Sunday, November 6, 2011

Indecent proposal

It's Monday and right now the players are huddled together working out just how bad the owners' offer is or if they can go a year without any money.

Of course they're not. They are still fuming. But guess what players? You already lost. The middle ground between 57% (players share in last CBA) and 47% (owners initial offer) is 52%. You've already given up too much for you to 'win'. And you still get good salaries. Wasn't the escrow this year something like 8%? That means your salaries didn't even meet the BRI cut you were promised. So why is 51% not good enough? In business, if you come in under budget it means you don't get the same budget next time. You get less - you get less than you spent. If you can come in under budget once, you can do it again.

In addition, with all this talk of dercertification of the players' union, this means there won't be a 2011-12 season, and perhaps not even a 2012-13 season and even, heaven forbid, an NBA. Do they not realise that with all their shoe deals and adverts and clothing lines, without basketball, they are nothing. They are tall men. You have to be playing to get those extras, and you have to be playing well. The only way to do that now is to sign a deal.

But I'm not on the owners' side. Michael Jordan, even if he didn't say anything, has tarnished his reputation with everyone who loves the game. In football here in England, the owners pretty much bankroll the clubs until they find a way of bringing in more money. Whether that be by prize money, selling shirts or pre-season tours. Don't expect that owning a sports team makes you a profit. If you're good at it and you put the work in, it might, but most of the time it is a hobby. A bean plant you water every week because someone reminds you to and you're surprised it isn't rising to a land of golden eggs. You should have never got into this position in the first place. In any other business, it is sort it out or sell up. Why is basketball any different.

For some reason now, I feel sorry for David Stern. He's found a middle ground and neither side is going to accept it. It might be time to rip up anything he has on paper, cancel the season and spend that time coming up with something new, using no words like salary cap, BRI, mid level exception, sign and trade, bird years or whatever else has been stuck onto this clown car over the last 20 years. Different model, different rules.

Then maybe we can actually talk about basketball.

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