Does everyone still want to completely blame the players for this mess? If the last two days haven’t convinced you that the owners are even more greedy, even more egotistical, even more obsessed with coming out ahead in these discussions – like little kids fighting over every Easter egg – then I don’t know what will. They deserve much of the blame as well for failing in the negotiations this week. Just when things appeared ready to turn around with numerous small breakthroughs on system topics, owners like Peter Holt (who told the players “You haven’t felt enough pain yet.”), Paul Allen and Dan Gilbert came through like John Marston and started shooting s— up. Derek Fisher spoke with NBA TV’s David Aldridge yesterday, explaining why everything involving the lockout talks have shut down.
ON THE OWNERS:
“These talks and meetings and the mediation process did not end because of ultimatums made by us. They were clearly made by the league and by the NBA and they tried to pre-condition the rest of our talks trying to get us to agree to a 50/50 split on the BRI and what we clearly said is, ‘That is not a place we are willing to go right now, if ever.’ However, we are ready to continue some talk on the system and the issues and if we can reach some agreements there, it could have some impact on what the final number could be, but they said it’s a take-it-or-leave-it situation.”
ON THE RUMORS THE OWNERS HAD THIS PLAN ALL ALONG:
“We would be talking about everything. Myself, our executive committee and our staff has spent the past two plus years and these past few weeks here. Personally, that was time away from my kids and my family. This is serious. There are a lot of livelihoods at stake that far outreach NBA players and that’s been a major concern of ours this entire time. That’s why we continue to make the concessions that we have made; it’s more about them then us. But that’s not a place the NBA wants to go right now and I think we have said all along that we felt there was a predestined plan to lock us out as long as it takes to get us to where they wanted us to go. Right now as players, we are not willing to go to that place to try and continue these negotiations. But, we are willing to continue to talk. We are here and we will be here as long as it takes to get a deal done.”
ON THE BRI:
“It’s extremely difficult because of the impact they have on each other. And for us as players, unless we have a feel for what type of system that will exist and what the revenue split will be, it’s very difficult to say, “Ok we will agree with this number.” Which is why we floated and consistently discussed a more balanced approach between where the NBA is in terns of 50, where we are at 53 and based on the success or lack of success on our gain, to determine which percentages are distributed to the players as opposed to going to the fixed hard place that we obviously can’t agree on right now.”
So how did we get to this point? As mentioned, three owners in particular completely destroyed and re-directed negotiations yesterday. If you would believe the owners’ perspective, more than two-thirds of the league is losing money. If you would believe the players’ perspective, the owners are keeping them locked out because they have unrealistic expectations about hitting a negotiation home run.
At this point, I don’t think anyone really cares about whose side are you on? People just want to see this lockout thing go away.
What do you think?
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