The NBA owners and Union representatives met on Tuesday. Guess how that went?
Well, it didn’t go as some fans may have expected. Actually, it was probably worse. I think we’re beyond the point of calling the two sides meeting in general, “progress.” It was the first most important step, yes. However, now it’s completely useless if all it’s going to do is move both sides further apart, which these talks thus far have seemingly done.
Players Union Chief Billy Hunter said the talks on Tuesday “yielded little to no progress.” If you think that quote couldn’t sound less promising, Hunter’s next comment was a dooms day prophecy. “We advised (Players) they may have to set out half the season before we get a deal,” Hunter said.
In a day of negotiations that went poorly to say the least, a foreshadowing theme is beginning to emerge.
The NBA Owners are going all NHL on the NBA’s players. Let’s take you back to the NHL lockout in 2004 that ultimately cost the NHL the 2004-05 season.
In financial ruin, the NHL owners wanted a hard-cap. They played hardball with the players until it was certain that the owners were willing to miss games to get what they wanted. This put a stranglehold on the players, and of course compromises were made, but ultimately the owners got what they wanted. The NBA owners will not negotiate nor agree to any deal that does not include a hard-cap.
This will undoubtedly turn every NBA fan against the owners, though I’m not sure they care. You’ll have a large amount of the NBA fan base that will turn their backs on the NBA once the lockout is over. However, unlike the NHL, they’ll still have their TV contract and millions of fans around the world. The NHL risked an awful lot by canceling an entire season, and they’re only now recovering six years later. If the NHL owners were willing to risk so much, why wouldn’t the NBA owners?
Holding firm on a hard-cap puts the length of the lockout squarely on the players. How long can they holdout?