This was supposed to be a festive column, filled with excitement about the NBA and their players coming to an agreement and ending the 120-day long lockout.
Instead, the BRI (basketball related income) split – which has long been the elephant in the room during recent discussions – took a seat on the negotiating table this afternoon and squashed any lingering sense of optimism built up over the last several days of meetings.
Hunter: “We think we gave more than enough. It would have been in striking distance if they had come to our number. But they didn’t do it.”
The difference between the two sides stands at only 2% (players at 52%, owners at 50%), but that gap may widen as games (and revenue) continue to be lost.
Stern: “We’re going to have to re-calculate how bad the damage is, so the NBA’s next offer will reflect the extraordinary losses that are starting to pile up.”
In an expected move, Stern also officially axed another two weeks from the original schedule, eliminating games through November 30th. If an agreement is made in time to salvage part of the NBA season, it is likely that the schedules will be re-worked, meaning these cancellations are time-cancellations, rather than game-cancellations.
Even so, the damage is done.
Stern: “There will not be a full NBA season under any circumstances.”
Currently, there are no future meetings scheduled between the two sides, and most unfortunate for everyone involved, this lockout soap opera will continue…