Today could mark the day the NBA lockout ends. Or it couldn’t.
That’s what representatives from all 30 NBA teams – and about 50 players in total – will try to decide inside a Manhattan hotel Monday.
One month from tomorrow, Dec. 15, the lights could turn on at the Staples centre – and not for a Rihanna concert. Benny the Bull would lead cheers – and not on an El train. And LeBron James may perform his chalk toss – before an actual basketball game.
For that to happen, players must decide today that David Stern’s latest offer is worthy of their signatures – or at least of putting it to a vote.
If they don’t, instead of enjoying opening night of a 72-game season, a player’s union will probably not exist. Owners and individual players could be mired in courtroom conflicts. And the likelihood of any games being played this season would be an unlikely one.
If you paid any attention to players’ reactions this past weekend, you’d know the latter possibility is all too likely. The union remains opposed to a number of the system issues in Stern’s “final” offer.
The current proposal bans “extend and trade” deals, in which a player demands a contract extension as part of a trade, most recently used by Carmelo Anthony, as part of his trade to the Knicks.
Teams spending over the luxury tax would be prohibited from sign-and-trade deals, beginning in year three of the agreement.
The proposal also limits the salary a player could sign with his new team, only a 4-year deal with 3.5 per cent raises. Whereas the same player could sign a 5-year deal with 6.5 per cent raises if he remains with his current team.
Initially, players called the deal worse than the league’s previous offer. That has since been debunked. But it doesn’t make the union any more likely to sign.
Would players really sacrifice the entire season to get what they want? It could be their only recourse. In the midst of today’s meetings, Stern spoke with the Associated Press and reaffirmed that this is his final 50-50 BRI offer. If players don’t accept it, the next proposal will only get worse.
“I want to answer this diplomatically,” Stern told Brian Mahoney. “The next time we meet to discuss anything, we’ll be discussing the 47 per cent proposal.”
What conclusion will the players reach? Only time will tell.
Good news is a possibility. Bad news is the reality.
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.