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.
This fight has grown nastier, more personal, in the past weeks. Privately, management insists that everything changed when the Boston Celtics’ Kevin Garnett(notes) walked into the negotiating room on Oct. 4. The owners knew it wouldn’t go well when Garnett started glowering across the table, sources said, like the league lawyers, owners and officials were opponents at the center jump. He was defiant, determined and downright ornery. He was K.G. Everyone knew Hunter had to cede to the wishes of the stars, and the stars demanded that the players stop making concessions to the owners.
As one league official said, “We were making progress, until Garnett [expletive] everything up.”
Hold on… let me add some emphasis here so we can properly interpret this.
As one LEAGUE OFFICIAL said, "WE were making progress until Garnett [expletive] everything up."
According to reports, KG's "[expletive]'ing" was an insistence that the players not dip below 53%. Which, after having given up 4% of their salary, is understandable from a union standpoint.
And maybe KG is the union's version of Phoenix owner Rob Sarver. Maybe it's about time the union had someone on that side to take a hard-line stance. The NBA started these negotiations making a ridiculous offers, then backed off them and called it "concessions." Meanwhile, the Union did no such thing. Its not like they said "we want 65% now" and then started giving back from there.
Imagine I bumped into you and I said "Ok, I'm going to beat you to death. What's your counter offer?"…. and we negotiate it down to me punching you in the face. In the end, you get punched in the face and my "concession" is not killing you.
That's kind of what the NBA is doing right now. Except they still want to sneak in the "killing" part. KG, who has no stake in this at all anymore, is fighting to prevent that. In fact, KG is supposed to make more than $20 million this year, so maintaining this stance means he's losing the last big year of his contract. He's not getting that $20 million back. And no matter how much he's made, that's still a lot of money.
I wonder what would happen if KG was in there for every negotiation. I wonder if he's literally scare the shit out of Sarver or Dan Gilbert. I wonder if we'd be any closer to a deal if the NBA had been forced to move more off its ridiculous stances.
They're meeting today. Here's hoping KG crashes the party.
The rest of the links:
CSNNE: Decertification talk silenced, Tuesday's meeting big | WEEI: History aside, Celtics can't be counted out of Dwight Howard sweepstakes | Globe: Time for players to step up in NBA lockout | Orlando Sentinel: Ray Allen & Doc Rivers in Disney pro-am golf tourney | CBS: Does NBA have secret contingency schedules? | Sheridan: What they're fighting for