NBA Lockout: Billy Hunter Speaks the Truth

David Heeb@@DavidHeebCorrespondent IOctober 26, 2011

Billy Hunter is feeling the pressure to get a deal done.
Billy Hunter is feeling the pressure to get a deal done.Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

The NBA owners and players have agreed to negotiate today, and that means we get more soundbites from Billy Hunter and David Stern.  We get to hear more about the "BRI Split," hard cap vs. soft cap and how both sides feel sorry for the fans.

Give me a break.  Somebody just tell me when the games start, okay?

In sorting through all the dialogue, I came across this great story by ESPN.com's Ian O'Connor.  In the story, Billy Hunter gives some very candid remarks about the interesting dynamic that exists between the players and the owners.

Think about it. In what other job could the employees demand that the owners open up the books and show that the company is losing money?

Professional sports, however, are a different animal.  It's not like we are making some kind of product and selling it.  The players are the product.  Therefore, they should get a bigger split of the profit, right?

Simply put, no players means no NBA games. 

Here is what Hunter had to say about it:

"In most industries, you're selling something that you created," Hunter said, "but in the NBA, you're marketing the players. I don't want to minimize the contributions of others ... but these are the best 450 players on the globe, and they're not replaceable. Without them, there is no game.  So the players should always get more than a 50-50 split, even if it's only by two or three percent."

I couldn't agree with Hunter more.  The players do deserve a bigger portion of the revenue than the owners.  Having said that, the owners have to make money, or there is no business. 

Can't the players see that?  Hunter hinted at this with another comment he made.

"(The owners) look at the NFL owners," Hunter said of NBA owners, "guys who have money to burn, and they want this to mirror that."

So Billy Hunter spoke the truth today about both sides of the issue.  The players deserve to make the lion's share of the revenue, but the owners, the people who are footing the bill, also deserve to turn a nice profit. 

This isn't rocket science.  It's not that hard to figure out.  So if we can all agree on this, just sign the papers, and let's play basketball.