Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Season Will Be Fewer Than 77 Games Long

I haven't chosen to write about it much, what with the Hawks in ownership limbo and a non-factor* in the present negotiations but, once the owners, largely via David Stern, chose belligerence as their default public relations stance, I feared this day would come.

*The Atlanta Spirit Group's past actions are clearly relevant both to the hard-line stance the owners are taking and the volume of money players are being asked to relinquish going forward.

The players have, thus far, tempered their very real self-interest with a more voluble interest in the health of the league than the owners. The players have attempted to negotiate. The owners are taking a shot at breaking the union to guarantee operating profits regardless of the decisions they make, profits above and beyond those they (mostly) realize upon selling their teams. There are reasonable, owner-friendly proposals that could have secured a new CBA by now: players taking less than 57% of BRI, a reduced MLE, adjustments to the overall and guaranteed length of player contracts, some manner of revenue sharing amongst themselves.

The players want to make a deal that will pay them fairly* over the course of their necessarily finite careers. The owners don't want to make a deal. Not yet.

*Relative to the volumes we're willing to spend on one of the finest forms of entertainment and vicarious accomplishment yet invented.

The owners want to correct years of mistakes -- over-leveraged purchases, bad hires, meddling in basketball decisions and the resulting bad contracts -- in one fell swoop and on the players' dime. And those owners who haven't made so many bad decisions, those that run profitable and/or successful franchises, they don't want to prop up the profligate, the short-sighted, the entitled beyond the necessity of there being 30 teams in the league.

So all involved will lose money in the short term. Some of the parties involved will make that money back in the future. These basketball games will never be replaced.

Goodnight, Minneapolis.

Goodnight, Celtics.

Goodnight, Chicago.

Goodnight, Knicks.

Goodnight, Jazz.

Goodnight, Orlando.

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