NBA labor negotiations will resume today, when the players and owners are expected to meet in New York for the second time since the lockout began. (Yahoo!)
“This is a telltale meeting,” said agent Billy Duffy, whose client roster includes Steve Nash(notes), Rajon Rondo(notes)and Greg Oden(notes). “I think we will know the seriousness of both sides’ position after Wednesday.
“I don’t think the season starts on time. There really has been no progress. The union has been patient on hoping there would be movement on the league side. The league hasn’t demonstrated any movement whatsoever while the union is flexible.”
This entire process reminds me of an ugly divorce. The two sides are trying to bleed each other dry for every concession possible. The players want full custody of the children, but the owners, who want full custody themselves, are wrongfully accusing the players of domestic abuse.
Note to the NBA: the league has more talent than ever. Young stars are blossoming, old stars are hanging on, and there are storylines galore — can Lebron James finally stop choking? Can Kevin Durant take the next step? Does Kobe Bryant have enough left in the tank to lead one more Lakers title run? Did Dallas’s clock already run out, or can Dirk Nowitzki — who put together one of the better playoff runs in recent history — carry them to a successful title defense?
I don’t know enough about the state of the NBA to say whether the league will or will not lose a lot of fans in the case of an extended lockout. All I know is that if I were part of the NBA, I would actively seek a fair compromise to reinstate the season immediately. Momentum is being lost. Fans are being put off. The general public becomes disgusted when millionaires and billionaires argue, and rightfully so. The Celtics won’t lose much money if peripheral fans lose interest in the NBA. But the Timberwolves or Raptors certainly might.
Both sides need to stop striving for full custody. Accept joint custody and let the kids split time evenly between their mother and father. Split the assets right down the middle and share an amicable handshake when the divorce proceedings are done. At the very least, start meeting more often than once a month. It would be nice if the two sides would at least pretend they want a resolution before the season evaporates.