Some great back and forth on this thread. Kudos to everyone who has participated in a positive way. I will say that there's one thing that I've seen over and over in the media and I think they are wrong. It's the notion that the owners were "winning by 40" and kept pouring it on. This just isn't true but unfortunately for us fans, it set the concept of a lawsuit in motion. The players are saying that since they were "giving up too much", they felt it was time to fight back and this was their only option. Had that actually been the case, I would have no problem agreeing with them and I actually started out on their side as this is a lockout as opposed to a strike. But in my mind, the owners made more than enough concessions to the point where it would qualify as negotiating fairly and not running up the score. The fact of the matter is that they started out asking for the majority of BRI, no more guaranteed contracts, contract length at 3 years, a hard cap and a lot of other things that didn't have much chance. Slowly but surely, they gave up on those concepts for things like a flex cap, only allowing one bird free agent to re sign per season per team and taking away the MLE from tax payers. By the time we got to last week, they gave up on all of that and on top of it, starting throwing in concessions to the players on things that didn't even exist in the last cba. The owners were willing to raise the floor from 75% to 90%, add an MLE to teams with cap space that they could use as soon as they capped out, an extra MLE to non taxpayers assuming they could fit one in the $58 to $70 million window and give incentives to players on the rookie scale. On top of that were "win win" mechanisms like the stretch provision and the amnesty clause which allow players to get paid in full AND become free agents all the while creating cap space for other free agents to take advantage of. Of course, this was countered by a lot of negatives including the stricter tax scale and the taking away of the full MLE for tax payers as well as no S & T's for tax payers. There was also the issue of lessening guaranteed deals by one year but even there, that helps because expected bad contracts would be coming off the books a year earlier which again, creates cap space for free agents. You can go back and forth arguing whether or not the players were getting a good deal but to say that the owners kept pouring it on is just flat out wrong. The fact that a good chunk of them didn't even want this deal tells me that they are legit concessions even if I'm not a capologist and don't understand the system issues. Throw in the fact that the union didn't even give a counter offer or take this to a vote would make me even more suspicious. They say that the rank & file would vote emotionally as opposed to knowing the facts isn't a good excuse. They had 3 days to get the rank & file fully up to date on the issues. Media members were predicting that they would vote favorably for the deal so the fact that this didn't get to a vote tells me that the player reps felt the same.
I think the players are kicking shit up hill and I dont see the NBA/Owners rushing back to negotiate because they are scared of the players law suits. The League has good reason to want to make changes based on teams losing money and the economy taking a majory hit, I think the players are going to have a hard time convincing a judge that they have been treated unfairly when their average salary was going to raise from 5.5mil to 8mil over the life of the nba's proposal. The hardline Owners are prepare to lose a season to get what they need, and i expect that they will let this run its course in court. I guess we will find out more after the owners conference call on thursday.