NBA Lockout: BRI Ended Up Being BS

Eitan RosenbergContributor INovember 22, 2011

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 10:  NBA Commissioner David Stern speaks at a press conference after the NBA and NBA Player's Association met to negotiate the CBA at The Helmsley Hotel on November 10, 2011 in New York City.  (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

It seemed when we started this lockout many moons ago that both sides would inevitably squabble over the mighty pie of basketball related income. 

We heard for months that the NBA was going from a 57 percent share of the BRI (Basketball Related Income) down to 53 percent, then to 52.5 percent, then 52 percent, before what seemed like a monumental leap to 50 percent.

The NBA owners and commissioner seemed to have gotten what they originally sought for a 50/50 BRI split. Why then is there no resolution?

It turns out that after all this time the BRI was actually secondary. Both sides seem much more keen on these system issues.

What it seems to boil down to is the players wanting freedom to play wherever they want and the owners wanting competitive balance.

The players' biggest selling point is that they already gave back seven percent (I still don't understand how you 'give back' money you haven't earned yet) and would like to have the system issues be resolved more towards their liking. 

The owners still maintain that they'd like competitive balance and see harsher luxury taxes, less MLE for tax teams etc, as ways to establish such a premise.

Either way, the simple solution both sides should make is really proving what is more important.  Money (The BRI split) or "Something Greater" (system issues - for owners competitive balance, for players freedom to play in any city etc).

If both sides really are now preaching of "something bigger than the BRI" then prove it.

Owners should have offered a deal that had the BRI split vastly in the players' favor but had stricter rules against teams going over the cap.  

Would players have accepted a 47 - 53 percent BRI split (in owner's favor), if all of those new rules were vanished? 

What about the owners? 

Do they say yes to a 47-53 percent split if they are able to enact all of those new rules to solve the "system issues?"

That would have been the true test in this lockout. Who really would have stayed with their "guns" regarding the agreement, willing enough to take a less than 50/50 BRI split when doing so.

It's too bad we couldn't get that far. It's not too late to really show up the other side with that offer (or counter offer).

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