After meeting for more than seven hours today, the NBA has cancelled, rather than postponed, the first two weeks of the NBA season. David Stern said the two sides are “very far apart” in negotiations, and the gap could not be closed in time for the regular season to start on time. Rumor has it Stern later told a pack of four year olds that Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny don’t exist, then retired to his perch next to Satan.
The Celtics will lose six games from the cancellation. One of them would have been Blake Griffin’s lone trip to Boston.
In a surprising tidbit, Stern said the biggest hurdle is now the NBA system, rather than the economic situation which had been expected to provide the largest divide. Still, the sides are quite far apart, and this lockout could become like Tyrone Hill shortly — in other words, things could get very ugly.
Stern continues to amaze with his capacity to feed us lies and his attempts to manipulate the media. The owners have not made a single concession since the sides began talking months ago, other than an increase revenue-sharing model that happened years ago. They want to completely rebuild the NBA system, a system that was widely seen as a win for the owners when the last bargaining agreement took place. Stern started the negotiations by offering players an absurd 46% share of BRI, just so the owners would look better when they moved that offer (very) slightly. Really, it’s the players who are making all the concessions here, the players who are offering to shoulder the load of organization losses, losses that were incurred even though the league had record revenues last season and the actual NBA product was better than ever.
Many reporters cautioned that NBA owners were never going to truly negotiate until the players started to miss pay checks and the owners would have more leverage than ever, more girth to catapult at Billy Hunter in the scrum. Now the players are starting to miss checks, and Stern hinted in his press conference that the owners’ offer would only get worse. That means the two sides will likely get farther apart before they get any closer, the owners wielding machine guns and tanks while the players counteract with handmade slingshots.
In what very well could be the final CBA negotiations of his stint as commissioner, Stern threatens to destroy all the progress the NBA has made. He is walking a tight rope between hardened negotiator and atomic bomb that tears down the entire NBA, that leaves the NBA like hockey, struggling to regain a fan base lost amid a league’s greed.
We have now lost some of Tim Duncan’s final days. A portion of what could be Kevin Garnett’s last season. Two weeks in the height of Dirk Nowitzki’s prime. Two weeks of Kevin Durant’s continued progression. Two weeks of Kobe Bryant fadeaways, Blake Griffin alley-oops and John Wall-led fast breaks. All parties are worse off after this cancellation of games.
Especially David Stern, who has now led the NBA into two shortened seasons and threatens to let this season evaporate altogether. His legacy has been tarnished, his integrity questioned more now than ever. Too bad he doesn’t care what we think. The Grinch’s half brother doesn’t care much for public opinion.