:

    Some of the owners’ supporters know absolutely nothing about sports. Listen to what Reggie Miller said about the deal please.

  29. Nba Arven says:

    It’s not about money at all! But human greed is infinite!

  30. wyatt says:

    since when was playing basketball about the money???

  31. Metta World Peace is Crazy says:

    Players if you really want to play sign a deal. The owners are set in there ways. They wont change there ways.

  32. Sult says:

    Negotiation is going to blow up again like all other times previously. I am not getting my hopes high.

  33. Backlash says:

    they (owners and players) need to stop acting like stubborn idiots and agree on a reasonable deal. the season is at stake..I’ve heard numerous of players saying their willing to miss pay checks and sacrifice the season so they can get their way and that’s kind of selfish..what about the other players who can’t afford to miss any pay checks or who has to live from pay check to pay check..and what about the fans who support and pay to see these guys every night without us their is no NBA…imagine how many fans the NBA will lose if the whole season is wiped out.

  34. RaymondG says:

    Keep the Lockout going! Im enjoying the excitement and suspenseful-ness. Frankly, this is a lot more exciting than a lot of the basketball games would have been during this time.

  35. Tdat says:

    The players need the league and the league needs the players… The league cant make any money without the stars on the court. The players cant make any money if they do not play in the league. Both sides should come to a realistic agreement already.

  36. unhappy fan says:

    i am so mad at the bb players and owners, I was upset when the last season ended, b/c it was so awesome, and to not even play now is low down. It just shows know one cares about the customers anymore, (expect chicken fil-a) Nba players just left us fans hanging, they are living in there big houses and driving there fancy cars and all they have to do is what I thought they loved to do, play ball.

  37. JEFF says:

    I truly hate the fact the arguement over BRI has caused this ridiculous lockout to last this long, however, what the player’s and owner’s have to do is compensate the fan’s, is atleast offer them discount’s on the following thing’s

    1.NBA TV
    2. MERCHANDISE
    3. SNACKS/DRINKS
    4. TICKETS
    and most importantly a complete season with a 82 games,

  38. Dennis says:

    PLEASE Keep ‘Em Out!

  39. Sepan says:

    I dont know about u guys but im tired of all this lockout crap. i used to play ball every day and at night i would watch my favorite team play on abc or tnt or even espn,espn2. but now no basketball and just all this lockout crap.

  40. This Sucks says:

    This suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuucks.

  41. Ron Ron! says:

    – I miss the LA times telling me how sucky I am. That’s the best. End the lock out. I miss jeff van gundy. The Malcolm x of announcers
    – I miss the unhealthy plane food. I miss staples low music in the arena . Lebron misses Cleveland. I miss locking down people.
    – I miss zen phil not giving Luke and Adam morrison playing time!

    lmao ron, I mean metta world peace
    ————————————————————————————————————————-
    I miss leBron not being in the fourth quarter
    I miss lebron’s hairline fading away
    I miss kobe playing the hero
    I miss Dirk who didn’t change the team winning the championship
    I miss Artest missing wide open threes
    I miss Trevor Ariza who left the lakers
    I miss mike brown being stupid

  42. Matt Terry says:

    Agree with everything Gordon said. He is right on with the reality of business.

  43. JV says:

    People stop posting your opinions because frankly the majority of them suck :P Like this if you think I am right… :)

  44. Kim says:

    I really hope that today brings good news! Not just for the owners, the players, and the fans, but for the part time people who this lock out is hurting the most! So many people have “lost” their job during this time because of no events at all the arenas. This is a really hard time of year to tell thousands of part time employees that they have no job due to the fact that millionaires are having a hard time deciding who gets what! I support the owners fully and know that every ball player does not agree with what is going on they just want to play! I hope that they all take a minute to realize this fight is hurting a lot more people than they think! Please let this all end TODAY!!

