On Thursday night something felt different. The Texas Rangers were well on their way to winning the World Series with a 7-5 lead in the 9th inning and David Stern and Billy Hunter were actually smiling after a great day of negotiations regarding the NBA lockout. But then…
The St. Louis Cardinals made a miraculous comeback in the 11th inning to even the series and live to play for one more game. All basketball fans, players, and owners went into the night peacefully thinking a deal would finally be reached on Friday.
And then Friday came.
Talks broke apart when the Basketball Related Income (BRI) was discussed and the meetings ended with the cancellation of more NBA games up until November 30th for now. The Cardinals also went on to win the World Series that night and NBA fans felt like that they had been led into another disaster. The players were willing to move their B.R.I. number slightly down but the owners were once again holding firm to their original proposal.
As San Antonio Spurs’ Matt Bonner put it on Friday, it’s in the owners’ hands to start making a move of compliance on their end.
Union vice president, and Spurs forward, Matt Bonner is one of the people charged with assessing the mood of the rank and file. He, for one, says the union is strong. “As disappointing as today is, we made progress,” says Bonner, who is on the union’s executive committee but was not in these small-group talks. “It’s a process and hopefully it will continue again soon. In the meantime, I think the players are united and prepared to hold strong. We’ve made significant gives in every system issue and on BRI, so now it’s the owners’ turn to step up and make a move!”
As baseball has ended and will begin its free agency period in a few months the NBA is still were it started on June 30th-locked out with no sign of hope after the false alarm of negotiations have set everyone into “where do we go from here?” mode.
As the football season continues to carry on into the fall and winter months basketball still resides in a dark, cold, and isolated place.
One can only hope that both sides can resume discussions this coming week so that there is still a salvageable amount of games that could bring about some form of a season. But as always, this is a matter of greed. Millionaires vs. millionaires, and yet we’re the ones who are losing out.