Today is supposedly the deadline for the owners and players union to come to an agreement over a new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). The talks have been going on, with the owners having made what is said to be their final offer. The union side said they would like to negotiate some more on this final offer, and the league (aka David Stern) flat out told them that they accept this or else the owners will start making progressively worse offers as the season gets shorter and shorter, and the pool of money becomes smaller. The players’ union did not take too kindly to this, and one of the lawyers even said that David Stern was running the players and the league like it was a “plantation.” David Stern fired back in a brief war of words, the players union lawyer eventually made a public apology and called Stern to apologize in person.
This is just the tip of the iceberg in what seems to be a battle which is really becoming more and more malicious. Players going after owners (Derek Fisher essentially said Michael Jordan should sell his team if he can’t make money), owners attacking players, players attacking each other, things seem to get worse with each moment. Now, while Stern has said that they will not move away from the final offer, it has been reported that Stern does have the authority to tweak the deal somewhat.
Really, it would seem that with such a large pool of money at stake (literally billions of dollars for both the owners and players side), they have come down to arguing over about $100 million worth of difference. Of course this is a large sum of money, but if this was split among players, it would be about $250,000 a player. We are now entering the final hours before the league potential cancels more games (they are saying you can wave goodbye to the Christmas Day games now) and even just flat out cancel the entire season.
Many more players are said to be preparing to go play overseas as the situation is rather dire.
College Basketball may be the big winner out of all of this. Everyone looking for their basketball fix will probably tune in to NCAA games, especially as the NCAA basketball season is ready to tip off this week.