  45. charles manson says:

    listen. i dont give one **** about the capitalistic douche-owners’ policies, or the greedy players’ proposals.. in fact ive stopped caring about anything dealing with their normal life. i just wanna watch nba games, attach no sentimental value to the players’ caring about success, rings or anything, feel sorry or appraise and make heroes any of them.. owners and players have won their share of my douchness award. why dont you work all this bull out and play some ball? i dont want to read another an article informing me of stupid contracts, economical parameters or anything. just take off your suits and get back playing ball. its all you can do anyway. also, maybe it d be less hypocritical of you if you stopped running NBA CARES.. we can all see how much you care about the community and not just your pools and villas

    • Chucky53 says:

      Ugh u didn’t already know that NBA Cares is just a publiicity stunt for all NBA players. Mind you there are some that are really attached to some communities and charities that they dont even front, they do it because they want to and they dont ask for no publicity whatsoever. I know several NBA players here in Dallas that do charity work and they dont ask for any kind of media hype.

  46. Michael W says:

    Why wasn’t this sense or urgency or “deadlines” in place BEFORE the season was supposed to start. It just doesn’t make any sense.

    • Kavyne says:

      Because the owners are acting like that punk kid on the block who has his own rim @ home; all the latest gear; all the latest equiment (indoor ball/outdoor ball) –who came to the court with a STACKED squad and who’s up by 10 in a game to 11 saying he’s taking his ball is going to go home if the defense doesn’t ease up to let him shoot the winning basket

  47. Alisadunk says:

    There will be a deal this week or there will be no season. I think the biggest issue is not BRI , it is the system. Union is trying to make easier to players to sign and move around. Owners want to lock players down, this is not fair. Players should be able to sign with another team and that team should have the same barganning power as the current team. The cap is going to make more difficult for players to move around, why add more hurdles. Owners are getting there 50/50, they should offer players more on the system concessions.

    • Marvin Jones says:

      Is it really fair that the Lakers, who are way over the the salary cap ( 58 mil) and way over the luxury tax line (70 mil), can still go out and offer a good player the same mid level deal that Charlotte can offer? No, it’s not. With basically the same offer, that good player will probably pick the Lakers, which would make the Lakers that much better thereby widening the gulf between the haves and the have nots. If the Lakers did not have the mid level available to them then that good player would have to go to another team and possibly make that team better and more able to actually compete with the Lakers. Teams that have decided to go the “star” route with mutiply max players should not be able to use exceptions to pile on additional good players to create true super teams. Those other good players should be limited to the teams that stay under the tax thereby giving them a chance to compete also.

    • Gman says:

      I dont care about this issue, but if I may play the Devils advocate here. It is not fair to owners who have their staff put time and money to make a player better, and to advertise them… only to have them runaway to a big market team. Its like working on a house for 6 years, and someone comes and blows it up.

  48. lynn says:

    fire them all milloinares going on strike well let them go bring on the college guys

    • not_a_strike says:

      It’s not a strike, it’s a lockout.

      It’s the owners who are trying to get a bigger piece of the pie, not the players. The players have already offered to give up lots of money.

      This, even though the owners aren’t losing nearly as much money as they have been claiming (i.e., they have been lying).

      Nobody gets into sports franchise ownership expecting to make a huge profit – it’s a billionaire’s vanity project, let’s be honest. (Plus, most of the teams are profitable even with a 43-57 split last CBA, once you count the fact that it’s only $100 million “losses”.)

  49. Marvin Jones says:

    If you want to take the value of the franchise into account, as some players have already mentioned, then you should also take into account the value of the endorsement deals that all the players have since this is also related to the business of basketball. You can’t say lets count the profit from the sale of the team as BRI and give the players a share and not count the profit from the players endorsement deals and give the owners a share, if one is BRI then both are BRI.

    • Chucky53 says:

      Marvin, u might want to re-post this again because this is soooooooooooooo true. Shoe deals, from Nike, Addias, Reebook, is all BRI, and if anybody else says something different they a damn liar. And you’re right owners do not get to claim BRI on individual players shoe deals etc.

  50. EasyE says:

    BOOOOOOOORING

  51. damn! says:

    hope this meeting will end the lock out….
    stern would like this to end either…
    player would liek to end it too…
    it just a matter of negotiations,
    players i think will agree on the 50/50 just need to change some issue on the system.
    hope this works……………………

    bring back the GAME

  52. James says:

    I’m almost convinced if the players do not accept today, they will get the worst deal and Derrick Fisher will be to blame for not letting the players vote on the Leagues Proposal.

  53. End the lockout already while you still can. If you guys continue to drag this the NBA may never recover for years to come!

