"The night is darkest just before the dawn."-Harvey Dent, The Dark Knight
Of course, he got blown up and became Harvey Two-Face shortly after that, but I really feel like I'm watching the Dark Knight right around the time the Joker blows up Rachel Dawes. We've said it before, but today's was the darkest day of the NBA lockout. After over 24 hours of negotiating over two days, there was a feeling of optimism. Throughout the day, stories came out that significant progress had been made on smaller system issues like the Mid-Level Exception and even more optimism started to come through. Then the Joker blew up the warehouse.
Talks broke off and again it was over the revenue split. It hasn't come out yet who played the role of the Joker (but federal mediator George Cohen DEFINITELY was Rachel Dawes getting blown up), but it things blew up in a hurry. At first it looked like they might just end like the last negotiating sessions did, the owners and players would say they couldn't come to an agreement and keep everything relatively civil. Then Adam Silver and San Antonio Spurs owner Peter Holt said they hadn't scheduled any more meetings and that they thought both sides needed some room to breath. Not great, but they could've said a lot worse.
Then Derek Fisher and Billy Hunter brought the fire.
"You guys were lied to," Fisher said.
And here we go.
That was just the starter, once Fisher was done, Hunter said they were giving a take it or leave it offer.
“We’ve made concession after concession,” Hunter said. “… They knew when they presented what they were presenting to us that it wasn’t going to fly.”
Eventually names were thrown out and Hunter said the smaller market owners were keeping a deal from happening and that owners like Mark Cuban were ready to deal.
The truth of the matter is despite all the talk about this just being business, members of both sides have taken these negotiations personal for some time now. Today, Hunter and Fisher made the personal stuff public and I think that's what scares me more than anything else. We also read that Spurs owner Peter Holt even told the players they haven't felt enough pain. Who knows if that happened, nothing surprises me at this point.
Here's one question I've been wrestling with all night: How much did the owners miss David Stern today? I understand Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver was in constant contact with Stern, but the second the guy was sent home with the flu, all Hell seemingly broke lose. According to union attorney Jeffery Kessler, Blazers owner Paul Allen showed up to speak for the NBA Board of Governors, telling the players a 50-50 split was the best they were going to get. It all seemed so startling. Love him or hate him, Stern kept to a message with the public. He rarely deviated and in public never seemed to lose his cool. Would things have gone so poorly with him in the room today?
Maybe, as J.A. Adande said, we should've seen it all coming. Maybe Billy Hunter is right, the owner wanted this all along. Maybe the players, already at 52.5 percent should've dropped one percent or 1.5 percent and see what the owners would've said then.
The night is darkest just before the dawn. I keep telling myself that, hoping that today was the Joker blowing up the warehouse and that there's still a chance for an NBA season by Christmas.
50-50? i say give the players 40, make it 40-60 in favor of the people who take all the risk and pay the checks. players are just that PLAYERS! they play a game for ridiculous sums of money. the owners are the ones who take all the risk period. if the players dont play well, they still get paid, but the players playing bad does not bring in the fans, and the players get paid none the less. look at the rockets the last couple of years. i used to be a season ticket holder (spurs fan living in houston, gotta get my fix some how you know) and the rockets/toyota center send me free tickets 2-3-4 times a season just to get me in to try to get my business back. how many games have i been to where the toyota center was MAYBE half full. as a season ticket holder they even offered to upgrade me to club or suites (i had 5th row seats by the visitor bench) on countless games. not any of the games against "big name teams" like SA, boston, LA, dallas or what not, but those games where nearly always sold out. even the 2009-10 season when yao went down for good, the ticket sales sucked. les alexander took a hit for sure. how many times have the bobcats sold out? until last year how about the griz, hell even 1/2-2/3 of last season for the griz where not sold out. the players seam to think every team has a mark cuban, or a doc buss running the check book.
as a business owner, if my employees came to me even wanting 50% of what i make, i would laugh them out the door. there are other people willing to work. i know this isnt the case in the nba because the talent level isnt there, and without the players the owners would have no team BUT without the owners there would be no league. how many players are going to other countries for pennys on the dollar just to play. how many players are not playing at all. the longer this thing runs the better for the owners IMO. not all owners but in the grand scheme of things very few if any owners make their living on the teams. (i know the former owner of the hornets did but not many).
in the end none of us know the full story word for word on both sides but 50-50 is MORE THEN FAIR.
ok rant over time for me to write some checks from this hard earned pocket of mine.
@JohnAbney John, I respect your position, but disagree that 60-40 in favor of the owners is not fair, because while the owners are running these businesses (some of them incredibly poorly), the fans pay to see the players pay. So with that in mind I would say that a 50-50 split is fair and also think that this sliding scale, whether it be 49%-51%, 50-52%, 50-53% is fair. The owners have negotiated kicking and screaming this entire time. I think their childish behavior has been one of the big problems during negotiations.
@yowhatupT i agree the fans pay to see the players but they pay to see the players win. how many of the current players play their hardest every game, how many of them have any recourse for not putting it all out there. tracy mcbaby has said several times that he played 75% during his days in orlando, because he didnt really care. his salary was guaranteed regardless so what did he care. the players dont care about the fans, and the owners only care about getting as many fans in as possible. whos side is right? i side with the owners because it is a business before it is a game in the nba. its like going to a movie like the dark night (like that projectspurs, little tie in to the story, i know, i know, im good), did you go watch the movie because of the producer, director, or theater? nope you went to see it because of the actors and the story line of the movie. now what if all the actors in the movie went to the studio and said we are not going to act in your movie unless you give us more then 50% of the profit. so now go to another movie, one that sucked like say gigli (you know i hate ben aflack and jlo). that movie bombed, so the studio lost a ton of money on it, so should they go back to the actors and say, you guys did a crap job so we want money back from you. ben and jen would laugh all the way to the bank. its the same thing with the players/owners, if a team is profitable (lakers?) the players want 50+%, but if the team is actually losing money the players are not going to give money back. hell the players on the team losing money wants 50% of what OTHER teams make. 17 teams in the league lost money last i heard, thats more then half the league. so what if the other teams made enough to make the league a profit, IMO the players do not deserve half. the players are playing a game for millions of dollars, all the while some of their bosses are losing money. the nba is full of players that cant handle their money, their fame or their talent, so lets give them someone elses money too? crazy!
@JohnAbney Well I would say that for a lot of movies, actors take up 50% of a movie's budget with their salary demands, so there is a correlation. Also, the owners have twice previously agreed to giving the players 57% of the revenue split, so at some point they did agree that players deserved over half their money. Obviously the economics have changed and the players have recognized that, moving from 57% to now 52.5%. I'm willing to guess they'd go down another percentage point or so to get it done. Hell at this point they'll have to. I just think the owners tactics throughout this entire process have been deplorable.