As the NFL lockout has ended and the painful memories of the uncertainties it brought easily fade away with preseason set to soon begin, the NBA faces a similar situation whose results may be far different than its pigskin brother. The differences between the two lockouts are both vast and simple. Basically, it's a money thing, only with the NBA it's about a league looking to make more as opposed to the NFL who already is a cash cow and was looking for a fair split of the profits.
OK, maybe that's just one big simplification, but it would be naive of anyone to think that money isn't the root of all sports work stoppage.
Unlike the NFL lockout, which never really was going to threaten the season and it's enormous popularity, the NBA has a real threat of missing games and as the days roll by and the meeting turn more and more frigid, this threat increases substantially.
The NBA held its latest meeting Monday and if it's any indication, this is going to get very ugly before it gets better. The meeting, which put union honchos Billy Hunter and Derek Fisher into a room with NBA commissioner David Stern and his No. 2, Adam Silver, was supposed to be just a quick one that was to help set the table for further discussions later this month. Three hours later, however, and two sides both felt irritated enough to let some hasty remarks slip to the press.
When asked whether he felt the union was negotiating in good faith, Stern told reporters, “I would say not.”
Derek Fisher didn't have anything more positive to say about the situation either. “We’re still very, very far apart,” he told reporters as he left Manhattan’s Omni Berkshire Hotel.
Fisher also added that, for all the progress the two sides could make on ancillary issues, the talks are going nowhere until they work out a money split (see, it's all about the Benjamins).
While training camps are still two months away, both players and teams are already preparing for a work stoppage. Players are exploring their options overseas at an alarming rate and while no huge name has agreed to forfeit a possible next season, the signs of troubled waters are clearly evident.
“We’re not planning on a normal free-agency period or a normal training camp,” one general manager told Sporting News on Monday. “Just look at the signs, and they all point to this thing going into the winter, at least. It’s too bad, really.”
Maybe that will change when the players and owners meet again this month. Given the utter lack of progress shown so far, though, that seems unlikely. “
Photo credit – AP