  54. Gordon says:

    Thats the way everything works regardless of sport or industry in the world. The players do not own the team and so therefore do not deserve or get any of the profit when the team is sold. The owners paid for and bought the team and the players did not pay anything for the team so why should they get any of the revenue from the sale or any profits. The players are just employees. If the players want revenue sharing, they make enough money so just like a successful individual who buys there own company, the players could buy the team as well if they want revenue.

    • James says:

      I absolutely agree with everything you’ve stated.

      • end_the_lockout says:

        I don’t.

        “Just employees”? Try finding some undocumented migrant replacement workers then! The players are the reason the league exists!

        By the way, Gordon, not everything works this way – lots of people run co-ops too.

        I would love to see teams owned by the players – or better yet, the fans!

    • Owner Supporter says:

      Well said Gordon. At my company, I as an employee am paid a negotiated salary with raises and possible bonuses based on myself and the companies performance. The owner has every right to keep all revenues after paying business expenses, salaries, etc. This should be no different in the NBA.

      • end_the_lockout says:

        But you just said you negotiated bonuses based on your or the company’s performance – isn’t that like BRI splitting?

      • Vince says:

        Owner supporter,

        You’re paid a NEGOTIATED salary based on YOUR and the COMPANY’S PERFORMANCE….Isn’t that EXACTLY what’s going on right now? I think that you (and other fans) are so swept up in simply wanting to see basketball again that you make unreasonable arguments/suggestions. Employees whine and complain all of the time about having their pay/bonuses dictated to them without their input or any explanation, but since you want to see basketball again, you think that the players should subject themselves to just that? That’s silly. Besides, the players aren’t only employees. They’re also the product. Their salaries pay for what happens on the court and media availability. Shouldn’t they get a cut of the profits from everything else that their names/faces are used on? I won’t debate what percentage they deserve. You seem to believe that they don’t deserve anything at all.

    • Spencer says:

      “players are just employees”

      what product are the owners selling?

      • R4 says:

        Owner are investors.

        No investors, no NBA franchise. Or maybe you can get some of your buddy and buy a team and run it the way it should?

    • miamirocks2011 says:

      I second what you just said. I could not have said it any better. They are EMPLOYEES!!!!!! They want to eat the whole pie. Owners are investors who take risks when they buy, own and maintain a team. Players need to act like employees and not DIVAS!

      • Gman says:

        Its a Yes and No. Yes they work for the owner so they are employees. No, they are not because they are selling point of the team, they are a product as well.

    • Nelson says:

      ummm no.. you pay for tickets to see the players not the owners… the owners make no profit without the players.. the players can make profit somewhere else.. your just stuck in a basketball league with no basketball.. this league has the best
      basketball players in the world.. and apparently not the best owners in the world if teams are complaining about being in debt… they are in debt because of poor ownership.. they players are bring in the money… maybe they should learn how to be a good owner… and if the owners don’t make a profit after taking 7% of the players BRI.. then they are just fail… and the system they want is retarded.. smh

    • Frank says:

      I also agree with everything you said in addition to this simple point – Why don’t the players share their endorsment money with the owners. I agree with Michael Jordan on the point that the players are being greedy and selfish.
      .
      Just sign the bloody deal and lets play some basketball!

    • Frank says:

      I also agree with everything you said in addition to this simple point – Why don’t the players share their endorsment money with the owners. I agree with Michael Jordan on the point that the players are being greedy and selfish.
      .
      Just sign the bloody deal and lets play some basketball!

      • me says:

        Players are NOT employees, they are PARTNERS in a contractual agreement. You guys don’t negotiate with your BOSS. Your jobs have a predetermined salary range for everyone who accepts the position.

        NBA Players have a talent that the entire world payed approx. $4 billion dollards to play last year. The NBA (and owners) have the resources to put those talents on display that the players do not have. The negotiate these deals in order to determine how to SPLIT the profits (that the players earn by the way). One is worthless without the other. This is a PARTNERSHIP, so please stop comparing your situation with theirs! It is NOT the same.

    • Gary says:

      I agree, but the only thing I would add is that the owners helped put those types of incentives in place like BRI. Now that they are trying to lower them it’s causing problems. It was stupid to begin with because who needs to give someone that makes 6+ figures incentives or bonuses?