Remember all that optimism about the potential for an agreement that might end the NBA lockout? Yeah, so much for that. More owners and players got involved in meetings today, and things didn't go so well. In fact, they went so bad that NBA Players Association head Billy Hunter said he's told players to be prepared to miss half the season.
Ziller and I have been compiling everything going on today for SBNation.com, so get caught up there. A few key talking points:
- The players claim they're willing to compromise on the Basketball-Related Income split if the current cap system stays in place. I figured they'd do the opposite, so that's kind of interesting. Nate Jones, who is great with this kind of stuff, thinks this strategy is being driven by the middle- to lower-class players. He also doesn't agree with it.
- The owners, meanwhile, claim the players are forcing the owners to accept keeping the soft cap in place in return for discussing changing the BRI split. This feels like a good ol' fashioned standoff.
- The owners apparently spent over half of the time meeting among themselves, which certainly pokes a major hole in David Stern's claim that they are as united as ever. Stern claimed they met because the owners weren't unified on "concepts," but were unified on having a system where everyone can compete. He later said they talked about revenue sharing. Being divided on "concepts" means you're divided. Let's call a spade a spade here.
- Adam Silver was mad at the NBPA's rhetoric. Big deal. Thicker skin please.
- David Stern claims he still thinks the season will start on time, which is kind of like believing in unicorns.
- In general, this all goes back to what I wrote when it first looked like progress was being made. The primary decision-makers in this deal seem like they were getting somewhere, but once you add in all the other people that need to approve any deal, agendas come into play and all the work the primary decision-makers did falls apart pretty easily. It sounds like that's what may have happened today. Think about it for a second: the owners themselves met for three and a half hours before even meeting with the NBPA. If that's not a "we're still not all unified" sign, what is? And this applies to the players' side too - just read what guys like DeAndre Jordan are putting out on Twitter. There are a ton of people on both sides who need to fall in line for significant progress to be made, and that's too bad.