Blog Entry

Don't get your hopes up

Posted on: September 28, 2011 9:05 am
NEW YORK -- No one can predict what will happen Wednesday when negotiators for the NBA and the players' association get together for what is unmistakably a pivotal day in efforts to preserve a full season.

Whether they can agree on how to divide up the pie (or cake, as the case may be) ... whether they can find a middle ground on the system issues that bedevil them ... and basically, whether they can all just get along ... all of that is anyone's guess.


Sorry to say it, but don't get your hopes up.

Yes, there has been meaningful movement in the past several weeks. First, union chief Billy Hunter signaled a willingness to negotiate the players' share below his previously offered 54.3 percent -- but only if the owners agreed on the spot to give up their all-out pursuit of a hard cap.

Last week, the owners made an economic move -- albeit a modest one -- from the previously offered 44 percent of BRI (basketball-related income) to 46 percent, with system issues still to be addressed.

And Tuesday -- well, Tuesday was a turning point in these high-stakes negotiations, one way or another. On Tuesday, the owners checked their religious zeal for a hard team salary cap at the door of the negotiating room and hit the players with a series of what the two sides dubbed "concepts and ideas."

In speaking with several people familiar with the talks, the term "concepts and ideas" is merely code for "players give up stuff they've had for decades, but at least they won't have a hard cap .... except, they will." Some of the owners' concepts -- a more punitive luxury tax and limitations on the Bird and mid-level exceptions may strike union negotiators as having those "looks like a duck and clucks like a duck" characteristics. In other words, by the end of the day, you may very well hear from the players that the owners' idea of a soft or softer cap is really just another hard-cap proposal in disguise.

In fact, there are some rabble-rousing factions within the player ranks -- i.e. powerful. frustrated agents -- who do not consider the owners' willingness to drop their pursuit of a hard team salary cap as any kind of victory at all for the players. As far as these hard-liners are concerned, any system that caps the overall amount of player salary in the system -- such as the 57 percent in the previous agreement and whatever percentage the two sides agree on here -- is by definition a hard cap.

This interpretation is not lost on Hunter, who along with union president Derek Fisher finds himself in the hottest of seats Wednesday as the calendar marches toward more cancellations -- more preseason games next week, and soon, real ones. But Hunter's job isn't to placate the hard-line agents, just as David Stern's job isn't to please only the hard-line owners who want their, um, cake and eat it, too.

Their job is to get a deal done, and the time for the sort of meaningful compromise is just about here.

Could it come together on Wednesday? It could, and it should. As sources have maintained for at least a week, there is a deal there for the taking if both sides want one.

Will it come together on Wednesday? Look at the calendar. If the drop-dead date for canceling the start of the regular season is Oct. 14 (as is the case, in my thoughtful estimation), then will each side come forward with its last, best offer and move as far as it's going to move on Sept. 28?

Sadly, I doubt it. If you're a fan of the NBA and want this thing over with, my advice: Hope for the best on Wednesday, and prepare for the worst.


Since: Dec 21, 2006
Posted on: October 1, 2011 4:33 pm

Don't get your hopes up

should the title be 'dont get your HOOPS up.'?

Since: Dec 19, 2010
Posted on: September 28, 2011 9:08 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Apr 10, 2008
Posted on: September 28, 2011 7:58 pm

Don't get your hopes up

what hope?!  I want them to cancel the season - as NBA needs reset and 1 season gone will give it a reality check

Since: Dec 20, 2006
Posted on: September 28, 2011 6:49 pm

Don't get your hopes up

I WANT MY NBA! I don't care what the lockout issues are. All of them make loads of money beyond a blue collar worker, backbone of this counrty's GNP.   I do pledge to never purchase any NBA subscriptions to any games. I will every chance I get broadcast NBA games all over the world via Internet.

Since: Oct 16, 2007
Posted on: September 28, 2011 5:56 pm

Don't get your hopes up

I don't know why people pay these obscene ticket prices to watch these 'out of touch' thugs play. good riddance to ALL of themMoney mouth. i'll pay 100 bucks to apool where 95% of the $$ goes to me or my buddies in the hockey fantasy. no 200dollar tickets and 12 dollar beers for THIS guyTongue out

Since: Nov 21, 2006
Posted on: September 28, 2011 3:41 pm

Don't get your hopes up

Don't get my hopes up?
Oh so the NBA will turn in to a league that people care about?
Players will stop acting like overpaid spoiled brats?
The refs will stop giving preferential treatment to "star" players?
The commissioner will be replaced by someone who knows how to build up franchises not create a league dominated by 10 players?
The players will play with passion for more than the last 2 minutes of the game?
Those are just a few of my hopes for the NBA or don't bother coming back!

Since: Jul 29, 2009
Posted on: September 28, 2011 2:13 pm

Don't get your hopes up

That photo of the commish is priceless walking from the podium. He looks like some poor guy on Wall Street that just lost a few mill on some crappy tech stock. I truly look forward with great anticipation seeing Stern in front of the microphones explaining his case and watching the players self-destruct on their own. Hell, the impending stories that hundreds of out-of-work overpaid clowns will produce for our entertainment will be priceless. Bar fights, domestic assaults. strip-club shootings, drug arrests, and God knows whatelse awaits sports fans and non-sports fans in the coming months. Stern and the rest of the country eagerly await what types of mayhem these NBA dudes will produce.

Since: Sep 28, 2011
Posted on: September 28, 2011 2:02 pm

Don't get your hopes up

Who cares about the regular season anyways?  so many teams make the playoffs and there are so many playoff games, the league should just skip the regular season each year and go straight into their extremely long and all-encompassing playoffs system.

take a look at this:

- if your team advances to the finals, they may have had to play up to 28 additional games, which is over 1/3 of the regular season games played.
- the timeline for the entire playoff system in 2011 ran from April until June!  That's about 3 months long.
- 16 of 30 teams make the playoffs, including 2 teams with records at, or below, .500 mark.

so what's the point to the regular season?  skip it...

plus, the economics of the game right now disallow most of us from even going to the games and rooting for our teams.  have you seen the prices of tickets?  you're better off selling the tickets and purchasing a new flat screen TV and watching the game in the comforts of your own home.  

now the only thing remaining is the players and owners deciding on is who gets to make the playoffs?  coin flip or maybe shooting free throws?

Since: Sep 19, 2011
Posted on: September 28, 2011 1:45 pm

Don't get your hopes up

The NBA needs a hard cap or the lower budget teams will never improve and challenge any team and eventually lose so much money that teams will move or just dissapear look at the nhl look at the nfl it works the hard cap allows low budget teams a chance to win..

Since: Jul 1, 2009
Posted on: September 28, 2011 1:29 pm

Don't get your hopes up

I really hope that this lock-out cancels the entire season. The NBA is so poorly run and plays more like the WWE than a professional basketball league. The games are secondary, the game of basketball is lost. The most important thing to this league is having star driven story lines and, unlike the NFL, it is really only concerned with the large market teams. I.E. Boston, New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Dallas and Chicago. Small markets such as Milwaukee, Detroit, Cleveland, Indianapolis, etc. could basically fold and it wouldn't make much of a difference. Before anyone says it, yes, I am a very bitter and angry Cleveland fan who really believes that LeChoke was encouraged by the league to move to a larger market. Oh well, there are millions of people who like the league as it is and I don't have to watch if I don't like it.

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