Today was seen as one of the most important days of the NBA lockout, so, naturally, hardly any progress was made. The sides are still a few winning lottery tickets apart, with players wanting 53% of Basketball-Related Income and owners offering the players 47%. Joy.
Billy Hunter said there are no scheduled meeting the rest of the week, and the next meeting might not come for a month or two.
“It goes until the next person … makes a call,” he said.
No need for urgency, guys. It’s not like the NBA season rests in the balance or anything.
Hunter also said the players association will consider decertification at this point, yet another sign that this lockout could and probably will last for quite some time. Anybody who thought David Stern would budge off his hard stance seems to be sorely mistaken. Stern has all the compassion of John Kreese, the merciless Cobra Kai sensei. The commish is trying to put Hunter and the players in a body bag, Johnny. He will not rest until he sweeps the players association’s legs, except in this case there’s no Mr. Miyagi to heal Hunter and leave him capable of one final crane kick.
So the lockout continues, regular season games will almost certainly be lost, and meanwhile, all the progress of last season — when a collision between better talent than ever and more storylines than an R.L. Stein greatest hits book resulted in the best NBA product ever — is being risked so 30 billionaire owners can guarantee themselves profits regardless of how badly they screw up, while 400 players making at least $473,000 apiece to play a child’s game attempt to keep themselves from becoming underpaid no matter how badly they suck or how fat they become after signing their big contract.
When the NBA returns sometime in December, January or next season and the sport has become the NHL, with games televised on BET and Versus rather than ESPN and ABC, I hope David Stern smiles at his reflection in the mirror. The lockout isn’t just threatening to cancel the NBA season. It’s toying with the livelihood of the league Stern helped build to such marvelous heights.