Well, that got ugly. And by ugly, I mean your sibling just showed up at Thanksgiving with your ex laughing about how they set fire to your car while your parents ask you why you just can't be an adult and they always liked your ex so much and it's such a terrible shame about losing your job for workplace harassment when you asked your ex for the engagement ring back when s/he killed your dog.
There is a very clear thought in my head, and it's Adam Silver smiling into Billy Hunter's face as negotiations come to a head, as David Stern's last words to the union hover in the air, then I hear this:
Dwight Howard isn't coming to save us, although DH12 versus Stern and Silver in a cage match sounds palatable at the moment. But this quote (actual) is the kicker for me:
General Zod does not take orders. He gives them.
Superman II via IMDB
Derek Fisher: "You guys were lied to earlier."via Michael Lee
There exists a certain rapport when two parties who need each other engage in under contentious circumstances. Rhetoric has got to be dialed back; lazy generalizations can quickly become poisonous (limited intellectual capital is going to make us forget all about rhabdomyolysis at this rate) and mediator George Cohen did a letter-perfect job of establishing an environment geared towards maximum results. We all pretty much accepted that negotiations were going to run into some kind of impasse, but as long as it's two steps forward, one step back we can live with it.
And the two sides have come to an impasse before and stepped away relatively amicably, always indicating a willingness to return to the table. This appeared to be the case yet again...until Fisher took the podium. Already, there was some uneasiness at some of Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver's pronouncements. And after all, did Silver expect the NBPA to sit still while he glibly spun the break down in mediation? Fisher came out relatively flabbergasted and you know what happened from there.
Of course, I haven't lost sight of the fact that both sides have a vested interest in telling their own side of the story. But from the tenor of both pressers, it's a simple matter to conclude that the message from David Stern and the owners is loud and clear: Kneel Before Zod. No more twisting arms and maintaining lines of friendly communication, the honeymoon period is over and it's time for broken kneecaps. The language has escalated but the stakes are the same, and the NBA lockout continues.