If Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert thought his feud with LeBron James was bad, he had another thing coming.
Try feuding with the entire players' union. Now that could get ugly.
But it appears Gilbert, once described as a "hawk" owner in labor talks, is thinking about softening his stance to potentially reach a resolution and start some basketball.
It turns out, Gilbert, along with Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver and New Jersey Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov, may not be as hawkish as previously thought, and Gilbert is reportedly softening his stance to a 50-50 split.
While a 50-50 split is not what the players originally wanted (nor the owners), there are indications that both sides may just agree on the split if a deal can be made on some system issues on Wednesday.
If it's true that Gilbert and some of the rogue owners are willing to compromise, this may be the closest to resolving the matter that we've seen yet.
Should the hawk owners be congratulated if a deal is announced?
But while Gilbert and other hawk owners deserve some credit for softening their stance, it's also worth noting that it was their original stance that made things more difficult in the first place. Heck, even Michael Jordan has been pushing for a better split for the owners.
In that regard, maybe we shouldn't exactly be applauding the owners for a job well done if a resolution is met. Remember, a month of the NBA season has already been cancelled, and you have to wonder if things would have been different (a la the NFL negotiations) if both sides pushed for a compromise from the start. To think, many were beginning to believe the NBA would not even have a season this year (of course, that's still possible).
While no lockout is looked highly upon in professional sports, given the amount of money and greed that is thrown around, I did give the NFL and NFLPA credit when they were able to meet an agreement before the season started. It's wasn't pretty. In fact, it was ugly. But at least they did what they needed to do to get the season started on time.
It always amazes me how just a few people can make life harder for everyone.