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, according to one source, told Hunter in Thursday's meeting the owners want to reduce the players' cut of basketball-related revenue to a figure well below 50 percent. Under the previous agreement, which expired July 1, the players were guaranteed a minimum of 57 percent of basketball-related revenue would be spent on salaries.
In negotiations, the players' union had offered to reduce its percentage to as much as 54 percent to accommodate the owners' contention they lost $300 million last season, with the stipulation that a mechanism would be instituted to reward the players if future revenue increased.
The next negotiating session has not been scheduled, but the two sides agreed to contact each other with possible dates to reconvene next week, sources said. Whenever a deal is struck, it is expected to take at least two weeks to write out the complete terms and hash out the finer points.
A period for free agency and then a training camp, however truncated, also would be necessary before the regular season could begin. Most experts agree a minimum of four weeks is necessary to get it done, making the last week in September the absolute deadline for a deal to be struck before regular season games would have to be postponed or canceled.
This is just posturing, right? Another tactic to get the players union to cave.
I'm sure they will. A sensible guy like Ray Allen must know they can't skip the whole season:
"Nobody wants to miss a year," he said. "But I'm prepared to do what the team needs me to do, what my players association, players union team, what they need me to do, because we want to make sure we get the right deal for us."
The rest of the links: