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.
Commissioner David Stern and deputy commissioner Adam Silver emerged from the Upper East Side hotel where negotiations took place at 11:50 p.m. ET, and Stern issued a brief statement before walking away.
"We don't have any comment at all, other than we are breaking for the night and reconvening tomorrow afternoon," Stern said.
Stern has said he will cancel the first two weeks of the regular season if a new collective bargaining agreement isn't agreed to by Monday. He did not address the cancellation deadline in his statement, and a person with knowledge of the talks said both sides agreed it would not be addressed with reporters.
"We're not necessarily any closer than we were going into tonight," union president Derek Fisher said. "But we'll back at it tomorrow and we'll keep putting time in."
According to a person briefed on the talks, the primary focus Sunday night was system issues — salary cap, luxury tax, etc. — leaving Monday to reconcile those complicated items with the most important point of all: the split of revenues between owners and players. Fisher characterized the meeting as "intense."
After just about every negotiating session, we've seen posturing by both sides. Not last night. No mention of financial sacrifices or threats to cancel the entire season. I take this as a good sign. They're all business (finally).
As for the dreaded BRI, the numbers show both sides are close enough:
If you look at it from the midpoint of each side's range in their most recent offers — 50 percent and 52 percent, respectively — they are only $80 million apart in the first year of a new CBA. Each side would lose about $200 million by canceling the first two weeks of games. A rational split of 51.5 percent for the players and 48.5 percent for the owners — with most of the system issues remaining the same, as the players want –would address most of the owners' stated annual losses of $300 million and preserve the flexibility the players wanted to maintain from the existing system.
By holding out for 1.5 percent of BRI — the owners at 50 percent and the players at 53 — each side would be drawing a line in the sand over less than $400 million — $393 million, to be exact — over six years. And each side would lose half that amount by canceling the first two weeks of games. In the simpler, shorter-term horizon of the first year of a new CBA, each side failing to move 1.5 percent to the 51.5-48.5 split would cost it $200 million compared to the $60 million that would be negotiated away by making the concession.
51.5. Just do it.
Can a deal get done today (Stern's deadline for canceling the first two weeks of the season) in time to save all 82 games? I'm not sure.
Negotiations resume today.
The rest of the links: