Yesterday’s labor meeting followed a familiar script.
First there was pessimism, primarily fueled by the presence of Michael Jordan and Paul Allen, both considered to be the vocal leaders of a hard-line ownership group. It was later reported by a source involved in the meeting that M.J. “never opened his mouth, not once.”
Finally, several hours later, the two sides emerged and the results were eerily (and pathetically) the same as they have been for the last 128 days: No Deal.
Instead, left in the wake of the 8 ½ hour meeting was a confusing ultimatum from NBA commissioner David Stern, which he described as a deal allowing the players a chance to make up to 51% of BRI. NBPA attorney Jeffrey Kessler quickly dismissed both the offer and the Commissioners suggestion that it would actually allow the players to reach 51%.
“Under the wildest, most unimaginable, favorable projections and we might squeeze out to 50.2%.”
Stern has said the deal remains on the table until the close of business Wednesday, at which time the offer will be retracted and the owners will retreat to their initial proposal of 47%.
“We want to allow the union enough time to consider our most recent proposal, and we are hopeful that they will accept.”
By all indications from NBPA president Derek Fisher, Wednesday will come and go without a deal.
“We’ve been given the ultimatum, and our answer is that’s not acceptable to us.”
Kessler further drove home the point:
“The players will not be intimidated. They want to play, they want a season, but they are not going to sacrifice the futures of all NBA players under these threats of intimidation. It’s not happening. It’s not happening on Derek Fisher’s watch, it’s not happening on Billy Hunter’s watch.”
And for the time being, the ’11-12 NBA season isn’t happening on their watch, either. The more things change, the more they really just stay the same.
Information from Yahoo! Sports was included in this article.