Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big storyline. Because there's nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
Stern: "I'm not optimistic." Then, in his last words before leaving, he essentially accused TheNBPA of not bargaining in good faith.
Asked if players are bargaining in good faith or not, Stern said, "I would say not," and walked away.
More Stern: "I don’t feel optimistic about the players’ willingness to engage in a serious way."
So David Stern and the owners lock out the players and want to impose a hard cap system where the players eventually go from 57% of the gross revenue to somewhere around 40% in a matter of 10 years… the players counter offer with a system that tweaks the number down to about 54% (giving back about $100 million a year)… and its the PLAYERS who aren't negotiating in good faith?
To be an effective negotiator in a labor situation like this, you have to have no soul. And Stern clearly has none. First of all, he makes about $20 million a year, yet he has the balls to attack the players' salaries as the issue for this lockout. Second, the way a negotiation typically works is you make a crazy offer, the other side counters by making a similarly crazy offer, and you move on from there.
Except David Stern isn't there to negotiate. He's there to break. He's there to bring the players to their knees and create a system where the owners can make whatever stupid decisions they want and they're still guaranteed to line their pockets with millions and millions of dollars.
But here's the thing: The NBA made so much money this past year, that even with all the wild salaries out there, players didn't even make their allotted 57% of the gross revenue. They made less than that. Which means the owners brought in MORE than they anticipated. Which means its not the player salaries that are the root cause of teams losing money.
That's not to say the system is fine the way it is. But it doesn't need to be scrapped and re-written. It needs to be tweaked. Instead of 57%, the players should get 52 or 53%… something that indicates they are both employee AND product… and deserving of a little more than half of the pie. In a nod to small market owners, maybe some of the exceptions that allow big market teams to have payrolls upwards of $100 million can be eliminated or tweaked. And finally, they need to fix the luxury tax system to fix revenue sharing and make it more effective.
Simple little steps. This negotiation should have been done before the finals were over. Except David Stern doesn't want that. And it's David Stern that's willing to blow a whole season to get what he wants. Everything that he's done in the past to help this league is being flushed down the toilet. Stern is fast becoming the league's biggest detriment. It's time for him to go.
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