We both knew this was coming, so I’ll just go ahead and throw it out there. Sources have confirmed that the NBA plans to announce on Friday that the first two weeks of both training camp (slated to begin on 10/3) and the preseason (slated to begin on 10/9) will be cancelled. This news comes on the heels of a largely negative and unproductive meeting between the two sides in Manhattan this morning.
In what has become a messy, high-school drama, it’s been relatively easy to overlook the rhetoric (from both sides) and get down to the real issue. Here’s a simple explanation of the fundamental disagreement both sides are negotiating (or not negotiating) on.
In the last CBA agreement (which caused the NBA to miss time in ’99), the players received 57% of Basketball-related income (BRI). Obviously, the owners weren’t exactly thrilled by this agreement, often complaining that many of the teams were losing money (upwards of a combined $300 million) as a result. In essence, it has come down to this:
To cite NBA commissioner David Stern, the owners want that figure “to be well below 50 percent.” The players counter-offered at 54% (a 3% pay-cut), which was quickly dismissed by the owners. Since that point, neither side has been willing to negotiate too far from their original stances, leaving the NBA season is serious jeopardy of being cancelled.
NBPA President Derek Fisher on the likelihood of the season starting on time:
“I don’t have control of that part of it, that would be more of a commissioner Stern, Adam Silver question. I’m not going to try and make a guess on that one. The calendar’s obviously not our friend, but we’re not going to give up on the process because of the time.”
Stern left the negotiations without saying much to the media, and no date has been set for the two sides to reconvene. It appears that barring a major concession from either the NBPA or the owners, we’re headed for a winter without NBA basketball.