Backs Against the Wall

Philly Hoops Talk author, Christian Hetrick is also an author for the news blog, “Taking the Ride.” In his latest post for TTR, Hetrick discusses today’s last day for negotiations and the impending NBA Lockout.

Today is Game 7 for NBA.

With the CBA set to expire on Friday, today is the players and owners last chance to get a deal done before the NBA follows the NFL’s foot steps into a lockout. But after meeting twice a week for most of the month of June, both sides are just as far apart as they were when they first started. They still disagree on every major issue from player salaries to a league salary cap.

Both sides will be under a lot of pressure when they meet twelve hours before the CBA expires. If no progress is made the league may enter it’s first lockout since the 1998-99 season when the season was shortened to 50 games. However, even if a deal is not done the owners may decide to not lock the players out if they feel that they are close to a deal.

You like that optimism there? If talks go well today owners may let talks continue past the deadline. That sounds nice. Ready for me to shoot down that optimism?

ESPN.com says there is a possibility the players may decide not to come up with a different proposal because they think their previous one, one that reduces player salaries by $500 million over five years, is good enough.

Translation? Expect a lockout.

Not saying the impending lockout is only on the players though. There is plenty of blame to go around. The owners are too stubborn to accept the players’ current proposal and are probably too stubborn to accept any other proposal that is less than what their asking for. On the other hand, the players are too stubborn to come up with a new one, so now you may have two of the four major sports missing games this Fall.

And what is Commissioner David Stern doing about all of this? Doing his best Roger Goodell impersonation which means doing nothing. Just like Goodell, he’s good at not answering questions. When asked what will happen if a deal doesn’t get done today he answered:

“We’re not going to negotiate in the media,” Stern said after a Tuesday meeting with owners. “We haven’t before, we’re not going to do it now. We’re looking forward to having our discussion with the players.”

To finish reading Hetrick’s column, click here.

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