After endless boxes of to-go pizzas presented the media, living in hotel lobbies, and Commissioner David Stern missing labor negotiations due to a flu, Day 112 of the 2011-2012 NBA Lockout has come to a close and to no surprise, both sides still seem as far apart as the Red Sea was thousands of years ago.
Now back then the Israelites had Moses and used him to escape from the ever so mighty Egyptians, the NBA has other ideas, and they have consisted of bringing in George Cohen, a mediator, and Peter Holt, the Chairman of the Labor Relations Committee and Spurs Owner, to try and do all that they can to get closer to reaching a deal.
Over the course of the entire NBA Lockout, both sides have shown their true colors, ones that no fan desired to see. The players side has reportedly refused to accept a recently proposed 50-50 split on the BRI (Basketball Related Income) and the owners have continued to play the role of claiming they've done all that they can and as long as the players don't come to terms with their fair deal, this Lockout is going nowhere.
On one hand, this situation was expected; both sides grinding out in the 'ego-game' while they wait until one side folds; on the other hand, it has been very disappointing.
You'd expect more progress in a span of 112 days when millions and millions of dollars are being washed down the drain, but when words like, "We're not prepared to let them impose a system on us that eliminates guarantees, reduces contract lengths, diminishes all our increases," come out of Bill Hunter's mouth, reality begins to sink in.
There is a possibility that there won't be a season and that possibility can only be relevant if the owners and players continue to act like 5-year-old girls wanting the next big Barbie and Ken dolls, only to realize how foolish they both were in the time being.
The season was scheduled to begin on November 1, 2011, but as you know, a total of 100 games have been canceled league-wide, which will result in roughly $170 million loss in salaries for the players.
It truly is something that will make a fan cringe; seeing $170 million go out the window when the players are fighting for $800 million each month lost; it truly does create the act of jaw dropping appropriate.
Will There Be a Season?
But in all this madness, lies one of the biggest components of why an NBA Lockout is occurring and Holt summed it up by saying, "We want to get to the point where all 30 markets have an opportunity (nothing guaranteed) to be competitive and an opportunity to make a few bucks."
Essentially, unless small-market teams such as the Charlotte Bobcats, New Orleans Hornets, Sacramento Kings, etc. can compete to be in the playoffs or even contend for a title, the league will not be able to be successful.
Unlike Major League Baseball (MLB), where many small-market teams such as the Milwaukee Brewers and other respective teams competed in the post-season, 22 out of the 30 NBA failed to make profit this last season and out of the teams that did (Lakers, Celtics, etc.), it has been in the norm for them to do so.
In order for the NBA to be successful, it needs to be more like the NFL and MLB, otherwise, there might not be a season this year, and minimal revenue in the near future.
Holt discussed the fact they the two sides, players and owners, "Have met 45 times in the last two-and-a-half years," and yet they have made little to no progress. The two sides are in no doubt running in endless circles and who knows when they could end.
Derek Fisher, the President of the Players Union, got to the point today that he used the word, "lie" when describing the reasoning the owners gave of why the talks had ended today and in all retrospect to what has happened over the last couple of weeks, it is almost expected that both sides are exhausted and hopefully ready to give in in the near future.
Fisher said, "If it were up to me, I'd still be talking about everything." He described the bigger spectrum of thousands of jobs being at stake, communities in disarray, and most importantly, fans struggling to cope with the possibility of not having a season, which showed the type of attitude that both sides might need more of heading into future negotiations.
"Hopefully, we can get back to the table, but certainly a tough day, a very tough day," said Peter Holt. But for the time being, the waiting game is back in play and nothing can be done until both sides resume talks.
Who knows if Day 113 of the NBA Lockout will go a bit more smoothly...no one really knows.