As long as we're going to mention the group of hard-line players who are threatening to derail any negotiating momentum, we have to do the same with hard-line owners. The latest comes from Howard Beck of the New York Times, who reports that a faction of 10-14 owners, led by Michael Jordan, are vowing to vote against any deal where the two sides agree to a 50-50 split of Basketball-Related Income.
The owners’ faction includes between 10 and 14 owners and is being led by Charlotte’s Michael Jordan, according to a person who has spoken with the owners. That group wanted the players’ share set no higher than 47 percent, and it was upset when league negotiators proposed a 50-50 split last month.
According to the person who spoke with the owners, Jordan’s faction intends to vote against the 50-50 deal, if negotiations get that far. Saturday’s owners meeting was arranged in part to address that concern.
According to the report, that group originally proposed that the players would only get 37 percent of BRI, a full 20-percent drop from where it's at now. That's ... insane. The good news on this front is that it sounds like this is a minority, so if Stern and company really wanted to push a deal through, they could probably outvote these owners.
The fact that Jordan himself is leading this charge is pretty ironic, though. Those who remember the 1999 lockout probably remember Jordan berating then-Wizards owner Abe Pollin. Here's an excerpt from the 1999 book "Just Ballin" by Frank Isola and Mike Wise.
During an early October meeting in Manhattan, Jordan sparred with Wizards owner Abe Pollin in front of Stern, other owners and more than 100 players. After an impassioned Pollin, the league's senior owner, talked of his struggle to keep his team, Jordan interrupted. "If you can't make it work ecnomically, you should sell the team."
Now, Jordan is on the other side. Is he a hypocrite? In a way. In another way, he just wants more money each time and is doing his typical MJ "I will crush you" routine. Either way, it's annoying.